Rally Sweden WRC Pace Report

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Ott Tanak Rally Sweden 2019

Rally Sweden WRC Recap

Ott Tanak won Rally Sweden with a flawless display of top level driving and a comfortable overall lead of 53.7 seconds. Esapekka Lappi combined a slice of luck with good overall pace and great pace management. This paid off as he won the battle for second place over a charging third placed Thierry Neuville. Andreas Mikkelsen, seemingly unconcerned with position, fared best of the strong and stable drivers, followed by Evans, Meeke and Loeb.

Sebastien Ogier ended his chances of a likely podium on SS6 with a rare mistake and excursion into a snow bank. Friday night leader Teemu Suninen enjoyed the best drive of his career until he capitulated with two mistakes on Saturday. Jari-Matti Latvala could have been leader by Friday night but spent far too long in the snow. Tumbling down the leader board he opted to retire and restart.

Also check out the Rally Sweden Pace Reports for WRC2Pro and JWRC.

Rally Sweden Targets

  • Stages: 19
  • Total Distance: 316.8km
  • +1s/km = +5m 16.8s overall
  • +1s/km = +16.7s on the average stage

Unbeatable Ott

Ott Tanak

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 2:47:30.0
  • Expected Classification (xC): 1st
  • Average Pace: +0.2s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.09%
  • Stage Wins: 6/19
  • Best Pace: SS19 Torsby 2 Power Stage
  • Notable Time Loss: Nil

Ott Tanak was flawless throughout Rally Sweden. He was always at total ease in the snow, unlike the risky driving he showed in Rallye Monte Carlo. Even when the conditions worsened he was still in fine form. Not just comfortable or fast, but comfortably fast, his Toyota Yaris WRC was also flawless and gave no issues.

By Midday on Friday Ott had lost just 3 seconds to the fastest stage times. However the afternoon wasn’t as pleasing as the snow disappeared for the second loop of stages. Running third on what were now gravel roads meant Ott couldn’t quite match the times of those further back. This wasn’t disastrous for Ott as he ended the day in third position.

Saturday was made comfier once Tanak’s closest rival Teemu Suninen descended the leader board. With three stage wins Ott lost around 20 seconds all day to various pacesetters but his lead grew to 54.5 seconds.

Ott ‘cruised’ through Sunday’s morning stages of Likenas, down 0.5 then 0.2s/km on average. Fearing nothing on the Power Stage, he returned to top form to deliver a stage win of over 0.4s/km over next placed Neuville.

Heatmap of pace for WRC drivers at Rally Sweden.
Rally Sweden Pace Heatmap (WRC) with scaled stage lengths. Click to expand.

The Battle for Second

Esapekka Lappi

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 2:48:23.7 (+53.7)
  • xC: 4th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.42%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19 (1 in WRC class)
  • Best Pace: Class win of SS8 by 0.3s/km
  • Notable Time Loss: Spin on SS5
  • Review: EP had a consistently strong pace that bettered over the weekend with a great defence of position to Neuville.

Thierry Neuville

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 2:48:26.7 (+56.7)
  • xC: 2nd
  • Average Rally Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.38%
  • Stage Wins: 2/19
  • Best Pace: Rising from 7th to 4th over Saturday with an average +0.2s/km. Also spinning on SS14 yet still only losing 0.1s/km.
  • Notable Time Loss: Many brushes with the snow including a pretty pirouette. A spin on a narrow section of SS5 cost dearly.
  • Review: An expected strong drive from Thierry despite unfavourable road position, particularly on the repeat loops of stages where conditions were atrocious.
Rally Sweden WRC gPace Chart.
Rally Sweden WRC gPace Chart.

Best of The Point Scorers

Andreas Mikkelsen

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 2:48:35.4 (+1:05.4)
  • xC: 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.27%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: SS4 & SS18 (+0.1s/km)
  • Notable Time Loss: None
  • Review: Best of the risk free drivers showing consistently good pace all rally. Ensuring finish after two successive DNF’s amidst heavy criticism about performance.

Elfyn Evans

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time 2:48:38.2 (+1:08.2)
  • xC: 8th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.24%
  • Stage Wins: 3/19
  • Best Pace: Stage wins on SS5, SS7, SS18. Strong to rise from 10th after SS3 to 4th by end of Friday, vital for good road order over the weekend.
  • Notable Time Loss: Spin on SS2
  • Review: Strong and determined display. An early error was quickly atoned for with stage wins, arguably aided by road position on heavy conditions.

Meeke v Loeb

Kris Meeke

  • Overall Classification: 6th
  • Time: 2:49:08.8 (+1:38.8)
  • xC: 9th
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.85%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: SS18 -0.1s/km
  • Notable Time Loss: Though an engine stall at the start of SS7 cost only a few seconds, Kris lost 2 positions. Another position lost on SS8 did not help weekend road position.
  • Review: Confidence not high due to being uncomfortable in the car combined with tough conditions for much of the rally, though largely error free.

Sebastien Loeb

  • Overall Classification: 7th
  • Time: 2:49:19.7 (+1:49.7)
  • xC: 10th
  • Average Pace: +0.6s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.72%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: Friday afternoon to rejoin a group of drivers else dropping into no-man’s land.
  • Notable Time Loss: None.
  • Review: Never comfortable or happy. First the car was undriveable, followed by poor pace notes, then the tyres needed saving. Questionable if he and the Hyundai i20 will bond this season.

Local Knowledge

Pontus Tidemand

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 2:51:07.7 (+3:37.7)
  • xC: 11th
  • Average Pace: +0.9s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 96.36%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: SS5, 4th overall, +0.4s/km
  • Notable Time Loss: Throttle issue Friday morning loop.
  • Review: Consistent finishes for a second ever trip out in a WRC car though many were expecting the home advantage to be more visible in the results.
Rally Sweden High, Low and Overall Classifications chart
Rally Sweden Highest, Lowest and Overall Classifications

Those Who Parked It In The Snow

Jari-Matti Latvala

  • Overall Classification: 21st
  • Time: 3:02:14.4 (+14:44.4)
  • xC: 6th
  • Average Pace: +1.2s/km (Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 88.01%
  • Stage Wins: 2/19
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road SS8)
  • Best Pace: Very strong all day Friday at +0.2s/km until disaster. Similar Sunday pace.
  • Notable Time Loss: Snow bank excursion on SS8 forced tactical retirement. A repeat on SS14 due to pushing too hard.
  • Review: If you forgive the second off as he was ‘pushing with nothing to lose’, then the first cost Jari a possible win and near-certain podium. His pace outside these stages matches Tanak’s but included the risk that delivered the offs.

Teemu Suninen

  • Overall Classification: 23rd
  • Time: 3:03:54.5 (+16:24.5)
  • xC: 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.7s/km (Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 86.75%
  • Stage Wins: 2/19
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road SS14)
  • Best Pace: Lightening fast Friday at +0.2s/km to a surprise overnight lead.
  • Notable Time Loss: Snow bank on SS10 threw away the lead. Roll into a tree on SS14 threw away the points.
  • Review: Teemu had the pace to win this rally but was the pace key to the errors? He has certainly raised expectations for the rest of the season whilst also gaining a few fans.

Sebastien Ogier

  • Overall Classification: 29th
  • Time: 3:11:49.0 (+24:19.0)
  • xC: 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km (Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 80.81%
  • Stage Wins: 3/19
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road SS6)
  • Penalties: 1 (2m30s, late for SS12)
  • Best Pace: Stage wins SS10,11 and 14.
  • Notable Time Loss: Snow bank excursion on SS6. No spectators to help dig him out forced retirement.
  • Review: A rare mistake from the champ shows he is human. Stage classifications suggest he could have made the top 3, though his average pace of the stages he did complete suggest Meeke territory.
WRC Pace heatchart for Rally Sweden.
Rally Sweden Pace Heatmap (WRC) showing values

The Gentlemen

Janne Tuohino

  • Overall Classification: 10th
  • Time: 2:55:51.4 (+8:21.4)
  • xC: 18th
  • Average Pace: +1.8s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 92.81%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: Largely consistent throughout
  • Notable Time Loss: None
  • Review: Clearly benefiting from the misfortunes of others, but that is the nature of rallying. Janne will be pleased with 10th overall.

Lorenzo Bertelli

  • Overall Classification: 20th
  • Time: 3:00:55.3 (+13:25.3)
  • xC: 28th
  • Average Pace: +2.7s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 89.00%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Penalties: 1 (10s, late for SS7)
  • Best Pace: SS14 (+1.4s/km)
  • Notable Time Loss: Snow bank trips on SS3,4 and 6
  • Review: Out to enjoy himself after some time out of world rally, he may feel he could have placed higher but his expected classification (xC) says otherwise.

Marcus Gronholm

  • Overall Classification: 38th
  • Time: 3:29:57.1 (+42:27.1)
  • xC: 16th
  • Average Pace: +1.8s/km (Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 67.17%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road)
  • Penalties: 1 (1m50s, late out of service)
  • Best Pace: Saturday morning loop (+1.0s/km)
  • Notable Time Loss: Snow bank trips on SS3,4 and 6
  • Review: Not the best birthday treat due to issues with car and a Friday-ruining off. Not the competitive times many were expecting but with a little bit more practice could be a world champion one day :).

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