This past weekend, Pontus Tidemand drove Rally Sørland, the third rally in the Norwegian Championship, to collect experience for the upcoming JWRC races in a similar car. The conditions were rough, but Pontus managed to finish as the quickest two wheel drive car and take a third place overall.
Rally Sørland began with three stages on Friday evening. Pontus and co-driver Ola Fløene participated with support from EVEN Management in Team Tätab’s Ford Fiesta R2, a car that is similar to the one that Pontus drives in JWRC. They had a good start and set two second fastest times and took two stage wins, which gave them a second place in the standings when the first day of the rally was finished.
Saturday morning also started well. On the fourth stage, Pontus set a second fastest time, only 0,5 seconds behind the stage winner.
“I have a better feeling in the car today than I had yesterday and I get more and more into it so it feels good. We’re mainly here to get more kilometers behind the wheel so I’m not taking any unnecessary risks”, said Pontus after the first stage of the morning.
The third stage win came on following stage and with that, Pontus took the lead. The trend with stage wins continued on two more stages and on the seventh stage, Pontus didn’t just set the fastest time in his class, he also set the fastest time overall. By then, his lead was 36 seconds and it was time to start looking at the big picture and maintain the right focus.
Although Pontus cut back a bit on the speed during the last stages, he had a good finish with two second fastest times and a stage win on the very last stage of the rally. The victory margin ended up at just over a minute and eleven seconds ahead of runner-up Fredrik Åhlin.
“We’re super happy with the weekend! We’ve had very good training in difficult conditions and we’ve made a good progress with the pacenotes, so it couldn’t have been much better”, finishes Pontus.
Next upcoming rally for Pontus is South Swedish Rally, the third rally in 2013’s Swedish Championship, in two week’s time.
2WD Sørland 2013
|1||Pontus Tidemand||Ford Fiesta R2||
|2||Fredrik Åhlin||Ford Fiesta R2||
|3||Petter Kristiansen||Skoda Fabia R2||
|4||Frank Tore Larsen||Ford Fiesta R2||
|5||Anders Kjær||Renault Twingo R2||
Top 4 overall Rally Sørland 2013
1. Eyvind Brynildsen/Mara Andersson, KNA Varna, Mitsubishi Evo IX
2. Trond Sveinsvoll/Otto Øverstad, KNA Stavanger, Subaru Impreza Sti +0,27.1
3. Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene, NMK Hamar, Ford Fiesta R2 + 1,57.7
4. Sveinung Bieltvedt/Roger Eilertsen, NAF Øvre Østfold, Subaru Impreza Sti + 2,10.3