Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has extended his lead on Wales Rally GB this morning and he now heads to the remote mid-day service in Newtown with a 13.5 second cushion.

Following the three night stages last night, Ogier had a 3.2 second advantage and he stretched that to 12.9 seconds in SS4, the first test of the day, the 32.14 km-run through Hafren 1, when he took his third stage win of the event. The Frenchman was then second in both SS5 and SS6, 1.2 seconds behind Dani Sordo in Sweet Lamb 1 and 4.6 seconds off team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala in Myherin 1.

"It was okay," Ogier said after SS6. "I had no splits in that test and had the wrong rhythm. But no drama - it's not too bad."

Latvala meanwhile went for it in the final test of the loop, taking his first stage win of the event and moving up into P2 overall and ahead of Qatar World Rally Team man, Thierry Neuville: "I really pushed hard in there [SS6], not much margin to push harder!" Jari-Matti stated. "It was very slippery at the start but I started to get a good rhythm towards the end. I went a little bit softer with the suspension."

Neuville began the day well and was second in SS4. However he struggled in SS5 and SS6 and is now 21.9 seconds off Latvala and 35.4 seconds off Ogier.

"We were quite close to the leaders on the first stage, setting the second fastest time, but they are setting a very fast pace now," he said. "On the last stage I lost all the confidence. I couldn't imagine how slippery it actually was so we just concentrated on not making a mistake. If we stay in this position, we are still second in the championship so all is good."

Mads Ostberg holds fourth, gaining a place in Myherin 1 when Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen rolled out in his DS3 WRC. The Finn had been 17.4 seconds in front, when he went off. Hirvonen and co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen both escaped unharmed.

It was a bad morning for Citroen, as Robert Kubica also crashed out in his Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT-entered car. The Pole had been running seventh when he also rolled his DS3 WRC, albeit in the first test of the day.

It is not yet known if Hirvonen and Kubica will be able to re-start on Saturday under the Rally 2 regulations.

Behind, Evgeny Novikov completes the top-five, 10.2 seconds off his Qatar M-Sport team-mate, while Andreas Mikkelsen is just 1.2 seconds back in sixth in the Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC.

"We're still having some issues with the launch at the stage start, but honestly it doesn't lose us too much time - maybe half a second or so," Novikov stated. "We were pushing on the first two stages [SS4 and SS5] but the third one [SS6] was very slippery. As always, we are doing our best and trying to set some good times."

Martin Prokop holds seventh in his privately entered Fiesta RS WRC, with WRC2 runners, Elfyn Evans, Jari Ketomaa and Mark Higgins in positions 8 through to 10. Dani Sordo, who was quickest in SS5 and who started with that 5 minute penalty, is now up to 16th.

"The first stage [SS4] was very good for us until it got stopped [because of Kubica's accident] - the pace was good in there," said Evans. "Sweet Lamb [SS5] was tricky so we just tried to make it through unscathed because I have some bad memories of that one from two years ago! Then on the last one [SS6], we had no grip whatsoever; we found ourselves going wide in a few places and not driving the way we like so we lost a bit of time in there. Now we just need to continue like this and see what we can do second time around."

Friday's action now concludes with a repeat-run through this morning's three stages. SS7, Hafren 2, is due to start 13.43 hours local time.

Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 6 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien OgierVolkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC54m 25.8s M
2. Jari-Matti LatvalaVolkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC+00m 13.5s M
3. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 35.4s M
4. Mads OstbergQatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC+00m 57.4s M
5. Evgeny NovikovQatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC+01m 07.6s M
6. Andreas MikkelsenVolkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC+01m 08.8s M
7. Martin ProkopJipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 50.6s M
8. Elfyn EvansQatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 +03m 47.1s WRC2
9. Jari KetomaaFord Fiesta R5+03m 56.6s WRC2
10. Mark HigginsFord Fiesta R5+04m 13.4s WRC2

Others

11. Yazeed Al RajhiFord Fiesta RRC +05m 03.2s WRC2
12. Eyvind BrynildsenFord Fiesta R5+05m 16.6s WRC2
16. Dani SordoCitroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC+06m 16.9s M##

WRC2 standings after Stage 6 (Top 3):

1. Elfyn EvansQatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 58m 12.9s WRC2
2. Jari KetomaaFord Fiesta R5+00m 09.5s WRC2
3. Mark HigginsFord Fiesta R5+00m 26.3s WRC2

WRC3 standings after Stage 6:

1. Bryan BouffierCitroen DS3 R3T1hr 05m 21.7s WRC3
2. Jukka KorhonenCitroen DS3 R3T+04m 06.6s WRC3
3. Keith CroninCitroen DS3 R3T+06m 11.5s WRC3

Notable retirements:

DNS. Nasser Al-AttiyahQatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Did not start - hand injury M

SS4. Robert KubicaAbu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Crashed M
SS6. Mikko HirvonenCitroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRCCrashed M

*denotes re-started under the Rally 2 regulations;
##Started with a 5 minute penalty;
M denotes Manufacturer entry;

all times unofficial

 

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