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Wales Rally GB: Ogier stretches clear as VW team-mates struggle, Breen rolls

Sebastien Ogier has eased ahead of nearest challenger Ott Tanak to establish a 37.3 second lead at the end of day one at Wales Rally GB.
Click here for full Wales Rally GB Day 1 after SS8 results

Sebastien Ogier has eased ahead of nearest challenger Ott Tanak to establish a 37.3 second lead at the end of day one at Wales Rally GB, while his Volkswagen Motorsport team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen both suffer power issues to tumble down the running order.

With five stage wins from the eight in total on the opening day, Ogier added half a minute to his lead from the midday regroup over DMACK WRT Ford's Tanak as the pair continued to ease ahead of the chasing pack.

Latvala, who had been running in a strong third place after SS6, suffered a loss of power and four-wheel drive in his Volkswagen Polo WRC machine which saw him concede over two minutes to his main rivals over the final two stages to drop to a distant eighth overall.

It is not yet known whether he sustained the same technical issue as fellow Volkswagen driver Mikkelsen who was hit by a fault towards the end of SS3 and without a service stop until the end of the day's action the Norwegian had no option but to limp on to end the day well outside the top ten.

That has opened the opportunity to Thierry Neuville who started Wales Rally GB level on points with Mikkelsen for second in the drivers' championship.

The Hyundai Motorsport driver rose to third at the end of SS8 after Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen's Craig Breen rolled during SS5 while also leapfrogging both Hayden Paddon and Kris Meeke on the final stage of the day.

As a result, Hayden Paddon remains a net fourth place for Hyundai with Meeke dropping to fifth overall ahead of Dani Sordo and M-Sport Ford's Mads Ostberg.

Over a minute behind Ostberg is Latvala but he stays in front of Stephane Lefebrve as WRC2 leader Esapekka Lappi rounded out the top ten ahead of Eric Camilli.



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