Yazeed Al Rajhi admitted he had surprised himself after taking victory in the WRC2 class on the second round of the World Rally Championship in Sweden.
Al Rajhi was making his first appearance of the season at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RRC and went into the final day of the event sitting second to the Group N Subaru Impreza of Anders Grondal.
However, Al Rajhi hit the front on the opening stage of Sunday morning and won five of the final six tests to take a comfortable victory by over 40 seconds.
“I came fifth last year,” he said, “and this year I thought third, or maybe second if I was lucky. I am here with the win and very happy!
“It was more difficult than last year – it was much more slippery. When I tested the car for 50 kilometres and ran on the same road as last year, I didn't feel good. It was too slippery, I thought the road was wrong, but the stages were 30 per cent more slippery. I was confused, but tried to push, and the time was gone.
“It's a good result for me, the team, and my co-driver, and of course a great start to my WRC2 campaign. I've learned a lot and I hope to make more improvements step-by-step as the season goes on.”
Al Rajhi also finished tenth overall to secure a single WRC point.
Grondal was forced to settle for second place with Sepp Wiegand third to retain his place at the head of the WRC2 standings following his win in Monte Carlo.