11 February 2012
Latvala ekes out lead in Sweden
“This morning has been okay. Everything is fine and we are just pushing now. We'll try to improve on the second pass but everything is fine," Novikov commented. “The conditions aren't too bad and now we are just concentrating on improving the times and getting another good result.”
Henning Solberg in another Fiesta is sixth, 45 seconds off Novikov and only 12.1 seconds up on Sebastien Loeb, who is further back than normal after his off yesterday in SS7, which cost the Citroen man almost 5 minutes. Loeb tried to push this morning, but over did it in SS12 and spun, losing 10-15 seconds. He responded immediately though, and was third quickest in the next stage and second in the Hagfors Sprint 1, 2.2 seconds off Ott Tanak, who took his very first stage win. Tanak, however, is well out of position after offs in SS2 and SS12, which cost him over 30 minutes!
Of the rest, Patrik Sandell is the top MINI runner in eighth, followed by Martin Prokop and Eyvind Brynildsen in ninth and tenth respectively. Sebastien Ogier is just outside the top ten in his VW Motorsport-run Skoda Fabia S2000, followed by his team-mate, Andreas Mikkelsen, Armindo Araujo and P-G Andersson, who continues to dominate the SWRC class in his Proton Satria Neo S2000.
There were no major retirements this morning, although a number of runners did re-start under Rally 2, including WRC MINI Team Portugal man Paulo Nobre and Britain's Alister McRae. Both though are well down the order after their early exits on Friday.
The action now continues this afternoon with a repeat run through this morning's four tests. SS15, the 24.063 km Vargasen 2 stage, is due to start at 13.46 hours local time [12.46 hours British time].
Rally Sweden: Overall standings after Stage 14 (Top 10):
1. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 1hour 57mins 11.7secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 18.6secs M
3. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 39.9secs M
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 47.1secs
5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 46.4secs M
6. Henning Solberg Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 31.4secs
7. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +02mins 43.5secs M
8. Patrik Sandell Prodrive MINI John Cooper Works WRC +03mins 14.3secs
9. Martin Prokop Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 37.3secs
10. Eyvind Brynildsen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +04mins 09.4secs
11. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +04mins 38.4secs
12. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +04mins 50.9secs
13. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +06mins 07.9secs M
14. P-G Andersson Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 +06mins 17.5secs S
15. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +06mins 18.1secs
16. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +08mins 09.7secs S
17. Peter Van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC +08mins 36.5secs
18. Mikko Pajunen Subaru Impreza STi R4 +08mins 57.6secs
19. Michal Solowow M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 11.3secs M
20. Pontus Tidemund Skoda Fabia S2000 +10mins 24.8secs S
SWRC standings after Stage 14 - Top 3:
1. P-G Andersson Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 2hours 03mins 29.2secs S
2. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +01mins 52.2secs S
3. Pontus Tidemund Skoda Fabia S2000 +04mins 07.3secs S
SS2. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC Went off*
SS8. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta RS WRC Accident
SS8. Dani Sordo Prodrive MINI John Cooper Works WRC Engine
* denotes able to re-start under Rally 2 (new name for SupeRally)
all times unofficial
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