VIDEO | Thrilling finish to Rally Sweden

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally of Sweden Day 4

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

With overnight snow falling on the last three stages of Rally Sweden, the scene was set for a thrilling last day of competition. Anyone in the top five could take home the victory but running positions were just about to change.

Thierry Neuville was to start the day leading by a mere 1.5sec, Andreas Mikkelsen was 2nd, Ogier back in third, Ostberg was under pressure in 4th and Ott Tanak close behind in 5th to round out the top 5.

With a change in position to reverse order, Ogier who had swept the roads to create the perfect driving would take a back seat. The field of 39 drivers would take to each stage before Ogier would have his chance.

With the first stage done, Neuville was the first to fall giving Mikkelsen 2nd place by 3.8sec. Ogier pushed hard with the difficult track conditions to decrease his gap to Neuville to just three seconds.

At the end of the second stage it would be Neuville to fall again, dropping a further position to give Ogier 2nd place. Mikkelsen continued to impress and held a 3 second lead with Thierry just 1.6 seconds behind.

With only 4.6 seconds covering the first three drivers, everything was on the line for the last 15.87 km stage.

Thierry threw down a challenge finishing the stage with a time of 8min10.4sec. Ogier was next and needed a time of 8min 8.5sec to hold the lead which he did with a stunning time of 8min 5.6 seconds,

Mikkelsen was on the final stage as Ogier began his interview at the finish line. Attention was quickly turned to see Mikkelsen spin out before the finish line to lose 40 seconds and hand Ogier the victory. Neuville maintained second place with Mikkelsen crossing the line eventually in third to finish the most thrilling finishes to a WRC event in many years.

As Mikkelsen reached the stop control, he had tears in his eyes but went on to say “We did our utmost best up until the final metre but unfortunately we lost out in the end. I never dreamed that I might one day be disappointed with a podium finish”.

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 :  @tWorld
Images by Andre Lavadinho

An emotional Mikkelsen continued “I had the chance to clinch my maiden WRC victory and came very close to doing so, although we can be proud of what we have achieved over the course of the week.”

With this type of performance, it is now only a matter of time till Mikkelsen gets his first WRC win which could come as early as the next round in Mexico.

Ogier was ecstatic with his win “An unbelievable finale. I am incredibly proud of this win it is certainly one of my best.” he said.

“We drove as hard as possible, and it paid off in the end. It was certainly one of the most thrilling and exciting ends to a rally, not just for the fans but also of my career.” Ogier continued.

Neuville was just as impressed saying “What a rally this has been! We have not had such a close battle for the victory for a long time and it has been great to be a part of such a thrilling finale.

“I pushed hard to get the win, taking quite a few risks, a second place is still a very nice result for me and for everyone in the team”.

Final Results for Rally Sweden

1. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
2. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +6.4
3. A. Mikkelsen / O. Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 39.8
4. O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:26.0
5. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:31.5

Round 2 – 2015 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Point Tally

1. S. Ogier 53 points
2. T. Neuville 30
3. A. Mikkelsen 30
4. J.M. Latvala 19
5. M. Østberg 14
6. E. Evans 14
7. O. Tanak 12
8. H. Paddon 10
9. K. Meeke 10
10. D. Sordo 8
11. M. Prokop 6
12. S. Loeb 6
13. K. Abbring 1

Teams now take a break for two weeks before heading to Mexico for round three of the championship.

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

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For details on the World Rally Championship, click > www.wrc.com

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