Dream debut for Mikkelsen
Surprising everyone is Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian is making his debut with the Hyundai. He is a leader with a slight advantage over Ogier
Surprising everyone is Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian is making his debut with the Hyundai i20 WRC. He is a leader with a slight advantage over Ogier even after a scare that he picked up in this last classification.
"...in the last stage we had a problem with a damper - it was crashing through from about halfway through the stage and that was quite distracting." - Mikkelsen
Running first on the road, Ogier saved the day enduring the worst of the loose gravel but was sublime in the technical asphalt midway through the long Terra Alta test which closed each loop.
"I'm happy with this place, we had to push really hard on the Tarmac, this was the only place we could make a difference." - Ogier
Kris Meeke, the only one to win more than one special today, is third. The Citroën Briton is within three seconds of the first.
"I just caught the lip of the Tarmac and it spun us. I had to reverse, forward, reverse. It was really close to the end. But anyway, we're here and it's a good position to be in." - Meeke
Ogier's team-mate and winner last time out in Germany Ott Tanak is fourth, having lost the feeling he enjoyed with his Ford Fiesta WRC in the morning. Ostberg was a hugely frustrated fifth, having struggled through day with a hole at the cockpit filling the Fiesta with dust and at the final stage he reached the boiling point when the heater stuck on. Spaniard Dani Sordo is sixth for Hyundai with his fellow i20 WRC driver Thierry Neuville - Ogier's chief title rival - just behind. Jari-Matti Latvala retired with what is thought to be an engine fault after SS5.
Kris Meeke climbed to the lead this morning winning the first stage of the day, with a suprising Juho Hanninen winning the rest of this morning stages. SS10 will go live at 11:50 AM West and you can see at Redbull.tv or plus.wrc.com