Ogier closes in on WRC drivers title


Sebastien Ogier put in a commanding performance on the opening day of the Rally of Spain to move one step closer to taking the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship drivers title.

Leading the way by 36.6 seconds at the end of the six stages Ogier has the upper hand over team mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who needs to finish ahead of Ogier to remain in the title hunt heading in to Wales GB.

Latvala had poor luck when he hit a rock in the opening stage, this would start a frustrating day for the Finn as he languished behind his team mate.

Thierry Neuville showed promising pace early in the day to lead, but lost time when he hit a bank and punctured his right rear tyre. The resulting damage meant the Belgian had to stop and change his wheel.

Mads Ostberg rounded out the top three frontrunners, just 0.6 seconds behind Latvala and 0.1 seconds ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen.

Mikko Hirvonen lead the Ford charge ahead of Robert Kubica who rounded out the top six drivers.

Dani Sordo suffered misfortune after a miscalculation by co-driver Marc Marti meant they started 30 seconds too late.

For the British drivers it was a day to forget, Kris Meeke retired on SS3 after sliding wide and damaging two tyres. Despite his best efforts of changing one wheel it was ultimately he end of the road for him as he only had one spare.

Elfyn Evans struggled with traction today and ended up off the road three times, the last time was enough for the car unfortunately for the Brit when the incident damaged the radiator.