Jari-Matti Latvala swept to a shock victory in Rally Sweden on Sunday, claiming Toyota’s first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship since 1999.
Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 after an 18-year absence, with Latvala finishing second upon its comeback in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
The result took many at Toyota by surprise, but the Finn was able to go one better in Sweden this past weekend and claim
Latvala had been running second for much of the rally behind runaway leader Thierry Neuville, only for the Hyundai driver to lose a wheel on Saturday’s super special stage and drop back in the process.
Neuville’s demise turned the battle for second between Latvala and M-Sport’s Ott Tanak into the battle for victory, with Latvala able to eke out an advantage in the stages that followed.
Come Sunday, Latvala was able to complete the rally with an advantage of almost half a minute over Tanak, as well as winning the final power stage to pick up five bonus points.
“It’s amazing. A new team, a new car, our second rally and we’re winning,” Latvala said.
“I have no words to describe it, I’m so emotional. We’re at a good level but now we go forward and it gets more difficult.
“Mexico is next up and I’m really motivated for the championship.”
The result marked the 17th victory of Latvala’s WRC career – four of which have now come in Sweden – and extends his record of winning at least once each season since 2008.
Latvala moves into the lead of the drivers’ championship with victory ahead of Sebastien Ogier, who rounded out the podium in Sweden behind Tanak in second place.
The WRC season resumes in one month’s time with Rally Mexico.
Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.
“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”
With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.
In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).
Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.
“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”
NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.
Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)
450 Class Championship Standings
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)