Pontus Tidemand ran his first WRC rally at Rally Sweden last weekend and it was a good start for the former WRC2 world champion when he finished in third place with his Škoda Fabia R5 Evo together with a support by his team Toksport WRT.
Due to the lack of winter weather and frozen roads, this year Rally Sweden was reduced in advance. The idea was that 11 of the planned 19 special stages would be run, but in the end two more stages had to be cancelled.
On Friday, Tidemand and his co-driver Patrik Barth tied for third place in the WRC 2 class on the demanding roads; he managed to hold his position of third place on Saturday and the final day.
“The team and Patrik have been doing a great job all weekend. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my partners for making this possible. And although we have had a shorter competition this year, the atmosphere in the forest has been nothing but fantastic.” Tidemand said.
“I am both happy and proud that we have such a well-organized WRC rally at home and as a Swedish driver you really feel the support of the audience. All stretches have been angled with Swedish flags and it is an almost indescribable boost.”
“This gave me extra taste, I just want to gas it out. It has felt extremely good to be back in a rally car, although I quickly noticed that the 5 months without driving have left their mark. But I’m very happy with the weekend. We got pretty hot in our clothes and it became a fun Swedish-Norwegian fight among us with equal conditions.”
“It was a bit different conditions this year compared to what we are used to seeing during Rally Sweden, but the rally should be challenging and unpredictable. Before the competition, we tested in perfect winter conditions in Anttila on good roads and it felt as good as any.” Tidemand continued.
“With the facts in hand we might have tested in similar conditions which also became to be more confident in the car and dare to try a little more. With the grip that actually was, you could basically gas up as much courage as allowed and a lot was about daring the guys in turns and taking risks, or chances, depending on how you see it.”
“It was a bit icy and glassy and the grip changed more than I expected. We also made a small mistake at the beginning of the route that we lost a few seconds. But nothing affected the placement, so we’re glad we got through a good time anyway and take home the championship points.”
“This gave added taste, now I just want to gas it out. I don’t know when the next competition will be, but it is WRC 2 I want to continue to bet on this year. I know we have more to give there and with the tough competition that the class offers this year I think it can be a very developing season.” Tidemand added.