Rally Sweden 2024 – Sunday’s Report

The final day dawned then of the only snow and ice round of the world championship and could Esapekka and Janne hold on and take a very popular victory? Having been in this position at Rally Finland in 2017, they certainly knew what was needed to get their car over the line.

The other question was could Elfyn and Scott pass Adrien and Alex for second place? Of course, the points were reset to the Sunday points table and the M-Sport crew had secured second place points at the end of Saturday’s stages.

First up was SS16 Västervik 1 – 25.50 km and with the sun rising as the crews started, Kalle came through to win the stage from Elfyn and Takamoto. Adrien was sixth fastest in the stage and this meant that Elfyn passed the Frenchman for second place overall, now five seconds behind the Toyota crew. In WRC2 the top three fastest were Oliver, Roope and Sami. The young Swede continued to lead the category, now leading second placed Sami by a minute and eighteen seconds.


A couple of hours later the crews lined up for the second run of SS17 Västervik 2 – 25.50 km and this time it was Elfyn setting the pace from Thierry and Adrien. The Welshman jumped to the head of the standings for Sunday’s points as well, which was important to the points standings. In WRC2 Sami was fastest from Emil and Georg, whilst Oliver was still leading the category from Sami and Georg.

The final stage then, SS18 Umeå 2[Power Stage] – 10.08 km to decide the rally and Sunday’s points. Kalle set the early pace, going faster than Ott. His teammate was up on the splits as well and as Elfyn came through his Yaris bounced off one of the snowbanks and was ultimately one tenth of a second behind Kalle. Thierry was third fastest, Ott fourth and Takamoto fifth Meanwhile, EP came through finally and took his second victory. A brilliant Oliver set the fastest time in WRC2 from Georg and Roope, winning the category from Sami and Georg.

Let’s take a look at the final positions and hear from the drivers.

Final Overall Classification – Rally Sweden

1 E. Lappi J. Ferm Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid 2:33:04.9
2 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +29.6
3 A. Fourmaux A. Coria Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +47.9
4 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +1:46.3
5 O. Solberg E. Edmondson Škoda Fabia RS +5:04.2
6 S. Pajari E. Mälkönen Škoda Fabia Evo +6:23.9
7 G. Linnamäe J. Morgan Toyota GR Yaris +6:26.4
8 R. Korhonen A. Viinikka Toyota GR Yaris +6:48.1
9 M. Heikkilä K. Temonen Toyota GR Yaris +7:25.7
10 L. Bertelli S. Scattolin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +7:37.7

Hyundai Motorsport

Esapekka Lappi

“This feels so good right now. I have been hunting for this second victory for quite a while. I have to say a big thanks to Cyril for keeping me in the team after a difficult second half of my 2023 season; this moment is such a huge contrast to that. A massive thank you to the team, and to my family at home as well. We are all here to win and when you achieve it, it is the best feeling in the world. It has been a brilliant rally – it could have been more entertaining with fewer retirements, but the snowbanks can be your friend or your enemy. This week they were my friend; I paid them well.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 02, Rally Sweden
15-18 February 2024
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
Photographer: Dufour Fabien
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Thierry Neuville

“It is good to get another victory for the team. It’s important even if the performance wasn’t the greatest, especially on the first passes. However, two victories in three weeks is great motivation for us – we only had two wins in the 2023 season. We had to get through without any mistakes, and I think we might have been the only crew who didn’t have any. We had to accept the situation of Friday and we hoped for a better Saturday, where we managed to climb up the rankings. I’m happy to be at the end with decent points.”

Ott Tänak

“It has been tricky this weekend to have the pace we needed to be fastest. Obviously the mistake on Friday was frustrating and afterwards even more so. We felt better in the car on Friday when the roads were a bit more slippery but when the grip improved we just weren’t comfortable. From my side, definitely too many mistakes to start the season but we know we can be a lot better. We’re looking forward to having a clean rally in Kenya.”


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans

“It’s been a very up-and-down weekend. It wasn’t looking so good on Friday when we had a difficult job with our road position. But we managed to get through it which I think was important and gave us the opportunity to climb back up the leaderboard. When conditions were suiting us, our pace was quite OK and today we managed get some good points in the end. I think we probably should have won the Power Stage but made a couple of mistakes at the end. Still, from where we were earlier in the weekend and to come out of it with a good haul of points, I think we can be reasonably happy.”

Kalle Rovanperä

“Our only goal today was to help the team to get some points and I’m pleased that we were able to do that, and we also tried to help Elfyn where we could. Of course, I’m not satisfied with our weekend because we came here to win. Sorry and thanks to the team, because everyone did a really good job in our preparation, the car was fast enough to win, and we just couldn’t bring it all together. At least we could bring some points at the finish, and we will look forward to the next opportunity.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“Today I wanted to try and take some points, but it was not easy with our road position, and the very different lines that we had to follow in the Power Stage. It has been a difficult weekend for me. We had good performance and the car had very good potential, I was just not able to take the result from it. I need to think about how I can learn from this and do better next time so that I can take these chances when they come. The next event in Kenya has been good for me before, and I just need to reset and go with the right approach for that rally.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Adrien Fourmaux

“Really great to get my first podium at the top level in Sweden, my fourth rally on snow and the second of the 2024 season. We are now third in the championship, which is really positive and gives a lot of confidence and motivation to the whole team who have been working really hard. We can be really proud that we’re working all together, and it’s been working perfectly. We want now to just enjoy the podium, it’s been brilliant, and hopefully there are more podiums coming!”

Grégoire Munster

“We learned a lot here in Sweden and improved throughout the weekend. The gaps per kilometre were getting smaller and smaller, and that was the goal. Unfortunately, we made the small mistake on Saturday evening, but getting stuck in a snowbank is part of the experience of Rally Sweden! I think every driver who has done the rally has had that experience at some time. It was unfortunate as it makes extra work for the mechanics, but they fixed everything so it could go again on Sunday to give us even more experience, which I’m very glad to have had.”

William Creighton, 14th WRC2

“I’m happy to get all the kilometres in and to get to the finish. I’ve learned a lot and I just need to keep working on my side with the driving to try and get the most out of these cars. It’s not going to happen overnight, so I just need to keep working on it.

“It’s been great working with M-Sport, with the support of the Motorsport Ireland Academy, here at Rally Sweden and it has been so much fun with these conditions. The last two weekends have been very different and I’m really looking forward to the next event to try to keep on improving and see where we go.”


Oliver Solberg

“What can I say? It’s been a fantastic event. For my first (first points scoring) WRC2 round of the season, to win with Škoda like this is something very special. Škoda Motorsport is building a very special car with the Fabia RS Rally2 and it was a big pleasure to drive it here.

“The conditions were not easy – on Friday the snow was really deep in places and then on Saturday we were having some gravel coming through and all the time you had to be thinking about the tyres and trying to protect them.

“I think we showed the good pace on the first day and it was really cool to finish third overall, that was a pretty amazing feeling for me and to share that with the home fans and so many of my family… I was stoked for that.

“Saturday and Sunday was more about driving with the control. We had a lot to lose if we pushed too hard. We were sitting in fifth overall and with the good lead [in WRC2], so we didn’t want to take any big risks.

“Congratulations to the organisers for making a rally with such a special atmosphere and I want to say a big thanks to Elliott and the whole team for helping me to make this an amazing event.”


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round two

1 T. Neuville 48
2 E. Evans 45
3 A. Fourmaux 29
4 S. Ogier 24
5 O. Tänak 21
6 E. Lappi 19
7 T. Katsuta 12
8 K. Rovanperä 11
9 O. Solberg 8
10 A. Mikkelsen 6


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round two

1 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 87
2 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 87
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 47
2024 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 02, Rally Sweden
15 – 19 February 2024
Esapekka Lappi
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH


Well, what an amazing rally we were treated to and what a popular winner as well. Esapekka and Janne completely deserve this victory in Sweden and with it have matched the teams success from last season in terms of victories. Four stage wins for the Finns showed their pace at the front of the field.


For Elfyn and Scott, they recovered really well after their push to the front of the field for the last two stages on Friday. There was the 360 spin that they recovered from and took two stage wins along the way.

A first ever podium for M-Sport duo Adrien and Alex showed how far they had come since they last competed in this rally two years ago. During that rally they ran in fifth overall for quite a while before getting a penalty for being late to a time control and then having to retire with a mechanical issue. This year they set some top three times and added a stage win as well. It was a great drive from the French duo.

Finally let’s discuss the points awarded following this rally. The new points system meant that Elfyn and Scott who finished in second place actually took more points than Esapekka and Janne who of course won the rally. Now surely that can’t be right?! It’s a completely bizarre situation and I do wonder if the FIA will look again at this method of awarding points. We shall see.

Next rally on the calendar is the Safari Rally Kenya to be held from the 28th to 31st of March, much earlier this year and in its more traditional time of year near Easter. It will be spectacular!

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