Rally Sweden: Solberg dominates WRC2, Johansson well placed in JWRC

Is it surprising to find two Swedish drivers at the head of the other categories present at the start of this 71st Rally of Sweden? Oliver Solberg and Mille Johansson, however, did not experience the same stage before arriving there.

Published on 17/02/2024 à 07:59

Loïc ROCCI

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Rally Sweden: Solberg dominates WRC2, Johansson well placed in JWRC

Oliver Solberg ranked several times ahead of the Rally1s, also dominating the WRC2 (Photo: Nikos Katikis/DPPI) interfering several times

Being the only local able to shine, Oliver Solberg was eagerly awaited. “ Of course there is pressure, he smiled before departure, but there are always some. It is true that this event is one of the ones that I most want to win. We will work on it. » Immediately on a strong pace, Petter's son immediately took the lead in WRC2. Posting 4 consecutive best times, he quickly created a gap without being completely satisfied with his driving. If he left two stages in the middle of the day to the surprising Georg Linnamäe, he took credit for the others. The Estonian was able to take advantage of the road conditions which improved after each car. Solberg did the same with astonishing performances in front of the Rally1 and especially a 3e provisional place in the general classification. Too irregular, Sami Pajari failed to threaten Solberg. The Finn is 15”7 behind Linnamäe, but he is the leader of a quartet of Finns who have not yet completely given up. Only 47'' separate Pajari from Lauri Joona 4e with Roope Korhonen and Mikko Heikkilä interspersed. The match was closer in JWRC.

Swede Mille Johansson leads the way in the JWRC rankings (Photo Nikos Katikis / DPPI)

If Mille Johansson has a lead of more than 44'' and if the gaps appear greater between the first competitors of the JWRC, this does not fully reflect the battle which took place throughout this first stage. While 6 drivers shared the best times, which each time brought a point to the championship, 4 were relegated to the top of the race. Spaniard Raul Hernandez was quickest before Australian FIA Rally Star Gill Taylor took over for two stages. Fabio Schwarz took the lead for a section (SS4) then Mille Johansson took the lead at the start of the afternoon, pushing his lead to 44”8. He is ahead of the other Rally Star Romet Jürgenson, author of a solid day, and Schwarz, who demonstrates that his 2023 year of learning has been useful.

In both categories, however, nothing has been decided. There are actually two stages left, including a 125,96 km long stage on Saturday with 7 special stages to go.

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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