for RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de Espana leaderboard after SS11
Hyundai's Dani Sordo continues to lead his home RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana following Saturday's opening loop, but Sebastien Ogier has halved the Spaniard's overnight advantage.
Sordo began the second leg, which saw the action switch to asphalt, with a 17 second cushion over the Volkswagen pilot, and initially both set similar times in SS8 and SS9.
However, in SS10, Ogier went quickest, 3secs up on Sordo, before taking 6.8secs out of him in El Montmell 1, the final one before the mid-day service.
“The feeling with the car was good but there were some very dirty places - it's better to be first on the road [like Ogier is],” Sordo told the official WRC site after SS10.
Speaking after SS11, he added: “[It was] understeering a lot. It's down to the balance of the car. It's impossible. I can't do more. Of course I will not give up - I'll fight until the end.”
“It hasn't been such a long loop, so tyre wear is not such an issue and I tried a bit harder here [SS11],” Ogier continued.
“I was surprised by how slippery it was in the cuts near the beginning. It will be worse for the guys behind. I'm happy but I know I could be a little bit better.”
Meanwhile, Volkswagen II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has fallen further behind the battle at the front, but continues to hold third, now 10.4secs up on Thierry Neuville – more or less the same as it was last night.
Neuville had a difficult morning and wasn't happy with the set-up of his Hyundai i20 WRC. He also reported he lost concentration in SS11 due to a pace-note error, but was still 1.3secs up on Mikkelsen.
Behind, Hayden Paddon is fifth, 12.9secs off his team-mate, and 28.5secs up on Kris Meeke. Meeke in turn is now 14.8secs ahead of M-Sport's Mads Ostberg, despite suffering a front-right puncture in SS9.
Ott Tanak, Eric Camilli and Kevin Abbring complete the top-ten, with Craig Breen slipping from P8 last night to 15th after struggling with driveshaft issues.
In WRC2, Jan Kopecky was quickest in all four stages to build a 17.5sec margin over team-mate and overnight leader Pontus Tidemand.
Marius Aasen is now third - more than 5 minutes back - after Julien Maurin had problems in SS10.
As expected, Jari-Matti Latvala re-joined this morning under Rally 2 and showed good pace - going quickest in SS8 and SS9 and third fastest in SS10 and SS11 – hauling himself up from 41st to 23rd.
“The car is fantastic. I have a very good feeling to drive it. I was very disappointed yesterday - I turned too early in a corner and hit the armco. I can be angry but that doesn't help. What can I do today? Some good times,” he noted after Vilaplana.
RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana now continues this afternoon with repeat-runs through Alcover, Querol and El Montmell. The day then concludes with a short run through the 2.24km Salou super special.
SS12, the 19.93 Alcover test, is due to start at 13.57 hours local time [12.57 hours UK time].