Ogier Leads LOTOS Rally Poland

VW Motorsport's Sebastien Ogier take's a narrow 2.8s lead into the second day of the LOTOS 71st Rally Poland after a closely-fought first day on the Masurian region's fast gravel stages. The reigning world champion's Polo R WRC was fastest on two of Thursday's three stages to head the leaderboard after 34.28km of competitive action. Ogier's team-mate, Andreas Mikkelsen, filled second place after leading the first two stages by driving neatly but he eventually lost the lead to the hard-charging Ogier on the third stage.

Citroen's Kris Meeke said he liked fast and flowing stages before the rally and it showed on the first cluster of stages with him holding third overall, only 4.2s behind Mikkelsen. Local hero Robert Kubica had a mixed day, fourth after the first stage but he then dropped down the order to 11th on the next stage when his Ford Fiesta R WRC lightly rolled into a ditch. He was saved by an army of loyal fans who were quickly on the scene and pushed him back on to the road and the incident only cost him 28.3s but, he still finished the leg in 12th place.

Hyundai's Juho Hanninen grasped this opportunity with both hands and guided his i20 WRC to the quickest time on SS2 to move into fourth place with Mads Ostberg?s Citroen DS3 WRC and Thierry Neuville's Hyundai i20 WRC filling fifth and sixth places respectively.

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon completed the day in seventh, one place ahead of VW's Jari-Matti Latvala, who endured a nightmare start to Rally Poland. He wasn't happy with the handling of his Polo R WRC which dramatically affected his driving confidence. Two more drivers that suffered on the first day were ninth-placed Mikko Hirvonen and tenth-placed Martin Prokop. Hirvonen was lacking confidence and Prokop was nursing a sore back.

27th June, 2014