Jari Huttunen kept his cool throughout a thrilling battle to clinch victory in WRC 3 at Rally Sweden.
Huttunen, driving a Hyundai i20, had been locked in a ding-dong battle with fellow compatriot Emil Lindholm. Lindholm had initially led the rally in his Skoda Fabia before Huttunen overhauled him on the Nyckelvattnet speed test.
Second fastest time on Sunday’s Likenäs stage was enough for the Finn to claim victory by 5.0sec.
”It feels amazing. I have to thank my team and everybody for doing a really good job this weekend,” said a delighted Huttunen.
Oliver Solberg was on course to end his home event with third place, but it wasn’t to be. Disaster struck on the very last stage when he picked up a rear-left puncture on his Fabia, losing almost two minutes and dropping the 18-year-old to fifth.
Owing to Solberg’s misfortune, Johan Kristoffersson inherited a place on the final step on the podium. The Volkswagen Polo pilot ended the rally 26.3sec adrift from Lindholm, with fourth-placed Eerik Pietarinen 40.9sec further back in a Fabia.
Czech driver Filip Mares, also driving a Fabia, delivered a consistent performance to round out the top-six. He trailed Pietarinen by over three-minutes at the end of the rally.
Credit: Courtesy of wrc.com – the official website of the FIA World Rally Championship