Speed and jumps in the snow: Tidemand extends his lead in the ŠKODA FABIA R5

› Flights over Colin’s Crest successfully negotiated: ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson take lead of 1:16.2 minutes into final day of the Rally Sweden
› Dominant again on day three: Another five stage wins at round two of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Pontus Tidemand: “Combination of attack and control”

Torsby/Sweden, 11 February 2017 – ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand (S) extended his lead on ‘flight day’ at the Rally Sweden. Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year successfully mastered the infamous “Colin’s Crest” jump twice on Saturday and was once again the dominant man with five stage wins on day three of his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Tidemand and his co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) take a lead of 1:16.2 minutes into the Sunday’s final three special stages. Ole Christian Veiby (N) is third overall in his private ŠKODA FABIA R5 and is well-placed to claim a spot on the podium going into the final day.

“We found a good rhythm, a combination of attack and control. Given our lead, it is now important not to take any unnecessary risks,” said the 26-year-old Tidemand. The speed on Saturday’s icy, snow-covered routes was breath-taking. At times, it was actually too quick: the high average speed at “Knon 1” stage led the world motorsport governing body, the FIA, to recommend that the stage be cancelled on the second loop.

As such, the penultimate day of the Rally Sweden consisted of just six stages, featuring around 93 kilometres against the clock. As on the previous day, Pontus Tidemand set the pace in his ŠKODA FABIA R5. On the opening stage of the day, the 26-year-old pulled a further 7.8 seconds clear of fellow ŠKODA driver Ole Christian Veiby, who once again impressed in Sweden. Tidemand then took his foot off the gas a little, but was still the fastest man in WRC 2 on all but one stage. The Swede was also the man to beat in his class in front of thousands of fans on Vargåsen, which included the infamous “Colin’s Crest”. Tidemand won the iconic stage on both loops: “A fantastic stage with massive crowds – that was the highlight so far.”

Tidemand now goes into the final day of his home rally, at which Tidemand finished runner-up and only narrowly missed out on victory last year, with an advantage of over one minute over Finland’s Teemu Suninen. “We must keep our cool now and finish the job,” said Tidemand. Just three stages and 58.81 kilometres stand between him and the much-desired home win.

Rally Sweden standings (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:11:36.0 hrs
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); Ford Fiesta R5; + 1:16.2 min
3. Veiby/Skjærmoen (N/N); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1:21.5 min
4. Camilli/Veillas (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 2:50.5 min
5. Greensmith/Parry (GB/GB); Ford Fiesta R5; + 4:37.2 min

Number of the day: 128.1
ŠKODA driver Pontus Tidemand’s average speed on the “Knon 1” special stage was an incredible 128.1 kilometres per hour – on snow and ice, mark you! The Swede completed the stage, which at 31.60 kilometres is the longest at his home rally, in a stage-winning time of just 14:48.1 minutes. The scheduled second run of this stage was cancelled for safety reasons, as the average speed was judged to be simply too high.

The 2017 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/ Date
Rally Monte Carlo; 19.01.–22.01.2017
Rally Sweden; 09.02.–12.02.2017
Rally Mexico; 09.03.–12.03.2017
Rally France; 06.04.–09.04.2017
Rally Argentina; 27.04.–30.04.2017
Rally Portugal; 18.05.–21.05.2017
Rally Italy; 08.06.–11.06.2017
Rally Poland; 29.06.–02.07.2017
Rally Finland; 27.07.–30.07.2017
Rally Germany; 17.08.–20.08.2017
Rally Spain; 05.10.–08.10.2017
Rally Great Britain; 26.10.–29.10.2017
Rally Australia; 16.11.–19.11.2017

Additional info