SS4: Meeke closes on Ogier

Wales Rally GB

By Franck Drui

13 November 2015 - 15:56
SS4: Meeke closes on Ogier

Kris Meeke brought Sébastien Ogier’s run of stage wins at Wales Rally GB to a close when he stopped the clocks fastest on Friday afternoon’s delayed opening test to slash the Frenchman’s lead.

Meeke was 5.2sec quicker than Ogier in the second pass through Hafren in his DS 3 to bring the deficit down to 7.7sec with two stages remaining in today’s opening leg.

The Ulsterman is focused on helping Citroën defeat Hyundai in their fight for second in the manufacturers’ championship, and emphasised that beating Ogier was not his primary aim this weekend.

“He’s not the target to be honest,” said Meeke. “I had a good run and seemed able to cope with the surface here better than I did last year.”

Ogier was unflustered at having his lead almost halved. “I took it a bit carefully. I could push more in some areas and it’s not a drama if we lose a couple of seconds here,” he said.

Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Østberg were third and fourth to retain the same places on the leaderboard, ahead of Dani Sordo who regained fifth from Elfyn Evans.

Evans plunged to ninth after losing a minute with a rear right puncture in his Ford Fiesta RS. “I have no idea what happened. We heard a strange rubbing noise and the tyre started to delaminate. We drove a long way like that,” said the Welshman.

Team-mate Ott Tänak enjoyed better fortunes, climbing ahead of Hayden Paddon into sixth after the Kiwi spun and stalled the engine of his Hyundai i20.



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