Neuville extends lead ahead of final day of Sweden Rally

New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon is warming to his task at the wintry Rally Sweden.

The Cockermouth team's top driver, Sebastien Ogier, was in strong contention for the overall victory throughout the rally.

Tanak was the pacesetter on a shortened Saturday, and reduced Latvala's lead in what had been the fight for second place.

But as the day went on the New Zealander began to find some rhythum and worked his way to sixth place - 1:17.8s behind Neuville but well clear of seventh place Dani Sordo. "We expected there to be some challenges this morning. Mexico is next up and I'm really motivated for the championship".

"The afternoon was certainly a big step in the right direction".

Meeke's team mate Craig Breen, making his debut in an 2017 spec rally vehicle, had another strong showing as he came home in fifth. "Our season starts tomorrow". "I'll get in the auto with a lot more confidence with a setup that's working and try to get a bit of momentum on our way".

He was fastest on all three of the morning stages, and had cut Latvala's advantage from 21.6s to 3.8s by the end of Saturday. Ott Tanak (Ford) +49.7s 4.

Citroen's Meeke thanked spectators for helping him after he hit a snow bank.

After sweeping stages as first auto on the road on Friday, Ogier also joined the battle, and started Sunday 16.6s behind Latvala.

Paddon struggled with his Hyundai on Friday morning, but a change at service unlocked the Kiwi's pace.

  • Julie Sanders