Ogiers wins Rally Sweden from Paddon

Sebastien Ogier won his third Rally Sweden and thus consolidated his position in the lead of the 2016 World Rally Championship. Hyundai's Hayden Paddon, who survived a late scare when he brushed a marker on the superstage and punctured his radiator, made it safely to the finish in second place just 29.8 seconds in arrears.

After some pre event doubts caused by the lack of snow and ice the rally was finally run on a shortened itinerary but from the off, Ogier was never headed, but faced strong opposition on both Friday and Saturday, first Citroen's Kris Meeke who was closing in until striking a rock buried in the road for a second consecutive rally and Meeke's demise promoted Paddon to second. The Kiwi then took up the mantle on Saturday to eat into Ogier's lead.

On his first outing in Hyundai's New Generation i20 WRC, Paddon took 23s out of Ogier on the Vargasen stage - which left the pair just 8.8s apart but Ogier was able to double his lead by the end of Saturday and cemented his win on Sunday's powerstage by setting the fastest time to secure victory and three bonus points.

Paddon was an impressive second on just his third visit to Sweden, matching his previous best finish from Rally Italy last year. The battle for third was between Mads Ostberg and Ogier's team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, but a spin on SS14 effectively put paid to the VW driver's hopes and Ostberg's determind approach earned him a well-deserved podium for M-Sport over his Norwegian compatriot, who's errors typified his weekend.

Ott Tanak faded after an impressive Friday but brought his D-MACK Ford Fiesta RS WRC home in a strong fifth place, ahead of the second Hyundai of Dani Sordo. Craig Breen's first rally with Citroen yielded eighth after an entertaining tussle with Henning Solberg, the Norwegian eventually finishing 4.6s clear. Jari-Matti Latvala's chances ended on the first stage, as a broken driveshaft dropped him down the order before he retired from Friday with suspension issues. He rejoined on Saturday alongside Meeke, who secured a powerstage point with the third-fastest time behind Ogier and Mikkelsen.

For the second consequtive WRC rally, M-Sport driver Elfyn Evans clinched his second WRC2 victory in as many rallies after resisting a late charge from Pontus Tidemand, the Welshman winning by 14.7s.

Results after SS21:
Pos .... Driver .... Team .... Car .... Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen Polo 1h59m47.4s
2. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 WRC 29.8s
3. Mads Ostberg M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta 55.6s
4. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen Polo 1m10.8s
5. Ott Tanak DMACK World Rally Team Ford Fiesta 1m50.7s
6. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 2m24.0s
7. Henning Solberg Adapta Motorsport Ford Fiesta 2m40.0s
8. Craig Breen Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen DS3 2m44.6s
9. Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta 5m17.0s
10. Teemu Suninen Team Oreca Skoda Fabia R5 5m31.6s

14th February, 2016