Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila claimed their third Rally Sweden victory today, taking the win by 53.6 seconds over Volkswagen team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Mikko Markkula. Third position was taken by the Citroën DS3 crew of Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson.
In the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, Latvala’s victory and additional points in the Power Stage see the Finn head the leaderboard, five points ahead of team-mate and reigning World Champion Sébastien Ogier. Mads Østberg rounds off the top three, another five points adrift. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, wins in Monte-Carlo and Sweden put Volkswagen Motorsport in the lead, the German marque 16 points ahead of the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Today’s final day of competition took in two identical loops of four stages covering 142.16 competitive kilometres. The rally was rounded off with the televised Power Stage, in which all-important points are awarded to the fastest three drivers through this single stage. Here, Østberg, Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen collected the extra points. Latvala started the day in control of the field and a clean sweep of fastest times in the opening loop helped the Finn extend his advantage. This afternoon he was able to control the field to notch up his first WRC victory since Greece last year. Mikkelsen has driven a fine event, the Norwegian always in the frame for his first-ever WRC victory. Today he went off in the second stage and damaged the suspension, but otherwise escaped unscathed to secure his maiden WRC podium. Mads Østberg won two of this afternoon’s stage and finished a deserved third overall.
Mikko Hirvonen finished a more distant fourth, just over 30 seconds ahead of Ott Tanak in a similar Fiesta RS WRC. After going off the road yesterday, Sébastien Ogier managed to climb up to sixth, overhauling reigning Junior WRC Champion Pontus Tidemand and Henning Solberg. Craig Breen finished ninth and Kris Meeke 10th after losing time stuck in a snow bank this morning. Robert Kubica endured a difficult rally and went off again today; he nevertheless gained valuable experience of all the stages and finished 24th overall.
The FIA World Rally Championship contenders now head across the Atlantic for the first full gravel event of the season, Rally Guanajuato Mexico (6-9 March).
Rally Sweden – Final Unofficial Results (subject to scrutineering)