Published on February 16th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volkswagen Takes Big lead At The Rally Sweden
Tricky conditions mastered as well as possible at the Rally Sweden: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) lead after day one of the classic rally. With conditions extremely difficult to judge on the opening day of round two of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the world rally champions of the past three years, and early leaders in this year’s championship, opened a commanding lead of 26.9 seconds over Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ, Hyundai), with Mads Østberg/Ola Flœne (N/N, M-Sport-Ford) a further 6.8 seconds back.
With roughly half of the total distance behind them, Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) find themselves 42.0 seconds off the lead in sixth place. However, with just 15 seconds separating them from second place, they are still well within striking distance of the podium. While the duo currently second in the world championship dropped down the standings after some fine times on the early stages, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila in the third Polo R WRC were stopped in their tracks by a damaged drive shaft on the very first stage of the day. They ultimately had to retire with a broken suspension and will rejoin the race under Rally 2 regulations on Saturday.
A number of special stages at the Rally Sweden were cancelled prior to the start of the event, as a result of unusually warm weather and persistent rain in the run-up to the classic rally. Although the organisers pulled out all the stops to ensure the route of the Rally Sweden was as well prepared as possible by the start on Friday, they still had to bow down to the weather. The 118.36 kilometres of special stage completed on Friday represent about half of the total distance of the 2016 Rally Sweden.