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ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand extended his lead at the Rally Sweden. Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year 2016 successfully mastered the infamous Colin’s Crest jump twice on Saturday and was once again the dominant man in the WRC2 category with five stage wins on day three of his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Tidemand and his co-driver Jonas Andersson take a lead of 1:16.2 minutes into the Sunday’s final three special stages. Ole Christian Veiby is third overall in his private ŠKODA FABIA R5 and is well-placed to claim a podium result going into the final day.

Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Sweden 2017

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 will be cancelled on the second loop.

As such, the penultimate day of the Rally Sweden consisted of just six stages, featuring around 93 kilometres of competitive distance. 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 Swede 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 WRC2 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.

Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Sweden 2017

Tidemand now goes into the final day of his home rally, at which he finished runner-up and only narrowly missed out on victory last year, with an advantage of over one minute over Finland’s Teemu Suninen.

 

Just three stages and 58.81 kilometres stand between him and the much-desired home win.

Rally Sweden 2017 - WRC2 standings after the Day 3:
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.