Sweden WRC: Neuville takes points lead with win
Thierry Neuville completed the final three stages of Rally Sweden to secure his first victory of the 2018 WRC season, and take the championship lead.
In SS17, the first stage of the day, Neuville gave up eight seconds of the 22.7s lead he had started with as a result of careful driving, but was second-fastest on the rerun of the same route to enter the Power Stage with a 16.2s advantage.
He then completed the final test of the event without any trouble to take his first victory in Rally Sweden, and also claim the points lead.
Citroen driver Craig Breen took his best-ever WRC result in second, with Hyundai's Andreas Mikkelsen completing the podium.
Toyota's Esapekka Lappi claimed fourth place after impressing throughout the Sunday leg.
He was second behind teammate Ott Tanak in SS17 and then topped SS18, passing Citroen's Mads Ostberg and closing in on the Hyundai of Hayden Paddon.
Lappi then took advantage of Paddon crashing into a snow bank in the Power Stage, which the Finn topped and added further five to the 12 points he collected for finishing fourth.
Paddon and Ostberg settled for fifth and sixth respectively, followed by Finnish duo Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) and Teemu Suninen (M-Sport Ford).
Tanak and reigning champion Sebastien Ogier claimed the final two point-scoring positions.
The Frenchman had incurred a penalty for deciding to start the Power Stage - where he ultimately placed runner-up - late, but was promoted back to 10th after teammate Elfyn Evans picked up a late-arrival penalty of his own.
Toyota protege Takamoto Katsuta was 12th overall as he beat Pontus Tidemand by 4.5s to WRC2 glory.
|8||Teemu Suninen||M-Sport Ford||2m52.2s|
|10||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport Ford||8m45.4s|
|2||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport Ford||31|
|10||Elfyn Evans||M-Sport Ford||8|
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About this article
|Article type||Leg report|