Wales Rally GB: Ogier in command after Day 1
Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen) is in the lead after Day 1 of Wales Rally GB, the last round of 2015 World Rally Championship. After Friday’s six special stages triple world champion has 13.5s advantage ahead Kris Meeke (Citroen) and 31.4s ahead Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen).
Two major victims of the first day were Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuvile, who crashed and retired, but both will continuo tomorrow with time penalties. Latvala went off the road into the deep ditch at SS2 Sweet Lamb, while Neuville lost the wheel at SS3 Myherin.
Ogier won five of six special stages and celebrate the 400th WRC stage victory of career. His biggest rival Kris Meeke was fastest on one stage. Meeke sit on the second place after Latvala’s retirement and remained there until the end of the day. “Like this morning, I had a better feeling on the last stage of the loop. Kris isn’t very far behind and he is driving very well, too, so we will need to keep pushing,” commented Ogier after SS6.
Another Citroen driver Mads Ostberg has been keeping out of trouble and finished the day on 4th place. With current positions Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT would defend second place in manufacturers’ classification, because Hyundai’s drivers are behind.
Dani Sordo lies on 5th and Hayden Paddon is 7th. M-Sport’s Ott Tanak is squeezed between Hyundai’s duo on 6th place. Another Ford’s driver Elfyn Evans suffered the puncture on SS4 and with big time loss felt to 8th place. Lorenzo Bertelli (Ford) and Stephane Lefebvre (Citroen) completed the Top 10.
The fastest driver in WRC2 has been Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta R5) with 9.4s advantage ahead Teemu Suninen (Škoda Fabia S2000). Third placed Yuriy Protasov (Ford Fiesta RRC) is more than a minute behind. In Junior WRC and WRC3 categories Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby has a comfortable lead.
Nine stages are scheduled for Saturday, including first 109km loop of seven stages without service. The challenge will be spiced by more bad weather.