Sebastien Ogier has won the 2015 edition of Rally Sweden after a thrilling last minute glimpse of victory. His teammate Andreas Mikkelsen was in the lead during the final special stage and was minutes away from clinching his maiden win when his car got stuck in a snow bank. Ogier learned the news of his surprise victory a few minutes after crossing the finish line when reports about Mikkelsen’s incident reached him.
The battle to the finish line was a triple threat between VW drivers Ogier and teammate Mikkelsen both driving VW Polo R WRCs and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville. With Mikkelsen out of the picture, Neuville comfortably drove his Hyundai i20 WRC home to clinch the second place on the podium. Mikkelsen finished in third place to give VW a double podium finish in this snow-heavy rally event.
Commenting about his win, Ogier said, “This was one of the most exciting WRC events. It’s a crazy win because I had to push flat out from the beginning of the rally to the end. My first win here two years ago was a hard fight, but I had to play everything here in the final stage and it was a fantastic end. Andreas did a great job and he’s very young so we’ll have many more future battles. I made only one mistake on Friday and apart from that I’m proud to have kept the car on the road at that level of speed”
The Swedish round saw a lot drivers get stuck in snow banks including Neuville who was leading into the final day. Citroen’s Mads Østberg could have driven home in a comfortable fourth place but he lost more than five minutes buried in snow after also getting stuck in a bank. This allowed Ott Tänak in the Ford Fiesta RS to cross the finish line in fourth. The third man from VW Motorsports- Jari-Matti Latvala was retired while in service during the final stage.
Video Highlights: Final Stages
Hayden Paddon finished in fifth place driving a Hyundai i20 WRC while Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke finished in sixth and seventh places respectively. The fourth round of the WRC 2015 season will head over to Mexico for the first gravel event of the year. The event will be held on March 5.