Double puncture for Mikkelsen, Neuville leads in Australia


The second stage of the Rally of Australia has begun with a shift in the classification, the entire time that Andreas Mikkelsen has suffered a double puncture that has been section of stroke out of the lead. Picking up the baton from his teammate, Thierry Neuville is the new leader after the first loop of the day. The belgian driver holds an advantage of 6.3 seconds to Jari-Matti Latvala, one of the strongest rider in the dreaded stretch of ‘Nambucca’. Kris Meeke closes the provisional podium after being unable to reduce the advantage that it separates the leader from the last event of the calendar of the WRC.

The almost 49 km of the special stage ‘Nambucca’ and the rain took the pilots to find a tires mounted of commitment, and this resulted in no fewer than four different choices. Citroën, M-Sport and Toyota were filled by the soft tyre S5, equipping five or six tires according to the computer. All in all, the reason seemed to fall of the side of Hyundai, any time Thierry Neuville got the scratch in the SS9 after equip four tires soft and a hard. Only Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen managed to have a pace similar to the belgian in the third longest stretch of the season. The rain did not allow the rest to roll so rápidor.

With all and against all expectations, he was not ‘Nambucca’ stage that marked differences. In fact, was the scratch of Jari-Matti Latvala in the SS10 which served as a common thread to see the most notable change in the classification. Not only for the time set by the Toyota driver, but rather by the constraints associated to the drivers of Hyundai. However, Andreas Mikkelsen suffered a double puncture after a touch that it departed from the leadership the rally to carry only a spare tire. The Norwegian reached the finish with 1 minute and 40 seconds lost, while Hayden Paddon closed the SS10 with a branch embedded in the grill. For its part, Meeke, Ogier and Neuville were jumping a crossing.


Ott Tanak signed his first scratch in the ss11 state road, a small super special of 1.37 kilometers, which served to close the first loop of the day. In fact, the drivers of M-Sport were signed by the best of times, with Sébastien Ogier which appeared for the first time the head throughout the rally with the second best time. All in all, the section did not provide great differences to the overall of the rally and the only remarkable fact is that Andreas Mikkelsen could not take the output do not have rubber enough after his double puncture. In addition, Thierry Neuville lost first gear in your exchange.

With the low of Andreas Mikkelsen, the provisional podium of rally is formed by Thierry Neuville, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke. The driver of the Hyundai has an advantage short of 6.3 seconds to Latvala, while Meeke is maintained at 22 seconds of the leader. Behind, Ott Tanak has been involved in the fight for the podium since you now only have 4.8 seconds of loss with respect to the third classified. A step behind appear Craig Breen and Hayden Paddon, while Sebastien Ogier is seventh after winning a position by the abandonment of Mikkelsen, but without conveying feelings of power or want to trace.

The Top 10 of the test will shut Stéphane Lefebvre, Elfyn Evans and Esapekka Lappi, all away from the real battle of the rally after passing through various problems during the first stage. All in all, none is threatened by Kalle Rovanperä, only enrolled in WRC2, which rolls at 6:44 of the head. Without a doubt, rally to accumulate experience and to search times for the young Finnish driver, who is losing something more than two seconds per kilometre compared to the best World Rally Car. It was also being a rally of good feelings for Brendan Reeves with the Mazda 2 AP4 until its abandonment.

Classification after ss11 state road of the 26th Rally of Australia

Pos. Pilot Vehicle Time / Dif.
1 Thierry Neuville Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe 1:38:40.2
2nd Jari-Matti Latvala Toyota Yaris WRC +6.3
3rd Kris Meeke Citroen C3 WRC +22.0
4th Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta RS WRC +26.8
5th Craig Breen Citroen C3 WRC +45.8
6th Hayden Paddon Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe +54.6
7th Sébastien Ogier Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1:08.9
8th Stéphane Lefebvre Citroen C3 WRC +2:11.3
9th Elfyn Evans Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2:28.9
10th Esapekka Lappi Toyota Yaris WRC +3:39.7

The Rally of Australia continues this same night (02:22) with the dispute of the five remaining sections of the second stage. The riders will face a total of 69,14 kilometres against the clock.