23 August 2015
WRC Rallye Deutschland: Ogier, VW close on victory
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier completes Sunday's opening loop of two stages with a 22.6s lead...
Sebastien Ogier continues to lead a Volkswagen 1-2-3 on Rallye Deutschland with just two stages remaining.
Ogier, began the final leg with a 33.8 second advantage and that meant he could take it relatively easy through Stein & Wein 1 and Dhrontal 1, going fourth and eighth quickest respectively. He will now take a 22.6 cushion into the repeats.
“It's important to finish this rally - we know why,” Ogier told the official WRC site, making reference of course to the fact that VW has yet to win its home event. “We'd be stupid to push this morning. Running down the order there is a little more mess on the road, but in this weather it's not so bad.”
Meanwhile, Latvala also said he was concentrating on just getting home in P2, although he was still very quick, second in SS18 - just 0.6s behind Elfyn Evans - and fastest in SS19: “Today is the day to accept the situation and get to the finish. Next year can be another story,” Latvala noted after the first stage of the day.
Speaking after SS19, he added: “Now I've driven these two stages I can relax a bit. I've never driven this one better. I know now why I made my mistake last year - my notes were too fast. I wish I could go back in a time machine. Every day is a school day.”
Behind, Andreas Mikkelsen remains third, while Hyundai duo Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville are fourth and fifth – split now by 14.8s.
Evans rounds out the top-six for M-Sport with Mads Ostberg having dropped back at bit in P7. The gap had been just 3.2s last night, but after topping the times in SS18 and going third in SS19, Evans has stretched it to 12.2s.
“We could set these sorts of times yesterday morning as well – we only seem to be struggling when the temperatures increase. There's some work to do to understand why that is happening,” Evans stated. “Of course it's great to see that we're capable of setting times like this, but we need to ensure that we're able to do it over the course of a full rally.
“It was important to give ourselves a comfortable gap over Mads for the afternoon, and we've managed to do that, but we'll still need to be on top of our game and pushing hard to keep him behind us on these last two stages.”
Ott Tanak, Hayden Paddon and Stephane Lefebvre hold positions 8 through to 10 with Kevin Abbring 11th and WRC2 class leader Jan Kopecky 12th.
Kris Meeke is now 13th, after Martin Prokop was forced out after suffering a double puncture in SS18. He was only carrying one spare.
Robert Kubica re-started this morning under Rally 2 after he damaged a wheel on Saturday in SS13 and is now running 37th overall.
Competitors now head to the re-group before tackling SS20, Stein & Wein 2, at 10.31 hours local time [09.31 hours UK time]. SS21, Dhrontal 2 – the Power Stage – is due to start at 12.08 hours local time [11.08 hours UK time].
2015 Rallye Deutschland: Overall standings after Stage 19 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 3hr 15m 52.8s M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 22.6s M
3. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +1m 53.9s M
4. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +2m 07.4s M
5. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +2m 26.1s M
6. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 47.3s M
7. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +2m 59.5s M
8. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 17.2s M
9. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +4m 38.1s M
10. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +4m 48.1s
11. Kevin Abbring Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +8m 52.1s
12. Jan Kopecky Skoda Fabia R5 +10m 24.0s WRC2
13. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +11m 01.7s M
14. Eric Camilli Ford Fiesta R5 +14m 32.0s WRC2
WRC2 standings after Stage 19 (Top 3):
1. Jan Kopecky Skoda Fabia R5 3hr 26m 16.8s WRC2
2. Eric Camilli Ford Fiesta R5 +4m 08.0s WRC2
3. Quentin Giordano Citroen DS 3 RRC +5m 59.0s WRC2
SS2. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 Went off WRC2*
SS13. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC Lost a wheel**
SS18. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC Double puncture M
M denotes Manufacturer entry
*denotes re-started on Saturday under Rally 2
**denotes re-started on Sunday under Rally 2
all times unofficial
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