WRC Rally Australia: Andreas Mikkelsen leads, Sebastien Ogier gains

Rally Australia leader Andreas Mikkelsen stayed clear of a busy podium fight through the first day of Volkswagen's World Rally Championship swansong

WRC Rally Australia: Andreas Mikkelsen leads, Sebastien Ogier gains

A single stage win on the afternoon loop and consistent pace elsewhere left Mikkelsen with a 15.4-second advantage by the evening.

VW now runs first and second as Sebastien Ogier advanced from fourth during the afternoon having been hamstrung by the road conditions earlier.

With running first in the start order slightly less of an impediment once the field had tackled the roads once, Ogier ended the day with a string of four stage wins - two full-length and both superspecial runs.

Combined with the Hyundais suffering more than the VWs with high tyre wear, that moved him 7.1s ahead of third-placed Thierry Neuville, with the second i20 of brief morning leader Hayden Paddon another 1.2s back.

The third Hyundai of Dani Sordo is now down in seventh behind Mads Ostberg and Eric Camilli's battling M-Sport Fords following the application of his penalty for arriving late at SS4 having got lost.

Ott Tanak committed the same offence - getting a 40s penalty for a late arrival at the superspecial that he blamed on "confusion" with the police.

Combined with a morning mistake, that left Tanak down in eighth at the end of a day he had begun as a lead challenger.

Even more distant is Jari-Matti Latvala, who blew his chance of winning his final rally with VW by damaging his rear suspension on the very first stage. He runs 16th in his repaired car.

Esapekka Lappi is on course for the dominant WRC2 victory that will seal this year's title, and he is ahead of a World Rally Car in ninth after Ford privateer Lorenzo Bertelli lost time with a mistake on the superspecial.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS11:

-

shares
comments
WRC Rally Australia: Andreas Mikkelsen takes early lead for VW

Previous article

WRC Rally Australia: Andreas Mikkelsen takes early lead for VW

Next article

WRC Rally Australia: Mikkelsen leads but Paddon splits Volkswagens

WRC Rally Australia: Mikkelsen leads but Paddon splits Volkswagens
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021