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World Rally Championship 2

Second in Sweden

Ole Christian/Jonas take home WRC 2 podium


Ole Christian/Jonas take home WRC 2 podium

Our WRC 2 crews put in a valiant effort during a shortened nine-stage Rally Sweden, as unseasonal weather conditions forced organisers to cancel half of the planned stages.

Ole Christian/Jonas emerged second, while Nikolay/Yaroslav finished sixth in conditions far removed from the snowbank-lined stages that Sweden typically offers.

Unusually warm conditions for this time of the year made snow a scarcity and required crews to negotiate full gravel conditions at times. Friday and Saturday followed an identical four-stage schedule: Hof-Finnskog (SS2/SS5, 21.26km), Finnskogen (SS3/SS6, 20.68km), Nyckelvattnet (SS4/SS7, 18.94km) and Torsby Sprint (SS8/SS16, 2.8km).

As conditions got even warmer – and wetter – over the weekend, the decision was taken to reduce Sunday’s itinerary to a solitary run through the Likenäs Power Stage (SS18, 21.19km).

Our WRC 2 crews put in a valiant effort during a shortened nine-stage Rally Sweden, as unseasonal weather conditions forced organisers to cancel half of the planned stages.

Ole Christian/Jonas emerged second, while Nikolay/Yaroslav finished sixth in conditions far removed from the snowbank-lined stages that Sweden typically offers.

Unusually warm conditions for this time of the year made snow a scarcity and required crews to negotiate full gravel conditions at times. Friday and Saturday followed an identical four-stage schedule: Hof-Finnskog (SS2/SS5, 21.26km), Finnskogen (SS3/SS6, 20.68km), Nyckelvattnet (SS4/SS7, 18.94km) and Torsby Sprint (SS8/SS16, 2.8km).

As conditions got even warmer – and wetter – over the weekend, the decision was taken to reduce Sunday’s itinerary to a solitary run through the Likenäs Power Stage (SS18, 21.19km).

Coming home second

With six of the completed stages featuring roads in Norway, it was a true home event for Ole Christian and his Swedish co-driver Jonas. The crew was on the pace from the outset, taking a stage win in SS2. Even if their lead was short-lived, they remained right on the pace of the experienced Mads Østberg to end Friday second in the WRC 2 class.

They added a second stage win on Saturday morning, setting the fastest time again through Hof-Finnskog. Reducing the deficit to the WRC 2 leader Mads Østberg in that stage, they were unable to maintain the recovery, retaining their second place with a trouble-free run during the wet Power Stage.

“The event got off to a good start with a win on my home stage, and we were the best R5 overall,” said Ole Christian. “I was really happy with that! Saturday also started well with a stage win, even with a puncture towards the end. We weren’t able to catch up to Mads, but we pushed as hard as we could and took good points for the championship.

Our Team Principal Andrea added: “It has been good to see Ole Christian and Jonas finishing the rally after a tricky start to the season. They pushed very hard to get the best out of everything and to bring home some championship points.”

Room for improvement

Nikolay/Yaroslav were on form during the opening stages but lost two-and-a-half minutes in SS7 due to a puncture, dropping them down to sixth place.

“At the beginning we had some good pace on the stages, but we did two mistakes which hampered our end result,” said Nikolay. “We had a spin on the second stage on Friday, and then had a puncture on Saturday, which lost us a lot of time. It was not easy to avoid because it was a fast corner over a crest and there was an unexpected stone on the inside. We have areas we need to improve, but this was a good experience.”

The WRC 2 crews will head to Mexico for the next round of the championship, putting the Hyundai i20 R5 through its paces in hot conditions and at altitude, from March 12-15.

Final Overall Classification WRC 2 – Rally Sweden

1 M. Østberg / T. Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) 1:15:53.1
2 O.C Veiby / J. Andersson (Hyundai i20 R5) +23.4
3 P. TidemandP. Barth (Skoda Fabia R5) +37.7
4 A. Fourmaux / R. Jamoul (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +3:06.5
5 R. Yates / J. Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +3:14.2
6 N. Gryazin / Y. Fedorov (Hyundai i20 R5) +4:10.6

2020 WRC 2 Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 2

1 M. Østberg 50
2 A. Fourmaux 30
3 N. Gryazin 23
4 R. Yates 22
5 O.C Veiby 18
6 P. Tidemand 15

2020 FIA WRC2 Championship for Teams’ Standings
After round 2

1 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 52
2 PH Sport 50
3 Hyundai Motorsport N 41
4 Toksport WRT 15

All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.

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