Every detail is important and the second stage of the Rally of Australia has been the best example. In a day of successes and mistakes, of out positions and also of bad fortune with a small fault, Andreas Mikkelsen has seen his advantage with Sébastien Ogier has evaporated. In this way, the two Volkswagen drivers, with the permission of a Hayden Paddon increasingly fast-paced and motivated, are played the win on the final day, to five sections, with a single letter and with the pressure of knowing that may be the last triumph for Volkswagen Motorsport in the WRC.
Began the day with the fearsome stretch of ‘Nambucca’. With
more than 50 kilometres against the clock, this special was called to be the epicenter
and key of the day. In this line, and with little to lose, Sébastien Ogier
went to the loop morning with soft tyres, knowing that I could suffer with
this compound and at the same time I could make time for their performance. With
all, big star ‘Nambucca’ was Hayden Paddon after scoring a superb
scratch that was good for second place in the rally after passing to a Ogier
that he couldn’t find his target and get back to wasting time with Mikkelsen.
In any case, not everything was perfect for Hyundai, as
Hayden Paddon complained of excessive dust which entered the passenger compartment
i20 WRC, while Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo suffered with the excess of
dust, but in this case in suspension. Between one and the other, Sébastien Ogier was
the charge of ‘sweep’ and although Latvala was the scratch, the pilot
French was the fastest among the contenders for the victory. The super special
1.37 miles that closed the loop morning did not leave any more changes and
three front riders were separated by 16,6 seconds.
The loop evening left less variety strategic, and all the pilots went to the second pass through ‘Nambucca’ with the hard tyres, Sébastien Ogier acknowledged having committed too many risks during the morning. This decision served the French for climb to the second position after finishing in the wake of Latvala on SS15, in the same way that allowed Dani Sordo to consolidate their fifth position after beating Camilli during the morning and do the same with Ostberg on the SS16, stretch that Thierry Neuville has scored the scratch ahead of the own Ogier.
however, the great defeated in this SS16 was Andreas Mikkelsen, every time that the Norwegian was left with a 9.8 seconds on the best time of Neuville and almost 9 seconds in relation to Ogier. A lost time as we could know, then it was as a result of a problem in the clutch pedal the Volkswagen Polo R WRC pilot’s Norwegian. The own Mikkelsen explained to the completion of the special the pedal had been bent, which has forced him to perform the stretch with the brake slightly trodden on, and what has made him lose that time.
After this incident, and the dispute of the two super-specials that closed the day, Andreas Mikkelsen remains at the forefront of the Rally of Australia, although its lead over Sébastien Ogier has been reduced to 2 seconds. Hayden Paddon for its part is located at 12 seconds out of the lead in the absence of the five sections of the third stage. In the land of no one, Thierry Neuville holds a comfortable fourth position, , while Dani Sordo will have to fight with Mads Ostberg for fifth, since both have finished the day with 1.4 seconds difference. The area of points the complete Camilli, Tanak, Bertelli and Lappi.
Esapekka Lappi continues to hold a comfortable lead in WRC2 and just a mistake of yours of great magnitude can avoid the end proclaimed World Champion of the category. The Finnish driver, who has not had to force the machine during the whole day, holds a lead of over 3 minutes and 47 seconds on Nicolas Fuchs, while Hubert Ptaszek is the third to five minutes. Khalid Al-Suwaidi, pilot, which marks the border of the podium, and therefore the options math exit champion Lappi is already at 38 minutes, so that only a drop can remove the title to the driver of Skoda Motorsport.ç
Without opposition, and at a pace that far from being competitive, Michel Fabre continues its journey towards a new victory in WRC3. The frenchman, who has no rivals in the category, has put the auto-pilot to reach goal and that is costing him to be slower than with drivers of vehicles a priori less competitive as is the case of Raymond Stephen and his Ford Fiesta R2.
Standings after SS18 of the 25th Rally of Australia
|Position||Pilot||Vehicle||Time / Difference|
|1||Andreas Mikkelsen||Volkswagen Polo R WRC||2:15:06.2|
|2nd||Sébastien Ogier||Volkswagen Polo R WRC||+2.0|
|3rd||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai i20 WRC||+12.0|
|4th||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20 WRC||+33.8|
|5th||Dani Sordo||Hyundai i20 WRC||+59.2|
|6th||Mads Ostberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+1:00.6|
|7th||Eric Camilli||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+1:21.7|
|8th||Ott Tanak||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+2:19.9|
|9th||Lorenzo Bertelli||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+4:56.6|
|10th||Esapekka Lappi||Skoda Fabia R5||+5:22.7|
The third and last stage of the Rally Australia starts this Sunday with the dispute of five special. The start of the day will take place at 07:43 hours (In Spain) and the pilots played a total of 41,67 kilómetos against the clock.