I have a new roll for the season of 2010: I am supporting Mikko Hirvonen to get the title and I am collecting points for the team to win the manufacture’s title. This roll is only for this season and it gives me a chance to try and make my driving more balanced. The season started in Sweden – the previous time when Sweden started the rally season was in 1996. The conditions were very snowy and the temperature was below zero but the roads weren’t icy. In fact there was only a thin layer of ice on the surface of the roads. This meant varying conditions: snow, ice, gravel and mixture. On Thursday we had a Super special on a horse race track in Karlstad but the actual rally started on Friday morning. We drove a forest stage in Likenäs. I started a bit cautiously when trying to drive fast but without bigger risks. After the second stage of the race I was fourth 4.1 seconds behind leading Loeb. On Friday I lost a few seconds on each stage but fortunately I was lucky enough to drive one fastest time in the afternoon. I had no bigger problems during the day but one crossroads went too long and I had to back up. After Friday Hirvonen was leading, Loeb was second, Sordo third and I was number four 21.1 seconds behind Sordo. On Saturday I tried to give Sordo some pressure but it seemed that he was getting away. My car felt under steering and my driving position wasn’t the best possible. In the afternoon service we changed the set up of the car a bit (from the rear) and we improved my driving position. After that I started to drive better and now I was able to catch Sordo second by second. In the evening before the last stage of the day I was 9.4 seconds behind Sordo. And we went to the forest stage of Fredriksberg where I managed to drive the fastest time. Sordo had some trouble with his car which overheated because of some plastics they had forgotten to take off from the radiator. He lost about a minute on that. Now I was third in the rally. On Sunday my instructions were to take the car unharmed to the finish in third position which I did. The day was a success and I even managed to save the tyres even though the staged on Sunday were very bad, pure gravel instead of snow. This offered me a chance to drive two fastest times. Mikko Hirvonen kept his first place and won the rally. Loeb was number two. This was a great start of the season for our team and I myself was very pleased since the last good start for the season for me was five years ago.
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