WRC Rally Sweden 2018 turned out well for Hyundai motorsport with Thierry Neuville taking a dominant win, after a spectacular performance. Hot on his tail, another surprise result in Sweden's snow-lined stages, was Craig Breen in his Citroen C3 WRC. The best result of his career so far. Both Breen and Neuville have made a tremendous comeback from their performance at Sweden in 2017. Where Neuville crashed out of the lead, and Breen was left struggling with a Citroen C3 WRC that wasn’t accustomed to the snow.
This time, Neuville played it smart, jumping into the lead from the first power stage on Friday, and holding onto it with some champion-level consistent pace. If not for a minor spin on Day 2’s opening loop, Neuville’s drive was near perfect. The spin allowed Breen to close the gap between the two, but, Neuville soon put some heat on in his WRC i20 2018 and re established the lead before the day ended. Neuville then kept things tidy to win Rally Sweden by 19.8 seconds on Craig Breen.
Taking the last space on the podium in third place was Andres Mikkelsen, who like his teammate spun on the same corner, and lost his second place to Breen. Finishing up the Hyundai battalion was Hayden Paddon who ended fifth after being beaten to the punch by Esapekka Lappi in his Toyota. On Friday, it looked like Lappi would lead the way in Sweden, but later that day a mistake that sent him off the road leaving him in a scramble to fight his way back. Aided by Paddon’s excursion into the snowbank, he finished in fourth place. Nipping at Hayden Paddon’s tail was the second Citroen C3 piloted by the maniacal Mads Ostberg. Who was struggling to get a consistent feel of his new rally car.
|1||Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||2h52m13.1s|
|2||Craig Breen, S.Martin||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||19.8s|
|3||Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||28.3s|
|4||Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||45.8s|
|5||Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||54.4s|
|6||Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||1m15.3s|
|7||Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||2m04.9s|
|8||Teemu Suninen, M.Markkula||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||2m52.2s|
|9||Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||3m44.4s|
|10||Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||5m27.4s|