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WRC Rallye Deutschland: Ogier take leads prior to Lefebvre acccident

Sebastien Ogier finishes Saturday's first loop of stages on Rallye Deutschland in the lead, now 13.2secs up on Andreas Mikkelsen; Thierry Neuville remains third, but Dani Sordo is only 1.6secs back in P4; Stephane Lefebvre crashes out forcing organisers to stop Panzerplatte Lang 1
CLICK HERE for Rallye Deutschland leaderboard after SS10


Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has taken the lead on Rallye Deutschland, beating team-mate and rival Andreas Mikkelsen by 13.5secs in Panzerplatte Lang 1, although the stage was later stopped after Stephane Lefebvre crashed.

It is understood Lefebvre went off at the 12.4km point with the medical team called to the scene. Updates to follow.

Ogier began the second day 4.3secs off Mikkelsen, and initially lost further ground in SS6, with the Norwegian 1.5secs quicker.

Mikkelsen, however, then made a mistake in SS7 after going straight on at a junction and having to reverse. That allowed Ogier to slash the gap to just 0.2secs, with the Frenchman going in front in the first run through the short Arena Panzerplatte 1 test, before Mikkelsen went back ahead on the repeat.

It was Panzerplatte Lang 1 though, that proved pivotal in the battle for P1, with Ogier completing the marathon 40.80km test quickest, 10.5secs up on Dani Sordo, while Mikkelsen was only fourth.

Ogier now goes into the mid-day service in Trier with a 13.2sec advantage over his team-mate.

“Once again I was wrong with the tyre choice!” Ogier told the official WRC site post-SS10. “It was drier than we expected. But I did what I could with the tyres I had.”

Asked how he feels to now be in the lead, he replied: “Good, but for sure it is not over.”

Meanwhile, Mikkelsen also felt he had got his tyre selection wrong for Panzerplatte Lang 1: “I had a crossed tyre set-up - and that meant oversteer one corner then understeer the next. Not the perfect choice.”

Behind, Hyundai's Thierry Neuville dropped further back, 26.8secs off P2, and is now just 1.6secs ahead of team-mate, Dani Sordo in fourth.

“We lost the power steering 4km before the finish [of SS10]. The car was undriveable on these roads. We're lucky to be here,” Neuville remarked.

Further back, DMACK's Ott Tanak rounds out the top-five, struggling with his tyres in SS10 and losing more than 30secs to Sordo.

After Lefebvre's accident, M-Sport's Mads Ostberg moves up to sixth, with Hayden Paddon seventh, the two split by 6secs, but over a minute off Tanak.

No other drivers completed SS10 competitively, with the rest now set to be awarded notional times.

Pontus Tidemand, Esapekka Lappi and Armin Kremer hold positions 8 through to 10. Lappi is 28.3secs up on Kremer in the battle for WRC2 honours.

Rallye Deutschland now continues this afternoon with repeat runs through this morning tests, although in contrast to the first loop the short 2.87km Arena Panzerplatte SSS will be run only once. SS11, the 14.73km Freisen-Westrich 2 test, is due to start at 15.38 hours local time [14.38 hours UK time].
by Rob Wilkins



Related Pictures

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Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

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