Volkswagen victory in Sweden The Volkswagen Golf GTI 16V of Swede Jörgen Jonasson this afternoon (Monday) snatched a hard-fought victory in the 2-litre class of the International Swedish Rally, second round of the World Rally Championship. With Tapio Laukkanen and Lanark's Alister McRae finishing third and fourth in their Golfs, it was the best-ever international rally result for the Volkswagen team. Jonasson dominated the event, thanks in large part to his local knowledge and home-brewed Lappi tyres, and took several stage victories during the three-day event. He was run very close throughout by compatriot Per Svan (Opel). Jonasson's win was the second successive Volkswagen victory on the Swedish: Joakim Andersson's Golf GTI took the honours in '96. For Laukkanen and McRae – who will be team-mates in the Sony, Revolution Wheels and Pirelli-backed Volkswagen team on this year's Mobil 1 British Rally Championship – their Swedish results were a confidence boost. Both men's cars ran without fault throughout the rally. "We barely laid a spanner on them," said Steve Bagnall, manager of Volkswagen rally partner team SBG Sport of Daventry. Added McRae: "We dropped some time on the second day because of wrong tyre choice for the conditions, but we came back today when the weather improved and set one fastest stage time. The main thing is we completed 250 trouble-free stage miles with a month to go before the first round of the British Championship, the Rally of Wales. "It was always going to be hard to come to Sweden and beat the locals, but on our next rally, I'll be the local!" The Volkswagen team's UK campaign gets underway in Wales on March 14. Lanark-based McRae, 26, will be bidding to regain the British crown he last won in 1995, while 27-year-old Laukkanen will be attempting to add the UK title to that which he won in the Finnish Rally Championship in '96. International Swedish Rally, World Rally Championship Round 2 World 2-litre Cup positions (provisional) 1 Jörgen Jonasson/Nicklas Jonasson Volkswagen Golf GTI 4h 08m 29s 2 Per Svan/Johan Olsson Opel Astra +0m 22s 3 Tapio Laukkanen/Risto Mannisenmäki Volkswagen Golf GTI +4m 25s 4 Alister McRae/David Senior Volkswagen Golf GTI +5m 07s 5 Emil Triner/Karel Jiratko Skoda Felicia +5m 15s

Official Volkswagen rally site