Volkswagen has emerged victorious in round two of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in the snowy stages of Sweden – this time at the hands of Finnish driver, Jari-Matti Latvala, who took his third Sweden Rally career of his career. Latvala’s experience on the Swedish stages proved to be vital for his victory, as he finished 53.6 seconds ahead of second place and team mate, Andreas Mikkelsen. Mads Ostberg provided cheers to the Citroen camp with his third place finish overall.
“It’s my third win here and I’ve never won the same rally three times. It feels amazing to win here, it’s something very, very special.” Latvala told reporters at the finish. His victory in Sweden moves him into the top of the driver’s standings.
Misfortunes struck the other Volkswagen driver of Sebastien Ogier, when a silly mistake by landing on the snowboard and struck for four minutes on Friday proved to be disastrous for the Frenchman as he dropped from P1 to P20. Subsequent stages of blazing driving have made him to recover to finish sixth overall. The Hyundai duo of Juho Hanninen and Thierry Neuville finished the rally on 19th and 28th respectfully – a consolation for finishing the rally after damaging their i20 WRCs in Lesjofors on Friday. It wasn’t cheers for Robert Kubica as mistakes on Friday caused him dearly, and he ended up 24th overall.
The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship will head south to the first gravel rally in Mexico from March 6-9.
Rally Sweden: Overall standings after Stage 24 (Top 20):
1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 3hrs 00m 31.1s M
2. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +00m 53.6s M
3. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 59.5s M
4. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 27.0s M
5. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03m 00.5s
6. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +04m 29.9s M
7. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC +04m 47.5s
8. Pontus Tidemand Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05m 38.2s
9. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08m 55.4s
10. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +11m 17.7s M