Sébastien Ogier continues to dominate Rally Sweden and the Frenchman overnights with a comfortable 26.9 second lead after two days of competition. Behind him, however, the fight for the remaining podium positions has been intense and while Sébastien Loeb has pulled clear in second, Mads Østberg and Jari-Matti Latvala are fighting hard for third position.
The second day of Rally Sweden took in two loops of four stages totalling 114.02 competitive kilometres and once again provided stunning winter action in the snow-covered Swedish forests. Ogier was on the pace from the outset, claiming victory in the opening stage to marginally extend his lead. While he didn’t win any of the following stages in the first loop he won three of the four stages this afternoon to go into the final day in Norway with a healthy advantage and on course for the Polo R WRC’s first victory. Other than suffering with some understeer, Loeb has had a trouble-free run and pulled ahead of the chasing pack to cement his second position; he won two of the day’s stages. The battle for third is however tight and both Østberg and Latvala have been dicing for position, with the Norwegian finally taking third after stage 14. He retains that overnight but, with just a handful of seconds separating them, will be hoping for a home advantage as the rally heads into Norway tomorrow for its final day.
Behind fourth-placed Latvala, Evgeny Novikov has had a solid day and is comfortably ahead of Thierry Neuville. The Belgian moved into sixth position in the final short stage of the day when Juho Hänninen lost over a minute stuck in a snow bank. Henning Solberg, Martin Prokop and Dani Sordo round off the top 10, with the only leading retirement of the day being Pontus Tidemand who was forced out with an engine problem.