Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has increased his advantage on Rally Italia Sardegna this afternooon.

Ogier completed the morning loop with a 20.5 second cushion and proceeded to double it on the re-runs, setting the second best time in SS4 and SS5, before taking his third stage win of the event in SS6.

He now heads back to service in Olbia with a 42.4 second margin over Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen: "We had a good stage and a good drive," Ogier said after Monte Lerno 2. "To save [look after the] tyres I did nothing special... it's my natural driving style."

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Thierry Neuville meanwhile is now up to third, the Belgian having set the pace in two of the three stages. He thus lies 4.7 seconds off Hirvonen and 7.2 seconds up on fellow Fiesta RS WRC man Mads Ostberg, who had a spin in SS6 and lost about 10 seconds.

"We worked on the brakes [at remote service] because we had no 'bite' this morning. The mechanics did a great job - it wasn't perfect, but it was certainly a lot better. We also made the car a bit stiffer and I automatically had a lot more confidence. The traction was much better and, honestly, I just felt really comfortable," said Neuville.

"We're in another great position now, but we can't get carried away. Of course to keep the podium is what we want, but we also have to be clever as there is still a long way to go."

"We had a spin in the last stage [SS6]. Right from the start [of that stage] I was struggling with oversteer," Ostberg explained. "I tried to push but we were never able to keep the line with the rear of the car. I knew I was losing time so I was pushing really hard. But in one corner the rear stepped out too much and I just couldn't get it back. It was quite a scary place, so we were quite lucky really!"

Further back, Dani Sordo completes the top five, ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen, Jari-Matti Latvala and Martin Prokop.

Behind, Michal Kosciuszko and Elfyn Evans are running ninth and tenth, with Robert Kubica still in P11 and still comfortably leading the WRC2 class. The Pole, who won the WRC2 category in Greece earlier this month, is again proving dominant, and thus far he has won 5 of the 6 tests.

In terms of retirements, Per-Gunnar Andersson was sidelined this afternoon with driveshaft issues, while it has now been confirmed that Evgeny Novikov will not be able to restart on Saturday as his car was too badly damaged after he rolled it in SS2.

Day one now continues with the first of two-runs through the 13.55 km Gallura test, which is due to start at 19.23 hours local time [18.23 hours UK time].

Rally Italia Sardgena: Overall standings after Stage 6 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1hour 19mins 05.6secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +42.4s M
3. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +47.1s M
4. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +54.3s M
5. Dani Sordo Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +1m 00.4s M
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +1m 27.8s M
7. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +2m 00.8s M
8. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 54.1s M
9. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5m 07.3s M
10. Elfyn Evans Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5m 14.3s M


11. Robert Kubica Citroen DS3 RRC +5m 30.7s WRC2
12. Khalid Al-Qassimi Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +7m 03.7s M
13. Sepp Wiegand Skoda Fabia S2000 +7m 19.2s WRC2
14. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +7m 25.5s WRC2
15. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +7m 52.3s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 6 (Top 3):

1. Robert Kubica Citroen DS3 RRC 1hour 24mins 36.3secs WRC2
2. Sepp Wiegand Skoda Fabia S2000 +1m 48.5s WRC2
3. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +1m 54.8s WRC2

WRC3 standings after Stage 6 (Top 3):

1. Christian Riedemann Citroen DS3 R3T 1hour 30m 00.1s WRC3
2. Stephane Consani Citroen DS3 R3T +16.2s WRC3
3. Quentin Gilbert Citroen DS3 R3T +31.6s WRC3

Notable retirements:

SS2. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Rolled M
SS6. Per-Gunnar Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical

*denotes due to re-start under the Rally 2 regulations

all times unofficial