The Belgian expanded his lead over Craig Breen to 22 seconds, a margin that could be definitive to win the Sweden’s Rally.

It was not an easy Saturday, but Neuville managed it wonderfully. The Belgian driver left with air after two days in which he led the Rally, but with a few seconds away from his principal rivals. Hagfors, Vergasen, Karlstad and Torsby completed a Saturday of very complicated stages, in which the snow was mixed with sections of ice and gravel. Sweden in its purest form

Neuville took the hammer to walk from the first stage in which he extended his advantage to 14 seconds. The stage was complicated when he spinned after touching an accumulation of ice on the edges of the track. He lost a few seconds but Mikkelsen, at that time his most direct rival, did not know how to take advantage as he spinned in the same place too. The Norwegian fell to the fourth position due his mistake. He was back in third position quickly.

Neuville exhibition in Hagfors, but there was also another driver with a very good performance, Craig Breen. The Citroën’s driver maintained a good pace and only a touch with a snow bank made him lose time. In addition, he won the twelfth stage, putting pressure at all time to the first sword of Hyundai. Because apart from dominating the Rally of Sweden, Neuville is proving to be a step above his teammate, Mikkelsen.

Tänak also wanted to overshadow Neuville, prevailing in the fifteenth stage, where the duels returned in pairs, as in Thursday. Neuville with 4 scratch continues with firm step to become the third non-Nordic pilot to win the Rally of Sweden. At the level of Ogier and Loeb, big words.

He had it very close last year, but inexplicably, gave his full advantage to deliver on a silver plate, the victory to Latvala. The Finn is not doing his best rally and is seventh overall, two minutes behind Neuville.

Neuville has ahead on Sunday, three stages that together add 51.94km. They will have to go through the Likenäs section twice and to finish, the Sweden Rally they have Torsby Power Stage, in which the five fastest riders will receive extra points. The Belgian driver must flee from the ghost of the past and prove that last year’s mistake is forgotten.

Classification after Saturday’s day

1. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) 2h23’23”8

2. Craig Breen (Citroen) a 22”7

3. Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai) a 32”0

4. Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) a 48”6

5. Mads Ostberg (Citroen) a 56”8

6. Esapekka Lappi (Toyota) a 1’05”8

7. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) a 2:03.3

8. Teemu Suninen (Ford) a 2’20”5

9. Ött Tänak (Toyota) a 3’41”3

10. Sébastien Ogier (Ford) a 4’24”9