Wolfsburg (14 February 2016). Volkswagen has won the Rally Sweden with Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F). The three-time world champions had to produce a herculean effort to win the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), which had been shortened by about a third of its distance due to thawing ice and snow. The duo overcame the challenge of opening the route on roads covered with a layer of fresh snow, and thus having to sweep the road clear for the following cars, with one of the best displays of driving and navigating in recent years. This is win number three in Sweden for Ogier/Ingrassia – more than any other non-Nordic duo – and the 34th victory of their careers. Their team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) ended their home round, which featured stages in Sweden and Norway, in fourth place.
For Volkswagen, this was the 36th world championship win in 41 rallies with the Polo R WRC, and the eleventh in a row. As such, the Wolfsburg-based carmaker now has the chance to equal its own record of twelve back-to-back wins at the coming rally in Mexico (03.03.–06.03.). Victory at the Rally Sweden sees Ogier and Ingrassia stretch their lead over team-mates Mikkelsen and Jæger in the Driver and Co-Driver Championship.
“Winning in Sweden again is an incredible feeling. I just love this rally,” said Sébastien Ogier, winner of the 2016 Rally Sweden. “The conditions were far from ideal at the start of the week, which makes it all the more pleasing that we eventually had a really good Rally Sweden. Yesterday, we probably had to take more risks than ever before in our career, in order to win. It paid off, and I am just really happy.”
“To win the Rally Sweden four times is a fantastic effort from the entire team, but particularly from Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “With the very special conditions created by the weather, winning this rally took a will to attack and a flawless display in equal measures. I take my hat off to them.”
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Sweden – Final Result
01. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, 1h 59m 47.4s
02. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 29.8s
03. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 55.6s
04. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), Volkswagen, + 1m 10.8s
05. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 1m 50.7s