Teemu Kärnä reigns supreme in Sweden as AW Decals produce their strongest performance yet in the snowy stages of Sweden.
Round 2 of the season takes us to Rally Sweden, through the snowy trails of Varmland including the infamous “Colin’s Crest”.
So lets start the review with the Super Category;
Last season Alex Everitt edged out Teemu Kärnä in the final minute to take his stage win, However this would not be the case this season as Alex (Who has switched from Ford to Volkswagen) found himself outside of the podium meaning that Volkswagen took an impressive 1-2-3.
Tommi Neuvonen came into Sweden off the back of his win last rally in Monte-Carlo, Hoping to continue his run of form the #NoControl driver set out on his stages, However the winner struggled and was only able to take 6th place in damage-limitation mode.
Miika Salonen for Fritosport finally got his season underway after struggling in Monte-Carlo and would win the Power stage, Giving him valuable points for himself and FritoSport.
Daniel Beyer suffered a DNF in Monte-Carlo but his form looked to improve immediately after, Taking a win in the Crest Historic Rally at Sweden just a week before the Sim-Rally, The #NoControl driver was looking like the favorite to win, However it was not to be as Teemu Kärnä displayed an unstoppable surge and took the top step.
A dominant performance for Teemu see’s him easily take the rally, Added on with this being Teemu’s joker round he will take double points from Sweden, An incredible day for the FritoSport driver.
Moving onto the Pro Category
Liam Quinn – Monte Carlo Pro winner, was sweating in the cold snow ridden forests as Michael Mugambi of the Sim-U-Nation Citroen team kept him at bay for most of the rally. An incredible achievement from Mugambi in conditions him and his team are unfamiliar with as he scored a podium in Sweden. Liam Quinn finished 4th.
Torbjorn Withbro (FritoSport Volkswagen) – From Norway, stages like home to him. Last season’s AM Champion, was putting in good consistent times, threatening the top 5 throughout. A bad power stage knocked him down to 7th, a new force to be reckoned with?
Tom Martin (Crest Autosport Ford) – In a battle to keep Tomino’s Pizza warm, Tom did not back off. A few bad stages from pushing slightly too hard, but a winning power stage time was the highlight of his rally. Finished 5th.
Kevin Edwards and Paul Morris (AW Decals Subaru) – battled and swapped positions throughout the entire rally. So close in stage times. Paul Morris trumped his fellow Brit teammate to the win, but a great battle took place. AW decals back with a strong team, undoubtedly teams championship contenders.
Pro category is looking set to be another thrilling showdown, as in Sweden 6 different drivers all won stages in the Rally Sweden in this category.
Another thrilling battle between Carlos Andrade (Crest Autosport Ford) and Edgar Sanchinelli (FritoSport Volkswagen) took place. Where as Monte-Carlo was a win for Carlos, Edgar stamped his mark on Sweden, the first rally he’s won since Monte-Carlo last season, Meanwhile Arnel Ludwig (TAMZ Detailing Ltd Ford) took 3rd in rally at last minute and power stage win.
Samuli Kumo (Rally Updates Hyundai) lead rally after 2 stages, on a total of 3 stages on the rally, but some big mistakes on the longer stages dropped him down the order. Look out for him in future.
FritoSport’s double 1st positions see them leap ahead in championship. Crest Autosport more disappointing event, remain 2nd. AW decals leap from 6th to 3rd after a triumphant Rally, but TAMZ Detailing Ltd consistent results put them close behind in 4th.
Next rally – Rally Mexico. From minus temperatures to above 30 degrees c. A test of man and machine as Mexico’s stages are tough on the cars and drivers. Heat, dust, and cliff edges to contend with. First gravel rally of the season. 25th March. Live on Crest Autosport YouTube and Rally report right here on Overtake Motorsport.