February 18, 2018 / 2:01 PM / 10 months ago

Neuville leads championship after Sweden win

Rally Sweden - 2018 World Rally Championship - Day 4 - Torsby, Sweden - February 18, 2018. Co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul and driver Thierry Neuville of Belgium celebrate after winning. TT News Agency/Micke Fransson via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville took the lead in the world rally championship from Sebastien Ogier after winning in Sweden on Sunday.

The Belgian mastered the snowy conditions to finish 19.8 seconds clear of Citroen’s Craig Breen, a career-best result for the Irishman, and go 10 points clear after the second race of the season.

Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen was third for Hyundai.

Defending champion Ogier, who won last month’s opening Monte Carlo round, finished 10th for M-Sport Ford but took four bonus points for finishing second in the final power stage won by Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi.

Neuville, only the third non-Nordic driver to win in Sweden, took two bonus points.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon

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