SS9: Ogier back in front
It was all change at the top of the leaderboard in the demanding 31.90km Santana da Serra (SS9), the longest stage of the rally.
On the test that was most badly affected by flash flooding during Tuesday’s recce, Sébastien Ogier blitzed his rivals to post fastest time by a massive 8.4sec and relegate Mikko Hirvonen and Ott Tänak in the overall standings.
The Frenchman leads Hirvonen by 2.4sec in his Volkswagen Polo R, with Tänak slipping to third, a further 8.6sec back. The Estonian arrived at the finish with the rear anti-roll bar trailing at the back of the Ford Fiesta RS.
Robert Kubica must wonder what he has to do to earn some luck – the Pole is on the sidelines again this morning after hitting trouble.
His Ford Fiesta RS slid off the road 20.7km into the longest test of the event, the car reported to be undamaged but stuck. Kubica and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak managed to get the car back onto the gravel but in doing so damaged the clutch and they could not continue.
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