Jari-Matti Latvala won his fourth Rally Sweden last weekend beating M-Sports’ Ott Tanak by 29.1 seconds in the overall standings. This victory means that Toyota have won their first rally ever since they returned to WRC at the start of this season. Defending world champion and 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo winner Sebastian Ogier finished third after he spun out in a speed test on Sunday morning.
Hyundai’s Dani Sordo finished just outside the podium places followed by Craig Breen, Elfyn Evans, Hayden Paddon and Stepahne Lefebvre who rounded off the Top 8 finishers. “It’s an amazing feeling,” said Latvala, “This victory [felt] the same as when I won my first rally in 2008. That victory came as a surprise, just like this one came as a surprise.”
The highlight of the weekend was the 44m long jump by Mads Ostberg in his 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC. Ostberg was determined to break the jump record at Colin’s Crest, a jump at Rally Sweden named after WRC great, Colin McRae. The record of 45m was set by Eyvind Brynildsen in his Ford Fiesta R5 last year.
The Norwegian narrowly missed out on the record but made himself one of the hottest motorsports topics in the past week thanks to that amazing jump. “I lost the line on the corner before the crest, got on the snow and lost speed. I was thinking about the jump all the way through the stage so I was really upset. Of course, I wanted the record – it was the most important thing in the world! I couldn’t stand up to the pressure, apparently,” said Ostberg.
Latvala now leads the championship standings with 48 points after finishing second in Monte Carlo and winning the Rally Sweden. He is chased by defending World Champion Sebastian Ogier, who is a mere 4 points behind the Finn. Ott Tanak currently stands in 3rd place, 11 points behind his teammate Ogier. Hopefully, we will have such an interesting rally in Mexico which is next up on the calendar.
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