After losing time on Friday, Subaru rally driver Chris Atkinson battled across the second day of Rally Sweden to move from his overnight 46th position to 29th place, with one day of the classic rally remaining.

Jari-Matti Latvala is still in front of the field on a leaders’ board that looks very different to the norm with Sebastien Loeb having also had troubles on the opening day. Mikko Hirvonen is second, 49.8 seconds behind Latvala, with Gigi Galli third, one minute 35.9 seconds off the pace. Subaru’s Petter Solberg is fourth, two minutes 40.9 seconds behind the leader.

Atkinson made changes to his Impreza WRC2007 at the end of yesterday’s stages and he felt the car was easier to drive on the winding and slippery routes of day two. The Queenslander finished the afternoon by recording the third fastest time on the final stage.

However, he was not entirely confident with the feeling of the car in these conditions and was not taking any risks.

“We had a steady day,” Atkinson said. “The car ran OK, and we had no major problems. We’re focusing on Manufacturer points so there was no need to do anything silly.

“Conditions were very tricky today and it was easy to make a mistake. Every stage was full gravel apart from SS11 so it’s a strange Swedish Rally. It was trickiest where you got unexpected slush on the inside of corners that changed the grip level.

“The car was better today and we were fastest at the beginning of the final stage. We’ll make some more changes tonight and have a steady day tomorrow.”

The final day of the Swedish Rally is the shortest of the event, with six stages at just over 97 competitive kilometres. The first two stages are very technical and twisty, and will be very demanding as the forecast mild weather means the stages will be reduced to gravel very quickly. The final stage will be run just before the lunchtime service.

Rally Sweden - Results after day two

1. Latvala / Anttila, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, 2h 03m 53.7s
2. Hirvonen / Lehtinen, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, +49.8s (diff. to 1st)
3. Galli / Bernacchini, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, +1m 35.9s
4. Solberg / Mills, Subaru Impreza WRC2007, +2m 40.9s
5. Wilson / Martin, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, +4m 37.6s
6. Mikkelsen / Floene, Ford Focus WRC, +4m 48.1s
7. Sordo / Marti (Superally), Citroen C4 WRC, +6m 51.9s
8. Gardemeister / Tuominen, Suzuki SX4, +8m 49.3
9. Hanninen / Markkula, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +8m 52.7s
10. Ketomaa / Teiskonen, Subaru Impreza, +10m 00.8s
29. Atkinson / Prévot, Subaru Impreza WRC2007, +20m 08.9s
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