Solberg takes New Zealand lead

Petter Solberg has returned to the front in the Rally New Zealand, as just 6.7 seconds cover the top four drivers after the first eight stages

Solberg takes New Zealand lead

Midday leader Dani Sordo (Citroen) dropped to third behind Citroen Junior's Sebastien Ogier and Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala on the first stage out of service this afternoon.

Ogier hung on in front for two stages, before Latvala took a turn in the lead - but only briefly, with Solberg then regaining the top spot with a win on SS8.

The Norwegian privateer heads for the end of day superspecial 1.5s ahead of Latvala. Ogier is 5.2s off the lead in third, and only 1.5s ahead of Sordo, with all four drivers insisting they were driving flat-out rather than holding back tactically to avoid running first tomorrow.

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen is a lonely and puzzled fifth, albeit still within 20s of the lead, while Sebastien Loeb's recovery after his morning incident is well underway.

The Citroen driver won the afternoon's longest stage despite being first on the road, and is seventh and gaining on Matthew Wilson, whose Stobart Ford has been hampered by a gearbox issue. Loeb remains 1m21s off the lead, though.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Petter Solberg Citroen 1h34m43.6s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 1.5s 3. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 5.2s 4. Dani Sordo Citroen + 6.7s 5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 20.4s 6. Matthew Wilson Ford + 1m06.1s 7. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 1m21.1s 8. Henning Solberg Ford + 1m42.2s 9. Jari Ketomaa Ford + 4m12.6s 10. Xevi Pons Ford + 4m35.0s 
shares
comments
Sordo leads as Loeb hits trouble
Previous article

Sordo leads as Loeb hits trouble

Next article

Interview with Sebastien Loeb

Interview with Sebastien Loeb
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Plus

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
Jan 24, 2022
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Plus

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. Autosport picks out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born Plus

The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born

M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape

WRC
Jan 19, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Plus

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Plus

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Plus

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against team-mate Elfyn Evans

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
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
Nov 26, 2021