Thursday, 14 November 2013
Rally - Wales, Leg 1
World Champ-elect, Sébastien Ogier leads Wales Rally GB by just 0.4 sec as the crews head back to bed tonight ahead of their 6.30 am re-start tomorrow morning.
Ogier was fastest in his Polo R over the opening two stages with Ford's Thierry Neuville snatching the fastest time on the third test of the night, the 7.52 km SS3 in Clocaenog. He was a lucky boy though. On the first stage of the evening, the Fiesta slid into a ditch, and then clouted a huge rock in the second stage flinging the car into the air, but they build them tough in Cockermouth, eh.
Running first on the road, Jari-Matti Latvala in the second Polo R was third in SS3 after finishing the two previous stages in second place, which places him third overall.
Top Citroen driver is Mikko Hirvonen in fourth place in his DS3, but lost time in the first stage sliding wide twice, while Mads Ostberg is fifth in a Fiesta RS but is having trouble with his gear selection system.
Leaderboard after 3 (of 22) stages
1, S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia, 14:28.3, 0.0,
2, T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul, 14:31.5, +3.2,
3, J. Latvala / M. Anttila, 14:33.5, +5.2,
4, M. Hirvonen / J. Lehtinen, 14:44.5, +16.2,
5, M. Østberg / J. Andersson, 14:53.0, +24.7,
6, A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula, 14:56.1, +27.8,
7, R. Kubica / M. Ferrara, 15:03.7, +35.4,
8, E. Novikov / I. Minor, 15:05.8, +37.5,
9, E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2), 15:35.2, +1:06.9,
10, M. Prokop / M. Ernst, 15:35.9, +1:07.6,
Ford Fiesta R5 cars fill the top five places in WRC2 with Elfyn Evans leading the category after tonight’s opening sprint, fastest over two of the night stages to take a 13.2 sec lead over Finland’s Jari Ketomaa.
Mark Higgins is third, just 3.4sec behind Ketoma, but had a ‘moment’ in the first stage - when he forgot to turn on his car’s headlights!
“It was certainly better with the lights on, but we haven’t yet found a good driving rhythm,” said Mark, “Not a bad run, but sometimes we’re off the pace, while at others we’re pushing a bit too hard. It’ll be a lot easier in the daytime. We’re not too far away and there’s definitely more to come from us.”
Eyvind Brynildsen is fourth, just 2.1sec behind Higgins with Robert Barrable fifth.