Swedish Rally Day One

On the first day of the Swedish Rally, round two of the 2012 World Rally Championship, Jari-Matti Latvala has pulled away from Mikko Hirvonen to establish a 17-second lead in Rally Sweden after the second loop of stages. The duo had been in a close fight all day, with Ford driver Latvala edging ahead of his former team-mate Hirvonen - now in a Citroen - midway through the afternoon.
Hirvonen is now under pressure for second from Latvala's team-mate Petter Solberg, who looked after his tyres early in the afternoon so he could push hard later, winning SS9 as a result. Solberg was also able to pass Mads Ostberg (Adapta Ford), as the early leader struggled with brake issues this afternoon and a puzzling lack of speed. The two Norwegians are now 11s apart.
With Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) losing two minutes with a trip off the road and Dani Sordo parking his Mini with a technical problem on SS8, Evgeny Novikov now holds fifth for M-Sport Ford. Loeb has already recovered from 11th to seventh.

Leading positions after SS9:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford 1h22m16.8s
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 17.2s
3. Petter Solberg Ford + 20.0s
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 31.6s
5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 1m11.5s
6. Henning Solberg Go Fast Ford + 1m46.8s
7. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 2m09.7s
8. Patrik Sandell Mini + 2m16.3s
9. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 2m24.6s
10. Eyvind Brynildsen Adapta Ford + 2m56.

10th February, 2012