Rally Turkey: Neuville and Ogier head the field, split by 0.3s

World Rally Championship title rivals Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier are split by just 0.3 seconds in the Rally Turkey lead battle after a highly dramatic Friday afternoon

Rally Turkey: Neuville and Ogier head the field, split by 0.3s

A surge in pace from the championship's top two coupled with chaos elsewhere in the field, particularly for Citroen, turned the order inside out during the second loop.

Ogier leapt from seventh to second behind Andreas Mikkelsen with a blistering win on the Cetibeli stage that began the afternoon, which was also where Citroen's rally fell apart.

Craig Breen had led for part of the morning with team-mate Mads Ostberg in third, but both picked up tyre damage on SS6. They fell from second and third to eighth and fifth respectively.

Ostberg then went out of the leg completely when his front suspension broke on the following Ula stage, where Breen sustained another puncture.

Neuville had been surprised to be one of those leapfrogged by Ogier on the first stage, and suggested the M-Sport Ford driver must be taking a lot of risks in the very rough conditions.

But Neuville then raised his own pace on the following Ula stage and won it for the second time in the day.

That took him back past Ogier and to within 1.9s of rally-leading Hyundai team-mate Mikkelsen, who had been carrying a puncture on that stage.

Short of good tyres for the concluding run of Cicekli, Mikkelsen fell to third as Neuville and Ogier hit the front.

The top three will therefore start Saturday covered by just 2.6s.

Fellow title contender Ott Tanak felt Toyota simply lacked grip and pace on the Turkish roads, but managed to go fastest on Cicekli and is now fifth behind team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

Tanak still has Hayden Paddon and the third Toyota of Esapekka Lappi right on his tail.

The disconsolate Breen remains eighth ahead of Teemu Suninen, who started the afternoon with a surprise second-fastest time before reverting to being off the pace.

Suninen's M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans went out with suspension damage on the Ula run while already outside the top 10 following an error and differential trouble in the morning.

Win Dayinsure Wales Rally GB tickets and a unique passenger ride on a WRC stage - click here to enter

Leading positions after SS7

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1h52m28.2s
2 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 0.3s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 2.6s
4 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 16.3s
5 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 31.9s
6 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 35.1s
7 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 36.3s
8 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 50.1s
9 Teemu Suninen, M.Markkula M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m02.9s
10 Henning Solberg, I.Minor Henning Solberg Skoda 6m52.0s

shares
comments
WRC teams get Rally Turkey gaps changed after dust complaints

Previous article

WRC teams get Rally Turkey gaps changed after dust complaints

Next article

WRC Turkey: Thierry Neuville hits trouble, Sebastien Ogier leads

WRC Turkey: Thierry Neuville hits trouble, Sebastien Ogier leads
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Thierry Neuville
Author Matt Beer
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021