WRC Italy: Jari-Matti Latvala pulls away, Sebastien Ogier to second
|Friday, June 6th 2014, 18:38 GMT|
Jari-Matti Latvala stretched his Rally Italy lead to over 20 seconds after a strong performance in Sardinia on Friday afternoon.
The Volkswagen driver began the second loop of stages with a slender 2.2s advantage over Mads Ostberg's Citroen, but with dust and gravel proving less of an issue on the second passage, Latvala was able to win three of the four stages.
His team-mate Sebastien Ogier was also less impeded in the afternoon and managed to take his first stage win of the event on Coiluna-Crastazza and followed it up with the second quickest time on the final test, which promoted him into second overall, ahead of Ostberg.
The Norwegian was unable to match his morning pace during the second loop of stages and finished the day 34.7s behind Latvala in third.
Fellow countryman Andreas Mikkelsen reduced the deficit to his Citroen rival from 9.6s at the interval to just 4.0s, while Robert Kubica has maintained fifth position after a trouble-free end to the day.
Kubica's M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans occupies sixth, having gained a position through Martin Prokop's difficulties with his handbrake.
The privateer Ford man was well off the pace and lost 1m26.8s over the course of the four stages, dropping from third to seventh.
Leading positions after SS9: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jari-Matti Latvala VW 1h49m09.5s 2. Sebastien Ogier VW +22.4s 3. Mads Ostberg Citroen +34.7s 4. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +37.7s 5. Robert Kubica M-Sport Ford +1m19.3s 6. Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford +1m29.0s 7. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +1m36.9s 8. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +1m36.9s 9. Yazeed Al Rajhi Yazeed Ford +5m15.8s* 10. Nasser Al-Attiyah M-Sport Ford +5m19.9s* * WRC2