In its second participation in the World Rally Championship series, the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 scored its first victory. The fastest crew in the WRC2 category at the end of Rally Sweden was the Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson duo. Totally six Škoda cars finished in the top ten of this category, and their crews won in total 15 of the 18 special stages.
This year's Swedish Rally offered a very interesting spectacle, especially thanks to the challenging and fast tracks around Umeå. The weather was not as cold as usual at this time of year and the frequent temperature fluctuations resulted in relatively hard snow barriers around the stages, which affected a significant number of bumpers. On some parts, ruts were quickly forming in the icy ground, while elsewhere there was frozen loose snow too. The fast stages, with their long tens of seconds in the limiter placed high demands not only on the competing cars, but also on the Pirelli studded tyres, whose grip went surprisingly quickly.
This year's Swedish pitfalls were especially hard on Emil Lindholm. After a slight mistake in stage 2, when he leaned onto a snow barrier, the snow got into the car's intake and the Lindholm/Hämäläinen crew had to stop and clean the filter. The Finns were unable to make up for the loss of almost two minutes. The Finnish crew then fought their way back through the standings with great determination, eventually finishing seventh in the WRC2 category. Last year's winning season also started with a mistake for Lindholm in Sweden, and eventually led the likeable Finnish crew cooperating with the Toksport WRT team to the championship title.
Solberg and Edmondson set the fastest times in the WRC2 category on 8 of the 18 special stages throughout the event, convincingly protecting their lead throughout. "It's fantastic, it feels great! It's been an amazing weekend for both of us, we've driven really consistently and without any mistakes," beamed Solberg at the finish. Another great achievement in this category was the overall third place of the young Finnish crew Sami Pajari/Enni Mälkönen. During stage 10, Pajari lost control of the car in the ruts at high speed and was forced to make up for 40 seconds of time loss in the remainder of the event, but he secured the final third place with the four fastest times in the category. "We have had several chances for podium finishes in the past. We finally made it, and the feeling is really nice," said a happy Pajari at the finish line.
The WRC Masters Cup category, reserved for drivers over 50, was also won by the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 crew of Michał Sołowow and his co-driver Maciej Baran from the Orsák Rally Sport team.