Sandell extends his lead on leg two

Sandell extends his lead on leg twoFrom General Article [ 14/02/2009 ].
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The Red Bull Rally Team continues to set the tone in the PWRC classification of Rally Norway. Sandell/Axelsson further established their lead with another four fastest times on the second day.

Patrik Sandell/Emil Axelsson (SWE) – Skoda Fabia S2000 again showed themselves at their best on today’s second leg, setting four more fastest times on the ice and snow, and are now miles ahead of the competition in the PWRC standings prior to the final day.

Sandell however had to overcome a short moment of shock this morning: Suddenly the overall PWRC classification was all upside down, Eyvind Brynildsen was second after nine stages, just 1 minute 30 behind him! A visit to the stewards brought clarification: Brynildsen had followed Flodin into SS 5 and had to swerve right into a snow bank to avoid the latter’s stricken car, losing seven minutes. And this morning, the stewards handed those seven minutes back to the Norwegian!

Raimund Baumschlager: “That’s a somewhat peculiar decision, especially since I don’t understand why the stewards didn’t already rule that way in their meeting yesterday evening. This decision has totally confounded our strategy for today.”

Despite this quick change of tactics, the Swede reeled off kilometre after kilometre without any mistakes. Sandell leads Brynildsen by 2:01.7 minutes after 17 special stages. Martin Prokop (CZE) is in third position, already three minutes back.

Patrik Sandell: “I’m just very satisfied, since there aren’t any problems at all, the car is running well and I’m able to focus solely on driving. And that’s a lot of fun.”

Raimund Baumschlager on today’s stages: “Patrik is well in control of this rally, he’s driving very neatly and didn’t even let this morning’s stewards’ decision put him off his stride.”

Rally Norway will be concluded tomorrow with a further six special stages. The final leg will get under way at 7.34 a.m.