The Swedish rally ace Pontus Tidemand is all about the WRC 2 this year. This weekend, he practiced for the upcoming events by participating in Lithuanian Rally Zemaitija – and finished on top of the podium.
“I’m very, very pleased with the weekend” said a happy Pontus after the finish. “We got a lot out of it in terms of perfect practice for the upcoming WRC event in Poland, where the roads, just like here, are extremely fast and you have to go flat out to stand a chance.”
Rally Zemaitija is an event that is a part of both the Lithuanian and Latvian championship and the nearly 50 crews that participated, offered tough competition. Based in the city of Kelme in northwestern Lithuania, nine special stages of a total of 121.80 km were mastered during two days in a somewhat rainy landscape with wet roads.
With the objective to take advantage of every kilometer, it was nothing but full speed for Pontus and his co-driver Jonas Andersson, who this weekend drove a SKODA Fabia R5, similar to the one that they use in the WRC 2, but this time it was borrowed from the Finnish rally star Toni Gardemeister. It turned out to be a tough fight with 15-year-old Kalle Rovanperä from Finland, but it was eventually Pontus who took the victory by nearly ten seconds.
“I’m really impressed with Kalle’s performance” said Pontus. “To be able to get the most out of the car and push to the max at that young age, that is huge. We both competed for Gardemeister’s team and had great support from them. I’m happy that we could give them first and second place today.”
With a brilliant rehearsal behind them, Pontus and Jonas are now looking forward to their next event. In only two weeks, they will be back in the WRC when Rally Poland is on the programme – a rally where speed is everything.