Flying the flag: How the Irish crews fared on day-two of Rally Sweden

Co-driver Aaron Johnston is the best of the Irish competitors after day two of Rally Sweden.

The Tyrone man is fifth overall alongside Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta in their Toyota Yaris Rally1.

Their day was so good, Johnston said it was the best day ever for the crew.

Takamoto Katsuta (JPN) and Daniel Barritt (GB) of team Toyota Gazoo Racing are seen performing during the World Rally Championship Sweden in Umea, Sweden on 26,February // Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202202260074 // Usage for editorial use only //

“We’ve had a superb day today, moving up to fifth overall after day two of Rally Sweden,” he said in a social media post.

“We found something with the set-up this morning that has allowed us to enjoy probably our best day together so far.

“We’re looking forward to pushing on tomorrow, the final day of Rally Sweden.”

Overall, it was another day to forget for Craig Breen and Paul Nagle in their Ford Puma Rally1. Running first on the road is never easy on an all-snow rally but they showed some of their potential by setting the fastest stage time on stage 11.

In the following test, the opening stage in the three-stage loop was badly cut up following the historic rally so they were unable to repeat their performance.

Craig Breen (IRL) and Paul Nagle (IRL) are seen performing during the World Rally Championship Sweden in Umea, Sweden on 26,February // Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

It all became irrelevant on stage 14 (SS13 was removed from the schedule due to objections from reindeer farmers) as their Puma ground to halt less than two kilometres from the stage start.

There is still no official word from the M-Sport team as to what caused the issue but a similar problem hit teammate Adrian Fourmoux’s car on the day’s final stage.

They will re-join tomorrow morning with their eye on PowerStage bonus points – as it stands they have dropped to seventh in the WRC standings so every available point on the PowerStage is vital.

The all-Fermanagh crew of Jon Armstrong and Brian Hoy are in an event long battle with Finnish crew Lauri Joona for honours in the Junior WRC category.

Co-driver Brian Hoy (Motorsport Ireland) and Jon Armstrong (Motorsport UK) are leading the WRC3 Junior Rally in their Ford Fiesta and have only 3.4 seconds to spare over Joonal.

William Creighton and Liam Regan are one place behind Joona and hold third in the Junior category.

Josh McErlean and James Fulton are in 34th place overall and 16th in WRC2 after re-joining today under SuperRally rules after an off-road excursion yesterday.

Eamonn Boland and MJ Morrisey suffered a crankshaft pulley failure on Friday. They re-joined the fray on Saturday and hold 40th overall and fifth in the Masters’ category in their Ford Fiesta.  

Four stages to run on Sunday

Sunday   February 27 – add one hour for Irish time

05:30                     Service,                                                Umeå Service Park Nolia                             

07:00                     SS 16 Vindeln 1                                  14,19 km           

08:08                     SS 17     Sarsjöliden 1                       14,23 km           

09:37                     SS 18     Vindeln 2                             14,19 km           

10:57                     Regroup Vännäs                             

12:18                     SS 19 Sarsjöliden 2 (Power)         14,23 km           

14:30                     Podium Ceremony,                         Umeå

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