Friday, 13 February 2015

Rally - Scandinavian spin



The ‘Big Slippy’ claimed quite a few top scalps on this Scandinavian second round of the World Rally Championship on the first full day of Rally Sweden.

Sebastien Ogier was leading when he spun into a snowbank and got stuck, and just as second placed Jari-Matti Latvala was poised to snatch the lead, he too caught a snowbank on the exit of a right hander which sucked his Polo into a ditch.

That means at the close of play today, Norwegian driver, Andreas Mikkelsen leads Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) by 19.1 seconds with Mads Østberg (Citroën) jusat 0.3 seconds behind in third.

Rally leader Andreas Mikkelsen said: “It is fantastic to be leading the Rally Sweden after the special stages in Norway. However, it does come as a bit of a surprise. We did not find our rhythm straight away today. Only in the afternoon did things pan out as we had envisaged. We still have a lot of work to do and must continue to drive intelligently if we are to convert it into something that counts. There is still a long way to go to the finish, and I am certain my team-mate Sébastien Ogier, Mads Østberg and Thierry Neuville will not give in without a fight.”

Sébastien Ogier commented: “It was certainly not a boring day for Julien and me. It was one with highs and lows. Everything ran superbly in the morning: we went flat out and the conditions were perfect. Things did not run quite so smoothly for us on the second loop in the afternoon. First the windscreen wiper stopped working. Then, in our efforts to repair it, we forgot to fasten the bonnet down, which resulted in the windscreen taking a battering later on. And on the ninth stage I slid into a snow bank in a slow corner. I just braked too late. However, the rally is far from over!”

Jari-Matti Latvala: “I am very disappointed. I was just too quick and thought I had more grip. As it turns out, I didn’t. The rear of the car got caught in a snow bank in the corner, and I then skidded into a ditch. Nothing happened to our Polo. I’d like to thanks all the fans on the route again. Without their fantastic and quick help, we would never have got out.”

Leadserboard after SS10 (of 21):
1. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 1:14:03.6
2. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +19.1
3. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +19.4
4. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +24.7
5. Ott Tanak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:06.2
6. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:37.1
7. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:00.5
8. Yurii Protasov / Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:11.4
9. Henning Solberg / Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:18.2
10. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:49.6…
12. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +3:31.3…

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