Sebastien Ogier maintained his impressive start to the World Rally Championship season by coming out on top in a thrilling three-car battle to win the Rally of Sweden on Sunday.
Double world champion Ogier, who won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, trailed Belgium’s Thierry Neuville and fellow Volkswagen Polo R driver Andreas Mikkelsen going into Sunday’s action but the Frenchman drove superbly to take the victory.
Hyundai i20 driver Neuville suffered with intercom problems on the day’s first special stage and lost time when he drove into a snowbank. He ended up 6.4 seconds behind Ogier, with Norway’s Mikkelsen coming third.
Mikkelsen looked to be heading for victory in the final stage before clipping a bank and losing nearly 43 seconds.
Frenchman Ogier, who is hunting a third consecutive global crown, held his nerve to take the victory and claim a 23-point lead over both Neuville and Mikkelsen in the standings. The third race of the season is the Rally of Mexico from March 5-8.