Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has taken the early lead on Rally Poland this afternoon, the latest round in the 2014 World Rally Championship.

Mikkelsen was second quickest in the opening test, the 14.54 km Milki 1 stage, 0.5 seconds off Ogier. He was then went second again in SS2, 0.9 seconds up on Ogier, and now heads to the Mikolajki re-grouping with a 0.4 second lead: "It feels good to take the lead. This stage [SS2] felt better than the last one," said Mikkelsen. "I am happy with my driving. It has been very clean."

Britain's Kris Meeke meanwhile is third, 4 seconds off Ogier, having gone third fastest in the opening test and fourth in SS2: "It is beautiful here. I said in the press conference that I loved this rally in the Citroen C2. The commitment is incredible. This is what we drive rally cars for. We had no moments. Paul [Nagle - my co-driver] was calling the pacenotes like a Sunday paper!"

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Behind, Juho Hanninen holds fourth, having gained two places after setting the pace in SS2: "I was able to keep the rhythm - sometimes a little too wide, but no problems. I am happy with the fastest time," reported the Hyundai pilot.

Citroen's Mads Ostberg rounds out the top five, just one second further back, followed by the other Hyundai's of Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon and then Jari-Matti Latvala, Martin Prokop and Mikko Hirvonen in positions 8 through to 10.

"OK, maybe a bit of personal pressure because of [what happened here in] 2009 [when I went out in the final short super special and lost second]. But the other thing is I am not happy with the car," Latvala stated. "It's not turning the way I would want, so I need to do something. It is a long rally, however, and tomorrow is another day. Let's see how it goes."

Hirvonen was also frustrated: "We are struggling a lot," admitted the M-Sport World Rally Team man. "We have lost a lot of time [over 26 seconds]. It is going to be a tough weekend. The car does not feel that bad, but we are losing a lot."

Of the rest, local star Robert Kubica holds P11, with Henning Solberg twelfth. Kubica was fifth in SS1, but then rolled his Fiesta RS WRC in SS2 and conceded over 25 seconds: "I came over a crest which was bigger than I expected. The car unloaded and I didn't have any braking," explained the former F1 pilot.

"I went into the ditch and rolled. I should have gone straight but I tried to recover. We had to ask for help from spectators."

In WRC2, Ott Tanak heads the class in his DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 having been fastest in SS1 and SS2. He lies 5.6 seconds up on fellow DMACK Fiesta R5 man Jari Ketomaa with Karl Kruuda third, 24.4 seconds further back.

The short opening day now concludes with a run through the 2.50 km Mikolajki Super Special, scheduled to start at 20.05 hours local time [19.05 hours UK time].

Rally Poland: Overall standings after Stage 2 (Top 10):

1. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 16m 00.4s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 00.4s M
3. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 04.4s M
4. Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +00m 05.3s M
5. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 06.3s M
6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +00m 16.4s M
7. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +00m 18.7s M
8. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 21.2s M
9. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 25.9s M
10. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 26.2s M


11. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 32.1s M
12. Henning Solberg Adapta Motorsport Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 32.2s
13. Ott Tanak Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 34.5s WRC2
14. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 34.6s M
15. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 40.1s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 2 (Top 3):

1. Ott Tanak Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 16m 34.9s WRC2
2. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 05.6s WRC2
3. Karl Kruuda Peugeot 208 T16 +00m 30.0s WRC2

Notable retirements:


M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial