13 Feb 10
Reigning J-WRC Champion Martin Prokop not only maintained his third place in the S-WRC category of Rally Sweden today, but he put his Ford Fiesta S2000 on top of the timesheet on SS16 - beating all the WRC crews.
Ever the perfectionist, he still wasn’t satisfied though: “I need to be the fastest on a normal stage. I didn't do anything special in this stage; I just didn’t make any mistakes. And I’m enjoying myself.”
With only Sunday's five stages remaining, Skoda Fabia driver P-G Andersson continues to lead the Super 2000 category by nearly a minute. But he's faced some spirited opposition today from the Fiesta drivers Janne Tuohino and Prokop behind him.
Since SS2, Tuohino has been lying second in class. In SS14 and SS15 today the Finn racked up two stage wins, results which dented Andersson’s lead which had stood at just over one minute for most of the day. Tuohino clawed back 20 seconds in SS15 alone. Happy with his performance, Tuohino explained: “It’s going well, with no problems and my speed’s been better today. I’ve learnt how to work with the car.”
Andersson, however, twice J-WRC Champion (’04, ’07), remains well on course to take the first ever S-WRC class win, putting his time loss today down to an overly cautious approach.
Eyvind Brynildsen, sitting in fifth in his Skoda Fabia, began the afternoon aiming to steal fourth from Patrik Sandell. A puncture on SS13 however scuppered this plan.
After driving “flat out” this afternoon, he managed to narrow the gap to 34.9 seconds but this wasn’t enough to change the overall S-WRC standings.