First leg of Rally Sweden consisted of 8 special stages. The opening stage was in Karlstad arena where drivers competed each over side by side in super special stage. Later on competitors jumped in to 7 more special stages the next day.
From the beginning two fast Ford Fiesta WRC's started to dominate in this arctic event. Raivo Dabins from Latvia won SS1 and Petr Kubovsky from Czech Republic finished 2nd. SS3 performance for these drivers was opposite and they had a seconds battle till SS5 where Raivo crashed his car: "OMG, what a stupid mistake.. I not push hard, try first leg just finish without some risk, but anyway crash.. Feel very sad.. ". After this mistake Petr took the rally leadership and finished first led in 1st place.
Russian Alex Karkach was quite fast and stable in first leg. After winning SS7 and after poor Petr performance in SS8 ("Well this stage was absolutely horrible for me, spent more time in snowbank that on track") Alex managed to cut 10 seconds from Petr advantage and lost first leg just by 15 seconds. Less than 10 seconds behind Alex we see first Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 event winner Juan Marzoa. Spaniard had some issues in SS2 but he showed a good speed in the rest of stages.
Nevertheless Juan didn't managed to win a single stage and has a big pressure from Tomek Wach. Three Polish drivers or we can call them "The Three Musketeers" are pushing their R5 cars to the limit and are located in 4-6 positions in overall classification after first leg. Tomek leads WRC 2 competition with Škoda Fabia R5 by 2 seconds over Jurek Bogdanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5) while himself being just 4.3 seconds behind Juan Marzoa's VW Polo R WRC. 3rd place in WRC 2 is taken by Mariusz Chrascina (Hyundai i20 R5).
Oscar Estévez finally has some serious competition in WRC 3 front. Karl Buravchink also brought Renault Clio R3T from Czech Republic and shows than he is not slower than Oscar with his microscopic 0.28 seconds loss in first leg. Oscar is just 22nd in overall classification compared to his 8th position finish in Rallye Monte-Carlo. Nearest opponent for these drivers is Maciej Zawisza (Ford Fiesta S1600), Pole has more than 2 minutes gap against Karl.
We have 11 more special stages in Rally Sweden and 8 of them will be in second leg. Rally leader is clear but the advantage he has in not enough to be calm in this kind of event. Also we have many more battles and positions undecided left.