sport

Sweden wins exceeds VW hopes

Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito claims Sebastien Ogier's win in the Rally Sweden has already exceeded all expectations.

Ogier, who hinted at what was to come when he finished runner-up in the Monte Carlo Rally last month, on Sunday went one better to give Volkswagen their maiden victory.

On ice and snow, Ogier finished nearly 42 seconds clear of reigning nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb, winning 11 of the 22 special stages in his Polo R.

A jubilant Capito said: "We didn't even dream that we could get this result so soon.

"It's the second rally, and this is a fantastic result. Normally rallies are up and down, but we had no downs. It was unbelievable.

"To win the second round of the world championship under our own steam is a real milestone."

Ogier created further history in becoming only the second winner of the rally - alongside Loeb - to come from outside Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Hailing the 29-year-old Frenchman's performance, Capito added: "The Rally Sweden is one of a kind.

"The car worked perfectly in the conditions, and Sebastien took full advantage. He was in a class of his own.

"We all know he is capable of the pace, but I didn't know he could do it already with the Polo."

Ogier now finds himself in a strong position to build on his early lead in the championship, particularly given Loeb's decision to go part-time this season.

Although Ogier only holds a three-point cushion over Loeb, the latter is only due to compete in two more rallies - Argentina in May, and in his home country of France in October.

It leaves Ogier 22 points clear of the driver who is effectively his nearest challenger in Sweden's Mads Ostberg in his Ford Fiesta RS.