Friday | 13 Feb 2015

Ketomaa clear in Swedish WRC 2 battle

Jari Ketomaa kept his cool to build a 46.1sec lead in the WRC 2 category after Friday’s opening leg of Rally Sweden.

The Finn won five of the nine special stages in a Ford Fiesta R5 as his rivals struggled to keep their cars out of the snow banks in the forests of Sweden and Norway.

“We went fast on the first stages this morning to try to open a gap and then it was just a case of managing it. I really enjoyed the stages today, the pace was good and the roads were very enjoyable,” said the Drive DMACK pilot.

Just three seconds covered the next three cars. Valeriy Gorban snatched second on the final stage in a Mini John Cooper Works and the Ukraine driver was 0.4sec clear of Swede Fredrik Åhlin’s Fiesta R5. Eyvind Brynildsen was fourth, having held second for most of the afternoon.

Gorban snatched second on the final stage

Åhlin suffered a slow puncture and stalled his engine at the start of SS8, while Brynildsen did likewise in SS3, but their problems were minor compared to others.

Anders Grøndal lost a potential top three after boost problems and a time consuming off and Pontus Tidemand, who led the rally outright after last night’s curtain-raising stage, fell from second to tenth after sliding his Fiesta R5 into a ditch for several minutes.

Yazeed Al Rajhi was another to fall victim to the snowy ditches but the Saudi Arabian driver was fifth, with Jaroslaw Koltun completing the top six.

Max Rendina, last year’s Production Cup winner within WRC 2, retired his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, and Gianluca Linari led the class in a Subaru Impreza.

More News