WRC Catalunya: Ogier cruises as Latvala and Mikkelsen battle

Sebastien Ogier enjoyed a relaxed morning loop in the Rally Catalunya lead, as Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen's battle for second looks likely to go down to the wire

WRC Catalunya: Ogier cruises as Latvala and Mikkelsen battle

Ogier, understandably, didn't take any unnecessary risks through the opening three Sunday stages and has an unassailable lead of 49 seconds going into the afternoon loop.

His Volkswagen team-mates remain locked in an intense battle in his wake.

Mikkelsen topped the opening two stages of the morning, while Latvala was fastest on SS20 by 0.5s, meaning the overall gap between the two going into the afternoon is just 0.9s.

Dani Sordo was hoping to take the fight to the VWs after losing out on Saturday, but the Spaniard doesn't seem to have the pace to challenge, dropping back to 14.9s adrift.

He is comfortably fourth by 45.3s, though, and shouldn't be under any immediate pressure from Mads Ostberg.

Ostberg, who was 2.2s behind Citroen team-mate Meeke after SS18, regained fifth place when Meeke spun on SS19.

Meeke is now 6.8s adrift of his team-mate and has Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon for company.

Like Meeke, Neuville also struggled through SS19 and spun. This gifted seventh place to Paddon, who was quicker than Neuville through the final two stages of the morning - the gap between the two is now 9.4s.

Martin Prokop once again had a clean run and remains ninth, with WRC2 leader Pontus Tidemand almost four minutes back in 10th.

Eric Camilli, who was third overall in the WRC2 standings, stopped on SS19, gifting the place to championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah.

If Tidemand goes on to win the class on the rally, Al-Attiyah only needs to finish third to wrap up the title.

M-Sport drivers Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak rejoined under Rally2, with the latter getting the better of his team-mate through all three stages.

Robert Kubica's woes continued as he hit a barrier on SS20. The Pole is currently more than 12 minutes down on the leader.

Follow the deciding Rally Catalunya stages as they happen with Autosport Race Centre Live

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS20:

-


shares
comments
WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier-led Volkswagen takes control
Previous article

WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier-led Volkswagen takes control

Next article

WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier crashes from the lead on final stage

WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier crashes from the lead on final stage
Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival Plus

Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival

Some 39 years on from his Monte Carlo Rally debut, World Rally Championship legend Francois Delecour continues to pick up silverware. Proving that age is purely a number, the 60-year-old's desire to compete against the WRC’s latest young talents could be the start of a new chapter in the Frenchman’s storied career

WRC
Jan 31, 2023
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Plus

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Plus

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Plus

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Plus

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Plus

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Plus

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Plus

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater

WRC
Jan 1, 2023