Wales Rally GB - Day two

The battle for the lead of the Rally GB remains between Sebastien Ogier who is currently under pressure from Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala at the end of Friday's stages. Latvala was quickest on three of the four stages that made up the Friday afternoon loop of the second day of the 2014 World Rally Championship finale.

His initial pace on the opening Gartheiniog stage more than halved the nine-second lead that Ogier had established in the morning, but the champion pulled away again on the following Dyfi stage.Although Latvala could not make quite the same progress on Hafren Sweet Lamb or Maesnant, only beating Ogier by a few tenths each time, he ended the day within 6.6s of the leader.

The VW pair is now over a minute clear of the rest of the field, with Mikko Hirvonen up to third in his WRC swansong. Mads Ostberg was less happy with his Citroen's set-up in the afternoon and lost confidence and ground, falling to fifth behind Hirvonen's M-Sport Ford and the second DS3 of Kris Meeke - who was flying as he recovered from a morning jump-start penalty.

Just 8.4s cover Hirvonen and the Citroens in the podium battle, with Thierry Neuville 11.7s further back in the lead Hyundai. Neuville is the only i20 driver on the pace at present, with Juho Hanninen's morning crash followed by power steering and differential issues that left Hayden Paddon four minutes off the lead pace in 12th. Welshman Elfyn Evans is seventh, but almost 2 minutes behind the leaders after a tentative start to the rally and Robert Kubica in a lonely 11th place.

IRDC chairman Shaun Martin driving his venerable Subaru Impreza #239 on this rally for the fifth time and co-driven this year by Iestyn Williams overcame treacherous track conditions to move steadily up the 95-car national rally entry throughout the day to 30th place overall. A mega yump in the Hafren forest put paid to the Impreza's exhaust but the intrepid duo struggled on until their resourceful service crew fabricated another system for the car!

Leading positions after SS8

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 1h26m28.9s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +6.6s
3. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +1m13.8s
4. Kris Meeke Citroen +1m21.5s
5. Mads Ostberg Citroen +1m22.2s
6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +1m33.9s
7. Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford +1m50.3s
8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford +2m29.4s
9. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +2m39.5s
10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +2m49.8s

14th November, 2014