Jari-Matti Latvala leads in Sweden after Neuville broke his car’s steering

Jari-Matti Latvala leads in Sweden after Neuville broke his car’s steering

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Jari-Matti Latvala is the leader in the overall standings after the second day of Rally Sweden. The Finn inherited the first place from Thierry Neuville.

The Belgian had a 43.3sec lead before the last Saturday stage – the superspecial Karlstad 2. During the distance he hit a concrete barrier and broke his steering while losing a wheel as well. This is the second consecutive rally in which Thierry loses the lead after a crash.

“There are really no words that convey how I feel right now”, Neuville admitted. “It was a very sudden end to what had been a good rally for us. Tomorrow, we come back under Rally 2 and we’ll go for Power Stage points. We will then fight back again in Mexico.”

“It’s easy to say that this is rallying, however when you have a 43-second lead these things shouldn’t happen in a super special stage. It’s disappointing for everyone in the team, and of course for Thierry after what had been another commanding performance. Until that final stage, he had done everything right – controlling the rally and actually extending their lead. The old saying is true: it’s not over until it’s over. Rally 2 will give them the chance to put this behind them quickly”, team principal Michel Nandan added.

The mistake of Thierry Neuville was Latvala’s luck

The Finn has 3.8sec advantage in front of M-Sport’s Ott Tanak. Sebastien Ogier is third – 16.6sec behind his former teammate.

There were more accidents during the day. Kris Meeke got stuck – he lost his Citroen’s rear and flew off the road in SS14. Spectators helped him get back on route but the loss was over 8 minutes. Simone Tempestini crashed in the same stage and destroyed the right rear of his DS3 R5.

Meanwhile Mads Ostberg was pronounced the winner of this year’s Colin Crest Award. The Norwegian driver made a 44 meters jump.

“It’s an honour to be in this prestigious club”, Ostberg said.

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