Sebastien Ogier is on fire this season and has confirmed his dominance again by winning Rally Sweden today. This was the third Rally Sweden win for the reigning champion who was driving a VW Polo R WRC. Ogier kicked off the season by winning the season’s first round at Rallye Monte Carlo and will head to the third round in Mexico with maximum championship points.
|1. S. Ogier/J.Ingrassia||VW Polo R WRC/ VW Motorsport|
|2. H.Paddon/J.Kennard||Hyundai i20 WRC/Hyundai Motorsport|
|3. M.Ostberg/O.Floene||Ford Fiesta RS/M-Sport|
|4. A.Mikkelsen/A.Jaeger||VW Polo R WRC/ VW Motorsport II|
|O.Tanak/R.Molder||Ford Fiesta RS/DMACK|
Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon outperformed his rivals by finishing second on the podium, his best career finish making him the first non-European driver to appear on the Swedish podium. The New Zealand driver was driving a Hyundai i20 WRC co-driven by John Kennard. The duo almost lost their lead after hitting a pole on the last stage, a radiator broke forcing them to drive carefully all the way to the chequered flag.
Speaking about his win, Ogier said, “Two wins from the first two rallies – it can’t get any better. Yesterday was a little bit too crazy and I took risks like I had never done in my life. Conditions were terrible at the beginning of the week but the organisers did an impressive job so that we had a good rally.”
Third on the podium was Ford driver Mads Ostberg who crossed the finish line 25.8 seconds after Paddon. Andreas Mikkelsen finished fourth after falling back on Saturday due to a high speed spin while Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo rounded off the top six.
Rally Sweden was filled with incidents that prevented even the top drivers from finishing in the top ten. Frozen roads turned into mud bringing a mix of confusing conditions that resulted to the cancellation of several speed tests in Sweden and Norway. Kris Meeke was among those affected after falling back with a suspension problem, Thierry Neuville had a transmission problem while Jari-Matti Latvala incurred a driveshaft problem.
The third round of the 2016 FIA WRC season will head over to Mexico for the Rally Guanajuato on March 3.