Oliver Solberg and Hayden Paddon in an intense battle in Sweden

Driving a Skoda, Oliver Solberg leads the Royal Rally of Scandinavia after Friday morning's loop.
Oliver Solberg. Photo: @World / Red Bull Content Pool
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

However, Solberg hasn’t been able to dominate the race, as New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon is just 1.4 seconds behind. Solberg set the fastest times on the first two stages of the morning, but Paddon responded by setting the fastest times on the next two.

“Not good, so loose and slippery. The last two stages, the car is awful on these kind of roads, not predictable at all. It is not easy. It’s not easy,” Solberg remarked.

Paddon, who is in second place, has been thoroughly enjoying the Swedish forest stages. Latvian driver Martins Sesks is in third place, 8.7 seconds behind the leader.

“There’s no tyre wear here, our tyres will probably do the whole rally. Expecting the challenge to be different on the second pass, but amazing stages which you can’t help but smile on,” Paddon said.

Driving a Toyota, Mikko Heikkilä is in sixth place. Heikkilä, along with the drivers ahead of him, Norwegian Frank Tore Larsen and Sesks, are within 2.3 seconds of each other.

“Quite fine margins, I was pushing and I struggled with the loose gravel in the beginning. It is really tight now,” Heikkilä said.

“It’s a lot of cleaning, I’m missing the last bit to make it perfect, missing some exits, but I am happy” Larsen summed up.

In seventh place is Citroen driver Mads Østberg, 4.9 seconds behind Heikkilä. ERC leader Mathieu Franceschi is in seventh place, tied with Sweden’s Isak Reiersen.

Royal Rally of Scandinavia standings after SS4/17:

1. Oliver SolbergSkoda21:44.8
2.Hayden PaddonHyundai+1.4
3.Martins SesksToyota+8.7
4. Frank Tore LarsenVW+9.8
5.Mikko HeikkiläToyota+11.0
6.Mads ØstbergCitroen+15.9
7.Mathieu FranceschiSkoda+17.2
7.Isak ReiersenSkoda+17.2
9.Eyvind BrynildsenVW+23.9
10.Miko MarczykSkoda+25.0
11.Johan KristofferssonVW+27.0
12.Simone TempestiniSkoda+36.9

Also check out