WRC

S-WRC: Rally France: Red Bull final leg summary

SANDELL WINS RALLYE DE FRANCE! Swedish driver Patrik Sandell, who is backed by Red Bull, has taken his second consecutive Super 2000 victory by winning the Rally de France, the penultimate round of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship....

SANDELL WINS RALLYE DE FRANCE!

Swedish driver Patrik Sandell, who is backed by Red Bull, has taken his second consecutive Super 2000 victory by winning the Rally de France, the penultimate round of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship. Sandell is now closing in on the championship lead with just one round left to go in Great Britain.

Sandell fought at the front from the opening day of the all-asphalt event, before moving into the lead at the end of day two. Today, the Skoda Fabia S2000 driver faced the tough task of controlling his 14-second advantage through four tough tests: two runs each over the Haguenau superspecial and Bitche Camp military stages.

The distance made it the shortest day of the rally, but it was also one of the toughest and most varied. With Patrik's closest challenger right behind him, he could not afford to relax for a second but nonetheless he overcame all the obstacles to claim an emphatic victory. In total he took eight stage wins over the course of the 20-stage event, which was run for the first time in Alsace.

After two days of intermittent rain, today's action was mostly dry. Sandell benefited from perfect reliability on his Skoda Fabia S2000, run by eight-time Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager's BRR team. The 28-year-old Sandell and his co-driver Emil Axelsson found the perfect pace, ensuring that they got to the finish with nearly a two-minute margin over the runner-up.

"It's been pretty much the perfect rally for us," said Sandell, who won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2006. "The car worked really well from start to finish and I had a very good feeling with it. Today was just a question of trying to keep my concentration, because the stages were so fast and slippery. Even right at the end there were people having problems, so we were determined not be among them! I'm very happy to have achieved this result and to still have a chance of taking the championship."

The experienced Baumschlager commented: "It's been another absolutely great win for Patrik under what were very difficult circumstances with the tricky conditions that all the drivers faced. The weather conditions kept on changing and there was a lot of mud on the road from all the other cars cutting the corners. Both Patrik and Emil did a fantastic job and they thoroughly deserve this win."

The next event for Sandell will be the season-closing Rally Great Britain from 8-10 November. The muddy all-gravel event could not present a bigger contrast to the asphalt roads of Rallye de France, with cold temperatures in Wales that include the possibility of snow and ice.

-source: red bull

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Raimund Baumschlager , Patrik Sandell , Emil Axelsson