With all the talk of cancellations and racer boycotts for the latest meeting in Sweden due to the lack of snow, it was surprising to see the rally finally went ahead. The racing gods were definitely on side with a drop in temperature and some fluffy snow to boot, ensuring everything remained nice and slidy just before the off. As a result only 9 of the projected 21 stages were cancelled, which was sufficient to satisfy the recently revived FIA rule, that only half points would be awarded if half or less of the projected stages were raced. More good news for Sweden followed with a new agreement allowing for an extension to the rally contract until at least 2019. So fingers crossed the snow sticks with us!
Sebastien Ogier takes his second consecutive win of the year with another fast and solid performance in the VW, fending off Hayden Paddon who suffered from a broken radiator after colliding with a marker post on the Power stage. Paddon was able to make emergency repairs at the final service park securing him a runner-up position, with Mads Ostberg completing the rostrum line up. Ogier pulled out an awesome Power stage performance after he discovered his lead had been slashed to 8.8 seconds by a fast approaching Paddon. Taking full advantage of being last out and the better race conditions, Ogier was able to win and claim another three bonus points, continuing his domination to defend his title.
Kris Meeke suffered a similar misfortune to that which had caused him to concede his winning fight at Monte Carlos, with another rock collision causing serious damage to his front-right suspension. Up to this point Meeke was fighting strong with Ogier for the lead but the incident forced another retirement. However, the Belgian driver was able to rejoin under Rally 2 regulations, taking part in the final Power stage and securing a final place with a single point.
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