WRC: Ogier extends Catalunya lead

2016-10-16 15:01:28
http://www.racer.com/component/flexicontent/502-rally/135526-ogier-on-brink-of-victory-and-2016-title?Itemid=1
Date:
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Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has just two stages to negotiate to claim a fourth World Rally Championship title after consolidating his Rally Catalunya lead on Sunday morning.

Ogier, who only needs a point to secure the 2016 WRC title, started the day in commanding fashion by setting the fastest time on SS16 Pratdip  extending the lead he reclaimed from Hyundai's Dani Sordo on Saturday afternoon by 2.6 seconds.

Frenchman Ogier then set the second-fastest time in his VW Polo R WRC on the first Duesaigues run, finishing 0.2s slower than team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, to end the first loop with 12.7s in hand at the head of the leaderboard. Only a repeat loop of Sunday's first two stages stands between Ogier and a fourth-successive title success.

Sordo pushed in his Hyundai i20 WRC but wasn't able to match Ogier's pace, and now looks set to finish a comfortable second with a minute in hand over third-place teammate Thierry Neuville.

Neuville lost a couple of seconds to the third i20 of Hayden Paddon on SS16, but matched the New Zealander's time on the following stage and will start the final loop with 13.4s in hand in their fight for the final podium spot.

Citroen's Kris Meeke retired from fifth place on the rally on the opening stage of the day with engine problems.

Meeke started the Pratdip stage, but stopped his DS3 4.5 miles into the run and retired on the spot, bringing to an end a turbulent rally for the Northern Irishman  who recovered to run competitively for much of Friday and Saturday despite rolling on the first morning.

Fifth instead belongs to M-Sport's Mads Ostberg, who is more than three minutes behind Ogier in his Ford Fiesta, while the DMACK Fiesta of Ott Tanak holds sixth.

Kevin Abbring is on course to score his best result in the WRC in a fourth Hyundai i20, and sits a lonely seventh  more than two minutes behind Tanak.

Leading WRC2 runners Jan Kopecky and Pontus Tidemand remain locked in a tight battle for class honours in eighth and ninth, with 10.1s separating the pair.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS17:

PosDriverTeamCarGap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 2h54m11.7s
2 Dani Sordo, M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 12.7s
3 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m12.3s
4 Hayden Paddon, J.Kennard Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 1m25.7s
5 Mads Ostberg, O.Floene M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m11.2s
6 Ott Tanak, R.Molder DMACK World Rally Team Ford 4m53.7s
7 Kevin Abbring, S.Marshall Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 7m02.2s
8 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport Skoda 8m29.1s
9 Martin Prokop, J.Tomanek Jipocar Czech National Team Ford 9m26.8s
10 Craig Breen, S.Martin Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen 9m51.3s

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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