World champion Sebastien Ogier, in a VW Polo, continued his victorious start to the season when he won the Rally of Sweden in dramatic fashion on Sunday.

Thierry Neuville of Belgium, in a Hyundai i20, was second, having finished Saturday’s second day in control with Ogier back in third, nearly 10 seconds down.

But the Frenchman, already winner of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, clawed his way back to overhaul both Neuville and Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, also in a VW Polo, who finished third.

“I feel an immense pride because, on this rally the conditions were not always favourable, when you look at our opening position on the road for the first two days,” Ogier said. 

“From the first to the last special, we were going flat out and taking a lot of risks. This victory really leaves a special taste.” added the 31-year-old.

The victory, the 27th career win for the Frenchman, also strengthens Ogier’s position at the top of the world standings and gives him a 23-point lead over both Neuville and Mikkelsen with the third race of the season set for March 5-8 in Mexico. 

The race was decided over the final 15km special when Mikkelsen was leading by three seconds from Ogier and four over Neuville. 

However, the Norwegian dropped 40sec on a long winding bend in the middle of the stage and his hopes of a first rally victory went up in smoke. – Agence France-Presse

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