European rally weekend: Two wins for VW, Bottas fifth in his first rally
While the eyes of rally fans from all over the world were watching the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, some other exciting rally events took place in Europe this weekend with famous drivers participating.
In Finland, the national championship has been kicked-off with Arctic Lapland Rally while in Sweden, the Rally Bergslagen was the first round of the Swedish championship. Both events were held in snowy conditions.
The Arctic Lapland Rally was marked by the participation of Finnish Formula 1 star Valtteri Bottas. It was his first ever rally event in a career and he performed well in the #1 Ford Fiesta WRC, finishing in the fifth place after ten special stages and 243 competitive kilometers. Bottas was navigated by co-driver Timo Rautiainen, who earlier in a career won two WRC titles with Marcus Gronholm.
Bottas was about two minutes slower than rally winner Emil Lindholm in the #2 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. On a way to victory, Lindholm defeated Teemu Asunmaa (Škoda Fabia R5) by 49.2 seconds and Juha Salo (Škoda Fabia R5) by 59.6 seconds.
Over the border, in Sweden, the world rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson gave another victory to Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 by winning the Rally Bergslagen (Bergslagsrallyt). At the wheel of the #3 Volkswagen, he was ten seconds faster than Patrik Flodin in a Škoda Fabia R5. Another Fabia driver Martin Berglund finished in the third place.