SS5-6: Ogier ahead as Meeke hits trouble
Sébastien Ogier regained the lead of ADAC Rallye Deutschland on Friday afternoon after two more stage victories took his tally of wins to five from six speed tests.
After trailing Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala by a tenth of a second at mid-leg service, Ogier moved back ahead by winning the second pass through Sauertal by 2.5sec. He gained a further 2.3sec in Waxweiler to lead by 4.7sec.
“The set-up feels better this afternoon and I’m more comfortable in the car. Some corners were cleaner than I expected so I lost a little time, but it’s better to be surprised like that and not the other way around!” said Ogier.
Latvala admitted he lost time in the corner cuts. “I can’t go any better when it’s dirty. I like the asphalt when it’s clean and I’m not so confident in the dirty places. These two stages are the most difficult for cuts,” he said.
Meeke dropped 90sec and plunged to 11th after going off the road. “I was caught out on some gravel. I went off into a field and had to find my way out. The car felt OK but then something went and I have a problem. I have to find out what,” he said.
Dani Sordo climbed to fourth behind Andreas Mikkelsen, who maintained his unblemished collection of third fastest times, the gap between the pair 30.1sec. Sordo was relieved to be there after clipping a kerb in Sauertal and bouncing his Hyundai i20 into a ditch.
Thierry Neuville relished Waxweiler, which runs close to his family home, and fourth fastest moved the Belgian to within 1.4sec of his team-mate, while Ott Tänak demoted Hayden Paddon and Mads Østberg to climb to seventh in his Ford Fiesta RS.
Waxweiler was a torrid stage for Martin Prokop who went off twice, hitting a tree on the first occasion, and then spun. He lost 90sec.
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