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SSS1:Swedes lead first night

Home favourite P-G Andersson leads Rally Sweden, after being fastest on Thursday night’s opening Super Special in Karlstad. Andersson and codriver Emil Axelsson in a Ford Fiesta WRC beat Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3 WRC in a duel at the snowy Farjestad track to take the first stage win in the exciting new generation World Rally Car.

Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala, runner-up in the 2010 World Championship won another heat and was second fastest, while Solberg’s time secured him third position. Last year’s rally winner Mikko Hirvonen beat reigning World Champion Sébastien Loeb in another heat, earning them fourth an fifth fastest respectively.

In the supporting Production Car World Championship category, PWRC Norwegian pairing Anders Grondal/Veronica Engan are overnight leaders. They scored fastest time ahead of fellow Subaru Impreza driver Patrik Flodin, Sweden who won the category in last year’s rally and finished second in the championship.

Thursday’s snowing is expected to continue through Friday morning. This is likely to disfavour the first runners – last years Championship medalists Sébastien Loeb, Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg – during the morning loop of the day’s three forest stages, one of which runs partly in Norway.

All the results here »