Ford still leads as Sordo closes in
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, June 27th 2009, 10:21 GMT|
Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala continue to run first and second in the Rally Poland, but a charge from third-placed Dani Sordo is ensuring that they cannot relax.
Although Sordo, Citroen's only hope for victory after Sebastien Loeb's Friday morning incident, lost more time to the Fords on today's first stage, he then raised his game through the rest of the loop - reducing his deficit to Hirvonen from 40.8s to 19.5s in just two stages.
"I'm pushing them a little bit, and the car is going very well and I can take some seconds off them," said Sordo. "I will keep trying. The roads are cleaning more than yesterday so it's better for me. But we will see on the second loop."
Hirvonen admitted that Sordo's pace was making life uncomfortable for him.
"I needed to come through absolutely flat-out," said the rally leader. "I can't take it steady at all. The road is damp with hard mud on top, and when I go through it breaks up so it's better for those behind. I need to go flat-out and try to get away."
Latvala has also gained on Hirvonen, bringing the gap between the two Fords down to 3s. The younger Finn said he felt he had to keep pushing to stay clear of Sordo.
"He's coming really, really quick. This is not easy," said Latvala.
Sebastien Ogier has now established himself in the 'best of the rest' position, having flown through this morning's stages. The Citroen Junior driver passed both Solberg brothers and now runs fourth.
Behind him, the Solbergs swapped positions, with Henning how ahead of younger brother Petter in sixth as the latter struggles to keep his aged Citroen Xsara on the pace on the fast stages.
Further back, Stobart's guesting local legend Krzysztof Holowczyc has made progress, taking eighth from Conrad Rautenbach (Citroen Junior) and closing on Matthew Wilson for seventh.
Leading positions after SS10:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 1h42m33.2s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 3.0s 3. Dani Sordo Citroen + 19.5s 4. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 1m21.6s 5. Henning Solberg Ford + 1m33.3s 6. Petter Solberg Citroen + 1m40.0s 7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 2m43.5s 8. Krzysztof Holowczyc Ford + 3m05.4s 9. Conrad Rautenbach Citroen + 3m51.9s 10. Mads Ostberg Subaru + 5m29.1s