Sébastien Ogier enjoys comfortable lead in Wales Rally GB

From WRC.com

Sébastien Ogier completed Saturday's opening loop of speed tests at Wales Rally GB with a comfortable lead in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC.

He completed the fan-friendly Chirk Castle parkland stage with a 1min 10.1sec advantage, the Frenchman relaxed after the pressure on his lead was removed in the morning's opening test when team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala slithered off the muddy gravel road and into a ditch.

"The battle with Jari-Matti was enjoyable and exciting. Now the gap is quite comfortable but in these conditions it's easy to make a mistake," said Ogier, whose speed was so measured that he set just one time in the top seven during the five stages.

Sébastien Ogier, VW Polo R WRC Wales Rally GB
Sébastien Ogier, VW Polo R WRC (Photo: WRI2)

Behind Ogier, there was a thrilling three-car fight for second. Mikko Hirvonen held the advantage in his Ford Fiesta RS after Latvala's crash, but Mads Ostberg put together a string of good times in his Citroen DS3 to move ahead of the Finn in Chirk Castle by 0.7sec.

Ostberg's hold on second place disappeared, though, as he picked up a 10-second penalty for checking in late at the start of SS12. Ostberg was delayed as he worked on an intercom problem in his Citroen DS3, but insisted he was on time.

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