Tom Kristensson took his second straight victory in Rally Sweden when he won the Junior WRC season opener at Rally Sweden.
This year’s Rally Sweden was unusual in comparison to previous years as the mild winter made it meant there was very little snow. Even before the start, the number of special stages had been reduced from 19 to 10.
On Sunday a storm came, so the Likenäs stage that was set to be run twice, was only run once as the Power Stage. Friday and Saturday offered perfect conditions with frost, snow, ice and gravel,with the roads holding well.
“I am extremely happy about the win, despite minimal preparation. I haven’t run a meter on snow and ice since last year’s Rally Sweden.” Kristensson said.
“We conducted a perfect rally, got to a good pace and flow immediately, no mistakes, and the only problem was a puncture on the short Torsby Sprint, but it did not cause any significant loss of time.”
“But you have to be on the border and take some risks sometimes, otherwise you will not win in this company. A big praise to the organizers, who, despite the conditions through hard work, got into a fantastic good competition with nice stages.”
“Sure, it was difficult with the changing ground, but you have to take it. Our plan was to go out hard on the first stretch of Friday, Finnskog on the other side of the Norwegian border. It held, we won it by just over 10 sec to the future two Martins Sesks from Latvia.”
“We also won the second section and continued at a good pace, and on Saturday, when Friday’s stretches were run again on Saturday, we also won the first section.”
Before Sunday’s only and last stage, Likenäs 2 at just over 21 km, Kristensson had built up a lead of just over 41 seconds to Martins Sesks.
“Here we went in to keep a good pace but did not take any risks and we succeeded. We are very happy and proud of how we conducted the competition, and that our cooperation in the car worked perfectly. Joakim has a big part in the victory.” Kristensson added.