Engine trouble brought Dani Sordo’s show to a premature end during 8th special stage of 2012 Rally Sweden. Spaniard was forced to retire after solid performance that kept him within the top 5 overall.
Meanwhile at the top battle is still raging between former teammates Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford) and Mikko Hirvonen (Citroën). Finnish duo is currently separated by just 2.6 seconds and with one third of the stages done the fight is as intense as ever.
Equally interesting clash between Mads Ostberg and Petter Solberg will finally decide who gets to climb to bottom step of the podium. Of course, it is still early in the rally but two Norwegians are doing their best to emulate Finnish duel – similarly to Latvala and Hirvonen, Solberg and Ostberg are split by 9 tenths.
Sebastien Loeb managed to climb back to 8th spot overall after going off the road in previous stage and losing over two minutes as he tried to rejoin. He is currently 2 minutes and 6 seconds behind the leading Ford driver and for him Rally Sweden just turned into points collecting event.
On SWRC front after 8th stage Per Gunnar Andersson is in convincing lead with over 1 minute and 25 seconds advantage over Craig Breen.
1. Latvala 1:12:17.9
2. Hirvonen +2.6
3. Ostberg +26.5
4. P. Solberg +27.4
5. Novikov +41.7
6. H. Solberg +1:40.0
7. Sandell +1:48.7