Hirvonen closing on Poland win

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala are closing on a one-two finish in the Rally Poland after Dani Sordo lost touch with the lead battle when he overshot a corner on this morning's first stage

Hirvonen closing on Poland win

The Ford duo had already looked secure in first and second when they pulled away from Sordo yesterday afternoon, and Citroen's remaining hopes of challenging the two Finns ended when Sordo lost 25 seconds with a minor error at a hairpin on the Milki stage.

"I had in the pace notes 'brake at the fourth panel', but the fourth panel is not on the stage..." Sordo explained.

He admitted that he had called off his bid to chase down the Fords after that incident.

"Now the plan is just to finish," said Sordo. "I'll be careful."

Hirvonen said that he had also eased his pace once he learned of Sordo's delay.

"Now that Sordo's made a mistake, we can take it easier," said Hirvonen, who now leads Latvala by 9.4s and Sordo by a minute with two full-length stages and a superspecial remaining. "But I still managed to do a really big jump and break the windscreen on landing."

The battle for fourth continues, with Sebastien Ogier (Citroen Junior) initially pulling away from the Solbergs by winning SS14, before Henning Solberg (Stobart Ford) struck back by going fastest through the next stage, bringing the gap back down to 16.9s.

"The car is actually very fast, so it's only up to me," said Solberg.

Petter Solberg has dropped down to sixth, half a minute down on Ogier, after oil leaked onto his Citroen Xsara's windscreen during today's first stage.

"For the last 15 kilometres I couldn't see anything. Nothing!" said Solberg. "I don't know what it is, but I can't see through the windscreen."

Despite Matthew Wilson being fairly confident that he has seventh place in the bag, his Stobart team-mate Krzysztof Holowczyc has reduced the gap between them to just 10s.

Mads Ostberg's miserable weekend came to an end when he stopped on SS14 with damage to his Adapta Subaru. His departure has moved Citroen Junior's Evgeny Novikov back to 10th despite the Russian's huge superally time penalties following his Friday accident. Novikov's eventful rally continued today as he sustained a puncture and bodywork damage on Milki.

Leading positions after SS15:

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 2h43m45.5s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 9.4s 3. Dani Sordo Citroen + 1m02.2s 4. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 1m52.4s 5. Henning Solberg Ford + 2m09.3s 6. Petter Solberg Citroen + 2m24.4s 7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 4m08.7s 8. Krzysztof Holowczyc Ford + 4m19.4s 9. Conrad Rautenbach Citroen + 6m11.2s 10. Evgeny Novikov Citroen + 17m30.0s 
shares
comments
Ford pulls away again in Poland
Previous article

Ford pulls away again in Poland

Next article

Hirvonen takes win and points lead

Hirvonen takes win and points lead
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
12 h
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021