Citroen Duo Ahead In Australia After Superspecial Runs

by Peter Allen

Sebastien Ogier leads Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb by 0.6 seconds on Rally Australia after two runs through the Coffs Harbour superspecial on Thursday evening.

Ogier was quickest through the first stage, 0.7s ahead of Loeb. The older Frenchman fought back by setting the pace on the second run, but Ogier was only 0.1s slower. This gives the Rallye Deutschland winner a 0.6s advantage heading into the first full day of stages on Friday.

Ford drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen were third and fourth fastest respectively through both of the stages, leaving them 2.8s and 5.9s adrift of Ogier.

Brothers Petter and Henning Solberg are fifth and sixth, ahead of Henning's M-Sport Stobart teammate Evgeny Novikov. Peter van Merksteijn Jr, fresh from a maiden points finish in Germany, is eighth.

Matthew Wilson spun on his first run, leaving him ninth. Daniel Oliveira is the sole Mini entry in Australia and lies tenth overall, ahead of Ford duo Ken Block and Khalid Al Qassimi.

Michal Kosciuszko is the top Production WRC runner in 13th overall, just ahead of local wildcard entry Nathan Quinn and Finland's Jukka Ketomaki. Harry Hunt is an impressive 16th overall and fourth in PWRC in his 2WD Citroen DS3 WRC, having been second quickest in the category on the opening test.

Top ten positions after SS2:

Pos No Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1. 2 Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC 5:27.3
2. 1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC +0.6
3. 4 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2.8
4. 3 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5.9
5. 11 Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +7.0
6. 15 Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +9.8
7. 6 Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11.3
8. 14 Peter van Merksteijn Jr Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC +11.9
9. 5 Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +12.6
10. 12 Daniel Oliveira Brazil Mini John Cooper Works WRC +18.7

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