Latvala ahead in Sweden

By on Friday, February 10, 2012

© Ford World Rally Team

Jari Matti Latvala powered ahead on the opening day of Rally Sweden after a commanding performance in the afternoon bunch of stages.

Latvala had been embroiled in a close fight all day with ex team-mate Mikko Hirvonen although the former dealt with high tyre wear better than his rivals to move seventeen seconds clear with just a superspecial stage left remaining today.

Behind the two Finns are two Norwegians, Petter Solberg and Mads Ostberg. Solberg has closed to within 3 seconds of Hirvonen and will look to make it a Ford 1-2 tomorrow. Ostberg meanwhile slipped from the rally lead to 4th after struggling with brake problems.

Sebastien Loeb appears to be out of contention in a rally he was always unlikely to succeed in after sliding off the road this morning. The eight times world champion dropped from 3rd to 11th, although has recovered to 7th, with Henning Solberg his next target.

Evgeny Novikov has continued his fine form to sit 5th, while Sebastien Ogier lies outside the points in 11th. Dani Sordo lost several minutes after stopping on the stage and currently lies way down the order in 25th.

 1.  Jari-Matti Latvala  Ford          1h22m16.8s
 2.  Mikko Hirvonen      Citroen          + 17.2s
 3.  Petter Solberg      Ford             + 20.0s
 4.  Mads Ostberg        Adapta Ford      + 31.6s
 5.  Evgeny Novikov      M-Sport Ford   + 1m11.5s
 6.  Henning Solberg     Go Fast Ford   + 1m46.8s
 7.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen        + 2m09.7s
 8.  Patrik Sandell      Mini           + 2m16.3s
 9.  Martin Prokop       Czech Ford     + 2m24.6s
10.  Eyvind Brynildsen   Adapta Ford    + 2m56.1s

If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.