- Elliott Edmondson
Greensmith and Edmondson maintain WRC2 Pro lead after Sweden
Round 2 of the World Rally Championship saw the crews head to the snowy forests around the Swedish/Norwegian border, based out of Torsby, for 19 stages totalling 316 competitive kilometres. For Gus and Elliott, this was perhaps going to be the toughest rally of the season, with Gus having only competed on snow/ice once before at Rally Sweden 2017, and for Elliott this would be the first event ever both in Sweden and on snow and ice. Despite this expectations from the outside were obviously high having won the opening round in Monte Carlo.
Before the start of the rally, there were concern as to how the conditions would develop over the rally weekend. Rally Sweden is the only full snow rally on the calendar, and means that the crews are only permitted to use full studded tyres. These tyres work fantastic on solid ice, however they're operating window is fairly limited to these conditions as on gravel the friction causes the studs to come off, an obvious problem when you get back on ice, and if there is snow fall that has not frozen, then the road becomes slush which again these tyres, in fact no tyres can work on.
The rally's opening Super Special Stage in Karlstad on Thursday night highlighted the issue with stage conditions as the oval spectator stage quickly turned to slush, and Gus and Elliott running quite far down the field round themselves 12th in RC2, and 4th in WRC2 Pro.
Friday and Saturday saw much of the same conditions and they were two long days of attrition with other crews, and the M-Sport crew themselves having trips into the snow banks that lined the stages in Sweden. Combined with some mechanical gremlins, the pair ended Saturdays stages still 12th in RC2 but now 3rd in WRC2 Pro.
The final day consisted of 3 stages, one run twice and the final stage a repeat of SS8. SS17/18 Likenas was perhaps a display of what could have been, the stage was full ice and presented the crews with classic Swedish conditions. With no positions to fight for Greensmith and Edmondson only had to finish the day to bring home a solid 3rd in WRC2 Pro which would see them maintain the Championship lead. The crew did just that and leave Sweden still on top, and head into a two event break now before rejoining the WRC in Argentina.