Rally Sweden WRC: Commanding lead for Evans ahead of final stage

Elfyn Evans is closing in on his second World Rally Championship win as he leads Rally Sweden by 17.2 seconds to Ott Tanak

Rally Sweden WRC: Commanding lead for Evans ahead of final stage

Toyota's Evans set the fastest time on all three of Saturday morning's stages and, though he was only fourth on the afternoon's Torsby Sprint stage, he went quicker than reigning world champion Tanak to extend his advantage further over the Hyundai driver.

If Evans stays ahead on Sunday it will be the Welshman's first victory since Rally GB in 2017, which he took with the M-Sport Ford team.

Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera's rally-long battle continued on Saturday afternoon's stage, with Ogier nipping ahead of the youngster once again in the fight for the final podium spot.

The Toyota drivers swapped positions throughout the morning and, though Ogier moved ahead on the Torsby test, he has only a half-second advantage over Rovanpera.

M-Sport's Esapekka Lappi lost a small amount of time to Thierry Neuville as the Belgian snatched the stage win, but maintains a 4.5s lead over the Hyundai driver.

Craig Breen and Teemu Suninen remain in seventh and eighth after the short but muddy spectator stage.

The cars remained on studded tyres despite the lack of snow on the stage due to the unusually warm weather conditions.

Sunday's final day will comprise only one stage, the Likenas powerstage, as the first running of the stage was cancelled in order to preserve the increasingly muddy road.

Takamoto Katsuta is last of the WRC competitors in his Toyota, while Juri Huttenen remains WRC3 leader ahead of Emil Lindholm.

WRC2 is headed up by Mads Ostberg in 12th.

Leading positions after eight stages

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1h00m38.9s
2 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 17.2s
3 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 28.8s
4 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 29.3s
5 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 34.7s
6 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 39.2s
7 Craig Breen, P.Nagle Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 49.7s
8 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m14.8s
9 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m37.4s
10 Jari Huttunen, M.Lukka Jari Huttunen Hyundai 3m39.1s


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Sweden WRC: Evans closing on victory as first Sunday stage cancelled
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