Volkswagen Motorsport holds a commanding one-two after the third day of Wales Rally GB, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Sébastien Ogier heads the German marque’s challenge with team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala second, 20.3 seconds adrift. Third is still held by Thierry Neuville, but the Belgian has been coming under increasing pressure from Andreas Mikkelsen in the third VW Polo R WRC.
Today’s route covered a total of seven stages with two of the forestry stages run twice before the day was rounded off at the popular spectator stage at Chirk Castle where crews tackled two runs through the 2.06 kilometre stage. In total, the route covered 98.42 competitive kilometres but with no service throughout the day. Ogier has maintained his pace and, despite a string of three fastest times in SS12, 13 and 14, Latvala has been unable to close the gap on his team-mate during a very up and down day. Neuville has had an uneventful day but a charging Andreas Mikkelsen is now just 20 seconds behind him. The Norwegian started the day in sixth and fastest time in the opening stage catapulted him into fourth position.
Citroën has once again been in the thick of the action and while Robert Kubica re-joined under Rally 2 regulations this morning, the Pole once again went off the road into retirement in stage 11. Fiesta driver Evgeny Novikov joined him on the side-lines, having done the same thing in the same stage. Mads Østberg is fifth, chasing Mikkelsen hard, and he has a comfortable advantage over sixth-placed Martin Prokop. Dani Sordo is seventh ahead of a trio of Ford Fiesta R5s.