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Ogier under pressure as Sordo fights back

Just three stages to go now in France - and Sebastien Ogier has seen his overnight advantage almost halved.

Sebastien Ogier remains in the lead on Rallye de France halfway through the final day, although Dani Sordo is keeping up the pressure and has cut the gap from 9.5 seconds overnight to 4.9 seconds going into SS21.

Ogier was 3.1 seconds slower than his rival in the first test this morning, and then lost another 1.5 seconds in SS19, with Sordo topping the times in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC car for the fourth time.

Although Ogier and Sordo were both joint second quickest in the next stage, SS20, with all three tests now due to be repeated to conclude the event, it sets things up for a thrilling finale.

Meanwhile, Petter Solberg is still on course for the final place on the podium and despite a spin in SS19 is comfortably ahead of the Ford Abu Dhabi WRT cars of Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen. Although it has been a pretty disappointing event for the Blue Oval, Latvala has shown what might have been and was quickest in SS18 and SS20.

Further back, Dennis Kuipers is sixth, with M-Sport Stobart Ford duo Henning Solberg and Mad Ostberg both gaining a position after Armindo Araujo went out in SS18 this morning when he hit a wall. Ken Block and Pierre Campana complete the top ten, with Matthew Wilson eleventh and SWRC leader, Ott Tanak twelfth.

SS21, the 5.52 km-run through Graviere de Bischwiller 2, now begins at 10.18 hours local time [09.18 hours UK time].


Rallye de France Alsace: Overall standings after Stage 20 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2hours 54mins 30.9secs M
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 04.9secs
3. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +01mins 15.1secs M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 32.9secs M
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 15.0secs M
6. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 15.4secs M
7. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 47.0secs
8. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 23.4secs M
9. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 03.6secs M
10. Pierre Campana Equipe de France FFSA MINI John Cooper Works +08mins 10.8secs


Others:

11. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 46.4secs M
12. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +10mins 45.1secs S
13. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 51.6secs M


SWRC standings after Stage 20 (Top 3):

1. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 3hours 05mins 16.0secs S
2. Eyvind Brynildsen Skoda Fabia S2000 +02mins 34.7secs S
3. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 43.9secs S


Notable retirements:

SS1. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical S
SS3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Engine M
SS2/3. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC Went off on road section M
SS6. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Rolled M

SS9. Hermann Gassner Jr Skoda Fabia S2000 Crashed S
SS11. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off
SS11. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical S
SS13. Kris Meeke MINI WRT John Cooper Works Went off
SS15. Daniel Oliviera Brazil WRT MINI John Cooper Works Mechanical M

SS18. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works Crashed


all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team

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