WRC Rally Australia: Meeke retakes lead from Latvala

Kris Meeke reclaimed the Rally Australia lead from Jari-Matti Latvala on Saturday morning, with Sebastien Ogier just 3.9 seconds back and nearing his third World Rally Championship title

WRC Rally Australia: Meeke retakes lead from Latvala

Citroen driver Meeke enters the afternoon stages with a slim lead of 2.3s over Latvala.

Meeke, the only driver to run with just soft tyres, was 2s down on Latvala heading into Saturday morning but took the lead through the 31.5-mile Nambucca opener, completing the stage 4.6s faster than Latvala.

The Finn - who needs to outscore Volkswagen team-mate Ogier by 10 points to delay his 2015 WRC coronation - was able to claw back 0.3s to Meeke through Valla, before midday service.

Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen were both able to stay within touching distance of Meeke, with the top five only separated by 9.3s.

Championship leader Ogier lost third place to team-mate Mikkelsen by 0.3s after Nambucca, where the Norwegian was 8.6s faster.

But the double world champion was able to swing things back in his favour through Valla to lead Mikkelsen by 1.3s, and sit just 3.9s off the lead, heading into the afternoon.

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon topped both stages to begin a climb back up the overall standings.

The New Zealander was sixth going into the morning stages but finished the opening loop fifth. He was 4.6s faster than second-quickest Mikkelsen through Nambucca, which puts him just 9.3s off the lead and 4.3s behind the VW overall.

Ott Tanak was another man on the move, climbing from eighth before the morning stages, to sixth.

The M-Sport driver jumped Hyundai pair Dani Sordo, who suffered with brake problems, and Thierry Neuville.

Both drivers appeared to struggle through Nambucca but Neuville was able to recuperate to close the gap to Sordo to 7.1s.

WRC2 leader Nasser Al-Attiyah completed the top 10 by taking the place of Lorenzo Bertelli, who failed to complete the Nambucca stage with suspected engine problems.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS10:

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WRC Rally Australia: Jari-Matti Latvala takes lead from Kris Meeke

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