13 Feb 10
Halfway through day two of Rally Sweden and Swedish guest driver P-G Andersson still looks set to take the first class win in the S-WRC but has had to wave goodbye to the full house he was after.
Having won the first nine, he wanted to steer his Skoda Fabia S2000 to victory in every stage, but Norwegian Eyvind Brynildsen had different ideas.
In SS11 and SS12, Brynildsen took the stage wins from Andersson and is rapidly climbing the overall S-WRC rankings. After a disastrous SS3, Brynildsen, this year’s youngest S-WRC entrant, has determinedly worked his way up the field.
Second in the overall standings, however, remains Ford Fiesta S2000 driver Janne Tuohino. At the end of SS12, the Finn is now a full 1.01 minutes behind Andersson. He doesn’t think he can catch Andersson, but wants stage wins: “Unless Andersson makes mistakes he’s going too fast to catch. Hopefully we can win the other stages this afternoon, that’s our target.”
Tuohino's focus is also on the car behind him. Czech driver Martin Prokop has been holding the gap of between them steady since he stalled on SS2 and let Tuohino streak ahead.
In the snow and ice of Sweden, anything could happen but Prokop doesn’t think he can catch Tuohino: “He’s from Scandinavia, he understands the rally. I’m happy enjoying driving. I want to hold on to third.” Nonetheless, they both know that with a gap of only 42.6 seconds between them, one mistake for Tuohino and Prokop will happily snatch second, which puts Tuohino under a lot of pressure this afternoon.
Brynildsen, meanwhile, has fourth place in his sights. In the first half of day two he has gone from strength to strength, closing a gap of 51 seconds between himself and Bernardo Sousa and moving on to challenge Sandell ahead. As he explained in lunchtime service: “Yesterday I felt like I was understeering, but we’ve made some changes to the car in particular the suspension and now I’ve caught Sousa and want to catch Sandell. I’ve already gained over a minute on him this morning, it’s nothing special to take another 52 seconds more.”