Mikko Hirvonen took his 12th WRC win (his first in Sweden), beating favorite Sebastian Loeb and fellow Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala. Hirvonen takes a seven point lead in the championship into round two in Mexico.
Surface conditions in Sweden posed a challenge to drivers and teams alike. Ice on the course required the use of studded tires to be competitive; however, the exposed gravel in sections tore the studs from the tires, creating handling and tire wear problems.
Former F1 star Kimi Raikkonen made his WRC debut, but lost 30 minutes when his car buried itself in a snowbank on day one.
Next month’s event in Mexico marks the debut of American Ken Block and the Monster Energy Ford Focus. Block, who also competes in the Rally America series, is the first American to campaign in the WRC.