Leg Two was a sour one for Ford.
Francois Duval left the road for a full 45 minutes, stuck in a ditch, dropping down to 46th position overall. Worse was to come when rally leader Martin drifted into a snowbank and tore a wheel from his Focus, pushing the driveshaft into the differential. He lost 5 minutes getting to the end of the stage, where the crew did a brilliant job repairing the car within the 20 minutes allocated.
"I leaned the car into a snowbank but hidden in it was a rock and the impact shattered the rear left suspension," said Märtin. "The car ended in the middle of the road with the rear wheel folded underneath but eventually we were able to finish the stage, although there was no drive on that side of the car because of the damage. It wasn't a particularly quick bend, maybe third gear, but we went into it slightly too fast. Leaning on snowbanks is part of the tactics on this rally but they're so soft because of the mild weather that the car doesn't bounce off them in the normal manner. You can't trust them."
struggled to find a balance of pushing and being cautious, dropping from the third place he gained due to Markko's problems back to fourth, when Petter Solberg in the Subaru posted some quicker times.
Tuohino escaped several brushes with the snowbanks this morning. "I hit them on three separate occasions because I pushed too hard," said the 28-year-old Finn. "Twice we slid sideways into the banks and on the other occasion I went in forwards." But having been too aggressive, he ended the day annoyed with himself after being too cautious through the long 39.95km Vargäsen to lose third place. "I was far too careful and that was stupid. Then I stalled the engine twice in the final stage. Tomorrow I'm going to have to go as fast as I can, without taking too many risks, to try to regain third. The problem is that I'm not sure I can do that safely because I still don't know the car so well."
Still, the rally could have been worse. Mitsubishi spent much of the rally below 15th position, struggling with gearbox problems all rally long, until finally all of their cars retired.
Solhberg did his level best to take his Mitsubishi apart part by part, trialling a new ice cooled intercooler as well!
Sebastian Loeb (Citroen) now leads the rally from Marcus Gronholm in the Peugeot.