M-Sport had another fantastic event at Rally Sweden following Sebastien Ogier’s victory in the World Rally Championship season opening Monte Carlo Rally last month.
This weekend it was Ott Tanak who came to the front. Tanak ended Rally Sweden in second place just behind winner, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Jari Matti Latvala. Following Tanak’s podium finish he has moved into third in the Drivers championship on 33 points.
Speaking following the event, Tanak commented by saying:
I think it’s been a really good weekend for us. I had a new experience opening the road on Friday but when the conditions were more equal yesterday we had some really good speed. I’m happy with that and what we have achieved this weekend has given us a lot of confidence.
“Today, we knew straight away that Jari-Matti [Latvala] would be hard to beat. At the beginning of the first stage we knew that we didn’t have the same feeling as yesterday. It was a bit disappointing at the time, knowing that we had no option but to settle for second, but I’m still really happy with my weekend.
“It’s been a great start to the season and I have a really good feeling with the car. We’ve got a great package to build on and, although there is still some work to do behind the scenes, we’re ready to give it another big push in Mexico next month.
Sebastien Ogier followed up his victory in Monte Carlo last month with a third place finish and as a result he is now in second place in the championship on 44 points and speaking following the rally, Ogier commented by saying:
It’s been a tough weekend so it’s great to be on the podium at the end of the rally. It was a really difficult weekend but we have to look to the positives and we’re taking some good points away from this event.
“I didn’t have the chance to fight for anything more today as I made a really silly mistake on the first stage of the morning. On the first corner – just 50 metres into the stage – we were caught by the inside of a snowbank and spun. I knew I couldn’t fight for anything more after that, but looking at the weekend as a whole, I think we have to be happy.
“We knew at the start of the season that we would have a lot less preparation then everyone else. We still need some time to find a perfect feeling with the car but to see the results that we have achieved so far is really encouraging.
“We still need to do some work of course, but I think we have good pace and have had a really positive start to the season so let’s see what Mexico brings.
M-Sport head to the next event, Rally Mexico leading the World Rally Championship constructors standings on 73 points, 20 points ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing. Speaking following the rally in Sweden, Team Principal Malcolm Wilson commented by saying:
Two rallies and two double podiums – it’s an incredible result for the team and just goes to prove what a great package we have with the Ford Fiesta WRC. We’ve extended our lead at the head of the manufacturers’ championship, and it has been a fantastic start to the season.
“The momentum in the team is growing with every event. We go to every rally knowing that we have the potential to fight for the podium, and that is a real confidence boost.
“We’ve had success throughout the rally this weekend, and not only with Ott and Sébastien. In the WRC2 category, Teemu Suninen finished second with the Ford Fiesta R5, and in the two-wheel-drive class Daniel Röjsel was impressive – claiming victory by more than nine minutes with the Ford Fiesta R2.
“Needless to say, we’re extremely happy with the results this weekend and looking forward to another exciting battle at Rally Mexico in three weeks’ time.”