Junior WRC in Sweden:
Kristensson inherits top spot
Tom Kristensson inherited a commanding FIA Junior WRC Championship lead at Rally Sweden on Saturday after Dennis Rådström crashed out of an equally comfortable position.
Kristensson ended the second leg with a lead of 1min 44sec over rookie Roland Poom, with just Sunday’s short finale remaining in the series’ opening round.
Rådström, meanwhile, was left to rue a missed opportunity. Last year’s championship runner-up built a lead of more than 1min 45sec in his Ford Fiesta R2, winning today’s opening four speed tests to add to a run of five straight wins yesterday.
But Rådström, who lives in the rally base of Torsby, went off the road in the second pass through the Hagfors special stage. He limped to the finish with the loss of seven minutes, but his car was too badly damaged to continue and he retired.
Fellow countryman Kristensson eased through the remaining four tests and has just three more to survive tomorrow to claim victory on his first Junior WRC appearance.
“Today is a complete surprise and we have simply focused on each stage as it came. I’m Swedish, but not too familiar with the ice and snow as I’m from the south which makes this extraordinary,” he said.
Poom avoided problems to head another rookie, Spain’s Jan Solans, by 2min 00.9sec. Briton Tom Williams was up to fourth with Sean Johnston and Enrico Oldrati completing the top six.
Germany’s Julius Tannert slipped out of third after losing 2min 30sec with air intake problems this morning. Worse was to come as he retired two stages later.
Martin Sesks’ troubled weekend continued when the Latvian dropped three minutes after going off the road and puncturing a tyre. He ended seventh.
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