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Wales Rally GB: Ogier in control, but Latvala keeps up the pressure

Sebastien Ogier completes SS14 with a 17.1 second advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala; Thierry Neuville remains third, with Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg fourth and fifth respectively
Sebastien Ogier continues to lead Wales Rally GB and drove to control the gap to VW team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala through SS12, SS13 and SS14, succeeding until Dyfnant 1.

Ogier extended his overnight advantage from 20.1 seconds to 26.3 seconds this morning on the first-runs through Gartheiniog and Dyfi and was then content to manage that margin on the repeats. Indeed while Latvala was quickest in SS12 and SS13, Ogier was second, losing just 0.7 seconds in Gartheiniog 2 and only 0.6 seconds in Dyfi 2. The Frenchman was then only fourth fastest in Dyfnant, however, and conceded 7.9 seconds, although he insisted he wasn't concerned and still has a 17.1 second cushion heading into the two short-runs through the 2.06 km Chirk Castle test, which will conclude the third day's itinerary.

“It's okay,” Ogier said at the finish of SS14. “We lost a little time, but it is not a big drama.”

Latvala meanwhile was delighted to take three stage wins on the trot, and was especially pleased with his speed in Dyfnant: “Sometimes you get a good kick when you do a good stage and that [SS14] was a really, really good stage,” said the Finn. “Also I have to say that Ogier has been really quick, but he is also human - so he can't have a perfect stage in every stage.

“So it means we might have an interesting fight.”

Thierry Neuville meanwhile is still third for the Qatar World Rally Team, although he will have to keep an eye on Andreas Mikkelsen, who has closed up and now lies 19.8 seconds back in fourth.

Mads Ostberg is also right up with Mikkelsen and following SS14, just 4.8 seconds split the two.

Martin Prokop continues to hold sixth, almost 5 minutes off P5 and a minute or so up on Dani Sordo in seventh.

WRC2 runners Elfyn Evans, Jari Ketomaa and Mark Higgins hold positions 8 through to 10. Evans now has 1m 02.7s in hand, while Ketomaa overhauled Higgins for P2 in class in SS12.

The third day now concludes, as mentioned above, with the two Chirk Castle super special stages.


Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 14 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hrs 30m 39.6s M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 17.1s M
3. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 16.5s M
4. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +01m 36.3s M
5. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 41.1s M
6. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06m 38.6s M
7. Dani Sordo Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +07m 46.9s M##
8. Elfyn Evans Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 +09m 04.1s WRC2
9. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta R5 +10m 06.8s WRC2
10. Mark Higgins Ford Fiesta R5 +10m 40.7s WRC2

Others

11. Eyvind Brynildsen Ford Fiesta R5 +13m 18.4s WRC2
12. Tom Cave Ford Fiesta R5 +15m 29.2s WRC2
13. Edoardo Bresolin Ford Fiesta RRC +15m 43.6s WRC2
14. Michal Solowow Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +18m 00.0s


WRC2 standings after Stage 14 (Top 3):

1. Elfyn Evans Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 2hrs 39m 43.7s WRC2
2. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta R5 +01m 02.7s WRC2
3. Mark Higgins Ford Fiesta R5 +01m 36.6s WRC2


WRC3 standings after Stage 14:

1. Jukka Korhonen Citroen DS3 R3T 3hrs 10m 45.2s WRC3
2. Keith Cronin Citroen DS3 R3T +07m 17.7s WRC3


Notable retirements:

DNS. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Did not start - hand injury M

SS4. Robert Kubica Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Crashed M*
SS6. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC Crashed M

SS11. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Crashed M
SS11. Robert Kubica Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Crashed M


*denotes re-started under the Rally 2 regulations;
##Started with a 5 minute penalty;
M denotes Manufacturer entry;


all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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