WRC Rally Germany: Dominant Ogier leaves Latvala puzzled

Sebastien Ogier continued to extend his Rally Germany lead on Saturday afternoon, highlighted by a time through the longer Panzerplatte stage that bewildered Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala

WRC Rally Germany: Dominant Ogier leaves Latvala puzzled

Latvala headed the first stage of the afternoon, but when the drivers completed the famous 28-mile test next time through Ogier almost doubled his lead gap, going 15.3 seconds quicker than Latvala.

The Finn thought he had set a good time through the stage but said he "had no answers" to Ogier's time.

The double champion then headed Latvala again on the day's concluding stage, extending the overall gap to 33.8s with four stages to go on Sunday morning.

Andreas Mikkelsen continued to hold third while setting a steady pace, also trying out new differential settings with the next asphalt round - Corsica - in mind.

Dani Sordo didn't make any inroads into the deficit to Mikkelsen after taking fourth from Hyundai team-mate and 2014 Rally Germany winner Thierry Neuville in the morning.

Sordo struggled at times with a gearbox problem that delayed the shift from second to first.

Neuville remained inconsistent, but an improvement to the set-up of the i20 made the understeer he suffered through the first Panzerplatte Long run more bearable for the second.

He also managed second on SS15, the Arena Panzerplatte stage.

Elfyn Evans had a disappointing afternoon after a second fastest stage time in the morning, but he holds sixth overnight thanks to his M-Sport team-mate, Ott Tanak, having an off on SS16.

Tanak didn't lose much time in the incident itself, but a faulty starter motor meant the Estonian struggled to get his Ford going afterwards.

Evans blamed balance and brake issues for his lack of time through the stages and was losing time to his pursuing team-mate before Tanak's error.

Mads Ostberg was another beneficiary of Tanak's mistake, taking seventh from the Estonian who now lies over a minute adrift of the Citroen driver.

Ostberg is only 3.2s behind Evans heading into the final day.

Hayden Paddon was reassured on discovering a turbo problem in the afternoon, having thought his worsening pace was due to his driving.

World Rally Car debutant Stephane Lefebvre rounds out the top 10 after a steady afternoon in the Citroen DS3.

After going off the road when fourth on Friday, Kris Meeke is now back up to 14th overall. He was the fastest man outside Ogier and Latvala on three of the afternoon's four stages.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS17:

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WRC Rally Germany: Ogier pulls away from Latvala as VW dominates

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