Pontus Tidemand kept cool under the pressure of being pre-hand favourite for the win when the “National Championship Week’s” Winter Tractive Sprint was held in the Swedish city Falun during the weekend. The gold medal was secured after three incredibly fast runs in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the 7,3 km sprint stage.
The interest in the Championship Week’s rally sprint was big already in advance, from the public and media as well as the contestants. As much as 71 entries were submitted, but only 40 spots were available. The setup for the race was simple with a sprint stage that would be run three times. First two qualifying rounds, where ten from each class (2WD and 4WD) would make it to a third and final round, where the fastest one would recieve the title Swedish Sprint Rally Champion.
Pontus, who made his debut with co-driver Ola Flöene this saturday, set a time in the first of two qualifying rounds that was so good that timing errors were suspected. But as it turned out, the time was correct and Pontus improved it even more in the second round, which put him 14,9 seconds ahead of the second place holder Mats Jonsson.
– Everything worked perfectly, we had found the right setup after last weekend’s test. The communication with Ola also worked very good so I could just enjoy the ride, said Tidemand.
The opponents didn’t have a chance in the final round either. After yet another flawless run, Pontus took the victory with a time difference of 13,3 seconds down to the runner-up Hasse Gustavsson, who also drove a Ford Fiesta WRC.
– What a perfect start of the 2013 season! We got the answers I wanted and now the feeling is very good ahead of next weekend’s race in the Swedish Championship and Rally Sweden in two week’s time. I’m so grateful for the help I get from everyone around me. Especially Ingemar Svensson, who works day and night to make it possible for me to drive the Fiesta WRC and Tommy Andersson who owns the car and lets me drive it, said Pontus.
Videblogg from the event: ( Will upload one with English subs on Tuesday)