Swedish rally ace Pontus Tidemand showed world class speed when he made a guest appearance at the season finale of the Swedish rally championship. The expected fight did not happen, but Pontus and his co-driver Jonas Andersson still went flat out and took the victory with a two and a half minuts’ margin. “Perfect practice for the Spanish WRC rally” he said.
The Swedish rally community was delighted in the beginning of the week when it became official that SKODA’s WRC 2 driver Pontus Tidemand makes a guest appearance at the Swedish championship final in the city of Uppsala. It was set for a thrilling battle between him and the 2016 Swedish champion and former WRC driver P-G Andersson. But the fight came to an end before it had even begun when Andersson retired already after the first stage.
“I was really looking forward to a close and friendly fight with P-G, who is always quick. It was a real shame that we missed out on that” said Pontus. “But we focused entirely on doing our own race in order to make every kilometer count. The Spanish WRC rally is less than 14 days away and there we have 115 km on gravel during the first proper day.”
Behind the wheel of Toni Gardemeister and his team TGS’s SKODA Fabia R5, Pontus took control of Rally Uppsala from start. Already after Friday evening’s two stages in complete darkness, he had a 40 seconds’ lead that he extended on Saturday. He was fastest all through the rally, took 11 out of 11 stage wins and when the 104 kilometers were mastered, he was the grand winner – two and a malf minutes ahead of Mattias Adielsson in second.
“It has been great fun to compete more or less at home again. So many spectators, fantastic atmosphere and a superb opportunity to showcase the Fabia R5 in Sweden. We have got perfect practice for Spain and we are extremely motivated for what is to come” said a pleased Pontus, who has his partners to thank for the chance to participate at Rally Uppsala.
Photo: Johannes Ericsson/emotorsport.se