Elfyn Evans & Scott Martin led the 2020 Rally Sweden from start to finish to secure a dominant victory - their first win in only their second appearance with Toyota Gazoo Racing.
Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) driver Elfyn Evans secured his second-ever career victory at the 2020 Rally Sweden - the calendar's only snow round. The Welshman led the rally right from the start and ultimately finished the rally 12.7 seconds clear of his closest rival - Ott Tanak. This win also meant a lot to Evans' co-driver – Scott Martin – as this was his first-ever WRC win from an astonishing 132 rally starts! Tanak, who suffered a major crash in the opening round (Rallye Monte-Carlo), bounced back in Sweden to claim second place - the only Hyundai driver to finish in the top-5 this time. 'The recovery took quite a bit of time and in the first week, I was in quite a bit of pain so I was really not confident I would be fit for Sweden. The body was not really happy and it took a bit of time,' Tanak said.
However, despite Evans' record victory & Tanak's comeback, 19-year old TGR driver Kalle Rovanperä was indeed the main newsmaker as he shocked six-time WRC champion & teammate, Sébastien Ogier, to claim the final spot on the podium. Rovanperä, who became the youngest driver ever to claim a WRC podium finish, finished 7.5 seconds behind Tanak and 3.5 seconds ahead of Ogier. He also scored maximum points by winning the final Wolf Power Stage.
Rounding off the top-5 was Ford driver Esapekka Lappi, who gave first-round winner Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) a close fight but the latter, however, only managed to finish sixth - 1.4 seconds behind Lappi.
With this win, Elfyn Evans, for the first time in his WRC career, sits on top of the WRC leaderboard despite being tied for points with Thierry Neuville. While both drivers currently sit at 42 points each, Evans is the leader on the basis of countback. Further five points behind, Ogier sits in third place overall. Similarly, the fight on the constructors' leaderboard remains a close one, with Toyota (73 points) ahead of defending champions Hyundai by just 10 points.
The next WRC round will take place in Mexico from 12th-15th March.