WRC »

Ogier grabs early lead in Australia

Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier has taken the lead on Repco Rally Australia this evening, the tenth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship.

Ogier was quickest on both runs through the short 2.55 kilometre Tweed super special - 0.8 seconds up on Henning Solberg on the first run and 2.3 seconds up on Sebastien Loeb on the second.

With all the runners on gravel tyres, the tarmac super special course was particularly tricky and slippery, but Ogier was fearless and grabbed the initiative. He will now take a 3.5 second lead into the start of the event 'proper' on Friday.

Henning Solberg finished up second overall in his Stobart Ford Focus, having backed up his second quickest time in SS1 with a third in SS2.

"I really enjoy the fast rallies and Rally Australia has some of the best stages I've seen in the championship so far this season," said Henning. "I'm looking forward to the rally as I've got good road position tomorrow. But as there's a chance of rain I need to make the most of the dry conditions in the morning when the guys in front of me are sweeping the road."

Meanwhile Loeb is third overall, followed by his Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo, who set the pace in the shakedown this morning and then BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Jari-Matti Latvala.

"It was very slippery on the first pass but I had a clean run on both stages. I was nervous before the start, but now that I have driven these two stages it will be easier going onto the gravel roads in the morning," said Latvala.

Current championship leader, Mikko Hirvonen lies sixth, with fellow Ford men Matthew Wilson and Federico Villagra seventh and eighth.

"It was a difficult start," Hirvonen admitted. "I didn't feel so confident tackling an asphalt stage on gravel tyres, but that will all change once we move onto the more traditional gravel roads in the morning. I will have no problems at all sleeping tonight!"

Khalid Al-Qassimi and Conrad Rautenbach round out the top ten, the latter 1.4 seconds up on Armindo Araujo, who leads the P-WRC category in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.

The action now continues on Friday, with SS3 - Kyogle 1 - beginning at 07.38 hours local time. Friday's action includes 13 stages in total and around 100 competitive kilometres. Leg 1 concludes as it started, with a third and fourth run through the Tweed SSS, scheduled to begin respectively at 18.30 and 18.45 hours local time.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Ogier (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.