Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has taken the early lead on Rally Sweden following the Karlstad super special stage this evening.

Mikkelsen completed the short 1.90km test in 1 minute 33.4 seconds, putting him 0.8 seconds up on team-mate, Sebastien Ogier: "It's my first stage win in Official Rally Sweden. A good run for us, and a good way to start the rally. Tomorrow starts the real stages," Mikkelsen wrote on his official Facebook page.

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Ott Tanak meanwhile was third on his return to the sport after a year on the sidelines, while Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen came in fourth and fifth respectively.

"It was OK, it wasn't easy and in some places some people have been going off the track and taking the lines that way too, so that made it a bit difficult, but generally it was a pretty good run," Latvala remarked.

Henning Solberg was next up and sixth, with shakedown pace setter, Mads Ostberg joint seventh with Juho Hanninen. Hyundai's Thierry Neuville and Britain's Kris Meeke rounded out the top ten, ahead of Pontus Tidemand and former F1 pilot, Robert Kubica.

In WRC2, Anders Grondal set the top time in his Subaru Impreza STi N16. However, he was given a 10-second penalty for jumping the start and consequently drops to eighth in class, something that hands the overnight lead to Jari Ketomaa.

Rally Sweden now starts 'proper' on Thursday, with six stages on the bill covering a competitive distance of 62.02 km.

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

1. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 1m 33.4s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 00.8s M
3. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 02.2s
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 02.4s M
5. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 02.6s M
6. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 03.0s
7. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 03.2s M
= Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +00m 03.2s M
9. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +00m 03.4s M
10. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 03.9s M

Others

11. Pontus Tidemand Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 04.5s
12. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 05.0s M
13. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK WRT Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 05.4s WRC2
14. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 05.5s M
15. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 05.9s WRC2
16. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 06.1s WRC2
17= Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC M
21. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 07.4s
29. Khalid Al-Qassimi Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 15.8s M*

*10 second penalty (jump start)

WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK WRT Ford Fiesta R5 1m 38.8s WRC2
2. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 00.5s WRC2
3. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 00.7s WRC2

Notable retirements:

None.

all times unofficial