WRC Sweden Day 1 Highlights
Day one of Rally Sweden 2012 saw a frenetic lead battle for first position but by the time the leg was done, Jari-Matti Latvala had managed to burst clear of the pack and established a 16.8-second cushion.
The biggest drama befell Loeb. The champion and current point’s leader made a shock mistake and lost two minutes stuck on a snow bank. He managed to finish the leg on 7th position.
MINI driver Dani Sordo will not be re-starting the second day of Rally Sweden. The Spaniard went off on the eighth stage and got stuck in a snow bank for nearly two minutes. This caused a radiator blockage that also resulted in the alternator belt jumping off the unit, following the impact; car began to overheat and went into safe mode. However, Sordo did not quite stop soon enough, which meant that the engine is now too badly damaged to re-start.
Solberg spun down to fifth near the end of the morning, but a canny decision to save his fresh tyres paid off when he ended the day 13.7s clear of Ostberg, and just 1.8s behind Hirvonen, who struggled badly with worn tyres on stage nine and saw Latvala charge into the distance.
Rally Sweden after the first leg
1) Jari-Matti Latvala, Finland, Ford Fiesta RS WRC, 1.23.50,8
2) Mikko Hirvonen, Finland, Citroen DS3 WRC, + 16.8 sec
3) Petter Solberg, Norway, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, + 18.6
4) Mads Østberg, Norway, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, + 32.3
6) Henning Solberg, Norway, Ford Fiesra RS WRC, + 1.48,5
7) Sebastien Loeb, France, Citroen DS3 WRC, + 2.08,9
8) Sandell, Sweden, the Mini John Cooper Works WRC, + 2.18,8
9) Martin Prokop, Czech Republic, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, + 2.26,9
10) Eyvind Brynildsen, Norway, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, + 2.59,8
Story Courtesy WRC.com
Pictures courtesy rallye-sport.fr/