Tide­mand evens the Swe­den score

Motor Sport News - - Rally Sweden | Round 02 -

Twelve months ago, Pon­tus Tide­mand lost a WRC2 win by 14 sec­onds to El­fyn Evans.

A Swede’s not sup­posed to lose in Swe­den. He didn’t let it hap­pen again.

In­stead, he demon­strated a bril­liant and ut­terly ruth­less streak to dom­i­nate the event and win 10 from 17 stages.

But it wasn’t a start-to-fin­ish suc­cess. He was forced to give best to fel­low Skoda Fabia R5 driver Ole Chris­tian Veiby for the first three stages, but from then on it was the Pon­tus show. He moved more than a minute clear on Satur­day and spent Sun­day con­trol­ling his pace and stroking the Skoda home to pick up his first suc­cess of the sea­son.

“It’s been a good rally,” he said. “It’s prob­a­bly been the per­fect rally. No trouble, no prob­lems with the tyre, the car has worked re­ally well. We have fin­ished the job we started last year – I didn’t want to let that hap­pen again.”

If Tide­mand was away and clear up front, there was a fairly fran­tic fight for sec­ond be­tween Veiby and M-sport new boy Teemu Suni­nen.

Suni­nen was gen­er­ally the quicker of the two and had it not been for his Ford Fi­esta R5 mist­ing its screen and blind­ing him for 20 sec­onds early on Satur­day, the bat­tle wouldn’t have been quite so close. In the end, the Finn held his nerve and kept hold of the run­ner-up spot.

Suni­nen’s M-sport team-mate Eric Camilli was fourth with English­man Gus Green­smith tak­ing a cred­i­ble fifth place on his first time in a Fi­esta R5 on snow and his first time with new co-driver Craig Parry.

Green­smith found a mid­dle-of-theroad rhythm and stuck to it, his only drama be­ing a half-minute penalty for a late check-in.

“It’s been good,” Green­smith said. “There’s more to come, but I’m re­ally pleased with the pace I’ve shown on my first rally in the snow.”

Green­smith’s pace was ever more merit-wor­thy con­sid­er­ing he’d only tested for a day – and that was a day in a Subaru Im­preza.

Louise Cook was an­other Brit in a Fi­esta, but hers was an R2-spec car and, given she was the only WRC3 com­peti­tor, was a pretty safe bet for a class win. That was be­fore she rolled on day one and was forced out when scru­ti­neers found re­place­ment seat brack­ets for the ones bent in the shunt weren’t ho­molo­gated.

Still she showed great com­mit­ment over Colin’s Crest when the bon­net flew up with the car at an al­ti­tude of about three feet.

Tide­mand took clear win

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