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Title-leader Ogier’s Spanish lead cut

2014-10-25 20:01

BENDING AN ELBOW: Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen take a tough tight turn in their Ford Fiesta RS during the third stage of the 50th Rally of Spain in Catalonia on October 25, 2014. Image: AFP / Josep Lago

SALOU, Spain - Sebastien Ogier was still on course to retain his World Rally title on Saturday (Oct 25 2014) despite seeing his lead cut over the day's first three special stages in the Rally of Spain.

The Frenchman started Day 2 of the penultimate round of the 2014 championship 36.6sec ahead of VW team mate Jari-Matti Latvala, the only driver who can deprive him of the title, and by the end of the third special Latvala had cut that lead to 28.3sec.

Another Finn, Mikko Hirvonen in a Ford Fiesta, was third but 51.9sec behind

DUST AND SUN GLARE

Ogier went into Spain with a 27-point lead over Latvala so the latter must finish above Ogier, taking at least two more points, to remain in the hunt during the Rally of Wales in Britain in November 2014.

Ogier, unlike in his error-hit performance on home ground in France last time out, made the most of his rivals’ struggling with dust and poor visibility caused by the low Spanish sun on the first day.

Latvala also lost time early on Friday when his Polo clipped a rock. – AFP

Day 2 result (seven stages)
1 Sebastien Ogier, France, VW Polo, 1 hour29min04
2 Jari-Matti Latvala, Finland, VW Polo +36.6
3 Mads Ostberg, Norway, Citroen +37.2.0
4 Andreas Mikkelsen, Norway, VW Polo +37.3
5 Mikko Hirvonen, Finland, Ford Fiesta +41.4
6 Robert Kubica, Poland, Ford Fiesta +57.0
7 Dani Sordo, Spain, Hyundai, +1min24.9
8 Martin Prokop, Czech Republic, Ford Fiesta +2min18.2
9 Thierry Neuville, Belgium, Hyundai +2min29.5
10 Nasser Al-Attiyah, Qatar, Ford Fiesta +4min50.4

Rally of Spain standings after Saturday's first three specials

1 Sebastien Ogier (FRA/VW Polo R) 2hr16min 33.9
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/VW Polo R) +28.3
3 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN/Ford Fiesta RS) +51.9
4 Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR/VW Polo R) +57.4
5 Mads Ostberg (NOR/Citroën DS3) +1min08.9
6 Dani Sordo (ESP/Hyundai i20) +1min40.2
7 Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai i20) +3min02.5
8 Martin Prokop (CZE/Ford Fiesta RS) +3min16.1
9 Robert Kubica (POL/Citroën DS3) +5min47.7
10 Hayden Paddon (NZL/Hyundai i20) +7min28.8

Stage winners
Andreas Mikkelsen 1 (SS 1)
Kris Meeke 1 (SS 2)
Hayden Paddon 1 (SS 3)
Sebastien Ogier 3 (SS 4,5,7)
Thierry Neuville 1 (SS 6)
Latvala 3 (SS 8,9,10)




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