VK were celebrating Henning Solberg
equalling their best ever WRC result on the Swedish Rally, they were also left scratching their heads following a simultaneous and identical retirement for both Matthew Wilson
and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Having avoided any major problems over the first two days, the sheer drop in temperature to minus 25 degrees Celsius is thought to have frozen the engine breather pipe on both Ford Focus', causing a build-up of fuel pressure that forced both Wilson and Latvala to stop on the day's first stage.
Despite attempts to get going again, the team took the decision to retire both cars in fear of causing more serious damage to the engines and save them for the Rally Norway in week's time.
It was a particularly bitter end for Latvala who was in contention for points heading into the final leg after picking up his pace at the end of day two.
“Our problem today happened eleven kilometres into the first stage. I noticed the oil warning light come on so I immediately slowed down and called the team. They told me to stop so as not to damage the engine.
“I'm very disappointed with what happened as I was really getting to grips with the car and you can see from my times yesterday and Friday, that I was confident with it and the conditions. Ok I have to put it in the back of my mind now and concentrate on Norway and try and perform as well there.”
Wilson too was frustrated with the early end to his rally, but was already looking ahead to Norway and what he hopes would be a better outcome.
“I can't believe what happened today, it's not a good end to the rally for me. Quite early in the stage the car started to miss-fire so we stopped and made some adjustments to try and fix the problem. This worked for a while but after another few kilometres the oil warning light came on, so we stopped.
“This is not how I wanted my rally to finish but it was out of my hands, but I can't wait to get started in Norway next weekend and hopefully improve on my performance from here.”