Latvala wins Rally Sweden for Toyota

Latvala wins Rally Sweden for Toyota
2017-02-12 17:44:35
http://www.racer.com/component/flexicontent/502-rally/138165-latvala-wins-rally-sweden-for-toyota?Itemid=1
Date:
image

Jari-Matti Latvala secured Toyota's first victory on only its second event back in the FIA World Rally Championship after 17 years out of the top level of the sport. The Finn powered through the final three stages of Rally Sweden, winning each, to take an emphatic 29.2 second win. M-Sport was again able to celebrate a double podium with Ott Tanak taking second and reigning world champions Sebastien Ogier finishing third in the Fiesta WRCs.

lat"It's amazing! A new team, a new car, our second rally and we've won!" said a delighted Latvala (pictured at right, with team boss Tommi Makinen and co-driver Miikka Anttila). "I have no words to describe it I'm so emotional."

Latvala takes a four-point lead over Ogier in the standings, with Tanak trailing his teammate by 11 points in third as the crews head to round three in Mexico next month. With its double podiums in Monte Carlo and Sweden, M-Sport has the advantage in the Manufacturers' Championship, leading by 20 points over Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Today's route was the shortest and covered just three stages and 58.81 competitive kilometers. With Latvala, Tanak and Ogier all in with a shout of victory, the fight was on between the rivals as they headed into the first run through the Likenas stage.

Latvala set a blistering pace and this, coupled with a spin for Ogier and Tanak suffering with the diff settings, enabled the Finn to extend his overnight advantage of 3.8 seconds to a safer 10.9 seconds. He won the rerun of the same stage and again smashed the timesheets in the Power Stage to take maximum points all round. Latvala's victory his fourth Swedish win sees Toyota back on the top step of a WRC podium for the first time since 1999, when Didier Auriol won the China Rally for the Japanese giant in a Corolla.

tanakAfter Ogier's spin, where he lost nearly 30 seconds, the fight for victory was over but the Frenchman managed to salvage more points with second in the Power Stage. Tanak (pictured) was unable to match his stunning Saturday pace and had to settle for second.

Behind the leading trio, positions remained unchanged. Dani Sordo was keen to hold station, he and teammate Hayden Paddon needing to score points for Hyundai following Thierry's Neuville's crash on Saturday night. Craig Breen once again finished the highest of the Citroen drivers in fifth ahead of Elfyn Evans in the DMack-shod Fiesta WRC. Paddon, seventh, spent most of the day trying different settings on the i20 Coupe WRC and Stephane Lefebvre, in the older spec DS3 WRC, finished eighth.

The FIA WRC 2 Championship was won by Pontus Tidemand in the Skoda Fabia R5. The Swede finished ninth overall with nearly a minute in hand to the second-placed Fiesta R5 of Teemu Suninen, who also rounded off the overall top 10.

RESULTS:

1.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

2hr 36min 03.6sec

2.   Ott Tanak/ Martin Jarveoja

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr 36min 32.8sec

3.   Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr 37min 03.1sec

4.   Dani Sordo/Marc Marti

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2hr 38min 15.1sec

5.   Craig Breen/Scott Martin

Citroën C3 WRC

2hr 38min 54.8sec

6.   Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt

Ford Fiesta WRC

2hr 41min 30.2sec

7.   Hayden Paddon/John Kennard

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2hr 41min 34.8sec

8.   Stephane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau

Citroën DS3 WRC

2hr 43min 18.3sec

9.   Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson

Škoda Fabia R5

2hr 45min 14.7sec

10. Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula

Ford Fiesta R5

2hr 46min 06.5sec

 

Subscribe to Racer

More

Video: The 2017 Formula 1 Issue

 
The 2017 Formula 1 Issue of RACER is on sale now. Click here for more information.

FROM THE RACER CHANNEL

RACER Magazine 25th Anniversary Video

33 years of SportsCar magazine history.

See more than 50 On Board videos.