Volkswagen Motorsport driver Jari-Matti Latvala has taken the lead of Rallye Deutschland after the first full day of competition, following the retirement of Championship leader and team-mate Sébastien Ogier. At the top of the leaderboard the fight has been intense between Latvala and second-placed Thierry Neuville, while Dani Sordo is further adrift in third.
The second day of competition in the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship took the crews to the northwest of Trier for two identical loops of three stages. In total the route covered 131 competitive kilometres.
The drama kicked off early this morning when, in the opening stage, Ogier missed a braking point and went off the road. Damage to the front suspension meant the Frenchman had to limp through the remainder of the stage, dropping him over two and a half minutes. Latvala took the lead immediately, but it was arch rival Neuville who set the pace this morning, the Belgian winning each of the first three stages. Ogier managed to make temporary repairs to the suspension using ratchet straps but was forced to retire the car in the second stage for safety reasons.
This afternoon Latvala maintained his pace and won all but one of the repeated stages to pull out a slim 7.3 second overnight lead, both he and Neuville largely running without problems. Sordo, in third, is 26.3 seconds off the lead and team-mate Mikko Hirvonen is fourth another 21.3 seconds adrift. Mads Østberg ran wide this morning and broke a wheel rim in the first stage and has been uncharacteristically off the pace all day. He is now over two minutes off the lead in fifth overall. Martin Prokop is sixth with Nasser Al-Attiyah seventh. Former Formula One driver Robert Kubica leads the FIA WRC 2 Championship contenders and is eighth overall in his first tarmac WRC event.
Rallye Deutschland – Unofficial Results after Day 2