2015 LOTOS Rally Poland has ended its third and penultimate day, and although Sebastien Ogier has remained out front, teammate Andreas Mikkelsen is close behind and so there will be a close battle tomorrow for the overall win.
Ogier sits 5.6 seconds ahead of his Norwegian rival with the final day’s running awaiting them tomorrow morning.
The Frenchman finished yesterday with a slim lead of 2.1 seconds but by the end of this morning, he had extended that to over seven seconds. Mikkelsen later decided to use the harder tyre compound for the afternoon’s stage, and this proved a wiser choice than Ogier’s soft rubber, allowing him to close the gap.
“I’ve been cleaning the roads since the start so to lead is fantastic, but we have to finish the fight tomorrow,” said the championship leader. “I wasn’t so sure about my tyre choice this afternoon because they were moving a lot. It wasn’t a perfect choice.”
Mikkelsen blames the hanging dust for denying him an even more successful afternoon: “There was so much dust I couldn’t see in places. I pushed to the maximum but lost time in the dust. On hard tyres, I think that was my chance.”
In third place overnight was Jari-Matti Latvala with an almost six second advantage over M-Sport‘s Ott Tanak, but the latter had passed the Finn by lunchtime. With a third stage win of the day this afternoon, Tanak now has a 1.5 second lead over fourth place.
Hyundai‘s Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville are fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of local favourite Robert Kubica and Kris Meeke. The only retirement of the day was Elfyn Evans, whose Ford had a broken water pump.
SS14 at Mazury this afternoon was cancelled due to spectator safety concerns.
Tomorrow’s action consists of two runnings of the Baranowo stage, which is just shy of 15km in length.