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Weather forces Sweden route revamp

Rally Sweden has shrugged off fears of cancellation due to above zero temperatures and rain by announcing a revised route for this week?s second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Melting snow and ice threatened the season's only pure winter rally as frozen roads turned to soft, muddy gravel. Studded tyres are compulsory in the recce and the rally, but the thaw prompted fears the spikes would damage the roads and make them unusable.

However, organisers submitted a revised route to teams this morning with the 21 scheduled stages reduced to 13, and the competitive distance cut from 331.21km to 241.48km.

While temperatures in the rally region are hovering at 4˚C today, colder weather is forecast later in the week. Overnight temperatures are set to plunge to -11˚C around Hagfors, where much of the action is based, and organisers are hopeful further cuts will not be required.

The recce will be delayed by 24 hours until Wednesday and Thursday. The pre-event shakedown test near the rally base in Karlstad has been cancelled, along with Thursday night's traditional opening super special stage at the towns trotting track.



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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Road grading teams have worked through the night to re-prepare stages ready for this week's Rally Sweden [12 - 14 February].

Organisers sent road-levelling machinery into the Vargasen, Varmullasen, Torsby and Fredriksberg stages on Wednesday night, hours after they were driven by competitors on the pre-event recce.

"We went out on the stages to grade them before the forecast cold weather arrives," explained Rally Sweden Clerk of the Course Stig-Rune Kjernsli.

"We want to make them good so that when the sub zero temperatures arrive we have a frozen gravel surface."

The grading process smoothed the ruts that appeared during the recce. "The surface now looks very good," added Kjernsli.

Competitors will recce the remaining Swedish stages today and these are expected to be re-graded tonight.

The rally begins on Thursday eveing with an opening ceremony in host city Karlstad from 1800hrs. The competitive action is due to get underway at 0851hrs on Friday with the 16km Torsby stage.



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1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No SS1 !


SS2: Ogier sets early pace in Sweden

Sebastien Ogier held a slender lead at Rally Sweden following Friday morning’s opening speed test at Torsby.

The Frenchman was fastest by three-tenths of a second from Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen on roads much improved from two days ago when they tackled the recce in soft and muddy conditions.

“The road is pretty hard, it was OK,” said Ogier. “With no test or shakedown in these conditions it was good to try hard.”

However, all was not well with the third member of the Volkswagen squad, Jari-Matti Latvala. He was right on Ogier’s pace at the midpoint but reached the finish 23.1sec down.

“The driveshaft broke 2km from the end. I don’t know what spares we have in the car,” said Latvala before rushing off to work on the car (pictured below). With no mid-leg service, there is no opportunity for his team to examine the damage until they return to the rally base in Karlstad tonight.

Kris Meeke completed the top three in Citroens DS 3, 4.4sec off Ogier’s pace. “Credit to the organisers, they’ve worked hard on this stage. I was quite steady at the beginning. It’s all about picking your braking point,” said the Ulsterman.

Dani Sordo was fourth in a Hyundai i20 but a warning light on the dashboard signalled a high water temperature, with team-mates Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon completing the top six.

Both Khalid Al Qassimi and Lorenzo Bertelli escaped lurid moments on the final bend of the stage.


SS2 Torsby 1 (16.48 km)


SS3 Rojden 1 (18.47 km)


SS4: Scare for Sweden leader Ogier

Sebastien Ogier won all three of Friday morning’s Rally Sweden speed tests to build a comfortable 24.2sec lead despite hitting a tree in the final special stage.

After winning the opening Torsby test, Ogier topped the times in Rojden and again in Svullrya as this second round of the FIA World Rally Championship crossed into Norway.

But the Frenchman finished Svullrya with most of the front wing missing from his Volkswagen Polo R.

“There was a big, big water splash which I didn’t have in my pace notes,” he said. “The organisers warned us about a bump but I couldn’t turn after it and went into the trees.”

Ogier stopped for several minutes to fit a replacement steering arm that was carried in the car before heading to the mid-leg regroup.

Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen went off at the same point and was 17.3sec slower than his colleague. However, the Norwegian retained second place.

Kris Meeke was a further 4.5sec behind in third after setting second fastest time in SS4 in Citroens DS 3. The Ulsterman admitted he was taking a different line to those ahead in a bid to find a cleaner grip on the icy surface.

Fourth was Dani Sordo in a Hyundai i20, with Mads Ostberg and Ott Tanak completing the top six. Ostberg was almost caught out at the same point as Ogier and Mikkelsen but survived to set third fastest time in his Ford Fiesta RS.

Next up were Hayden Paddon and Henning Solberg, who was struggling to downshift in his Fiesta RS, with Craig Breen and Thierry Neuville completing the leaderboard.

Neuville was third after Rojden but a transmission problem in Svullrya cost almost 80sec and he tumbled down the order with only front-wheel drive on his i20.

Things were just as bleak for Jari-Matti Latvala. A broken front left driveshaft meant the Finn was also coping with front-wheel drive only in his Polo R and he dropped more than 3min 30sec through the two tests to hold 30th.


SS4 Svullrya 1 (24.23 km)


Friday Afternoon
No SS5

No SS6



SS8: Heavy snow traps leaders

Heavy snow transformed driving conditions at Rally Sweden on Friday afternoon and caused a major upheaval among the leaders on this second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Worst affected was Kris Meeke. The Ulsterman was fastest through the repeat pass of the Svullrya stage to climb to second before retiring midway through the following R?jden test after hitting a stone buried in the road in Citroen’s DS 3.

Also in trouble was Andreas Mikkelsen who plummeted from second in Svullrya after going off the road and losing about 20sec.

The Norwegian completed the test with damage to the front left of his Volkswagen Polo R and explained: “I lost the rear of the car a bit and hit a tree stump. It spun the car around and I stalled. I lost a lot of time, I think my chance of first has gone. It’s all about second now.”

Leader Sebastien Ogier wasn’t immune to the drama. The Frenchman overshot a junction in Rojden and was only eighth fastest, but the troubles of those behind him meant he headed to the final Torsby stage with an increased lead of 30.9sec.

Charging into second from sixth was Hayden Paddon, the Kiwi second in Svullrya and quickest in the cross-border R?jden test. “We have the advantage of road conditions due to the snow. The roads are cleaning with the passage of more cars but it’s still really slippery,” he said.

Ford Fiesta RS duo Mads Ostberg and Ott Tanak climbed to third and fourth, relegating Dani Sordo to fifth. But it is so tight that only 8.3sec cover the quartet ending with Mikkelsen in sixth.

Craig Breen was third in Svullrya but dropped a handful of seconds after an overshoot in the next test, while Henning Solberg delighted his Norwegian fans with fourth in Rojden.


...results info seem to be all over the place listed for wrong stages etc !


Overall leaderboard:

1 Ogier
2 Paddon +26.9s
3 Ostberg +33.7s
4 Tanak +34.8s
5 Sordo +38.2s
6 Mikkelsen +42.0s
7 H Solberg +1m36.9s
8 Breen +1m38.8s
9 Camilli +2m43.5s
10 Bertelli +3m08.6s

Sebastien Ogier led Rally Sweden after a dramatic opening leg on Friday which ended the hopes of several fancied drivers.

Ogier himself survived two incidents to lead this second round of the FIA World Rally Championship by 26.9sec in a Volkswagen Polo R. Hayden Paddon enjoyed a superb debut in Hyundai's i20 to hold second ahead of Mads Ostberg's Ford Fiesta RS.

The Frenchman won all three morning stages near the border between Sweden and Norway to build a 24.2sec cushion. But heavy afternoon snow left him at a disadvantage as road opener, creating a clean line for the benefit of later starters.

An afternoon overshoot cost a few seconds but Ogier was fortunate to escape a more serious incident this morning when he hit a tree and bent a steering arm, which he and co-driver Julien Ingrassia replaced.

"There was a big, big water splash which I didn't have in my pace notes," he said. "The organisers warned us about a bump but I couldn't turn after it and went into the trees. I got a bit lucky. I had to push hard in the snow because I knew I would lose time."

Paddon quickly acclimatised to the 2016-specification i20 and won the final two stages to rocket up from sixth. The Kiwi admitted conditions favoured him courtesy of a low start position and he could benefit again tomorrow when more snow is forecast.

Ostberg made a cautious start but progressed from eighth and revelled in the wintry afternoon conditions after changing both his car set-up and driving style.

Estonia's Ott T?nak was 1.1sec behind in fourth in another Fiesta RS, 3.4sec ahead of Dani Sordo. The Spaniard felt his i20 was moving around too much but he briefly held third before slipping behind Ostberg and Tanak.

Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top six in another Polo R, concluding a quartet of drivers covered by less than nine seconds. The Norwegian was Ogier's closest challenger in second until he hit a tree stump and spun, losing 20sec.

Henning Solberg overcame gearshift issues and a final stage scare when the engine stopped in his Fiesta RS to hold seventh. He was 1.9sec ahead of Craig Breen who set a top three time in Citroen's DS 3. Eric Camilli and Lorenzo Bertelli completed the leaderboard.

Kris Meeke had just claimed second when the Briton hit a stone buried in the road and the impact sent his DS 3 into retirement. Thierry Neuville limped through much of the day in two-wheel drive after breaking his i20's rear differential and a broken front left driveshaft put Latvala in a similar predicament. His Polo R eventually stopped in the final stage.

Saturday's second leg features five stages covering 92.25km. It includes two passes over the spectacular Colin's Crest jump in Vargasen and ends with a head-to-head test at Karlstad trotting track.



Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

SS10: Mikkelsen makes his move

Andreas Mikkelsen rocketed up the leaderboard from sixth to third during a snowy opening to Saturday’s second leg of Rally Sweden.

About 5cm of snow fell overnight in the Hagfors area where today’s action is based, transforming the special stages compared to the mud encountered during the recce.

Mikkelsen repaired much of the damage caused by yesterday’s spin that relegated him from second with second fastest time to overhaul Mads Ostberg, Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo.

However, Mikkelsen had to give best to Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Sebastien Ogier, who made light of the perceived disadvantage of ploughing the fresh snow as road opener, to go fastest and extend his lead over Hayden Paddon to 32.4sec.

“Ogier has been in every ditch and there are stones everywhere. He’s setting the boundaries!” said Mikkelsen.

Ogier was content with his performance. “It wasn’t the best stage, but not too bad. It will cost me time compared to the guys behind but how much I don’t know. It would have been difficult for me to do better,” he said.

Hayden Paddon retained second in his Hyundai i20, the Kiwi believing there was little advantage from his lower start position. “In some places we have good grip, in others there’s more ice and the surface is chewing up. I don’t think there’s a gain or a loss in my position, but my driving was messy. I can improve a lot,” he said.

Ostberg lost a few seconds after sliding his Ford Fiesta RS into a ditch, but Sordo fell back from the big fight for second after losing a minute with a front left puncture. In more serious trouble was Eric Camilli who rolled heavily and retired.

Jari-Matti Latvala’s disastrous weekend continued with a front left puncture that cost a minute, while Lorenzo Bertelli retired his Ford Fiesta RS last night.


No SS11

SS12: Paddon tears into Ogier lead

Hayden Paddon slashed Sebastien Ogier’s lead to just 8.8sec after a superb drive through the Vargasen winter wonderland that left the triple world champion looking anxiously over his shoulder.

With up to 10cm of snow in places, Paddon took full advantage of his lower start position to rocket over the forest tracks 23.6sec quicker than the road-opening Frenchman and create a genuine battle for victory in this second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

While Ogier swept the fresh snow off the road in his Volkswagen Polo R, Paddon enjoyed a cleaner and faster line further back but the Hyundai i20 pilot was playing down his victory chances at the finish.

“I think this stage helped us,” he said. “We didn’t have an advantage in the first stage but it cleaned for us here. Ogier isn’t the target, but we want to build a buffer to those behind us.”

Ogier was 11th fastest. “It’s not the same story as earlier. I’m very happy with my stage but this one was different. Obviously we didn’t expect to lose that much time,” he said.

Fourth for Mads Ostberg propelled him back into third place in his Ford Fiesta RS, relegating fellow Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen to fourth and he is now 10.0sec to the good. Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo complete the top six on the leaderboard.

The stage continued to get cleaner and faster and yesterday’s retirees, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke, took advantage. Latvala topped the times by 9.5sec from Meeke, with Paddon third.


No SS13

Rally Sweden itinerary change

Sunday's opening Lesjofors stage has been cancelled due to adverse road conditions, Rally Sweden organisers announced this evening.

As a result, only the Live TV Varmullsasen Power Stage will be run on Sunday. The 15.87km stage, the final test of the rally, is scheduled to start at 1208hrs.


SS14: Mikkelsen slip

Andreas Mikkelsen’s podium hopes at Rally Sweden suffered a major blow after a pace note mistake sent him careering off the road in the Rammen speed test.

The Norwegian hoped to take advantage of better road conditions to close in on the third place he ceded to Mads Ostberg in the previous Vargasen test. However, an over-ambitious note near the finish cost the Volkswagen Polo R driver dear.

“The pace note was too positive, it wasn’t 100 per cent accurate,” he admitted. “We went off and had to find a place to turn around. We lost a lot of time. The next stage will be really hard at the front of the running order and if I was to have any chance of fighting for third then I had to take my chance in this one.”

Mikkelsen dropped almost 20sec to his fellow countryman and the gap between them widened to 29.7sec.

The relatively snow-free conditions suited road opener Sebastien Ogier, who gave it his all to gain 1.4sec in his Polo R on second-placed Hayden Paddon.

“I was completely flat out. I took so many risks and couldn’t have gone any faster. We’ll lose time in the next one when Vargasen is repeated,” said Ogier.

Paddon admitted there was less snow than expected. “We had a nice pace, trying to keep it smooth and looking after the tyres as well,” said the New Zealand Hyundai i20 pilot.

Henning Solberg dropped a handful of seconds by stalling his Ford Fiesta RS at the start and the gap to Dani Sordo widened to 6.1sec in their fight for sixth.

Jari-Matti Latvala won the stage from Kris Meeke at an average of 123.55kph, the fastest of the rally.


WRC2 standings after SS14 (Top 3):

1. Elfyn Evans - GBR Ford Fiesta R5 - 1h 06:23.1s WRC2
2. Pontus Tidemand - SWE Skoda Fabia R5 +28.3s WRC2
3. Teemu Suninen - FIN Skoda Fabia R5 +29.2s WRC 2

No SS15

SS16: Ogier widens lead over Paddon

Sebastien Ogier extended his Rally Sweden lead over Hayden Paddon to 15.9sec after winning the second pass through the Vargasen stage on Saturday afternoon.

Conditions were much improved compared with this morning’s deep snow and the Frenchman speared his Volkswagen Polo R through the test 5.7sec faster than Paddon’s Hyundai i20, despite a massive slide 1km after the start.

Ogier has created some breathing space for himself with just tonight’s super special stage around Karlstad trotting track and tomorrow’s live TV Power Stage remaining.

Paddon appeared to have settled for second, the Kiwi explaining: “It’s about maintaining my position now. We went into this stage 10sec behind Ogier and that’s like a minute to anyone else. We need to be smart. We struggled a bit in there, I think we used our studs in the stage before.”

Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen completed a 1-2-3 in the stage for Volkswagen, while Dani Sordo eased the pressure on himself in sixth by widening his advantage over Henning Solberg to 20.9sec. Solberg is now only 1.5sec ahead of Craig Breen.

Kris Meeke finished with the right rear tyre of Citroen’s DS 3 pushed off the rim, the Briton bouncing in and out of a ditch near the finish, and Yazeed Al Rajhi retired his Ford Fiesta RS after going off the road.




Sebastien Ogier has increased his overall lead at Rally Sweden with just the Power stage remaining as his Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala claims SS17 win.

With Paddon aiming to chip away at Ogier's lead of 15.9 seconds over the short 1.9km SS17 the Hyundai Motorsport driver conceded 1.2 seconds to the three-time reigning WRC champion over Karlstad 2 to fall 17.1 seconds adrift overall.

Due to the warmer temperatures melting large amounts of snow and ice across Scandinavia in the build-up to Rally Sweden, event organisers have slashed the stage numbers which leaves just the Power stage, Varmullsasen 2. left to run on the final day.

It means Paddon has 15.87km to chase Ogier down and barring a mechanical failure or mistake, the Volkswagen Motorsport driver will secure his second consecutive win in Sweden.

After retiring on the opening day Jari-Matti Latvala returned to action under WRC Rally 2 regulations and grabbed the stage victory by an impressive margin of 2.7s from Ott Tanak, considering the top ten were split by four seconds.

As a result of the compact results from the only stage in the evening the overall classification remained unchanged with M-Sport's Mads Ostberg occupying the final podium place ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen and Ott Tanak.

Dani Sordo has held on to sixth place ahead of WRC legend Henning Solberg with Citroen WRC debutant Craig Breen in eighth.


2016 Rally Sweden standings after leg 2 (Top 15):

1. Sebastien Ogier FRA Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1h 52:04.7s M
2. Hayden Paddon NZL Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +17.1s M
3. Mads Ostberg NOR M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +42.3s M
4. Andreas Mikkelsen NOR Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +1m 07.4s M
5. Ott Tanak EST DMACK WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m 31.6s M
6. Dani Sordo ESP Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +1m 56.3s M
7. Henning Solberg NOR Adapta Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 17.2s M
8. Craig Breen IRL Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +2m 20.8s M
9. Elfyn Evans GBR Ford Fiesta R5 +4m 44.7s WRC2
10. Pontus Tidemand SWE Skoda Fabia R5 +5m 02.6s WRC2
11. Teemu Suninen FIN Skoda Fabia R5 +5m 08.4s
12. Anders Grondal NOR Ford Fiesta R5 +6m 35.3s WRC2
13. Esapekka Lappi FIN Skoda Fabia R5 +6m 44.0s WRC2
14. Thierry Neuville BEL Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +7m 01.7s M
15. Eyvind Brynildsen NOR Ford Fiesta R5 +7m 13.5s WRC2


Evans fends off resurgent Tidemand in Sweden WRC 2

Elfyn Evans retained the initiative in WRC 2 at Rally Sweden on Saturday despite a strong recovery from Pontus Tidemand that warmed the hearts of the home fans.

The Welshman overcame an afternoon steering problem to end the penultimate leg of this second round of the FIA World Rally Championship with a 17.9sec lead.

Evans won the opening special stage in the snowy forests near Hagfors in his Ford Fiesta R5. But Tidemand, who lost time yesterday with a broken driveshaft, claimed two wins and two second places in his Skoda Fabia R5 to reduce the deficit from 42.5sec.

“Pontus has driven really well today, but we’ve had a few little issues so if everything goes to plan we should have a big enough margin going into tomorrow’s final stage,” said Evans.

“We had a problem with the steering. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time but there was a strange feeling in the car and we lost some seconds. We managed to find the problem and make a temporary fix on the road section, but I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent comfortable with the way the car was driving after that.”

Anders Grondal overcame illness to hold third in a Fiesta R5, but Finland’s Esapekka Lappi was closing fast in a Fabia R5 after winning two stages. The gap between the pair was 8.7sec.

Eyvind Brynildsen’s Fiesta R5 was fifth with Emil Bergqvist completing the top six in a DS 3 R5, the duo split by 9.7sec.

Fredrik Åhlin was the most disappointed driver. The Norwegian ceded a minute with a puncture in the opening stage but recovered to third, only for his day to end prematurely when he ripped a wheel from his Fiesta R5 in the penultimate test.

Other retirements included Hubert Ptaszek with damaged suspension and Max Rendina with mechanical problems.



Premium Member
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Brynildsen claims new Colin's Crest record
Rally Sweden organisers have declared a new world record after Eyvind Brynildsen sent his Ford Fiesta flying for 45 metres from Colin's Crest on Saturday.

Jumping his R5-specification car further than any of the top level World Rally Car drivers, Norway's Brynildsen was a surprise winner of this year's Colin's Crest Award, named in honour of the 1995 World Champion Colin McRae.

The record-breaking leap came on the second pass through the Vargasen stage (SS16) and eclipsed the previous record of 44 metres set by Thierry Neuville in 2015.

“I heard that Thierry didn’t believe that the Fiesta R5 could go that fast, but he can join me for a ride if he is unsure!" said Brynildsen, who was in fifth gear and travelling at around 165kph when he took off.

“We had a perfect combination of corners before the crest and I knew that we had quite a lot of speed. I decided before the stage that if everything went to plan then I would try to break the record. I just put my right foot on the pedal and held it down. No drama!”



BREAKING NEWS: Ogier claims third Sweden win

Sebastien Ogier secured his third Rally Sweden victory when he won the second round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship on Sunday.

The Frenchman led the three-day snow and ice rally from start to finish in a Volkswagen Polo to win by 29.8sec, adding to his triumphs in the Karlstad-based event in 2013 and 2015.

New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon finished second on his debut in Hyundai’s new-specification i20, with Norwegian Mads Ostberg third in a Ford Fiesta RS, a further 25.8sec back.

Ogier also won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points. Andreas Mikkelsen took two points for second in a Polo R, while Kris Meeke claimed the final point in third in Citroen’s DS 3.

Evans nets back-to-back WRC 2 wins in Sweden

Elfyn Evans claimed his second straight WRC 2 victory at Rally Sweden on Sunday after defeating a pack of eager Nordic drivers on home ground.

In snow and ice conditions that favoured the locals, the Welshman was headed only briefly in Friday's opening leg before taking a lead he retained through to the Karlstad finish after 12 speed tests and 226.48km.

Driving a Ford Fiesta R5, Evans held off a charging Pontus Tidemand to win by 14.7sec. Tidemand lost 50sec in the opening day with a broken driveshaft on his Skoda Fabia R5, but despite a determined recovery, the Swede was unable to reel in Evans.

"We knew this would be a big challenge. It's only my third ever snow rally and normally it has taken me quite a while to settle. It was a bit like that on Friday morning but we got up to speed quicker than normal and by the end of the day we had a decent lead. It was about managing it from there," said Evans.

Anders Grondal was on course for the final podium place, but Finland's Esapekka Lappi blasted through the rally-closing Power Stage 10.8sec quicker than the Norwegian to snatch third by 2.1sec in a Fabia R5. Lappi recovered from 11th after sliding off the road on Friday.

Eyvind Brynildsen overcame early problems to finish fifth while Ole Christian Veiby snatched sixth from Emil Bergqvist in the final stage on his debut in a four-wheel drive car.



Next Rnd3 Rally Mexico March3-6

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