WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier-led Volkswagen takes control

World rally champion Sebastien Ogier will lead a Volkswagen one-two-three into Sunday at Rally Catalunya, after Dani Sordo fell down the order to fourth on Saturday afternoon

WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier-led Volkswagen takes control

The three VW drivers were in a dominant mood, locking out the top three for all but one of the afternoon stages.

A relaxed Ogier lost a small amount of time to team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala during the loop, but the Frenchman still heads into Sunday with a lead of 54 seconds.

Latvala was as low as fourth during the morning loop thanks to a puncture on SS12 but the Finn battled back to not only leapfrog team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, but to depose Sordo of second overall.

He did so with some blistering times through SS16 where he was five seconds faster than anyone else, gaining two places in the process, before setting an identical time to Mikkelsen on SS17.

Mikkelsen is now 2.9s behind Latvala in third with Sordo who, despite pushing hard, was unable to handle the pace of the VWs and finished the day a further 4.5s back in fourth.

Kris Meeke was able to leapfrog his Citroen team-mate Mads Ostberg on the final stage of the day, in which Meeke was third fastest and Ostberg was ninth after he stalled.

Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville ended the day with identical overall times.

Neuville had been closing in on Paddon for most of the day but wasn't able to capitalise until the final stage.

The Belgian was joint-fastest through SS17 with Ogier and was 2.6s faster than fellow Hyundai driver Paddon, which was enough to see the pair head into Sunday tied for seventh.

Martin Prokop kept it clean throughout to end the day ninth with WRC2 leader Pontus Tidemand rounding out the top 10.

Tidemand needs to win to keep his slim title hopes alive but the gap to Jan Kopecky in second is gradually coming down, and currently stands at 30.1s.

Robert Kubica suffered more woe in the afternoon, stopping on SS16 with a puncture before enduring brake issues for the remainder of the stages and losing the use of his handbrake for SS17.

Follow the conclusion of Rally Catalunya on Autosport Live from 6:50am UK time on Sunday.

LEAD STANDINGS AFTER SS17:

-


shares
comments
WRC Rally Catalunya: Volkswagen's Ogier extends advantage

Previous article

WRC Rally Catalunya: Volkswagen's Ogier extends advantage

Next article

WRC Catalunya: Ogier cruises as Latvala and Mikkelsen battle

WRC Catalunya: Ogier cruises as Latvala and Mikkelsen battle
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