Volkswagen seems to be unstoppable. I had half on eye on the Polo WRC's progress from the start of its development, but never expected it to be able to win at only its second rally. And what a race Sweden was! With his eighth victory, Sébastien Ogier joins multiple world champion Sébastien Loeb as only the second winner of the race to come from outside of Sweden, Norway and Finland since 1950. Loeb was the first to break the Nordic countries' stranglehold in 2004.
In the land of ice and snow, the teams use Michelin's "Sweden studs" as well as special Castrol oils for the engine, gearbox and differentials in order to put all 315 horses of the Polo WRC to the ground. Ogier and Julien Ingrassia managed to score eleven best times from 22 special stages, and finished the race 41.8 seconds in front of fellow Frenchman Loeb. That's impressive, even if we consider that Loeb retired after securing his ninenth World Champion title in the last season, meaning he probably takes it easier this year. He also had a minor crash on the first day.
The Vokswagen Team's other car finished fourth with Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, while after this win, Ogier is leading the World Rally Championship three points ahead of Loeb. The next round is in Mexico, where "Sweden studs" won't be needed.
Photo credit: Vokswagen AG