SS9-10: Honours even in Saturday’s openers
Duelling team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala shared the honours through Saturday morning’s opening two speed tests at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
Leader Ogier won the Grafschaft vineyard stage in his Volkswagen Polo R to extend his advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala to 11.8sec. The Finn retaliated with victory in Bosenberg’s country roads to bring the deficit back down to 9.0sec.
“I had a clean drive and didn’t take any risks. I confirmed the pace notes for the second run,” said Ogier, the Frenchman clearly hoping to raise his pace on this afternoon’s repeat pass, a technique that allowed him to pull clear of Latvala yesterday.
Latvala was third in Grafschaft and unhappy with his braking, but more comfortable in the flowing Bosenberg. “In some sections I couldn’t get the exact feeling when I should be braking, but the next one was better. I remembered some parts from 2007 and there were more straights – it was easier to see!” he said.
Andreas Mikkelsen preserved third while strong times from Thierry Neuville enabled the Belgian to ease ahead of Hyundai i20 team-mate Dani Sordo by 1.8sec in the fight for fourth. Sordo had a gearchange issue in Bosenberg that made it hard to shift down in hairpins.
Elfyn Evans was second in SS9 to maintain sixth ahead of Ford Fiesta RS team-mate Ott Tänak, who was hampered in SS10 when an onboard camera came loose. “It affected my concentration. I tried to hold it up so it didn’t get caught behind the brake pedal,” said Tänak.
Mads Østberg went off the road briefly in Grafschaft after messing up a handbrake turn and ended the next stage with a vibration in his DS 3 after clipping something in a corner. Martin Prokop dropped almost 30sec with a broken driveshaft in his Fiesta RS.
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