Thierry Neuville has taken a giant step towards their first victory in the Rally of Sweden in the loop the evening of Saturday, every time that the belgian has managed to shoot their advantage over the 22 seconds over Craig Breen. All in all, it has not been an easy road for the driver of Hyundai, who for a time has been on the verge of losing control of your i20 in the ‘Colin”s Crest’. In the fight for the podium, Andreas Mikkelsen has also gained great advantage, largely due to a small error of Hayden Paddon in the final super special of the day.
With fear that the earth would break the nails out of the tyres, the team of the WRC undertook the loop evening with the second pass through ‘Torntorp’. A SS12 in which Craig Breen continued with the offensive that had begun in the morning, but only managed to cut 1.3 seconds to Neuville. In this aspect, the pilots of Hyundai, involved them all in the fight for the podium, answered in block signing chronos is very smooth. So much so, that the own Thierry Neuville signed the scratch in the SS13, a result which however was passed on to a second plane.
however, ‘Hagfors’ let one of those images which are not very common in the WRC. Kris Meeke hit his first-term a bank of snow, by puncturing one of its tires and leaving a lot of damage on the left rear of your Citroen C3 WRC. During the maneuver to get back on track, Meeke was left on the road playing to Ott Tanak, that, between the impact, the output of the track and the fact that overtaking for the second time the pilot has lost more than a minute and a half of time. The anger of the Estonian driver was more than understandable.
With Kris Meeke out of the race to abandon the link with engine problems resulting from its departure track, the riders pointers were facing the second pass through ‘Vargasen’ and by his ‘Colin”s Crest’. With more land than ice, and for the purpose of sentencing the rally, Thierry Neuville is hugged by the scratch on the SS14, almost literal, as the belgian didn’t calculate well trajectory in the iconic jump and put two wheels on the left side of his Hyundai i20 WRC in one of the snow banks, landing side and rubbing the rollover.
The last two super special of the day, including a second edition of the duel to the two held at the racecourse in Karlstad, have left but few changes, and have served only to adjust the differences between the one and the other of the face of the last stage of the rally. All in all, Ott Tanak has been the fastest in SS15, while Thierry Neuville has closed his brilliant day with the fastest time in the sprint of ‘Torsby’. In this aspect, this last stretch enabled Andreas Mikkelsen to win a few seconds extra advantage over Hayden Paddon that he committed a small error.
In the absence of the three final stages of the rally, Thierry Neuville has built up a lead of 22.7 seconds to Craig Breen. Less than ten seconds of the pilot of the Vehicle has been placed Andreas Mikkelsen, with the ambition of being able to fight for a second, now that you have to 16.6 seconds of margin with respect to Hayden Paddon. Behind, a few changes, with Mads Ostberg closing the ‘top 5’ interim and Teemu Suninen climb to the eighth position after the mishap of Ott Tanak. In mode ‘contemplative’, Sébastien Ogier is tenth after the abandonment of Kris Meeke.
Have to Takamoto Katsuta as the leader of the class WRC2 has ceased to be a surprise given the strength that is showing the japanese rider, although the rider is to be protected by Toyota has suffered in the loop the evening of the Saturday to maintain their advantage over the ten seconds to Pontus Tidemand. All in all, Katsuta has achieved and closes the day with a margin of 12.2 seconds to Tidemand, while Ole-Christian Veiby is third. Without the slightest pressure, Hiroki Arai has complemented the actions of his partner with a scratch.
Great progression-signed by Nil Solans in the second pass through the stages today. The repsol honda rider, with a greater dose of confidence, increased its pace to climb up to the post 24 of the general, with thirteen minutes of lost on the pilots of WRC2. All in all, his pace has been quite positive and more if we take into account that riders such as Kevin Abbring mistakes have been made. Finally, it should be noted that Denis Radström is kept at the front of the Junior WRC an advantage of 13.8 seconds to his compatriot Emil Bergkvist.
Classification after SS16 of the 66th Rally of Sweden
|Pos.||Pilot||Vehicle||Time / Dif.|
|1||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||2:20:51.1|
|2nd||Craig Breen||Citroen C3 WRC||+19.7|
|3rd||Andreas Mikkelsen||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||+31.3|
|4th||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||+39.9|
|5th||Mads Ostberg||Citroen C3 WRC||+56.0|
|6th||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1:05.3|
|7th||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1:59.7|
|8th||Teemu Suninen||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+2:18.0|
|9th||Ott Tanak||Toyota Yaris WRC||+3:40.3|
|10th||Sébastien Ogier||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+4:22.1|
The Rally of Sweden ends this Sunday (07:50h) with the dispute of the three sections corresponding to the third stage. The pilots will face 51,94 kilometres against the clock.