WRC Rally Sweden 2019

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By: Matt Beer

Summary

Status: Stopped
08:56 What a ride! Ott Tanak showed us some of his late 2018 form this weekend with what transpired to be a dominant win. That power stage performance goes to show that he perhaps wasn't pushing as hard as he could have been once Latvala and Suninen were out of the equation.

We'll have plenty of post-Sweden news in the coming days before the next round of the championship, Rally Mexico, on March 7-10. Until then, here's a final recap of this week's Rally Sweden action. It's been a pleasure to bring you all the action this weekend, and thanks for following along with us. Goodbye!
Ott Tanak takes World Rally Championship lead with Sweden win
08:41 Ole Christian Veiby has also completed the stage safely to wrap up WRC2 victory.

It's his second career win in the class, his first coming back in 2017 on Rally Poland.
08:38 Janne Tuohino was due to start after all the WRC2 and JWRC cars originally but there's clearly been some rejigging of the running order, as he was sent out after Tanak.

He dropped 0.9s to Ostberg on Torsby but that's enough to hold on to 10th place, 3.1s up on the WRC2 Pro winner overall.
08:19 And confirmation that Tanak ran away up front, Lappi clung on to second and Mikkelsen just held fourth. Just.

Unofficial Rally Sweden classification

1. Tanak 2h47m30.0s
2. Lappi +53.7s
3. Neuville +56.7s
4. Mikkelsen +1m05.4s
5. Evans +1m08.2s
08:18 So, a quick recap of the power stage results, with Tanak getting five points, running down to one point for the fifth fastest driver.

SS19 Torsby power stage results

1. Tanak 5m15.120s
2. Neuville +3.562s
3. Evans +4.441s
4. Ogier +4.637s
5. Lappi +4.958s
08:16 That also hands Tanak the lead of the championship with 47 points in all, 30 of those scored here. Incredible.
08:15 Tanak smashed everyone there. He wins the power stage by 3.5s over Neuville.
08:15 Ott Tanak takes a commanding Rally Sweden victory!
08:15 Tanak is now 2.9s up at the second split. He's rubbing salt into the wounds here, having already disappeared off into the distance in the overall classification.
08:14 He's going for 30 points, then!
08:14 Bwoah.
08:14 Tanak is flying! He's two seconds up on Neuville at split one!
08:13 "I expected the conditions to be worse in the beginning to be honest, so I was too cautious. But I started to push there!" says Lappi.
08:12 Lappi is also fourth in the power stage classification right now, though we still have rally leader Tanak yet to complete the stage.
08:11 Lappi crosses the finish line aaaaand....he saves it! A great final sector - helped by a long straight to finish - means he crosses the line only 1.3s down on Neuville. He holds second. Phew!
08:10 MAYBE! The gap at split two is 4.1s! This is going to be really close!
08:10 It's a 4.4s gap between them, just to remind you. Surely Neuville can't take second here. Surely?
08:10 Lappi is 2.5s down at the first split!
08:09 "We were not able to fight with Lappi really in the fast sections, we are missing something on the straights. In the twisty sections we could fight," says Neuville.

Torsby's a pretty twisty stage, the final blast to the finish line aside, so he should have a chance here.
08:08 Lappi in second is next. That was a good time from Neuville, but was it stealing-second-place-at-the-death good?
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