VIDEO | Difficult Conditions for Day 1 of Rally of Sweden

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally of Sweden Continues

Written byMichael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @World

As day broke teams prepared for Rally of Sweden the cross border challenge today, a half day in Norway and a half day in Sweden

In 2015 there are new rules for the starting order, for the first two days it is based on championship position and on the final day the order is reversed.

For example, Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen finished 1,2,3 respectively in Monte Carlo, therefore here in Sweden for the first two days they will start 1,2,3 then on the final day the order will change to 3,2,1.

At most events it will be a disadvantage to sweep the roads, however it may be an advantage at some rounds.

Day 1 began with Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen heading off first with the three leading the first loop of stages. By the midday service interval, Ogier led from Latvala by 9.1sec with Mikkelsen keeping him honest a further 10.5sec behind.

As teams headed back to complete the reverse loop, Latvala must have eaten more spinach than Ogier as his lead to 1 second. Ogier had an issue with his bonnet which resulted in a smashed windscreen and a loss of 10 seconds.

“I forgot to put the bonnet pins back in on the road section, the bonnet flipped up and broke the windscreen. It was bad luck, but we do our best,” Ogier explained.

Latvala was happy with his result but felt lucky to be so close to the lead especially in the trying conditions.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Sweden (SWE) -  WRC 12/02/2015 to 15/02/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorld
Images by André Lavadinho

“I was a bit lucky that Ogier had a problem, but it wasn’t easy because the roads were softer. There was ice but at the side of the ruts there’s lots of snow, and if you touch that you immediately lose grip,” Latvala said.

Coming in to the last two stages of the day, Ogier began with a 2.9sec advantage over Volkswagen team-mate Latvala, however drama ensued and was the first to suffer near the start.

“We hit a snow bank in a slow corner. I made a mistake and braked too late for a junction. I thought it would be OK but I hit the bank and got stuck. As first on the road I had to take risks. It was my only chance to try to do something,” said Ogier.

As a result he dropped almost 40sec and moved into fourth place.

Meanwhile Latvala was to suffer similarly however his mistake lost him almost 9 minutes.

“After a long straight we came too fast into a right corner. I saw some gravel on the road and thought the grip would be better, but the rear hit a snow bank and it pulled the front in. I kept full throttle on but the whole car was dragged into the ditch,” Latvala he explained.

As a result Mikkelsen headed to the final Super Special Stage in front of huge crowds leading the rally from Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai Motorsport i20 by 19.7sec with Ostberg in 3rd by only .9sec.

The day concluded as the stage began with Mikkelsen in 1st, Neuville in 2nd, Ostberg in 3rd, Ogier in 4th and Ott Tanak rounding out the top 5.

A noticeable mention must go to New Zealander Hayden Paddon in 6th.

Will Mikkelsen be able to hold off a charge from Ogier to secure his maiden win? There are still two days of competition to go; it sure is heating up in chilly Sweden.

Stay tuned to MyDrive as we bring you the latest news and all the action of the 2015 World Rally Championship.

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