Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala
has seen his advantage on Rally Sweden slashed after he suffered a puncture in SS22.
Latvala had been seemingly on course for a comfortable win, but he hit a rock in Lesjofors 2 and lost over 20 seconds. As a result his lead over his former team-mate Mikko Hirvonen
has been reduced from 35.6 seconds to 8.4 seconds, setting things up for a dramatic final two stages.
“There is a rock I've never, ever seen on this stage,” Latvala told the official WRC site. “It's just come through the ruts on the big wide road. I only felt it when I hit it.
“Now we need to push. It should be quite okay still though. I have to go flat-out.”
Meanwhile in the very same test, Latvala's team-mate Petter Solberg
also lost time with a front right puncture. The Norwegian now drops to fourth, 25.4 seconds behind Mads Ostberg.
“There's just a lot of rocks out there. I touched one and that's it. Very disappointing,” 'Hollywood' commented.