2011 WRC Sweden Feb 10-13 talk/results spoiler**
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This is a discussion on 2011 WRC Sweden Feb 10-13 talk/results spoiler** within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Rnd 1 of the 2011 WRC Official Website: rallysweden The waiting is over. Four months since Sebastien Loeb marked the ...

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    Talking 2011 WRC Sweden Feb 10-13 talk/results spoiler**

    Rnd 1 of the 2011 WRC



    Official Website: rallysweden

    The waiting is over. Four months since Sebastien Loeb marked the end of the old World Rally Car era with victory on Wales Rally GB, the World Rally Championship is back with new technical regulations, new cars, new teams and a host of exciting new driver line-ups.

    It all starts in the city of Karlstad, which once again has the honour of hosting the only true winter rally on the WRC calendar from 10-13 February. And, for the second year running, Sweden forms the opening round of what is set to be another thrilling WRC season.

    Karlstad marks the point where Sweden’s longest river, Klaralven, runs into the country’s largest lake, Vanern. It is also said to be Sweden’s sunniest city. But while Karlstad will host the ceremonial start and finish plus two superspecial stages at the city’s trotting track, the battle for glory will be fought out in the snow-coated forests of Varmland and Dalarna to the north, with the central service located at Hagfors Airport, some 85 kilometres from Karlstad.

    Sweden’s WRC counter requires a special blend of speed and precision as drivers thread their cars between snow banks and trees. All cars are equipped with special studded tyres that tear through the surface snow to bite into the thick layer of ice beneath to provide grip.

    Despite the fact the stage surface is too slippery to walk on, the cars can achieve speeds of up to 200kph, making it a must-see event for all rally fans. However, with ambient temperatures hovering around minus 20 degrees centigrade for much of the rally, it takes a special breed of spectator to brave the extreme conditions.

    read more: wrc.com/news=14074

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    I thought this thread would never get here. Can't wait!
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    finally! rally season! can't wait

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    PWRC preview:Rally Sweden

    The Production Car World Rally Championship is set for another bumper season in 2011 with an entry list brimming in quality and quantity.

    Drivers must nominate six events from a list of seven on which to score points and 14 have selected Rally Sweden, which is based in Karlstad from 10-13 February, as their first scoring event of the year in the class for two-litre, turbocharged, four-wheel-drive production cars.

    Patrik Flodin begins the season among the favourites having finished a close second to Armindo Araujo in the 2010 title race. With the Portuguese looking to progress his career by stepping up to a World Rally Car, Flodin is one driver who will be capable of capitalising on Araujo’s absence starting on his home round in Sweden.

    Flodin won the PWRC division on this event last season and will be hoping to make the most of the continuity factor provided by a second term with the Russian Uspenskiy Rally Tecnica squad in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

    After finishing third in the final PWRC standings last season New Zealander Hayden Paddon also has title-winning credentials in his Symtech Racing Impreza. Paddon begins his campaign on the gravel roads of Portugal in late March having elected not to count Rally Sweden as one of his six scoring events, leaving Flodin with added incentive to achieve a maximum score in Scandinavia.

    Norwegian Anders Grondal starts Rally Sweden on the back of winning the opening two rounds of his national championship recently and is highly adept at competing on snow and ice. He finished second in the PWRC section of the event in 2010 and will be out to go one better this year. His co-driver, Veronica Engan, is the girlfriend of Fiesta RS WRC driver Mads Ostberg.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/pwrc=14083


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    Henning Solberg posted the quickest time in shakedown for the opening round of the 2011 World Rally Championship season in Sweden.

    The M-Sport Stobart driver set a time of 2min 02.5secs at the wheel of his new Fiesta RS WRC to edge out factory Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen to top spot, with Petter Solberg the quickest of the Citroen drivers in third with his privately-entered DS3 WRC.

    Defending champion Sebastien Loeb was fourth ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala and PG Andersson, with Mads Ostberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastien Ogier and the S2000 Skoda of Eyvind Brynildsen rounding out the top ten.

    The opening round of the year, which is the first event for the latest generation of WRC machinery, gets underway this evening with a run through the Karlstad Super Special stage before the rally proper begins on Friday.

    Rally Sweden Shakedown times – Top Ten:

    1. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2min 02.5secs
    2. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC 2min 02.6secs
    3. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC 2min 02.7secs
    4. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2min 02.8secs
    5. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC 2min 03.2secs
    6. PG Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2min 03.4secs
    7. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2min 03.9secs
    8. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC 2min 04.5secs
    9. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2min 05.3secs
    10. Eyvind Brynildsen Skoda Fabia S2000 2min 08.6secs

    Click: crash.net/wrc/sweden_shakedown


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    Question: where online can I watch more than just a couple minute highlights of the WRC? Do they have some sort of pay site where I can get access to more content?

    My wife and I used to watch the watered down version of WRC coverage on HD Theater but I've since cancelled my cable (I HATE Comcast with a passion!). We're still looking for somewhere to get our rally fix.

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    Swedish rally star Patrik Sandell will have the honour of starting first on his country's world championship qualifier later this evening.

    Sandell and co-driver Staffan Parmander will take the start at 20:00hrs local time in their Skoda Fabia Super 2000.

    Countrymen Patrik Flodin and Goran Bergsten, in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi, will follow them over the start one minute later.

    The Swedes will then go head-to-head on the 1.9-kilometre Super Special Stage Karlstad a few moments later in front of a capacity crowd at the city’s trotting track, which features a specially-constructed jump and crossover to enable to drivers to compete together at the same time.

    “It’s very special and a real honour to be the first car to start,” said Sandell. “Maybe it’s not so good for setting the best time because I will cleaning the line but my Super 2000 rivals are just behind me so I don’t think it will be too bad.”

    The honour of being the first driver in a new-generation World Rally Car to start the event falls to Briton Matthew Wilson in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He will get his event underway at 20:27hrs local time before doing battle over the figure of eight course with fellow Fiesta driver Khalid Al Qassimi from Abu Dhabi.

    Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala go next with Ken Block up against Kimi Raikkonen. Henning Solberg, fastest in shakedown this morning, is paired with M-Sport Stobart Ford team-mate Mads Ostberg, while Swedish hero PG Andersson competes against former world champion Petter Solberg. Sebastien Loeb will then take on Mikko Hirvonen at 20:46hrs, by which time the identity of the stage winner is likely to be known.

    Click: wrc.com/news/=14097

    -----
    World Rally Radio FTW period:

    wrc.com/fanzone/world-rally-radio/

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    The opening stage of the 2011 World Rally Championship season resembled a winter wonderland as a constant flurry of snow coated Karlstad’s floodlit trotting track.

    It made for tricky driving conditions as the crews battled through the loose-surface snow on the figure of eight course. Swedish privateer PG Andersson, who relied on donations from members of the public to secure the budget needed to take part, was fastest through the test in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    Andersson was 0.6s faster than factory Ford pilot Jari-Matti Latvala with Petter Solberg third in the lead Citroen DS3 WRC. “I didn’t take it too quickly and wasn’t sure if I was going to be fast enough but obviously it was,” said Andersson. “It was good and I hope it continues like this.”

    Works Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen was fourth quickest, despite reporting a gear change glitch. World champion Sebastien Loeb set the fifth fastest time in his Citroen and admitted afterwards that he stopped short of taking any major risks.

    Mads Ostberg completed the top six, 0.7s faster than Sebastien Ogier, one of the pre-season title favourites, who adopted a cautious approach through the stage. “The conditions were quite difficult from the recce because of the snow and there was no reason to make any mistakes on a stage like this,” said Ogier.

    Henning Solberg, who was fastest in Thursday morning’s shakedown, dropped more than 10 seconds when he clipped a hole on the inside of a corner and spun into a snow bank in his Ford Fiesta.

    Norwegian Anders Grondal tops the Production Car World Rally Championship standings overnight in his Subaru Impreza, despite a ragged run through the stage. He was one-tenth of a second faster than Swedish hero Patrik Flodin.

    Click: wrc.com/news/ss1=14098

    Sweden SS1 Overall:




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    SS2: Ostberg jumps into the lead while Andersson rolls

    Following Thursday night’s Superspecial, the opening round of the 2011 World Rally Championship resumed on Friday morning with the first of the ‘proper’ stages - Vargasen.

    After snow overnight, organisers sent a plough through the stage before the cars but with more snow falling as the crews arrived at the start control, driving conditions were extremely tricky. The temperature was minus four degrees Celsius.

    Defending champion Sebastien Loeb was first to tackle the stage in his Citroën DS3 WRC and struggled in the worst of the slippery conditions. “I didn’t make any mistakes. I know I’ll lose time today. Nothing I can do,” he shrugged.

    Sure enough, those behind benefited from a progressively cleaner racing line, with Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who was next through, 27 seconds quicker than Loeb. The Finn’s Fiesta RS WRC arrived at the stop control with part of its front light pod missing. “After the snow plough the road is a bit narrower in places than it was on the recce. We clipped a snow bank but it’s nothing serious,” he said.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss2




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    SS3: Ostberg extends lead in Sweden



    Mads Ostberg continues to lead Rally Sweden in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The Norwegian, who set the pace through Friday’s first test, was again fastest on stage three. As a result he has extended his overall advantage over Mikko Hirvonen to 9.1s.

    Hirvonen, in the first of the factory Fiestas, was fourth fastest through the stage after losing crucial seconds when he hit a snow bank and briefly ended up on two wheels approximately eight kilometres into the run.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss3



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    SS4: Ostberg makes it three from three



    Mads Ostberg has continued his sensational start to the 2011 World Rally Championship by claiming his third fastest stage time in succession on Rally Sweden.

    Driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Norwegian Ostberg now leads works Ford pilot Mikko Hirvonen by 24.8s heading to the second service halt of the day in Hagfors.

    Several adjustments to the set-up of his Fiesta RS WRC paid dividends for Henning Solberg when he set the second fastest time through the test, which crossed over the border into his native Norway for a time.

    Despite piloting a Super 2000-specification, normally-aspirated Skoda Fabia, Eyvind Brynildsen was a sensational third fastest, edging out Hirvonen by 6.2s in the process.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss4



    ---------------------------

    Midday wrap: Ostberg holds shock lead in Sweden

    Mads Ostberg has completed the opening loop of three stages of Rally Sweden this morning with a shock lead of 24.8s over Mikko Hirvonen as the new World Rally Car era got off to a sensational start in Scandinavia.

    The flying Norwegian, co-driven by Swede Jonas Andersson, was fastest on all three stages in Sweden’s Varmland county at the wheel of his M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    “I’m so confident with the car and I’m trusting my co-driver and my pace notes completely,” said the 23-year-old. “The car I’m driving is fantastic and I’m just enjoying it. I’m taking it steady with no risks and I’m very comfortable with the speed I am doing.”

    But while Ostberg shone, Sebastien Loeb’s world title defence got off to a troubled start in his all-new Citroen DS3 WRC. The multiple title winner dropped considerable time clearing a line through loose surface snow that had fallen extensively in the last 24 hours.

    “It’s nearly undriveable, no grip at all and I can never touch the hard surface under it,” said Loeb, who languishes in ninth overall, 1m46.7s off the lead. “I know I will clean again this afternoon so we will see.”

    Hirvonen, who heads the factory Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, reported several moments in his Fiesta RS WRC. However, his margin over third-placed Petter Solberg is a comfortable 20.8s heading into service on the outskirts of the town of Hagfors.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/midday=14104


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    SS5: Andersson’s recovery nets joint stage win



    Mads Ostberg’s domination of Rally Sweden has continued on the second pass through the Vargasen stage. As a result, the Norwegian’s margin out front has now increased to 32.8s over works Ford pilot Mikko Hirvonen.

    After completing the stage, Ostberg insisted he hadn’t been taking any risks in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. “I tried to be careful not to do any mistakes and get too excited. I’m going at my own speed and enjoying it. I don’t know why everybody else is driving so slowly.”

    PG Andersson recorded an identical time to Ostberg through the stage in his Fiesta as he continues his recovery from his off and puncture this morning. They had set the same time on stage three, Likenas, before a subsequent timing adjustment handed Andersson the stage win by one second.

    Ostberg’s time was almost 40 seconds faster than he managed when the stage was first run in the morning, proof of how much the stage surface has been ‘cleaned’ by the crews clearing the loose surface snow.

    Read More: http://www.wrc.com/sweden/ss5



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    SS6: First DS3 stage win for Citroen ace Ogier

    Sebastien Ogier has given Citroen’s DS3 WRC its first stage win as Mads Ostberg continues to lead Rally Sweden in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    Ogier headed team-mate and defending world champion Sebastien Loeb with Swedish hero PG Andersson third quickest in his Fiesta.

    Event leader Ostberg was more than 13 seconds slower than Ogier but his M-Sport Stobart engineers insisted afterwards that the Norwegian had eased his pace slightly rather than encountering any problems. His gap to Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen in the overall standings is 29.5s.

    Citroen DS3 WRC pilot Kimi Raikkonen suffered a front-left puncture and dropped more than one minute.

    Click: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss6



    ---------------------------

    SS7: Latvala fastest on Friday’s final stage



    Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala has boosted his hopes of a podium finish on Rally Sweden by winning Friday’s final stage in his factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    Held in ambient temperatures of minus 13 degrees centigrade, there were reports of exposed gravel patches on the road, which helped those drivers running closer to the front of the field.

    However, world champion Sebastien Loeb was unable to take advantage of the worsening stage conditions after he completed the cross-border test with a front-left puncture, which he’d nursed for the closing 15 kilometres of the 19.26-kilometre test.

    It cost the Frenchman more than one minute and means he will start day two of the event 2m48.4s adrift of overnight leader Mads Ostberg. “I don’t know why it happened because I was in the middle of the road,” said Loeb. “I did not touch anything but I had to do 15 kilometres like that.”

    Read More: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss7




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    Grondal leads PWRC as Flodin fights back



    Today's battle in the Production Car World Rally Championship was a true tale of two halves, with Anders Grondal taking the morning and Patrik Flodin ruling the afternoon.

    It’s Grondal’s Subaru which holds the PWRC lead overnight, but the similar car of his rival Flodin is fast recovering from an unplanned trip into a snowbank on the first stage proper this morning.

    Grondal won the Karlstad superspecial on Thursday night and continued his stage-winning form through the morning, taking time out of the rest of the field on all four forest stages. At lunchtime service back in Hagfors, Grondal was relaxed.

    “It’s been an okay morning, no big problem,” he said. “We had a spin in the second stage, but nothing too much. I caught a car in that stage, which also cost me some time.”

    Read More: pwrc.com/pwrc/news/=14114

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    Ken Block marked his Rally Sweden debut by winning the Colin's Crest Award for the longest leap over the famous jump on the first Vargasen stage earlier today.

    The Monster World Rally Team ace leapt 37 metres in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Colin’s Crest is named in memory of the 1995 world rally champion Colin McRae, who lost his life in a helicopter accident in 2007 and was Block’s friend.

    “This means a lot to me because I sucked everywhere else so at least I was good there,” said the American, who managed a 39-metre leap on the rerun of the Vargasen stage. “It’s been a lot of fun and a huge challenge today but it has also been a bit frustrating because I can’t seem to drive quick enough through the corners without getting oversteer.”

    Click: wrc.com/news/block=14117




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    Saturday

    SS8: Loeb fastest on Saturday’s opening stage



    Sebastien Loeb has claimed his first stage win on Rally Sweden.

    The seven-time world champion, starting ninth on the road in his Citroen DS3 WRC following a troubled opening day, was 0.1s faster than fellow Citroen driver Petter Solberg through Saturday’s first test.

    “For sure we are trying but we have no chance to come back to the lead,” said Loeb. “I lost a little bit of time in the end but for sure we try to move up although I know it will be difficult to do better.”

    Behind, Mads Ostberg’s advantage at the top of the standings over Mikko Hirvonen has been trimmed to 6.7 seconds. The Norwegian said it had been “really tricky” running first on the road and cleaning a line for the drivers behind.

    .........Henning Solberg’s day two got off to a bad start. He was four minutes late leaving service due to a powersteering problem and then rolled out two kilometres into the stage.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss8



    -----------------------------

    Flodin excluded from Rally Sweden


    Patrik Flodin will take no further part on Rally Sweden after he was excluded from the event due to a technical infringement.

    Flodin completed the opening day of the rally in second place in the Production Car World Rally Championship division, 22.3s behind Anders Grondal after dropping time on stage two stuck on a snow bank.

    However, following an inspection of his Subaru Impreza WRX STi during day one, a report by the FIA Technical Delegate found that his car’s wheel rims did not conform to the technical regulations. As a result, Flodin was excluded, a decision that was accepted by the Swede’s Uspenskiy Rally Tecnica operation, who submitted a letter of apology.

    Read: wrc.com/pwrc/flodin-excluded=14124

    -----------------------------

    SS9: Solberg sets the pace in Sweden


    Citroen DS3 WRC driver Petter Solberg has gone fastest on Saturday’s second stage as the battle for the overall lead on Rally Sweden intensifies.

    Solberg, whose stage victory was his first on the event this year, thought he’d failed to post a competitive time when he completed the high-speed stage.

    “I didn’t get any proper rhythm at all and the [low] sun was very bad,” said the 2003 world champion, who is now 42.9s adrift of overall leader Mads Ostberg. “I knew I lost a lot of time because I could have gone much faster and they could be much faster behind me.”

    Mikko Hirvonen, driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, is now just 3.9s behind fellow Fiesta driver Ostberg, who has led the world championship season-opener since the first stage on Friday.

    Read: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss9



    -----------------------------

    SS10: Andersson fastest again in Sweden

    Mads Ostberg will take a slender lead of 0.4s into the final stage of Saturday morning’s opening loop.

    Ostberg started the day’s first test 14.8s up on Mikko Hirovnen at the wheel of a similar Ford Fiesta RS WRC but has lost ground on each stage this morning cleaning the loose surface road for the drivers running behind.

    After completing the Fredriksberg run, Ostberg said: “It was very difficult with a lot of snow on the road. I was pushing hard but I can’t do any more without pushing up to my limit and making mistakes. I’m still feeling confident but it’s not as much fun fighting with the drivers behind when you’re not as quick as them.”

    Petter Solberg completed the stage with the second fastest time but his efforts to close on the leaders suffered a blow when he picked up a 10-second time penalty for a late arrival at the time control prior to the stage start.

    “I lost time at the end when I did a mistake not so far from the finish,” said Solberg. “I lost a few seconds but it’s not bad.”

    Read: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss10



    -----------------------------

    SS11: Solberg fastest as Hirvonen takes the lead


    Mikko Hirvonen is the new leader of Rally Sweden after going faster than Mads Ostberg through stage 11.

    The factory Ford driver is now 0.3s ahead of his Norwegian rival heading to the midday service halt in Hagfors.

    “I’ve really pushed and the car is really, really good,” said Hirvonen after completing the 15.42-kilometre stage in his Fiesta RS WRC with the fifth quickest time.

    Petter Solberg, who was fastest through the stage in his Citroen DS3 WRC, said: “It was so much fun. I hit the back tyre towards the end of the stage but I did not loose too much time. Everything is possible now.”

    Sweden’s PG Andersson set the second fastest time to climb in to seventh in the overall standings.

    Read: wrc.com/news/sweden/ss11





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    Block thanks rally fans following off


    Ken Block has thanked the spectators who got him back on the road following his trip into a snow bank on the 11th stage of Rally Sweden.

    The Monster World Rally Team driver skated off on a downhill right-hander and got stuck.

    “I didn’t know how hard to push on downhill section into the ski resort,” said the American Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver. “I pushed too hard on a right and went right into a bank and got stuck. Luckily there was a tonne of spectators to help me so it’s thanks to them. It was a really good stage, really fun but it was just unfortunate that I messed up at the end. But I’d never driven in snow downhill into a hairpin before and pushed slightly too hard.”

    Block’s co-driver Alex Gelsomino added: “There were 30 people with shovels who got us back on. Without those boys we wouldn’t be here so thank you very much to those spectators.”

    Despite his delay, Block said he had been happy with his progress on the second day of the world championship qualifier. “I definitely feel a little better today but it’s still very tough. I’m struggling with find the balance of what grip is and what is oversteer. But I’m feeling it a little bit better.”

    Read: wrc.com/news/=14132

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