Nikolay Gryazin: "The race went well. We expected to get some quality mileage ahead of Sweden, get a measure of the local drivers, win as many special stages as possible — and we did just that.
Unfortunately, we couldn't win all the stages — Ole Christian Veiby had the best time on SS7. It was also difficult to find the right pace at the final special stages: we needed to keep the maximum speed yet didn't want to crash right before the finish line.
We were handed a 10-second time penalty for starting SS4 with headlights turned off. This behaviour is specific to Škoda Fabia R5: when switched to Stage mode, the headlamps go out. We were at the standing start of the special stage, Stage mode on, first gear selected. The marshal signaled to turn the lights on but I was focused on the stage, ready for action and drove with headlights switched off almost all the way to the finish line. This was a mistake, luckily for us it did not affect the final result.