Hirvonen wins in Sweden

Matthew Wilson and Mads Ostberg rounded out the top eight, with Petter Solberg a disappointing ninth after having lost bags of time in SS5 when he went off and then collided with Wilson's car after the Briton stalled under braking.

"This was not my rally for sure. We must have tried everything we knew to make things work," 'Hollywood' noted. "We must try to get things better for Mexico."

PG Andersson took the final point in tenth in his Skoda Fabia S2000 and the Swede also took the laurels in the new SWRC category. Andersson dominated his class, leading throughout and eventually finishing 47.3 seconds up on Janne Tuohino. Martin Prokop was third, albeit 2 minutes further back.

In the PWRC, Patrik Flodin was similarly in a class of his own and headed home Anders Grondal by 1 minute 13.1 seconds. Armindo Araujo was third.

Of the rest, two-time world rally champion, Marcus Gronholm and 2007 F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen both had events to forget and finished 21st and 30th respectively.

Gronholm, who was taking in his first WRC event since Portugal last year, lost time with an electrical problem in SS6 and then had more drama on day two with a puncture in SS13 and an off in SS15: "Okay, we have finished," says Gronholm. "After the first day things have gone better and better. I'm happy to be back. We'll see now about more rallies for this year."

Raikkonen, who was competing in only his second WRC event and also only his second with the Citroen C4 WRC, lost more than 26 minutes on Friday when he slid off into a snow bank. He also had a minor off on Saturday and a problem in SS18 on Sunday.

"I've learned a lot during this rally. It was not easy," said Raikkonen.

The World Rally Championship now continues next month with the Rally Mexico, which runs from March 5-7.

Related Pictures

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Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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TimFr - Unregistered

February 14, 2010 2:28 PM

Well Done Hirvonen. 2 rallies into 2010 and he's already won both the IRC and WRC openers. Loeb seems a little bit stumped as to where the speed came from this weekend as well, so he's clearly being pushed hard. A good sign for the 2010 season I'd say.

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