Strong debut by Tidemand in Rally Sweden

After a great start of Friday’s leg of Rally Sweden, 22 year old rally talent Pontus Tidemand was sixth overall when the last super special was driven on Friday evening. But unfortunately it was game over already on Saturday’s first stage.

Before start on Saturday morning, Pontus was in sixth position and the plan was to keep the pace and try to push if everything felt right. But on the opening stage Sågen 1, the water pump broke and caused engine damages that forced Pontus and co-driver Ola Floene to stop in the middle of the stage.

I’m obviously disappointed and it feels very sad, but that’s the way this sport is. You have to try to focus on the positive sides anyway, Pontus says. We had an amazing day yesterday and that’s what I’ll take with me for the future.

Already on the qualifying stage on Thursday morning, Pontus proved that he belonged in the fight for the top position by setting the fourth fastest time.

Photo: André Lavadinho

On Friday everything worked perfectly and Pontus quickly found the right harmony in his driving. The speed was there without having to take risks. After a few really good stage times, Pontus was fourth in the overall standings and the best Ford driver as well when it was time for lunch service. Friday also ended with a super special where Pontus raced against Rally Sweden’s overall leader Sebastien Ogier and managed to win in front of an arena full of cheering fans. Ford M-Sport’s managing director Malcolm Wilson only had good things to say about Pontus’accomplishment after Friday’s stages.

I think he’s adopted the very sensible approach to hold on to where he is. That’s the thing that has impressed me the most. He’s a young kid but he has a very good head on his shoulders, Wilson says.

During the weekend there have been a lot of fans out in the forest to support and root for Pontus.

It’s been so much fun to see all the Swedish and Norwegian flags along the stages. Seeing them and people waving have really inspired me to keep going, Pontus finishes.