M-Sport secured a second successive double podium in the 2017 WRC – this time in rally Sweden.
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja won four stages, but struggled to find the confidence-boosting rhythm they had previously enjoyed and had to settle for second place. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took third place overall.
Tänak equaled his best WRC performance, while challenging for the win for a couple of days. On Sunday though he struggled to find a good rhythm. Still, Ott continues to enjoy his best ever start to an FIA World Rally Championship season.
“I think it’s been a really good weekend for us. I had a new experience opening the road on Friday but when the conditions were more equal on Saturday, we had some really good speed. I’m happy with that and what we have achieved this weekend has given us a lot of confidence.”, Tänak said.
“In the end we knew straight away that Jari-Matti [Latvala] would be hard to beat. At the beginning of the first stage we knew that we didn’t have the same feeling as on Saturday. It was a bit disappointing at the time, knowing that we had no option but to settle for second, but I’m still really happy with my weekend.”
“It’s been a great start to the season and I have a really good feeling with the car. We’ve got a great package to build on and, although there is still some work to do behind the scenes, we’re ready to give it another big push in Mexico next month.”
Ogier and Ingrassia opened the road throughout the first day of competition. The Frenchmen were hampered by loose snow and a lack of grip but were careful and kept themselves within touching distance of the top. Conserving his third position over the remaining speed tests, Ogier also secured four additional points with the second fastest time through the powerstage.
M-Sport has two double podiums in the first two rallies of the season and team principal Malcolm Wilson is more than happy
“It’s been a tough weekend so it’s great to be on the podium at the end of the rally. It was a really difficult weekend but we have to look to the positives and we’re taking some good points away from this event”, Ogier commented.
“I didn’t have the chance to fight for anything more as I made a really silly mistake on the first Sunday stage. On the first corner – just 50 metres into the stage – we were caught by the inside of a snowbank and spun. I knew I couldn’t fight for anything more after that, but looking at the weekend as a whole, I think we have to be happy.”
“We knew at the start of the season that we would have a lot less preparation then everyone else. We still need some time to find a perfect feeling with the car but to see the results that we have achieved so far is really encouraging.”
M-Sport has two double podiums in the first two rallies of the season and team principal Malcolm Wilson is more than happy.
“It’s an incredible result for the team and just goes to prove what a great package we have with the Ford Fiesta WRC”
“We’ve extended our lead at the head of the manufacturers’ championship, and it has been a fantastic start to the season”, Wilson said.
“The momentum in the team is growing with every event. We go to every rally knowing that we have the potential to fight for the podium, and that is a real confidence boost.’
“We’ve had success throughout the rally, and not only with Ott and Sébastien. In the WRC2 category, Teemu Suninen finished second with the Ford Fiesta R5, and in the two-wheel-drive class Daniel Röjsel was impressive – claiming victory by more than nine minutes with the Ford Fiesta R2.”
— M-Sport (@MSportLtd) 12 February 2017