Andreas Mikkelsen pulls out big lead in Rally of Scotland

Andreas Mikkelsen will take a 50.7-second lead into the final day of the Rally of Scotland, having maintained a superb pace at the front of the field to pull clear of his nearest rivals

Andreas Mikkelsen pulls out big lead in Rally of Scotland

Only two of this afternoon's planned three stages were run as heavy rain meant conditions on the scheduled Drummond Hill closer were declared too bad for the stage to go ahead.

Mikkelsen's increased cushion was due in part to the speed that saw him win the Craigvinean and Errochty stages that did take place, but also because erstwhle challenger Thierry Neuville spun twice on Errochty and broke his Kronos Peugeot's reverse gear.

That cost Neuville just over 50s, and saw him drop from second to fourth place.

Bryan Bouffier therefore moved up to second in the PH Sport-run Peugeot France entry, but the Monte Carlo winner is just a second ahead of resurgent reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Juho Hanninen, who has been happier with his Skoda this afternoon - although still unable to match Mikkelsen's times.

There was heartbreak for Proton during the midday service. P-G Andersson had been running fourth and fighting for a podium in the team's most competitive IRC performance since Alister McRae's second place on this event two years ago, but he picked up substantial penalties when his Satria refused to start in the regroup. Andersson is now back in 12th, with erstwhile leader Guy Wilks 15th for Peugeot UK and Kronos following his earlier accident.

Craig Breen has advanced to fifth in his Kel-Tech Ford, right behind the delayed Neuville.

Attrition ahead has allowed championship leader Jan Kopecky to progress to seventh for Skoda, 10s behind Skoda Sweden's Patrik Sandell.

Leading positions after SS8: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda UK 58m52.8s 2. Bryan Bouffier PH/Peugeot France + 50.7s 3. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 51.7s 4. Thierry Neuville Kronos/Peugeot Belux + 1m25.8s 5. Craig Breen Kel-Tech Ford + 1m28.5s 6. Patrik Sandell Skoda Sweden + 1m33.9s 7. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 1m43.4s 8. Jarkko Nikara Mitsubishi (private) + 2m22.2s 9. Toni Gardemeister TGS Skoda + 2m27.3s 10. David Bogie Mitsubishi (private) + 2m33.0s 
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Top local contender David Bogie happy to run first on the road in Scotland
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Leading rally drivers say Scottish stage cancellation was right decision

Leading rally drivers say Scottish stage cancellation was right decision
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