Two wins for Red Bull in Norway – Loeb & Sandell

Two wins for Red Bull in Norway – Loeb & Sandell

15.02.2009: Debut PWRC victory for Patrik Sandell, debut win for the Skoda Fabia S2000! A great success for the Austrian Red Bull Rally Team! The defending champions were immediately victorious again in the season opener of the 2009 Production Car World

Production Car World Rally Championship 2009
Round 1, final report after 23 stages
Rally Norway, 12-15 February 2009




Debut PWRC victory for Patrik Sandell, debut win for the Skoda Fabia S2000!

A great success for the Austrian Red Bull Rally Team! The defending champions were immediately victorious again in the season opener of the 2009 Production Car World Rally Championship!

Patrik Sandell/Emil Axelsson – Skoda Fabia S2000 – scored a flag-to-flag victory in the PWRC classification of Rally Norway today!
Hence the new Swedish pairing seamlessly resumed the Austrian BRR team’s achievements from last year!

Sandell’s performance also brought about two premieres: For him personally, it was the first PWRC win after several second place finishes, likewise for the new Skoda Fabia S2000 – in just its second start (after a fourth place finish in the Monte Carlo IRC event)!

But Sandell had to fight hard on today’s final leg: After starting the day with an advantage of more than two minutes, he lost half a minute with a spin on SS 18 this morning. In addition to that he was a little short on top speed on today’s numerous long straights when compared to the competition.

But the Swede overcame this problem as well, eventually winning by 44.1 seconds ahead of local hero Eyvind Brynildsen.

Team boss Raimund Baumschlager: “We knew that we would be a little short on top speed compared with the competition on the final day. That was solely because of the gear ratio – which however was the correct one if you look at the rally in its entirety. Otherwise we would have had serious problems on the first two days.”

The stats are also excellent: Sandell took the lead by setting the fastest time on Thursday’s Super Stage and never surrendered it through all of the 23 special stages, with Patrik setting no less than eight fastest times and clinching seven second places!

Patrik Sandell:
“It was a great moment when I won the JWRC in 2006. But today has to be one of the best days in my career. My first PWRC win, especially with a new car and a new team – my first event with the Red Bull Rally Team couldn’t have gone any better. Many thanks to the entire team. I’m over the moon with joy!”

Raimund Baumschlager:
“It’s a great day for me and BRR as well – to finish the season opener on the top step, and then the debut win for the Skoda Fabia S2000 on top of that. Congratulations to the entire team, but especially to Patrik, who delivered an extraordinary performance.”

The next event for the Red Bull Rally Team will be the Cyprus Rally (March 13th to 15th).

Final PWRC standings, Norway, after 23 special stages:

P1 Sandell/Axelsson (SWE)        Skoda Fabia S2000    3:49:43.6 hrs
P2 Brynildsen/Giraudet (NOR/FRA)    Mitsubishi EVO IX                   +44.1 sec
P3 Prokop/Tomanek (CZE)        Mitsubishi EVO IX             + 2:56.7 min


Daily log of Sandell/Axelsson:               PWRC/overall

SS 18: Valer 1            30.03 km    P 09/26   
SS 19: Elverum 1            13.31 km    P 06/23   
SS 20: Budor 1            19.74 km    P 03/16
SS 21: Valer 1            30.03 km    P 04/19
SS 22: Elverum 2            13.31 km    P 04/19
SS 23: Budor 2            19.74 km    P 02/18



- Thomas Blazek, Christian Kuda -  Photo Red Bull McKlein

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15.02.2009 / MaP

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