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WRC - Evans wins in Sweden

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Rally Sweden - Sunday

2020 WRC - Rally Sweden - Final podium (DPPI)

Toyota driver Elfyn Evans took his second career victory on the shortened Rally Sweden to lead the World Rally Championship for the first time.

He is now tied on points at the head of the standings with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, the winner of the last round in Monte-Carlo, but the Welshman actually leads on countback. Evans stamped his authority on Rally Sweden from the very beginning despite extremely tricky conditions, with unseasonable weather leading to the cancellation of several stages.

Even today, rain and slush greeted the competitors, rather than the ice and snow that is usually characteristic of Sweden. As a result, all the drivers had to be extremely careful to keep the studs in the tyres and ensure the best grip possible. In total, nine stages of Rally Sweden were eventually run over three days.

Evans leads reigning FIA World Champion Ott Tänak, consistently his closest challenger in second, who was 12 seconds behind at the finish after a relatively careful drive en route to his first podium for Hyundai. The Estonian was happy with the car but admitted that he would need to learn it more.

Kalle Rovanperä was a sensational third, also claiming his first FIA WRC podium on only his second event in a Toyota Yaris WRC. The Finnish teenager won the Power Stage - the only stage that was run today - to claim five additional championship points and defeat his multiple champion team mate Sébastien Ogier, who ended up fourth.

M-Sport Fiesta driver Esapekka Lappi equalled his Monte result with fifth, ahead of the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville in sixth, who set second-fastest time on the Power Stage.

Another Hyundai, driven by Craig Breen (who replaced Sebastien Loeb in Sweden) finished seventh, ahead of the M-Sport Fiesta of Teemu Suninen and Toyota Yaris of Takamoto Katsuta, in eigth and ninth respectively.

In 10th overall, Jari-Huttunen claimed the win in the FIA WRC 3 class as the first Rally2 car in the classification. He leads fellow countryman Emil Lindholm by 5s and World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson, who finished another 26.3s behind.

In the FIA WRC 2 category, it is an all-Skandinavian podium with Citroën’s Mads Østberg in 12th overall who sealed his second FIA WRC 2 win this season, ahead of Hyundai’s Ole-Christian Veiby and Pontus Tidemand.

The opening round of the FIA Junior WRC was won by Tom Kristensson from Sweden, in front of Latvia’s Martins Sesks and Estonia’s Ken Torn.


2020 Rally Sweden - Final unofficial Results:

1. Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 11min 43.1sec
2. Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 11min 55.8sec
3. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttunen (FIN)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 12min 03.3sec
4. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 12min 06.7sec
5. Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN)Ford Fiesta WRC1hr 12min 15.5sec
6. Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 12min 16.9sec
7. Craig Breen (IRL) / Paul Nagle (IRL)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 12min 44.0sec
8. Teemu Suninen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN)Ford Fiesta WRC1hr 13min 07.6sec
9. Takamoto Katsuta (JAP) / Daniel Barritt (GBR)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 13min 42.7sec
10. J. Huttunen (FIN) / M. Lukka (FIN) - FIA WRC 3Hyundai NG i201hr 15min 46.1sec