Østberg cleans
up in Finnskog

M-Sport driver Mads Østberg got a pre-Sweden boost on Saturday when he won the Norwegian Championship Rally Finnskog for a record fifth time.

Østberg took part in the event as a warm-up for this week's Swedish WRC counter and won each of the six stages to lead from start to finish in a Ford Fiesta R5 alongside co-driver Ola Fløene.
 
Unseasonably mild weather made for some inconsistent stage conditions and competitors faced a difficult mix of packed ice, gravel, slush and even standing water.
 
A number of high-profile WRC 2 drivers were also in Norway to hone their winter rally skills before Sweden.
 
Norwegian championship leader Anders Grøndal finished second in another Fiesta R5, but there was disappointment for two of the other Norwegian challengers Eyvind Brynildsen and Ole Christian Veiby.
 
Veiby was first to go, retiring his Skoda R5 with a steering problem after a puncture on the first stage, and while Brynildsen completed in his Fiesta R5, a broken wheel on stage four cost him any chance of a decent result.
 
There was better news however for fans of Norway's number one rally family, the Solbergs. Oscar Solberg, the 19 year old son of Henning Solberg, finished fifth and second in Group N. He and his Subaru Impreza WRX will be back out on the stages in Sweden this week.

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