Saturday | 14 Feb 2015

Ketomaa controls WRC 2 lead in Sweden

Finland’s Jari Ketomaa preserved his lead in the WRC 2 category at Rally Sweden on Saturday and will take a 30.6sec advantage into the final leg.

He measured his pace over the eight snowy stages in a Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 and although he failed to add further stage wins to his five from yesterday, he remains in control.

“I drove quickly but also managed my tyres to the conditions,” he said. “I knew the stages where gravel would come through the snow and ice, and saved my best tyres for the full winter roads so I could push hard on those.”

Valeriy Gorban held off Eyvind Brynildsen in second until the morning’s final stage when he went off and became stuck in the snow. He lost three minutes regaining the road in his Mini John Cooper and dropped to fifth, although he later recovered to fourth.

Brynildsen pushed hard to pressure Ketomaa and although the Norwegian reduced his overnight deficit, he faces a tough task to make further inroads tomorrow in his Fiesta RRC.

Fredrik Åhlin was in the midst of the three-car battle for second yesterday but spun his Fiesta R5 at the first corner of today’s opening stage and lost 30sec. Gorban’s mistake promoted Åhlin to third, but the furious Swede lost a minute chasing him to the finish after the Ukraine driver regained the road just in front of him.

Yazeed Al Rajhi was fifth but Pontus Tidemand was closing fast in sixth. The Swede won five stages and is just 31.7sec behind the Saudi Arabian.

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