WRC – Jari-Matti Latvala Takes Out Rally Sweden

February 13, 2012

WRC

The Ford World Rally Team crew of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila claimed their second victory in Rally Sweden today, winning the event by 16.6 seconds after 349.16 competitive kilometres. Former team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished second for Citroën while Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson took the final podium position after a hard-fought battle to the finish.

In the FIA World Rally Championship standings, Sébastien Loeb continues to lead and the Frenchman has seven points in hand to team-mate Hirvonen. Petter Solberg and Latvala hold third and fourth respectively. And, in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Citroën heads the leaderboard, 10 points ahead of Ford.

Today’s route took in two loops of three stages, finishing with the 4.66 kilometre Power Stage in which additional points were awarded to the fastest three drivers through this single stage. Here, Loeb, Solberg and Latvala claimed an additional three, two and one point respectively, adding to their tally in the overall classification.

Latvala started the day on a charge, the Finn winning the opening two stages to consolidate his lead over Hirvonen. He ran without problems throughout the day and looked set to claim a commanding victory until hitting a rock this afternoon, causing a puncture that lost him 30 seconds. Coincidentally team-mate Solberg hit exactly the same rock with the same result.

 However, such was the competition with Østberg, Solberg not only lost 30 seconds but also third position to his fellow countryman. Reigning World Champion Sébastien Loeb finished sixth behind Evgeny Novikov, and all other positions in the top 10 remained unchanged.

The FIA World Rally Championship crews now head to the Americas for Rally Mexico (8-11 March).

Rally Sweden – Final Unofficial Results (subject to final scrutineering)

1. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 18 min 28.3sec
2. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen Citroën DS3 WRC   3 hr 18 min 44.9sec
3. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 19 min 07.1sec
4. Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 19 min 42.6sec
5. Evgeny Novikov/Denis Giraudet Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 21 min 09.7sec
6. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena   Citroën DS3 WRC   3 hr 21 min 23.4sec
7. Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor   Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 22 min 17.8sec
8. Patrik Sandell/Staffan Parmander MINI Cooper Works WRC 3 hr 23 min 37.2sec
9. Martin Prokop/Zdenek Hruza   Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 23 min 58.3sec
10. Eyvind Brynildsen/Cato Menkerud Ford Fiesta RS WRC   3 hr 24 min 55.5sec

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (after 2 of 13 rounds)

Sébastien Loeb (FRA) 39 points
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN)   32 points
Petter Solberg (NOR)   29 points
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) 26 points
Evgeny Novikov (RUS) 21 points
Dani Sordo (ESP)   18 points
Mads Østberg (NOR)   15 points
François Delecour (FRA) 8 points
Henning Solberg (NOR) 6 points
Pierre Campana (FRA) 6 points
Ott Tänak (EST)   4 points
Patrik Sandell (SWE) 4 points
Martin Prokop (CZE)   4 points
Armindo Araújo (PRT) 1 point
Eyvind Brynildsen (NOR) 1 point

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers (after 2 of 13 rounds)

Citroën Total World Rally Team 65 points
Ford World Rally Team 55 points
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 28 points
MINI WRC Team   26 points
Qatar World Rally Team 8 points
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