27 June 2014
Rally Poland: Mikkelsen back on top
Andreas Mikkelsen wins SS9 and re-takes the lead, 1 second up on Sebastien Ogier; Mads Ostberg remains third followed by Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke and Juho Hanninen
Volkswagen Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen has re-taken the initiative on Rally Poland this evening.
Mikkelsen had gone in front this morning, overhauling overnight leader, Sebastien Ogier in the opening test. However he slipped back again in SS6 and concluded the morning loop 1.5 seconds back.
This afternoon's action was then heavily curtailed, as both SS7 and SS8 were cancelled due to a 'number of spectators standing in unsafe places' and because 'the condition of the track surface had deteriorated badly' following the first pass. It meant there was a long wait for SS9 - the repeat run through Wieliczki test, but Mikkelsen made the most of it, as he did this morning (when it was ran as SS4). The Norwegian was quickest again in it - 2.2 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala and 2.5 seconds up on Ogier and that was enough to put him back on top, 1 second ahead going into the Mikolajki Arena Super Special, which also concluded proceedings on Thursday.
“I enjoyed it [Wieliczki] first time through and I pushed a lot [now],” Mikkelsen told the official WRC site. “I honestly don't think I can go any faster. It is awesome to be leading – it is a nice place to be in. We are smiling on the stages.
“There is a long day tomorrow, but the feeling is great.”
“SS9 was fun to drive again,” Ogier added. “Quite slippery and I expected a bit more grip. There was still a bit of cleaning but I made the best of the stage.
Behind, Citroen's Mads Ostberg remains third, 16.6 seconds back, and 12.5 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala in fourth. Latvala struggled on Thursday, but was much happier today.
Kris Meeke completes the top five and he was disappointed with his pace in SS5 and SS6, the two Lithuanian stages: “The trip to Lithuania did not work out [for me]. We just have to pick up the pieces now,” he remarked after SS9.
Hyundai's Juho Hanninen is next up and sixth, with Mikko Hirvonen seventh ahead of Robert Kubica, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans. Neuville had a dramatic incident at the finish of SS9, when the rear brake calibre on his Hyundai i20 WRC overheated and caught fire. He was able to disconnect the brakes though, and put it out and he is confident he can now continue.
In WRC2, Ott Tanak still leads - 13.8 seconds up on Jari Ketomaa after the Finn nibbled into his lead in SS9 and took back 0.4 seconds. Martin Kangur completes the provisional class podium.
Day two now concludes – as mentioned earlier – with a second pass through the 2.50 km Mikolajki Arena super special. It is scheduled to start at 22.00 hours local time [21.00 hours UK time].
Rally Poland: Overall standings after Stage 9 (Top 10):
1. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 45m 34.5s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 01.0s M
3. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 17.6s M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 30.1s M
5. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 38.4s M
6. Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +00m 44.5s M
7. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 04.7s M
8. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 14.9s M
9. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +01m 19.2s M
10. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 19.3s M
11. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +01m 20.2s M
12. Henning Solberg Adapta Motorsport Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 24.9s
13. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 37.2s M
14. Ott Tanak Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +02m 06.2s WRC2
15. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +02m 20.0s WRC2
WRC2 standings after Stage 9 (Top 3):
1. Ott Tanak Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 47m 40.7s WRC2
2. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +00m 13.8s WRC2
3. Martin Kangur Ford Fiesta S2000 +01m 42.0s WRC2
M denotes Manufacturer entry
all times unofficial
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