Mikko Hirvonen took the first WRC win of the new era today on Rally Sweden, the opening round in the 2011 World Rally Championship.

Hirvonen, who grabbed the lead from Mads Ostberg on Saturday, started the final day just 7.4 seconds ahead, but he almost doubled his advantage this morning and while Ostberg came back at him on the repeat-runs through Torntorp and Rammen, the Finn held on and eventually came through to triumph by 6.5 seconds.

After Ostberg in second, Jari-Matti Latvala was third, to give the 'Blue Oval' a clean-sweep of the podium places, while Sebastien Ogier, who inherited fourth late on, took the Power Stage honours and the three points that go with it.

Petter Solberg dropped to fifth late on, with co-driver Chris Patterson piloting their Citroen DS3 WRC car through Gustavsfors after 'Hollywood' was caught speeding earlier this weekend and had his road licence suspended.

WRC 'record-man' Sebastien Loeb was sixth after two punctures earlier in the event, with Per-Gunnar Andersson seventh and F1 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen eighth. Matthew Wilson and Khalid Al-Qassimi completed the top-ten.

To read the full report - CLICK HERE.

To view the latest championship standings - CLICK HERE.

Rally Sweden: Overall standings after Stage 22 / Day 3 (Top 10):

1. Mikko HirvonenFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC3hours 23mins 56.6secs M
2. Mads OstbergM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 06.5secs M
3. Jari-Matti LatvalaFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 34.0secs M
4. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+00mins 47.7secs M
5. Petter SolbergPSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC+01mins 31.6secs A1
6. Sebastien LoebCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+02mins 30.3secs M
7. PG AnderssonFord Fiesta RS WRC+06mins 22.0secs A1
8. Kimi RaikkonenICE 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC+07mins 02.3secs M
9. Matt WilsonM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+10mins 11.5secs A1
10. Khalid Al-QassimiTeam Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC+10mins 31.1secs A1


11. Patrik SandellSkoda Fabia S2000+12mins 24.5secs A2
12. Martin ProkopFord Fiesta S2000+13mins 43.1secs A2
13. Denis KuipersFERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC+13mins 57.7secs M
14. Ken BlockMonster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC+16mins 51.8secs M

Rally Sweden: Power Stage / SS22 (Top 3):

1. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC2mins 22.7secs M
2. Sebastien LoebCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+00mins 00.3secs M
3. Jari-Matti LatvalaFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 00.7secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point

PWRC standings after Stage 22 / Day 3 (Top 3):

1. Martin SemeradMitsubishi Lancer Evo IX3hours 46mins 59.8secs P
2. Yuriy ProtasovMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+05mins 17.3secs P
3. Nicolas FuchsMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+06mins 44.1secs P

Notable retirements:

SS8. Henning SolbergM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Accident M
SS8. Eyvind BrynildsenSkoda Fabia S2000Mechanical A2
SS12. Anders GrondalSubaru Impreza STiEngineP

EXC. Patrik FlodinSubaru Impreza STiExcluded P

all times unofficial



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