WRC – Thrilling victory for Tänak & Järveoja on Rally Sweden | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WRC – Thrilling victory for Tänak & Järveoja on Rally Sweden

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17.02.19.

Rally Sweden - Sunday

Rally Sweden - Event winners Ott Tänak & Martin Järveoja

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT crew Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja clinched victory on the FIA World Rally Championship’s second round, Rally Sweden, which promoted them to the overall championship lead for the first time in their career. Fending off the assaults from Jari-Matti Latvala and Teemu Suninen early in the rally, Tänak went on to dominate the event, winning by 53.7s over Citroen Total WRT crew Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm. Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT pair Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul finished 3 seconds only behind Lappi in third place, their third career podium in Sweden, and remain second in the championship standings after two events.

Sunday began with two runs through the 21.19km Likenäs test, which showcased typical Rally Sweden conditions with a proper covering of snow and ice providing good grip for the rally cars. The “Torsby” special stage, host of the Power Stage and used twice previously, presented however different road conditions as the gravel underneath the surface had been exposed.

Rally leader Tänak took a careful approach to the opening two stages, saving his tyres for the Power Stage and its bonus points. His strategy paid off as he dominated the Torsby test by going 3.5s faster than Neuville to score maximum points.

Behind Tänak, Andreas Mikkelsen had started the rally’s final day in second place, tied with Lappi, but the Norwegian struggled in the first pass of Likenäs with his set of used Michelin tyres. He set only the 10th fastest time and dropped behind both Lappi and Neuville.

Lappi slightly increased his gap over third-placed Neuville through both passes of Likenäs but drove conservatively on the Power Stage. The Citroën driver secured second by three seconds overall.

Despite missing out the second place, there was consolation for Neuville as the Belgian collected four valuable bonus points for the FIA World Championship by setting the second-fastest time in the Power Stage. Lappi also picked up one bonus point with the fifth fastest time, just behind Sébastien Ogier, who scored two bonus points as the fourth-fastest driver.

Mikkelsen held on to fourth but a stage win on the second pass of Likenäs by M-Sport’s Elyn Evans put the Hyundai driver under pressure for the Power Stage. Mikkelsen dropped 11.6s on Sunday to finish only 2.8s ahead of his Welsh rival. Fifth-placed Evans was also able to score three bonus points with a third-fastest time through the Torsby Power Stage.

A tense battle for sixth place was expected on Sunday, with Kris Meeke and Sébastien Loeb separated by only 1.6s overnight. In the end, the French did not manage to dominate, dropping five seconds to Meeke on the first pass of Likenäs and eventually finishing 10.9s behind him in seventh place.

Pontus Tidemand ended his home event – the second with the M-Sport Ford WRT team – in eighth, 1m48s behind Loeb, but still scoring valuable manufacturers’ points for the British team.

Ole Christian Veiby picked up ninth place overall in addition to an impressive FIA WRC 2 victory. He had been under pressure on Saturday from Jari Huttunen but won comfortably in the end, as his Finnish rival went off into a snowbank on the second run of Likenäs and retired. Emil Lindholm took second place in the category, 16.1s ahead of FIA World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson.

Former Škoda and M-Sport factory driver Janne Tuohino completed the Top 10 overall, nearly 13 years from his last appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship.

Mads Ostberg took the FIA WRC 2 Pro victory for Citroën Total, finishing over three minutes ahead of Škoda Motorsport factory driver Kalle Rovanpera, while Gus Greensmith took third place for M-Sport.

Swedish yougster Tom Kristensson won the FIA Junior World Rally Championship’s inaugural event, finishing his home round 1m31.2s ahead of Estonia’s Roland Poom in second. Jan Solans completed the podium, with all drivers competing in an identical M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta R2s.

 

Rally Sweden – Final unofficial results (subject to scrutineering)

1

 

 

 

Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

2hr47min30.0sec

2

 

 

 

Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm

Citroen C3 WRC

2hr48min23.7sec

3

 

 

 

Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2hr48min26.7sec

4

 

 

 

Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jǽger

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2hr48min35.4sec

5

 

 

 

Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr48min38.2sec

6

 

 

 

Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall

Toyota Yaris WRC

2hr49min08.8sec

7

 

 

 

Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2hr49min19.7sec

8

 

 

 

Pontus Tidemand / Ola Floene

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr51min07.7sec

9

 

 

 

Ole Christian Veiby / Jonas Andersson

Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

2hr54min04.0sec

10

 

 

 

Janne Tuohino / Mikko Markkula

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr55min51.4sec