Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has doubled his lead on Wales Rally GB and now has a 30.5s advantage over Kris Meeke post-SS13.
Ogier eked out his overnight advantage to 15.1s this morning in the first two test stages, before then pulling ahead on the middle loop, after winning SS10 and SS12. He also won SS11 too – but only after his time was corrected by the Clerk of the Course to take into account what he lost when he had to stop after Thierry Neuville rolled his Hyundai i20 WRC .
“It's very tricky, there are a lot of places where the grip is close to zero and it's very fast,” Ogier remarked after SS12. “Even now there is a lot of standing water on the road but it's tough for everyone.”
Speaking after posting the third best time in SS13, the short 2.06km Chirk Castle test, he added: “It is different for sure but it was okay for me. It's really clean now and it's going to be constant for everyone. The grip was okay but I was cautious. More to lose than win here.”
Meanwhile, Meeke had a trouble-free run and was second quickest in SS9, SS10 and SS12, as well as going third in SS11.
“A long day and it's not over yet. I'm quite hungry!” Meeke noted post-SS13. “Everything is going fine. I am just trying to go as careful as we can. I really can't afford a mistake. I've always known it's not possible to take on Ogier in a straight fight, I'm content where I am.”
Behind, Andreas Mikkelsen continues to hold third and despite breaking a rear-damper with a puncture in SS8, was quickest in SS9 and second in SS11 and SS13.
M-Sport's Ott Tanak is now up to fourth, 9.8s ahead of Dani Sordo's Hyundai, the Spaniard losing precious seconds in SS10, when his engine stalled at a hairpin.
“I had a problem changing down through the gearbox - the same problem we had in Germany,” Sordo explained at the finish of the test. “I arrived at a corner in fourth, I stalled and after that I went like crazy and hit a barrier. We lost a lot of time.”
Hayden Paddon is next up in sixth, 26.8s off his team-mate, with Elfyn Evans seventh and Mads Ostberg eighth, the latter losing time in SS11 – over 90 seconds - when he went off and got stuck in a ditch. He has, however, been struggling throughout with water and mud seeping into his DS 3 WRC – a issue that has got steadily worse.
Further back, Stephane Lefebvre holds ninth, with Lorenzo Bertelli tenth, 5.7s up on former F1 pilot, Robert Kubica.
In WRC2, Eric Camilli continues to lead, now 15.4s up on Teemu Suninen. Craig Breen is third.
As for retirements, Martin Prokop was forced out after SS12 following a collision with Paddon on the road section.
Saturday's leg now concludes with repeat-runs through Dyfnant and Aberhirnant. SS14, Dynfant 2, is due to start at 18.25 hours local time. Full event itinerary available - HERE
2015 Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 13 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hr 21m 24.2s
2. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 30.5s
3. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 57.1s
4. Ott Tanak
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 24.6s
5. Dani Sordo
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +2m 34.4s
6. Hayden Paddon
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +3m 01.2s
7. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 09.6s
8. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +3m 47.5s
9. Stephane Lefebvre
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +5m 01.7s
10. Lorenzo Bertelli
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 03.3s
11. Robert Kubica
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 09.0s
12. Eric Camilli
Ford Fiesta R5 +8m 54.4s
13. Teemu Suninen
Skoda Fabia S2000 +9m 09.8s
14. Craig Breen
Peugeot 208 T16 +11m 00.4s
15. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Ford Fiesta RRC +12m 21.2s
16. Josh Moffett
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +12m 22.3s
17. Sam Moffett
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +12m 55.1s
WRC2 standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):
1. Eric Camilli
Ford Fiesta R5 2h 30m 18.6s
2. Teemu Suninen
Skoda Fabia S2000 +0m 15.4s
3. Craig Breen
Peugeot 208 T16 +2m 05.9s
SS2. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Went off
SS3. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC Lost a wheel
SS3. Kevin Abbring
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Mechanical
SS8/9. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Broken driveshaft
SS11. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC Rolled
SS12/SS13. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC Accident on road section
M denotes Manufacturer entry
*denotes re-started under Rally 2 on Saturday
all times unofficial