Sebastien Ogier says he had to "fight" to keep it on the road on the repeat loop this afternoon, although the Frenchman still finished day one of Wales Rally GB on top.

Ogier blitzed the opposition in the morning, winning three of the four stages. However on the repeat loop, he wasn't so comfortable and saw his lead slashed from 9.6 seconds to 3.8 after SS5.

Ogier responded though and stretched it back to 7.2 seconds in SS6, before eventually finishing the leg with a 6.6 second cushion over Volkswagen team-mate and closest rival, Jari-Matti Latvala.

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"It was much trickier this afternoon," Ogier said. "The roads were much more slippery and I struggled with a lot of understeer. I just tried to survive. In the end I was fighting with the steering wheel to keep the car on the road..."

Despite that, however, he was happy with his day overall: "This is a good start to the Wales Rally GB for me. The first stages this morning were really nice and great fun to drive. The Polo R WRC was fantastic.

"The conditions were better than expected [in the morning] and we are able to race without any pressure at all at the final round of the season."

Meanwhile, Latvala, after struggling a bit early on, is now enjoying the fight with Ogier: "We had a great battle with Seb and are separated by just a few seconds. That promises to make the next couple of days very exciting," he added.

"This afternoon, it was as though some parts of the stages had been polished by the sheer number of cars in the field. This made it very slippery.

"It was tricky to judge the level of grip and know where to attack. It was hard work guiding the Polo R WRC through Wales, but also great fun..."

Volkswagen boss Jost Capito is now looking forward seeing how the fight develops: "We were hoping for plenty of excitement at the final rally, and have not been disappointed," Capito continued.

"Sebastien and Jari-Matti are staging a gripping duel and only a few seconds separate them. One of them was in front four times, the other one was in front four times - it's so much fun following this duel, which has shaped the whole WRC season.

"I am certain we are in for another two thrilling days of rallying here in Wales."