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Young, gifted and Swedish

Young, gifted and Swedish
Rallying together for more success: Driver Pontus Tidemand (left) and co-driver Jonas Andersson (Photo: ŠKODA AUTO a.s.)

Rising young rally star Pontus Tidemand is joined by a new co-driver for 2016.

Pontus Tidemand is something of a prodigy. He launched his racing career when he was only 14 years old – at the Swedish crosskart championship, which he won at the first attempt.

At a tidy 25 years of age – and holding the record as the youngest person ever to win the Swedish Rally Championship – he joined co-driver and fellow Swede Emil Axelsson in ŠKODA’s Motorsport factory team.

Driving the new Fabia R5, the two began their official partnership in the Asia-Pacific championship last year, and competed in selected rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship. Following their success together, Axelsson has now moved on. Tidemand immediately acknowledged his former co-driver’s success, but is looking forward to working with his new co-driver Jonas Andersson.

“Emil and I had a terrific year,” said Tidemand, “and his knowledge has been an important factor in our success, so obviously it is sad that it ends here. At the same time I’m very happy that Jonas with his huge experience is stepping in and I’m really looking forward to us working together. I wish Emil all the best in the future.”

Jonas Andersson is no johnny-come-lately in the rally world. The 39-year-old has been racing since 2002 as a co-driver and has had great success in WRC in the past few years. “It was a perfect opportunity for me when the position with Pontus became available,” said Andersson. “Now I can’t wait to get into the car and start working with Pontus. We will definitely aim for the top and I think we are strong candidates for the overall WRC 2 in 2016. This will be fun.”