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Loeb quickest in Karlstad SSS

Sebastien Loeb wins opening test in Sweden, 0.5 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala and Evgeny Novikov, who are joint for second...

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has taken the lead on Rally Sweden after setting the pace in the short 1.90 km Karlstad Super Special stage.

Loeb completed the test in 1 minute 34.5 seconds in his DS3 WRC car, putting him 0.5 seconds up on both Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala and Qatar M-Sport WRT man Evgeny Novikov: “It was just a short stage and nothing special to do,” Loeb told the official WRC site.

“Everything went well, but now we have to start with the real stages tomorrow,” added the nine-time World Rally champion, who was paired against Sebastien Ogier.

Meanwhile, Ogier, who set the pace in qualifying, could only manage the ninth best time, 2.5 seconds behind Loeb after tagging a snow bank: “It wasn't so good,” admitted the VW Polo R WRC man. “I'm not sure if I had a puncture on the rear right. Something feels strange on the car.”

Of the rest, Mads Ostberg and Mikko Hirvonen are joint fourth, ahead of Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Jarkko Nikara in positions 6 through to 8, while Henning Solberg rounds out the top ten on his return to WRC action, one spot behind Ogier.

Rally Sweden now gets underway 'proper' on Friday, with SS2, Lesjofors 1, due to start at 08.39 hours local time [07.39 hours UK time].

Friday's action includes two loops of three stages, before a second and final run through the Karlstad SSS.



Rally Sweden: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 1m 34.5s M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0.5s M
= Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0.5s M
4. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0.7s M
= Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +0.7s M
6. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1.7s T
7. Dani Sordo Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +1.9s
8. Jarkko Nikara Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Cooper Works WRC +2.0s
9. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +2.5s M
10. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2.6s

Others

11. Juho Hanninen Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3.3s
= Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3.3s
13. Matthew Wilson Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4.2s
14. Pontus Tidemand Ford Fiesta WRC +4.3s
16. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National TeamFord Fiesta RS WRC +5.4s T

19. Khalid Al-Qassimi Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +6.4s T
22. Michal Kosciousko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC +7.9s T


WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi Ford Fiesta RRC 1m 39.6s WRC2
2. Yuriy Protasov Subaru Impreza WRX STi +1.2s WRC2
3. Anders Grondal Subaru Impreza +1.3s WRC2


Notable retirements:

None.


all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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