Hirvonen leads into tense final leg

Mikko Hirvonen leads Mads Ostberg by 7.4 seconds at the end of day two of Rally Sweden, as the top five remained within 15.8s after tonight's superspecial

Hirvonen leads into tense final leg

The leading quintet were closely-matched around the short Karlstad course that concluded leg two, although fifth-placed Sebastien Ogier (Citroen) lost a little ground with a time 2s slower than stage winner Petter Solberg (Solberg Citroen).

As the leg three running order was set after the final full-length stage, there was no opportunity for any tactical slowing on the superspecial, but with the leaders so tightly packed, there was still a chance that positions could have changed hands.

In the event, Ford driver Hirvonen only lost 0.1s of his lead over Stobart Ford's Ostberg. Solberg's stage win closed him to within 8.9s of Hirvonen, with Jari-Matti Latvala 10.9s off the lead in the second works Ford and Ogier 15.8s behind Hirvonen.

Sebastien Loeb appears stuck in sixth place with a big gap ahead of the Citroen number one, while Kimi Raikkonen's mission for Sunday will be to resist P-G Andersson for seventh - with 25s between them at present after Raikkonen's excellent end to leg two and Andersson's power steering failure.

Patrik Sandell, Matthew Wilson and Khalid Al Qassimi are battling for the final points positions.

In the Production class, Martin Semerad leads by nearly five minutes after Anders Grondal suffered an engine failure on a road section today and Patrik Flodin was excluded before the start of the leg for a minor technical infringement.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 2h34m56.1s 2. Mads Ostberg Ford + 7.4s 3. Petter Solberg Citroen + 8.9s 4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 10.9s 5. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 15.8s 6. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 1m42.1s 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ford + 5m05.5s 8. P-G Andersson Ford + 5m30.7s 9. Patrik Sandell Skoda + 7m44.8s 10. Matthew Wilson Ford + 7m46.2s 
shares
comments
Ostberg relaxed about rivals' tactics

Previous article

Ostberg relaxed about rivals' tactics

Next article

Hirvonen pulls away in Sweden

Hirvonen pulls away in Sweden
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021