WRC 2 in Sweden
Østberg seals Pro win
Mads Østberg had a clean run through Sunday's stages to clinch a comfortable career first WRC 2 Pro victory at Rally Sweden.
The Norwegian began the final leg with a handsome lead but battling handling issues in his Citroën C3.
Despite feeling uncomfortable at the wheel, he was trouble-free through the last 51 kilometres and finished 3m19.2s ahead of Kalle Rovanperä's Skoda Fabia.
"It was a relief to be at the end," Østberg said. "To come here on my first rally in the category and win is good. Okay, it's been a difficult weekend but the result is strong."
Rovanperä was quickest on two of Sunday's stages, but having lost time in snow banks earlier in the rally, second was as good as it would get.
Ford Fiesta driver Gus Greensmith spun in SS18 en route to third, 1m29.7s behind Rovanperä. Lucasz Pieniazek spun his Fiesta at the same spot and finished fourth.
Eerik Pietarinen had been on course to take fourth before an eleventh-hour upset. The Finn hit a stone with his Skoda in the final stage and retired with a broken wheel.
VW Polo driver Ole Christian Veiby claimed victory in WRC 2 after chief rival Jari Huttunen crashed on the penultimate stage.
Overnight leader Veiby began 12sec ahead of Huttunen's Skoda and an exciting two-way battle looked to be on the cards. But the fight proved short-lived when Huttunen went off in SS18 and retired.
With Huttunen out of the picture, Veiby eased through the final stage and sealed the win by 2m03.5s from fellow Polo driver Emil Lindholm.
Veiby's team-mate Johan Kristoffersson was 16.1sec behind in third. The Swede moved ahead of Fiesta driver Emil Bergkvist on SS18, making it a Polo 1-2-3.
Nikolay Gryazin was a close fifth, 18sec further back, with WRC veteran Eyvind Brynildsen sixth. Last year's WRC 2 winner Takamoto Katsuta retired from eighth on the final stage.
Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Rallye Sweden, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.
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