Rally Sweden proved to be a tough event for the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team as they contested round 2 of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. The team were bidding the win the event for the first time in over 10 year but things did not go to plan.
Mads Ostberg was bidding to win the rally for the first time having finished on the podium on the last four consecutive outing on the event but the Norwegian’s chances were scuppered by a final day mistake. For the first three days of competition Ostberg was consistently in the top four but stage 19 the Norwegian suffered an issue with his handbrake and slid into a snow bank. The incident dropped him to tenth place and ruined any chance of victory.
“We are going to turn our attention very quickly to Rally Mexico.” said Ostberg, “We have to hold onto the positive aspects from Sweden and forget the rest. But even with our problems, we were capable of fighting for a podium spot here.”
Kris Meeke was contesting the event for the second time and aimed to build his experience on the snow covered event. After an encouraging the start the Northern Irishman spun on stage seven and ended up stuck in a snow bank dropping him to 19th place. Meeke started his fightback and his confidence started to increase again. The Northern Irishman came into the final day in a battle with Elfyn Evans for 6th place however a final stage spin forced Meeke to settle for 7th place.
“In Sweden, you have to be very clean through the stages, but I got caught out a few times.” said Meeke, “Nevertheless, winning a stage on only my second appearance here on the snow is a fairly encouraging sign. My pace has improved significantly compared with last year. I feel comfortable in the DS 3 WRC. I have to keep doing the same thing and cut out the errors. In Mexico, we have to get to the end of the rally without any mistakes.”
The nexr round of the WRC takes crews to Mexico on March 5th.