Sordo takes narrow lead in Australia
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, September 5th 2009, 09:50 GMT|
Just 0.1s covers the top three cars in the Rally Australia going into the final day after Dani Sordo took the lead during Saturday evening's superspecials.
Sordo and Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb had deliberately slowed on the last full length stage of the day to drop behind Ford's Mikko Hirvonen and ensure that it was the Finn who will have to clear the loose gravel from the stage surfaces tomorrow morning.
But while the positions after SS23 set the Sunday running order, two runs through the Tweed superspecial on the streets of Murwillumbah still remained. Hirvonen has struggled on the short asphalt stage all weekend, and he was again outpaced by the two Citroens this evening, with Sordo moving into the rally lead by 0.1s over Loeb and Hirvonen - who are tied for second.
Citroen Junior's Sebastien Ogier won both runs around Murwillumbah and in the process closed to within 1.8s of Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford) in their battle for fourth.
The fight over sixth also closed up, with Stobart Ford team-mates Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson starting leg three just 0.8s apart. Solberg has lost ground today after going off into a ditch this morning and breaking a finger on his steering wheel as the accident unfolded. Federico Villagra (Munchi's Ford) remains eighth.
Martin Prokop reclaimed the Production class lead this morning as wild card entrant Richard Mason admitted to underperforming on the opening stages. Although Prokop is behind the unregistered Group N Mitsubishi of Hayden Paddon, he now holds an 18s lead over Mason in the Production class itself.
Leading positions after day two:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Dani Sordo Citroen 1h52m28.1s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 0.1s 3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 0.1s 4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 44.4s 5. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 46.2s 6. Henning Solberg Ford + 2m42.4s 7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 2m43.2s 8. Federico Villagra Ford + 3m59.8s 9. Hayden Paddon Mitsubishi + 9m16.0s 10. Martin Prokop Mitsubishi + 9m29.3s