Fri 16 Feb 2024

Černý crash hands WRC3 initiative to Johansson

Jan Černý issued an apology after crashing out of the FIA WRC3 Championship lead on Rally Sweden this afternoon, an incident that promoted home teenage talent Mille Johansson into first place.

Czech Černý, who started the ice and snow event at the top of the standings after he won the Rally3-based category on Rallye Monte-Carlo last month, began Friday afternoon’s loop of four stages leading by 13.5sec.


But an off two kilometres from the start of SS5 left his Ford Fiesta Rally3 with significant front-end damage, although the winner of SS1 is set to restart on Saturday’s second leg following repairs.


Describing his Rally Sweden debut as “another dream come true” prior to the start, Černý posted a simple “I am really sorry” message on social media.

He later explained what had gone wrong: “We hit a snowbank and damaged the cooling circuit and it was impossible to continue. It has been very difficult, many ruts have formed and with a narrower car than Rally1 and Rally2 the situation became e very complicated. Now we just have to think about making fix to try to get as many points as possible between now and Sunday.”


Johansson, stepping up to the WRC after a season in Junior ERC, was fastest on SS2 and SS4 and couldn’t be beaten on SS6 and SS7. As well as leading the Junior WRC division, the 18-year-old is 44.8sec in front of Romet Jürgenson, part of the four-strong FIA Rally Star team and the quickest WRC3 contender on SS5.


Fabio Schwarz, the son of WRC event winner Armin Schwarz, is third overnight followed by Raúl Hernández, Eamonn Kelly and Jose Caparo.

FIA Rally Star Taylor Gill was firmly in the lead fight when two damaged tyres put him out of contention on SS6.


Filip Kohn hit back from a double deflation on SS7 to set the WRC3 pace on SS8.


Jakub Matulka, a frontrunner in ERC3 last season, was fastest on SS3 and was in sixth place among the WRC3 contenders, when he crashed on SS5.


Rally Sweden continues with SS9, Vännäs, from 07:45 local time tomorrow (Saturday).

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM