It was an event to remember for Volkswagen Motosport as they contested Rally Sweden, round 2 of the FIA World Rally Championship. The team had two of their drivers finish in the top three after a dramatic final day showdown between double world champion Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen.
Despite an impressive victory the event wan’t without drama for Ogier. The French driver slid into a bank on stage 9 and dropped to fourth. His recovery was blighted on Saturday’s stages due to his road position but Ogier went into the final three stages on Sunday in third with reaching distance of the lead.
Mikkelsen’s pace was quite consistent throughout the event and the Norwegian was battling in the top three from the third stage on.
On the final day’s stages Ogier managed to overhaul Thierry Neuville on the first test of the day before closing to within three seconds of Mikkelsen on stage 20. In a twist of cruel irony the Norwegian made his only major mistake of the event on the final test sliding wide into a snow bank two thirds of the way through the stage. Mikkelsen managed to get back onto the road but by the end of the stage he had dropped to third in the standings.
Jari Matti Latvala’s rally came to a competitive end on stage 9 when he slid into a ditch dropping the Finn outside the top twenty. Latvala rejoined the stage and completed the rally outside the points.
What an exciting rally.” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Jost Capito “I am sure that the World Rally Championship has won a lot of fans around the world this week. Today, the podium positions were genuinely decided in the final metres.
“Andreas Mikkelsen led until the final split, and came within a whisker of his first victory in the World Championship. He really pushed our double world champion Sébastien Ogier and his friend Thierry Neuville to the limit and can be proud of his performance.”