After a dramatic first day on the RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada in which the lead changed four times it’s Frenchman Sebastien Ogier who will lead the field into day two of the twelfth round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.
The Volkswagen Motorsport driver leads team-mate Jari Matti Latvala by four seconds with M-Sport’s Ott Tanak a further 7.3 seconds behind in third.
It was Robert Kubica who hit the headlines after the opening two tests of the day, the Polish driver finished third on stage two and won stage three to lead the event 3.6 seconds from Citroen’s Mads Ostberg with Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon also impressing in third. Tanak won stage four as the leaders consolidated their positions but it was all change on the mixed surface Terra Alta stage.
Ogier and Latvala took advantage of the mixed surface nature of the stage and exploited their advantage on the tarmac section of the test to jump up the order. Ogier led Latvala by 0.8 seconds by the end of the test.
There was drama for Kubica and Ostberg as both suffered punctures, the Pole lost almost five minutes and plummeted down the order while Ostberg dropped to fifth. Latvala pounced on the next stage to take the lead from his teammate while Tanak won the test to move into second ahead of Ogier. The Frenchman however excelled on the final stage of the day a repeat of the Terra Alta test to move into the lead.
Latvala is still within striking distance in second while Ott Tanak holds an impressive third after winning three stages today. Dani Sordo is a further 15 seconds behind in fourth while Ostberg holds fifth. Andreas Mikkelsen holds sixth 37.4 seconds off the leaders while Paddon has dropped to seventh. Kris Meeke, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans round out the top ten.
Crews will have to transform their cars as the rest of the event will be run on tarmac. Tomorrow brings eight sealed surface stages, three of which are driven twice.