Sweden : Red Bull Skoda Team - Leg 1
Severely cold weather down to 17 degrees centigrade below zero, icy sections and glorious stages completely covered in snow enthralled tens of thousands of fans on the very first day of the Swedish Rally near Hagfors.
Both Skoda Fabia
WRCs were in perfect shape despite the difficult conditions, there were no problems to speak of, correspondingly the day's summary turns out positive.
DTM star Mattias Ekstrom started his home event with a very consistent performance and concluded the day to the delight of his compatriots as second-best Swede overall: "Everything went almost perfectly for me. Just after the start of the rally I had some troubles communicating with my co-pilot and then I did not choose the right tyres for SS4. The Fabia worked flawlessly, I really enjoyed driving the car as I wanted to without having to take any risk. I expect a similar performance on Saturday."
Despite his mishap on SS3 which had cost him two minutes, Andreas Aigner knew how to appeal. He posted fast times consistently and was able to gain a lot of experience on his first competitive day in Sweden: "This is an absolutely wicked rally! It is loads of fun to drive here, especially on the ice and snow, sometimes mixed with a bit of gravel. I will try again tomorrow to keep the pace without making too many mistakes, and to improve on my position along the way."
The mechanics under the watchful eyes of Dietmar Metrich had little to do today: "We didn't have to replace a single part, both Fabia WRCs have been working flawlessly. I am hoping for a similar performance tomorrow."
The team managers Armin Schwarz and Raimund Baumschlager are optimistic as well after the first day in Sweden: "What pleases us the most is the potential of the Fabia WRC. The car is competitive enough to fight for top positions. The performance Mattias has shown is really impressive, but Andreas Aigner also has done a good job so far."
Press release Red Bull Skoda Team