autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
WRC NEWS 

WRC Sweden: Ogier reclaims lead at the end of day one

Ogier on top at the end of day one

Sebastien Ogier reclaimed the Rally Sweden lead from his Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen at the end of a fascinating first day.

Mikkelsen had reduced Ogier's initial 8.1-second lead to just 1.6s going into the lunchtime regroup, then trimmed it to 0.5s on the next stage.

The Norwegian then took the lead - by just 0.2s - but relinquished it on the day's final stage when he chose to save his new tyres for Friday morning and run older rubber.

Conditions in Sweden this weekend are putting a premium on tyre conservation. With far less snow than the World Rally Championship field would hope for, the drivers need to nurse their allocation of 24 tyres through increasingly gravel-based stages that will rip the winter studs from the rubber.

Deciding to save rubber at the end of Thursday meant Mikkelsen fell 5.8s behind Ogier heading into day two.

Rally Sweden coverage on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live

VW is back into one-two-three formation with Jari-Matti Latvala 12.2s off the lead in third.

M-Sport's returnee Ott Tanak had briefly got ahead of Latvala during Thursday afternoon, and ended the day just 2.6s behind the factory car.

Citroen's Mads Ostberg and M-Sport's Mikko Hirvonen share fifth place overnight, 7.7s behind Tanak and 9.5s ahead of Thierry Neuville in the best of the Hyundais.

Henning Solberg had run as high as eighth in an encouraging WRC return for both himself and Pirelli, but a right-front puncture - which he suspected came from hitting a stone - cost him 50s on the final stage of the day.

He had previously been in a very close dice with his stepson Pontus Tidemand and Hyundai driver Juho Hanninen.

Kris Meeke and Robert Kubica have continued to avoid risks as they build up snow rally experience, and run 10th and 11th.

Leading positions after SS7:

Pos Driver              Team/Car          Time/Gap
 1. Sebastien Ogier     VW                39m56.5s
 2. Andreas Mikkelsen   VW                +5.8s
 3. Jari-Matti Latvala  VW                +12.2s
 4. Ott Tanak           M-Sport Ford      +14.8s
 5. Mads Ostberg        Citroen           +22.5s
 6. Mikko Hirvonen      M-Sport Ford      +22.5s
 7. Thierry Neuville    Hyundai           +32.0s
 8. Juho Hanninen       Hyundai           +42.0s
 9. Pontus Tidemand     M-Sport Ford      +44.6s
10. Kris Meeke          Citroen           +46.6s
British GP competition
Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  RELATED STORIES
Latvala clinches victory in Sweden
Ostberg criticises Kubica over hold-up
Latvala keeps narrow lead in Sweden
Latvala heads Mikkelsen in Sweden
Ogier loses rally lead with mistake
Tanak stunned by WRC return form
Ogier leads from Mikkelsen in Sweden
Mikkelsen leads Rally Sweden
Haymarket