SS12: Mud, mud, glorious mud
Conditions in the 16.32km El Condor (SS12) were appalling. Fog meant visibility was limited to 70 metres but the biggest problem was the long sections of thick, slippery mud which meant simply staying on the road was the sole aim.
“Absolutely impossible,” said Mads Østberg. “Undriveable, I have no control,” was Robert Kubica’s view. “The most difficult stage I’ve ever driven,” ventured Kris Meeke.
The only man who seemed to enjoy himself was Mikko Hirvonen. “I like it,” grinned the Finn, who was again quickest by 9.8sec in his Ford Fiesta RS from leader Jari-Matti Latvala, who stretched his advantage to 67.5sec.
The pain in Østberg’s injured right thumb proved too much and the Norwegian retired his Citroen DS3 after the stage. He drove the morning tests with his left-hand only and the team decided that, in the awful conditions, it was too dangerous for him to continue.
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