Evans takes early Sweden lead

Toyota driver ahead of Tänak and Rovanperä after opener

Elfyn Evans

Elfyn Evans took an early Rally Sweden lead for Toyota on the opening Hof-Finnskog stage.

The long-time Monte Carlo leader heads reigning World Rally champion Ott Tänak’s Hyundai by 1.1s.

After his storming performance on Thursday’s shakedown stage, Toyota’s teenage star Kalle Rovanperä impressed again by holding an early third place – ahead of illustrious team-mate Sébastien Ogier.

Monte Carlo winner Thierry Neuville was 4.4s off Evans’ pace in fifth place in the second Hyundai, saying he “struggled to find the confidence” as the grip levels changed and a bit of understeer.

The M-Sport Fords of Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen came through sixth and seventh, with Hyundai returnee Craig Breen admitting he was still shaking a little rust off in eighth.

Jari-Matti Latvala was in a similar position, setting the ninth fastest time with a run that faded in the closing miles. The Toyota privateer admitted he did not judge the changing surface well enough in the final part of the stage.


1 Evans (Toyota)
2 Tänak (Hyundai) +1.1s
3 Rovanperä (Toyota) +2.0s
4 Ogier (Toyota) +2.9s
5 Neuville (Hyundai) +4.4s
6 Lappi (M-Sport Ford) +6.3s
7 Suninen (M-Sport Ford) +8.2s
8 Breen (Hyundai) +9.4s
9 Latvala (Latvala Toyota) +11.9s
10 Katsuta (Toyota) +13.1s