Sweden - Martin Prokop in TOP 3 after the first leg
The Rally Sweden 2010 started Thuersday evening with Super Special in Karlstad. On Friday started the true action on classic special stages north from Hagfors. Czech crew Martin Prokop - Jan Tomanek Czech Ford National
Team's Ford Fiesta S2000 had a good day and after the first leg hold third position in S-WRC overall standings.
The Friday's programme started under clear skies and in a temperature of -22 degrees Celsius. Czech Ford National Team hadn't completely smooth morning. At the end of almost 21 km long SS2 Likenas made Martin Prokop small mistake missing a corner, stalling his Fiesta and having to re-start the engine. The Czech crew lost few seconds and in overall S-WRC classification felt from fourth to fifth position. But they recovered really quickly. Through SS3 Viggen 1, (21.28 km) Czech Ford National Team's Fiesta S2000 moved up to third position although the car lost its rear window making it freezing inside the car. But reigning J-WRC champion overcame all difficulties to finish the morning loop in third position.
After the lunchtime service Prokop and Tomanek hold third position about half a minute behind Tuohino with second Fiesta S2000. They beat him through SS6 Viggen 2 (21.28 km) and 27-years-old driver cut the gap to 23.5 sec. But Tuohino was faster on the Friday's last forest stage and also on evening Super Special, so the difference between both Ford drivers increased to 25,6 sec.
Martin Prokop: "In the finish of the Friday's first stage, we did a mistake in one corner and the engine stalled. On the next stage we lost rear window, so it was cold like hell in the car. But the most important thing was, that we had moved up in the standings. I only wished the window had waited and blown out in Mexico when we could do with the breeze through our car in the heat."
"On the second loop we were running without problems, only in the end of SS5 there were lines going out of the road, so we also had to reverse. We lost few seconds and we will miss them in the battle with Tuohino. But I am really satisfied with my position. It is nice to be ahead drivers, like Sandell and Brynildsen. Tomorrow I would like to drive same way like today and we will see what happens."
On Saturday, the Swedish rally continues with further eight special stages, with a total length of 117.76 kilometers.