Latvala still leads with three stages remaining
Jari-Matti Latvala continues to lead Rally Australia as the Coffs Coast event heads towards its conclusion this afternoon.
The Finn and his Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team stable-mate Mikko Hirvonen took a win each on this morning’s opening two stages, before both being trumped by the recovering Sebastien Loeb on SS23.
The gap between Latvala and Hirvonen now sits at 19.7s, with the former expected to hand victory to his team-mate in order to further boost Hirvonen’s rejuvenated title hopes.
Petter Solberg continues to run third overall, 57.6s adrift of Latvala, while Matthew Wilson and Khalid Al Qassimi round out the top five.
Citroen Racing’s Sebastien Ogier has recovered to 10th following his off on Friday, while Loeb’s chances of scoring any points in Coffs Harbour appear to lie with this afternoon’s rally-ending Power Stage (a repeat of SS23).
There was yet more carnage on this morning’s stages, with Evgeny Novikov (Ford) enduring a major accident on SS22. The Russian and his co-driver emerged unhurt from the incident, but will take no further part in the rally.
Mini driver Daniel Oliveira also crashed out on the second of this morning’s stages, while Henning Solberg is set to continue after midday service despite rolling his Ford on SS23.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon continues to hold down a healthy lead in the Production Car World Rally Championship classification.
See below for the Rally Australia Race Guide