Sebastien Ogier continued to dominate the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship as the Wales Rally GB entered its second day of competition, it wasn’t without drama though.
While Ogier would finish the day 35.7 seconds in front of Kris Meeke there was a hold up this morning when Thierry Neuville crashed heavily with his Hyundai i20 rolling on to its roof, blocking the road and Ogier’s path. Following a review of the incident, Ogier would later be handed back the time the he lost when he was stationary.
“Conditions were very tough. There was a lot of water but the stages weren’t as bad as we expected. There was so much water that it washed away the mud and the grip was actually good,” said Ogier.
Meeke put in a flawless performance throughout the day as he looked to maximise points for the Citroen team rather than chasing down Ogier for the lead, possibly risking everything. Citroen are currently locked in a battle with Hyundai so every point counts for the teams in Wales.
Volkswagen Motorsport’s Andreas Mikkelsen held on to third place despite a puncture and damage to the rear right damper after hitting a hole. The Norwegian is currently hoping to secure second place in the drivers’ championship.
Fourth place was a hotly contested battle as Mads Østberg, Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo battled hard. Østberg would hold fourth place on two occasions but a puncture and a slide in to a ditch saw him finish the day in eighth place.
It was left for Sordo to pick up the fight and move up in to fourth place but he too would suffer problems as his Hyundai i20 picked up a gearchange glitch and also had a brush with a barrier.
With Østberg and Sordo experiencing problems, Tänak took advantage to end the day in fourth place despite a spin. The Latvian would lead Sordo by 14.7 seconds as Hayden Paddon completed the top six who was hit with his own problems – a gearshift issue and a head-on collision with Martin Prokop after they both took the wrong route on a liasion section. Unfortunately Prokop’s day would end there as his Fiesta was too damaged to continue.
Elfyn Evans sits just 4.4 seconds behind Paddon with Stépane Lefebvre and Robert Kubica rounding out the front runners.
Jari-Matti Latvala was back out under Rally2 rules but his return wouldn’t last long as he was hit with a broken driveshaft.
Sunday sees the final day of action on the 2015 calendar with four stages over 36.43km.