The first day of WRC Rally Sweden was action-filled, with the overall lead changing multiple times over the nine stages. At the end of Day One it was Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala that was on top of the timesheets with a 16.8sec lead over his rivals.
The fight for the lead was battled between Latvala and former team-mate Mikko Hirvonen (Citroën DS3 WRC), swapping tenths of seconds before Latvala managed to outdrive the Finn.
Mads Ostberg (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) was also in the lead, but dropped off after a fight with Petter Solberg (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) and Sebastien Loeb (Citroën DS3 WRC). But, the wheels fell off the wagon for Loeb in SS7 when he got stuck in a snow bank and lost two minutes to the leaders as a result of a rare driving error.
Solberg spun and dropped to fifth, but fought back up to third to finish Day One just 1.8sec off second placed Hirvonen and 13.7sec ahead of Ostberg. It is expected that Ostberg will fight back today to regain lost ground to his rivals, as he suffered with brake and set-up issues yesterday.
The battle for the lead continues today over eight stages and 117.73km of rally action.
Classification at the end of Day One:
01) J-M. Latvala – 01h 23m 50.8s
02) M. Hirvonen + 16.8s
03) P. Solberg + 18.6s
04) M. Ostberg + 32.3s
05) E. Novikov + 01m 12.1s
06) H. Solberg + 01m 48.5s
07) S. Loeb + 02m 08.9s
08) P. Sandell + 02m 18.8s
09) M. Prokop + 02m 26.9s
10) E. Brynildsen + 02m 59.8s