Sweden countdown:
2017 Rewind

Next stop: snow. We begin our build-up to Rally Sweden (15 - 18 February) with a look back at last year's rally, when Toyota's WRC comeback took a stunning turn with an emotional victory for Jari-Matti Latvala. Here's what happened...

Thursday 9 / Friday 10 February

Thierry Neuville leapt into an early lead after a thrilling duel with Latvala. The Hyundai i20 driver completed with a 28.1sec advantage over Latvala, with Ott Tänak third, a further 21.6sec back after gearbox problems with his Ford Fiesta.

Neuville won the opening two tests in Norway to demote Latvala, who led after Thursday night’s curtain-raiser. However, Latvala [above] fought back to lead at Friday's midpoint in his Toyota Yaris, before Neuville again took top spot with a hat-trick of stage wins in the afternoon.

Kris Meeke held fourth, 2.1sec behind Tanak after losing time in a snowbank, while road opener Sébastien Ogier endured the worst of the conditions but persevered to hold fifth. On the retirement list were Juho Hänninen, who parked his Yaris with a damaged radiator after hitting a tree, and Mads Østberg who withdrew before the final stage after losing his Fiesta’s rear wing.

Ogier quickly made up ground on Saturday

Saturday 11 February

All change, and Latvala was the surprise leader on Saturday night after Neuville crashed out of top spot in the final stage.

Neuville held a 43.3sec advantage before ripping a front wheel from his car in the short special stage at Karlstad trotting track. It was the second rally in a row in which the Belgian had crashed out of a secure lead.

His demise left Latvala with a 3.8sec lead over the rapidly closing Tänak, with Ogier only 12.8sec further back in third.

A thin layer of overnight snow ensured drivers struggled for grip and Latvala looked vulnerable as Tänak closed in with a hat-trick of stage wins in his Ford Fiesta. Freed from opening the roads in the worst of the conditions, Ogier quickly made up ground.

Meeke was a comfortable fourth in his Citroën C3 until he went off the road on the penultimate stage and got stuck for eight minutes. His mistake promoted Dani Sordo into fourth, the Spaniard 25.0sec clear of Craig Breen in fifth.

Sunday 12 February

Latvala held his nerve to secure his fourth Rally Sweden win, as Toyota celebrated victory just two rallies into its comeback following a 17-year WRC absence.

Latvala won all three of Sunday's stages to extend his lead margin to 29.2sec. He collected maximum points on the Power Stage and left Sweden with a four-point lead in the drivers’ standings.

Tänak was unhappy with his car’s handling and after conceding seven seconds in the opening stage, he settled for second, matching his career-best result. Ogier was also in the victory fight but a spin in the first corner of the opening test ended his hopes and he finished 30.3sec behind Tänak.

Sordo was the top Hyundai finisher in fourth, the Spaniard 39.7sec ahead of Breen. Elfyn Evans was sixth, despite losing nearly a minute with an engine misfire in Sunday's opening stage.

More News