WRC Rally GB: VW's Ogier fights off challenge from Citroen's Meeke

Sebastien Ogier held Kris Meeke at bay through Rally GB's Friday afternoon stages after his lead was dramatically reduced at the start of the loop

WRC Rally GB: VW's Ogier fights off challenge from Citroen's Meeke

World Rally champion Ogier said he simply didn't feel comfortable on the Hafren stage that followed the midday regroup, and Meeke immediately reduced the gap from 12.9 seconds to 7.7s.

There was just 0.4s between them - in the Volkswagen's favour - on the short Sweet Lamb stage that followed, but Ogier was 5.4s quicker on the closing run through Myherin.

The Frenchman therefore ends day one 13.5s clear of Meeke, though still wary of both the muddy conditions and the close proximity of the leading home driver.

Andreas Mikkelsen edged away from Mads Ostberg in another VW versus Citroen battle for third, but couldn't gain ground on Meeke.

Dani Sordo and Ott Tanak now complete the top six following problems for others.

Elfyn Evans picked up a puncture on Hafren and fell from fifth to ninth, later reclaiming one place from Martin Prokop as the Czech driver slowed with suspension damage.

Hayden Paddon spun his Hyundai near the start of Hafren and then had to limp through Myherin with hydraulic problems, leaving him seventh.

After his morning puncture, Robert Kubica rapidly recovered from 17th to 12th but reached the end of the final stage with a lot of debris on his RK Ford and clear signs of it overheating.

Lorenzo Bertelli is up to ninth ahead of Stephane Lefebvre following a spin for Citroen's young driver.

Saturday's nine-stage leg is set to be a challenging one: it begins just before 7.30am local time and concludes with two after-dark stages, and extreme rainfall is forecast for the area.

** Follow day two of Rally GB as it happens with Autosport Race Centre Live from 7.20am UK time on Saturday

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS6:

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