(Reuters) - Jari-Matti Latvala won his third Rally of Sweden on Saturday with the victory taking him to the top of the World Rally Championship standings.
The Finnish Volkswagen driver secured his second win for the team by 53.6 seconds, with team mate Andreas Mikkelsen finishing second and his fellow Norwegian Mads Ostberg, driving for Citroen, third.
It was Mikkelsen’s first WRC podium and he had briefly threatened Latvala’s slender lead from the previous day before sliding into a snowbank and losing 20 seconds in the morning.
Reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier of France recovered from a crash on Friday to finish sixth.
“It’s my third win here and I’ve never won the same rally three times,” Latvala, the winner in Sweden in 2008 and 2012, told the WRC’s website (www.wrc.com).
“It feels amazing to win here, it’s something very, very special.
“It’s a long time since my win in Greece last year. That was more about tactics and saving the car, but this is a high-speed event so it gives me confidence that I can also win high-speed rallies. I really needed a good result here.”
Reporting by Sam Holden; Editing by Rex Gowar