Sweden WRC: Tanak on brink of win, Mikkelsen drops back

Toyota's Ott Tanak holds a comfortable Rally Sweden lead with one stage remaining, while Andrea Mikkelsen plummeted from second to fourth on a terrible final morning.

Sweden WRC: Tanak on brink of win, Mikkelsen drops back

Almost 50 seconds behind runaway rally leader Tanak, a three-way battle over second place continued to play out, with Mikkelsen and Esapekka Lappi heading to the first Likenas test tied for time overall.

But a poor run to the 10th fastest time on the first of two passes demoted Mikkelsen from equal second to fourth, also falling behind his Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville, who now holds third.

Lappi was fastest of the sparring trio on both runs through Likenas, boosting his advantage over Neuville to 4.4s overall.

Mikkelsen, complaining that his car was not “reactive” enough to match the pace of Lappi and his own team-mate, is now 4.2s off Neuville and falling towards Elfyn Evans in fifth place.

Evans was fastest through the second running of Likenas, reducing the gap between himself and Mikkelsen to 6.4s with only the Torsby finale to go.

Toyota’s Kris Meeke had been under pressure from Sebastien Loeb for sixth place on Saturday afternoon but extended his gap, going 7.6s quicker than the Hyundai driver across both runs of Likenas to boost his overall advantage to 9.2s.

Behind Loeb in seventh, Pontus Tidemand (M-Sport Ford) is over a minute and a half behind in eighth, though is well clear of ninth-placed WRC2 leader Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen).

Ford privateer Janne Tuohino entered the top 10 overall for the first time this weekend, going four seconds clear of WRC2 Pro leader Mads Ostberg (Citroen).

Friday retiree Jari-Matti Latvala, running as third car on the road, set the fastest time on the first run though Likenas, 0.2s ahead of Sebastien Ogier who started one place earlier in the running order.

Ogier deliberately drove at a slow pace through his next run on Likenas, saving his tyres for an attempt at maximum points on the rally-ending Torsby Power Stage.

Teemu Suninen also returned to action after hitting a tree on Saturday, damaging the rollcage on his Ford Fiesta.

Top 10 after SS18:

Pos. # Driver/Co-driver Car Time/Gap
1 8

Estonia Ott Tanak 
Estonia Martin Jarveoja 

Toyota 2h42m14.9s
2 4 Finland Esapekka Lappi 
Finland Janne Ferm 
Citroen +48.8s
3 11

Belgium Thierry Neuville 
Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul 

Hyundai +53.2s
4 89

Norway Andreas Mikkelsen 
Norway Anders Jaeger 

Hyundai +57.4s
5 33

United Kingdom Elfyn Evans 
United Kingdom Scott Martin

Ford +1m03.8s
6 5 United Kingdom Kris Meeke 
United Kingdom Sebastian Marshall 
Toyota +1m33.6s
7 11 France Sébastien Loeb 
Monaco Daniel Elena 
Hyundai  +1m42.8s
8 7 Sweden Pontus Tidemand 
Norway Ola Floene 
Ford +3m24.8s
9 21

Norway Ole Christian Veiby 

Sweden Jonas Andersson 

Volkswagen +6m02.5s
10 92

Finland Janne Tuohino 

Finland Mikko Markkula 

Ford +8m00.5s
shares
comments
Sweden WRC: Tanak stays top, Mikkelsen and Lappi tied for P2

Previous article

Sweden WRC: Tanak stays top, Mikkelsen and Lappi tied for P2

Next article

Sweden WRC: Tanak seals victory with Power Stage win

Sweden WRC: Tanak seals victory with Power Stage win
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021