5 April 2014
Rally de Portugal: Ogier re-takes lead, Tanak crashes
Sebastien Ogier puts Volkswagen back on top in Portugal after winning two of the three stages this morning; Mikko Hirvonen drops to second, while Ott Tanak goes out in SS10 and Robert Kubica retires again in SS9...
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has re-taken the lead on Rally de Portugal this morning, overhauling Mikko Hirvonen in SS9.
Ogier began day two 6.5 seconds off Hirvonen and immediately set the marker in SS8, the first test of the leg, when he was quickest – albeit only 0.2 seconds up on his M-Sport rival. The Frenchman then pushed on in Santana de Serra 1 and with Mikko 8.7 seconds slower, jumped up from third to first overall. The battle then continued in SS10, with Ogier setting the second best time, 1.9 seconds off Rally 2 re-starter, Jari-Matti Latvala. However with Ott Tanak crashing out and Hirvonen delayed as a result, the Finn was given a notional time – only 10 drivers or so completed the test at speed – and as such the gap remains the same as after SS9, 2.4 seconds.
“It's a good morning for us. Not too much [else] to say,” Ogier stated after SS10, before heading back to the Algarve Stadium for the mid-day service. “For the first time in the rally it was a good tyre choice, so I am happy with that. Still not clear though, and still not dry.”
“It's been an OK morning,” added Hirvonen. “Sebastien was really fast on the long stage [SS9] but other than that, it's still really close. We were ready to take some time back through the final stage [SS10], but unfortunately Ott had an issue and blocked the road. It's a shame, but there's still a long way to go and we're certainly not going to give up on chasing him down. We're going to have a hard decision to make about tyres now, but whatever we opt for and whatever the conditions, we will fight.”
Citroen's Mads Ostberg meanwhile now moves up to third after Tanak's off. The Norwegian was fourth quickest in SS8 and SS10 and third in SS9. He is now 32.5 seconds off P2 and 17.5 seconds up on Dani Sordo's Hyundai i20 WRC in fourth. Ostberg and Sordo had been split by just by just 0.1 seconds last night.
“We've been going quite well,” Ostberg remarked. “Some of the [other] drivers are a bit faster, but I am trying everything I can to keep pace. I think when you want to fight at the top you need to take risks, but I'm not doing that at the moment.”
“It was a little bit better [in that last test], with soft tyres the car moves a lot. It's difficult with the pace notes, but I'm happy,” Sordo added. “The tyres this afternoon are a difficult choice. We need to think about it. At the moment I'm happy with the rally. We're improving all the time, learning how the car will cut in.”
Further back, Thierry Neuville is a lonely fifth, 30 seconds or so adrift of Sordo and almost 1.5 minutes on Volkswagen Motorsport II man, Andreas Mikkelsen in sixth.
Behind, Henning Solberg and Martin Prokop are seventh and eighth, with Tanak classified ninth currently and Juho Hanninen tenth.
In WRC2, Jari Ketomaa has increased his overnight lead over Nasser Al-Attiyah from 4.7 seconds to 17.4 seconds, while in the JWRC/WRC3, Alastair Fisher has also pulled ahead, his advantage up from around 30 seconds to over a minute.
As for retirements, in addition to Tanak, Robert Kubica also went out again. He restarted today under Rally 2, but went off and into a ditch in SS9. It has yet to be confirmed if the former Formula 1 man will rejoin on Sunday. Kris Meeke was not able to rejoin today as the roll cage on his Citroen DS3 WRC was damaged in his off in SS7 on Friday.
The leg now concludes with a repeat-run through this morning's three tests. SS11, Santa Clara 2, is due to start at 15.00 hours local time.
Rally de Portugal: Overall standings after Stage 10 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hours 14m 45.3s M
2. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 02.4s M
3. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 34.9s M
4. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +00m 52.4s M
5. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +01m 20.1s M
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +02m 46.8s M
7. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03m 00.9s
8. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +04m 58.0s M
9. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05m 09.1s
10. Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +05m 18.7s M
11. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta R5 +06m 26.4s WRC2
12. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC +06m 43.8s WRC2
13. Pontus Tidemand Ford Fiesta R5 +08m 15.9s WRC2
14. Karl Kruuda Ford Fiesta S2000 +08m 30.0s WRC2
15. Khalid Al-Qassimi Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +09m 22.2s M
WRC2 standings after Stage 10 (Top 3):
1. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta R5 2hours 21m 11.7s WRC2
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC +00m 17.4s WRC2
3. Pontus Tidemand Ford Fiesta R5 +01m 49.5s WRC2
JWRC / WRC3 standings after Stage 10 (Top 3):
1. Alastair Fisher Citroen DS3 R3T 2hours 31m 05.5s WRC3
2. Simone Campedelli Citroen DS3 R3T +01m 06.9s WRC3
3. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS3 R3T +01m 35.1s WRC3
SS4. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road M*
SS4. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Lost a wheel M*
SS5. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Rolled M*
SS7. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC Crashed M
SS9. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road M
SS10. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Crashed
* denotes re-started under Rally 2 on Saturday.
all times unofficial
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