With nearly half a minute’s lead after East Sweden Rally ‘s first day, it looked like a potentially good weekend for Pontus Tidemand. Unfortunately, problems with the gearbox put a stop to finishing the rally, but Pontus is still pleased with getting even more training kilometers in the hunt for the Junior WRC title.
East Sweden Rally was Pontus and Ola Fløene’s first event in the Swedish Championship since May and they looked forward to driving the nine special stages of 110 km altogether. Friday offered four stages – one spectator stage and the other three in the dark. When the fourth stage was finished, Pontus had a 26,7 seconds lead going into the second and last competitive day.
“At first it felt a bit strange to be back on gravel after having driven so much on asphalt”, says Pontus. “But it worked well with Friday’s tricky evening stages and we have to be happy with our start.”
On Saturday morning’s first stage, Pontus felt that he had found his gravel pace again. But only five kilometers from the finish, problems with the gearbox started appearing and Pontus and Ola’s rally came to an end already after stage six.
“We aimed to complete the sixth stage, but after that it was sadly nothing to do but throw in the towel”, says Pontus. “After all, it was really fun to be back in the Swedish Championship. Now we’re focusing on Junior WRC and before next event in France, we will participate in a rally in Belgium to get used to asphalt again.”
This was also the last event for Pontus in this year’s Swedish Championship as the next rally clashes with the Junior WRC event in France.
Photo: Jens Karlsson / Rallybild.se