Sebastien Ogier remains in the lead of the Rally of Turkey following the repeat loop this afternoon, although he was unable to pull out much of a gap on fellow Citroen
runner, Dani Sordo.
Ogier, who had finished this morning just 2.1 seconds ahead, began strongly after lunch and was quickest in SS5 and SS6 to stretch his lead to 5 seconds. However he was unable to maintain that form in SS7 and SS8, when he was 'only' third and fourth fastest – and with Sordo quicker in both Bozgoca 2 and Halli 2, the Frenchman saw his advantage cut back to 2.8 seconds.
Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile remains third for Ford, although he slipped back and is now 9.2 seconds off P1 - and a similar amount up on Petter Solberg
Solberg struggled initially this afternoon and was off the pace in SS5 and SS6. However he bounced back in the next two tests - setting the second best time in SS7 and winning SS8 - to move back ahead of Sebastien Loeb
and Jari-Matti Latvala, who complete the top six. Petter will now go into the Istanbul SSS this evening 7 seconds ahead Loeb, who in turn is 0.8 seconds up on Latvala.
Further down the order, Federico Villagra
remains seventh for the Munchi's Ford
WRT, although he is over a minute off sixth. Kimi Raikkonen made up a place on the repeat loop and is up to eighth, after Matt Wilson damaged his steering and lost some time. The Englishman trails Raikkonen's Citroen
C4 by 9.6 seconds.
Ott Tanek is currently on course for the Group N win and the final 'senior' WRC point, with JWRC duo Aaron Burkart and Thierry Neuville eleventh and twelfth, separated by 9.7 seconds in the battle for Junior glory.
In terms of retirements, all the 'key' runners made it through the repeat tests and as such no one else joined Stobart
Ford's Henning Solberg
and Monster's Ken Block on the sidelines. Henning and Block both went out this morning in SS1.
The opening leg of the Rally of Turkey now concludes at 19.57 hours local time with the short 2.2 kilometre Istanbul SSS.Overall standings after Stage 8 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier
Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 53mins 36.4secs
2. Dani Sordo
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 2.8secs
3. Mikko Hirvonen
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +00mins 09.2secs
4. Petter Solberg
C4 WRC +00mins 18.3secs
5. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 25.3secs
6. Jari-Matti Latvala
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +00mins 26.1secs
7. Federico Villagra
Munchi's Ford Focus WRC +01mins 33.8secs
8. Kimi Raikkonen
Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +01mins 48.0secs
9. Matthew Wilson
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +01mins 57.6secs
10. Ott Tanak
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +04mins 45.9secs JWRC Standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):
1. Aaron Burkart
Suzuki Swift S1600 59mins 59.1secs
2. Thierry Neuville
Citroen C2 S1600 +00mins 09.7secs
3. Kevin Abbring
Renault Clio R3 +00mins 17.5secs
J Notable retirements:
SS1. Henning Solberg
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC Broken steering
SS1. Ken Block
Monster WRT Ford Focus WRC Broken steering
A8all times unofficial