Ogier takes opening honours in Wales
Sebastien Ogier has the early lead at Wales Rally GB with victory in the opening night stage.
The World Rally Championship points leader extended an impressive record of five-straight years of winning the opening spectator stage of the event.
The Ford driver has led every kilometre of the British round since the opening special stage of 2013. Victory at the 1.49km test at Tir Prince trotting track means he has now topped the GB leaderboard for 87 consecutive stages covering a remarkable 1258.64km.
The Frenchman completed the sweeping bends and jumps fastest in his Ford Fiesta by 0.4sec from Jari-Matti Latvala’s Toyota Yaris.
Thierry Neuville was third in a Hyundai i20, a tenth of a second further back, and a similar margin clear of Estonia’s Ott Tänak. A tying Andreas Mikkelsen and Elfyn Evans completed the top six, 1.1sec off Ogier’s lead pace.
Kris Meeke finished a lowly 15th, the winner of the previous round in Spain complaining his Citroën C3’s engine stalled mid-stage when he pulled the handbrake.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon was 11th on the stage.
This penultimate round of the WRC season continues Friday with the legendary Welsh stages Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren repeated twice for a total of 119.32 competitive kilometres.
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB : 1 of 21 Special Stages
|1||Sebastien Ogier||Ford Fiesta WRC||1: 09.7|
|2||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Yaris WRC||+0:00.4|
|3||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+0:00.5|
|4||Ott Tänak||Ford Fiesta WRC||+0.00.6|
|5||Elfyn Evans||Ford Fiesta WRC||+0:01.1|
|6||Andreas Mikkelsen||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+0:01.1|
|7||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Yaris WRC||+0:01.2|
|8||Dani Sordo||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+0:01.2|
|9||Craig Breen||Citroën C3 WRC||+0:01.3|
|10||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+0:01.3|