Ogier back at the front of Rally Italy

Having held on in the lead for all of Friday and Saturday morning, Hyundai driver Paddon was forced to give best to a chasing Sebastien Ogier as the Volkswagen team leader moved into a dominant first position on Rally Italy after multiple dramas for Paddon. A spin on the afternoon's first full-length stage finally handed Ogier the lead, with the Hyundai driver resuming 12 seconds adrift and admitting it was then time to "cruise" and maintain second position.

But that mission soon became much harder when an impact with a rock on the next stage caused transmission damage to Paddon's Hyundai i20 and he was forced to carry out roadside repairs to enable him to tackle the 26-mile Monte Lerno stage at reduced speed, falling 2m13.6s adrift of Ogier. That problem could have cost Paddon second given the rate at which Mads Ostberg was closing on him but then Ostberg sustained a puncture - his second of the day - near the end of Monte Lerno cost the Citroen driver around a minute, leaving him still 1m12s off Paddon's second place.

Ott Tanak would have benefited from all of this and most likely moved up to second in his M-Sport Ford, had he not retired from a comfortable third place when the car became stuck in gear on the Monti di Ala stage. Thierry Neuville had a smoother afternoon and the second-quickest time behind Ogier on SS19 moved him to within 31.4s of Ostberg's third place.

There were further problems for Jari-Matti Latvala after he started the loop on Ostberg's tail following his morning tyre damage, then hit a rock and was left to tackle the day's longest two stages with mangled suspension. Although Latvala fell over eight minutes away from the lead as he limped along, the level of attrition is such that he is still sixth overall behind Elfyn Evans.

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 3h54m43.9s
2 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 2m13.6s
3 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 3m25.6s
4 Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 3m57.0s
5 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 5m15.5s
6 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 8m08.6s
7 Yuriy Protasov Ford 13m32.4s
8 Paolo Andreucci FPF Sport Srl Peugeot 13m39.4s
9 Jan Kopecky Skoda Motorsport Skoda 15m30.8s
10 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Yazeed Racing Ford 16m55.1s

13th June, 2015