It all worked out for Jari-Matti Latvala in Sweden this weekend. No errors, no punctures, just focused (or rather, fiesta-ed) drive and well deserved victory after three days of fighting with elements and Mikko Hirvonen.
“Great rally, I love it and it’s great to win here once again. I am happy for me and for the team, we needed this after Monte Carlo” Latvala admitted at the end of powerstage.
Mikko Hirvonen also did a great job in his second rally behind the wheel of a Citroën DS3 WRC. He was pushing Latvala all the way and it is safe to assume second place in Sweden did boost his morale as well, after more cautious start in Monte Carlo.
Third place fight ended in bitter disappointment for Petter Solberg, who lost it on SS 22, courtesy of puncture which costed time and enabled Mads Ostberg to move ahead of his older compatriot. Both of them deserve credit for providing fans with a great battle, too bad it had to be decided by puncture, but this is rally.
Proving that Monte Carlo was not an accident, Evgeny Novikov climbed to fifth spot ahead of Sebastien Loeb who managed to get some points in Sweden, coupled with extra points from power stage win.
In SWRC category Sebastien Ogier was fastest, but since he’s not in for a points this year victory in decimated category went to local hero Per Gunnar Andersson in Proton.
1. Latvala, Ford
2. Hirvonen, Citroën +16,6
3. Østberg, Ford +38,8
4. Petter, Ford +1.14,3
5. Novikov, Ford +2.41,4
6. Loeb, Citroën +2.55,1