SS5: Sweet Sordo in the groove
Sweet Lamb 4.26km
Sweet Lamb may be short but it is a favourite of Dani Sordo and the Spaniard duly delivered by setting an impressive fastest time in his Citroen DS3.
Sordo was quickest by 1.2sec through the 4.26km moorland test and fastest time seemed no surprise to him. “I said to my friends yesterday that I like this stage and I’m always fast here. I like it, I don’t know why, and I know all the corners,” he said.
Leader Sebastien Ogier was second in his Volkswagen Polo R and extended his advantage over Thierry Neuville to 17.1sec. The Frenchman admitted second in the start order was proving a benefit.
“We can see a bit of a line and maybe that helps. At the start it’s amazing, you can see almost the whole stage. It was quite slippery, of course, but it’s a nice show for the spectators with a watersplash and jump,” he explained.
Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was third, just 0.9sec behind Ogier, but the Finn is clearly finding it tough running first in the start order.
“The road is a bit better than during the recce, it’s not as slippery. But there are some places that I didn’t expect to be slippery which were. It’s difficult to drive first on the road as I don’t have the confidence and I’m hesitating under braking. I hope I don’t lose too much time this morning to keep the fight meaningful,” he said.
Evgeny Novikov was fourth in his Ford Fiesta RS, only three-tenths of a second adrift of Latvala, and the Russian admitted he was driving on the limit. Less than half a second behind was Mikko Hirvonen’s DS3 and the Finn remains in fourth place.
Neuville was only sixth, the Belgian admitting that he couldn’t match Ogier’s pace in his Fiesta RS.
“He is going too quick for us. We’re learning the stages and my new pace notes are OK, but I can’t follow the rhythm and my confidence in the grip isn’t there. I’m checking my notes, you never know if one is too fast and then it’s finished,” he explained.
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