Tanak Extends Rally Sweden Lead

At the end of day 2 on Rally Sweden, Andreas Mikkelsen and Esapekka Lappi are tied for second place behind Ott Tanak. With three stages remaining and Thierry Neuville a close fourth, Tanak managed his gap on Saturday's final two stages on the short Karlstad superspecial first used on Thursday and a shortened version of Friday's last stage, Torsby Sprint.

The main action however was between Mikkelsen, Lappi and Neuville over second place, with Lappi 1.9s behind in fourth and Neuville 4.5s off his Hyundai team-mate after the afternoon rerun of Saturday morning's three stages. Citroen driver Lappi carved 1.5s out of Mikkelsen's advantage on the Karlstad superspecial and then won back another 0.4s through Torsby Sprint, leaving the pair dead level, both 54.5s behind Tanak's Toyota.

Hovering close behind, Neuville won the day-ending Torsby Sprint, taking over a second out of Mikkelsen on each of the two short tests to finish 2.3s behind the tied pair. Elfyn Evans lost four seconds to Neuville across those two stages, casting him further adrift of the podium battle that he had been part of this morning. He remains fifth, 11.9s off Neuville.

A battle for sixth between Kris Meeke and Sebastien Loeb had looked set to go Loeb's way based on his pace earlier in the afternoon, and they headed to the pair of superspecials separated by only 0.5s. A strong run from Meeke opened that gap up, though Loeb claimed half a second back on Torsby Sprint to finish the day 1.6s adrift of Meeke in seventh. Pontus Tidemand continues to hold eighth place.

Leading positions after SS16
Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 2h19m31.7s
2 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Citroen Total WRT 54.5s
2 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 54.5s
4 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 56.8s
5 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin M-Sport Ford WRT 1m08.7s
6 Kris Meeke, S.Marshall Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 1m36.5s
7 Sebastien Loeb, D.Elena Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 1m38.1s
8 Pontus Tidemand, O.Floene M-Sport Ford WRT 3m08.0s
9 Janne Tuohino, M.Markkula Janne Tuohino 7m17.3s
10 Lorenzo Bertelli, S.Scattolin M-Sport Ford WRT 11m58.3s

16th February, 2019