Rally Sweden - 2nd Day - 2nd Loop: Breen holds a tiny lead over Tanak, Katsuta rolls [+video]

At the end of the afternoon loop of Friday, Craig Breen is now leading Rally Sweden with Ott Tanak and Esapekka Lappi following him.

Craig Breen is the new leader of Rally Sweden and climbed into first place at the end of Stage 5. He was the fastest driver in SS5 and SS6 and was being happy with his performance. Finally, he said at the of SS7 that he had understeer on the second half of the stage.

Ott Tanak dropped to second place overall as he could not find pace with his Puma in these stages, but he managed to claim his first stage win with M-Sport Ford as he set the fastest time in SS7. His gap from the leader Breen is at 2,6 seconds instead of 10,5 seconds after SS6.

Esapekka Lappi completes the 1-3 for Hyundai Motorsport and was chasing Tanak for the second position, but their battle will continue on Saturday as the Hyundai is behind the last one for 11,2 seconds. However, he lost ground in Stage 6 when he overshot a junction and spun at 12,4 Km into stage. 

Elfyn Evans gained two places after Takamoto Katsuta's roll in Stage 5 and is now fourth overall. Last but not least, he overtook his teammate Rovanpera in that stage and their gap was only at four tenths of a second before the start of SS6.

Kalle Rovanpera completes the top five and lost many seconds in comparison with his rivals as he had to start first on the road and the lines were not good after so many runs from the stages by junior drivers and historic cars.

Thierry Neuville follows the Toyota driver for 5,7 seconds and dropped some seconds on the last three stages of the loop as the front and rear bumpers were damaged in SS5 when he had a moment with a snowbank. In addition to that, he reported understeer with his i20N after the end of SS6.

Pierre-Louis Loubet is seventh overall and was close to claim his first stage win of the season, but he was beaten by Breen for 7,8 seconds on the opening stage of the loop. In the next stage, the Corsican said that something was wrong with the front of his car while he lost the hybrid power in SS7.

Lorenzo Bertelli is outside the top ten and dropped more than two minutes in Stage 6 as he hit a snowbank with the rear of his Yaris and was stuck there. However, the spectators helped him and eventually he was able to get going again.

Takamoto Katsuta was forced to retire for the rest of Friday as he pulled over in Stage 6 after the engine of his Yaris was overheating. This problem appeared due to the roll he had in Stage 6 which had huge impact to the aero package. More specifically, the rear roof spoiler, the side left window and the front bumper were missing while the roof was damaged. The radiator could not be protected anymore due to the lack of the front bumper and this was the reason why the engine was steaming when the Japanese driver arrived at the stop control of SS6.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after SS8:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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