Citroen's Sebastien Ogier has finished day two in Germany in the lead, inheriting the position in the final test after team-mate Sebastien Loeb lost time with a front-left puncture.

Ogier had trailed Loeb since the seven-time WRC champion took the lead on Friday in SS3 and while the younger Frenchman had been frustrated by team orders today instructing them to hold position, the second-run through Panzerplatte turned the event on its head. Indeed going into SS14, Ogier trailed Loeb by 3.8 seconds, but he then found himself bumped up to P1 after his team-mate's misfortune. Ogier will now head into the overnight service with a 1 minute 11.3 second cushion.

"I don't want to celebrate," Ogier told the official WRC site at the end of SS14. "I can't be happy when my team-mate has a problem. But it is a good thing there is justice in the sport."

Loeb, who of course has won in Germany every single year since the event joined the championship back in 2002 and who has been unbeaten on all-asphalt since 2004 (when Markko Martin took back-to-back wins in Corsica and Spain), was at a loss to explain why the tyre deflated.

"I don't know what happened. There were some rocks on a straight. I was taking it easy," said Loeb.

Meanwhile Dani Sordo is on course for the final podium place on only the third WRC event for the new MINI WRT team - and its first run on asphalt with the John Cooper Works WRC car. The Spaniard gained P3 this morning when Mikko Hirvonen picked up a puncture and lost more than a minute in SS10. He has maintained the gap this afternoon too, losing a few seconds in SS11, SS12 and SS13, before a fantastic second fastest effort in SS14 allowed him to strike back. The former Citroen works star will now take a 33.1 second cushion into the final day.

"I have pushed really hard," said Sordo. "This time [in SS14] is important for the final leg. I want to keep on pushing and avoid mistakes."

Hirvonen though hasn't given up on regaining his podium slot: "The first three afternoon stages were good, but the final one wasn't," said the Ford Abu Dhabi WRT man. "There were many junctions and I drove too hard. I wasn't patient enough. I also made a couple of small mistakes, but nothing that cost serious time. I stiffened the suspension again at the mid-leg service and had a good feeling this afternoon. Tomorrow's stages suit me, and I'll try really hard to regain third."

Further back Kris Meeke is also doing well in the other MINI, although he had a scare in Panzerplatte 2 and damaged the rear. He is now almost 50 seconds adrift of P4 and just 9.1 seconds up on Petter Solberg's privately entered DS3 WRC car in P6.

F1 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is next up and seventh, although he has had a mixed day and lost 10-15 seconds in SS11 with a stall and a spin: "This stage [SS14] was quite okay, but otherwise, it is not going well for me here," said the ex-Ferrari and McLaren man. "Sometimes I reckon that staying at home would have been better!"

Henning Solberg trails Raikkonen in eighth for the M-Sport Stobart Ford team, 6.2 seconds back, with Armindo Araujo and Peter van Merksteijn Jr ninth and tenth followed by Dennis Kuipers, who had to stop in SS14 and change a puncture. Kuipers had been running eighth.

Of the rest Matthew Wilson is twelfth, brake problems hindering him in the final test, with runaway SWRC leader Ott Tanak 13th and the Volkswagen Motorsport entered Skoda Fabia WRC's of Hans Weijs Jr and Christian Riedemann 14th and 15th respectively.

In terms of retirements, Jari-Matti Latvala was the most notable casualty having gone off the road in SS13. He had broken back into the top ten, after all his problems on day 1 left him down in 15th, but now lies 19th, assuming he can re-start under the SupeRally.

"At the end of a sixth gear straight, I braked for a fourth gear left-right series of bends," explained Latvala, who spent most of last night awake with an upset stomach. "There was a big cut on the inside and at the end of the cut was a tree stump, which I hadn't noticed. I went deeper into the cut than in the first pass and clipped the stump. I felt the impact and should have slowed immediately because when I braked at the end of the next 100 metre straight, I realised the front right tyre was flat.

"We were passengers but I managed to throw the car sideways before we went off the road and hit a tree on Miikka [Anttila]'s side. It wasn't a massive impact but the car was about three metres from the edge of the road and down a small bank. It was disappointing because I was trying some different brake pads and discs, and I was pleased with how the day had gone. It seems that when something goes wrong for me in this rally, it goes wrong in a big way."

Rallye Deutschland now concludes on Sunday with 76.31 competitive kilometres on the bill - and five separate stages.

SS15, the 20.85 km-run through Dhrontal 1, begins at 08.13 hours local time [07.13 hours UK time].

Rallye Deutschland: Overall standings after Stage 14 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2hours 44mins 43.2secs M
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +01mins 11.3secs M
3. Dani Sordo Mini WRT John Cooper Works +02mins 10.2secs
4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 43.3secs M
5. Kris Meeke Mini WRT John Cooper Works +03mins 33.2secs
6. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +03mins 42.3secs M
7. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +05mins 53.2secs M
8. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 59.4secs
9. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia Mini John Cooper Works +07mins 51.6secs
10. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC +08mins 25.9secs M


11. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 52.5secs M
12. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 56.4secs M
13. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +10mins 44.4secs S
14. Hans Weijs Jr VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +11mins 16.2secs
15. Christian Riedemann VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +14mins 15.1secs
18. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +16mins 15.6secs M
19. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +16mins 15.8secs M
22. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +17mins 59.8secs M
24. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Mini John Cooper Works +22mins 18.2secs M
35. Aaron Burkart M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +26mins 52.2secs

SWRC standings after Stage 14 (Top 3):

1. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 2hrs 55mins 27.6secs S
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000 +04mins 18.9secs S
3. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 +06mins 44.4secs S

WRC Academy standings after Stage 14 (Top 8)#:

1. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta R2 3hours 07mins 54.0secs A
2. Yeray Lemes Ford Fiesta R2 +00mins 15.1secs A
3. Andrea Crugnola Ford Fiesta R2 +01mins 43.2secs A
4. Jose Suarez Ford Fiesta R2 +01mins 58.2secs A
5. Jan Cerny Ford Fiesta R2 +02mins 26.0secs A
6. Fredrik Ahlin Ford Fiesta R2 +03mins 08.5secs A
7. Sepp Wiegand Ford Fiesta R2 +03mins 55.8secs A
8. Egon Kaur Ford Fiesta R2 +04mins 27.7secs A

# WRC Academy does not include day 3 of the event

Notable retirements:

SS6. Aaron Burkart M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Brake problems*

SS13/14. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC Did not start SS14 M

* denotes re-started under SupeRally

all times unofficial


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