SS8: Ogier untouchable
Sweet Lamb 4.26km
Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier kept up his attack through the short Sweet Lamb repeat, setting the fastest time and stretching his rally lead over team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala to 17.9sec.
Latvala was the first to tackle the stage in his Polo R, and the first of many drivers to report that the gravel road had become smoother and more slippery than on the earlier pass as SS5.
“The grip in the braking areas is okay but we had lots of understeer in the corners,” he explained. “There is a line to follow, but it seems quite polished, that’s why it’s difficult. I also screwed up the first junction a bit, but apart from that all okay...”
Ogier was next to arrive at the finish control, the Frenchman anxious to discover Latvala’s time. He relaxed on discovering Latvala was 0.9sec slower. “We used the lines well in there I think, that was a good stage,” he said.
Dani Sordo was second quickest, 0.8sec off Ogier’s time, with Evgeny Novikov edging closer to fourth place by going third fastest. “I am pushing. That’s how it is. I have to push. I have no other choice in my position,” said the Russian.
Thierry Neuville remains third overall in his Ford Fiesta RS, but his time through Sweet Lamb was only seventh fastest. Looking at the times of Ogier and Latvala on the white board, the Belgian shook his head.
“It’s impossible to follow them,” he said. “Okay, I’m the quickest Ford, and after a careful start I did my best. Without the Polos in front we are quite good…”
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