Friday 7 February 2014

Rally VW in Sweden

Perfectly handbraked by Latvala
The Volkswagen pairings of Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) lead the Rally Sweden after Day 2. However, a mistake from the World Champion prevented a three-way Volkswagen scrap at the top of the standings: starting the day as leaders, Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) slid into a wall of snow on the opening special stage, losing 4:30 minutes as a consequence. The ensuing fightback, which included six stage wins, saw the World Championship winning pairing storm back from 20th to ninth. 

Afterwards Sébastien Ogier said simply: “That’s rallying! We skidded into a snow wall twelve kilometres into the first special stage of the day. It was a slow corner, which is perhaps why I lost my concentration a little. I missed the entry to the corner and next thing we knew we were stuck. A stupid mistake, but these things happen. Thank you to all the fans who helped us out.” 

Ogier making up for lost time
Rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala said: “It is obviously a great feeling to lead the Rally Sweden. At the same time, we still have a lot of work ahead of us: Saturday is the longest day, and it will be all about looking after the studded tyres as well as possible, right up until the finish ramp in Karlstad. The spikes break very quickly on gravel, and you lose an awful lot of grip then. Today was very good for long periods and we were able to open up a small gap ahead of our team-mates. However, we then lost a lot of time on the penultimate stage.”

It was a good day for Andreas Mikkelsen too: “A fantastic day for us, and I am very happy with the way the Rally Sweden is panning out for me. I am yet to stand on the podium in the World Rally Championship, and that is exactly where I would dearly love to end this rally. I tried to keep up the pressure on my team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, but without taking too many risks.”

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