At the end of a short but challenging evening of competition in RallyRACC Rally de España, Sébastien Ogier heads the leaderboard. The Frenchman has 8.8 seconds in hand to team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala who moved ahead of local hero Dani Sordo after the final stage.
The penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship got underway this afternoon in the city of Barcelona and crews headed immediately to the first three stages, each run in darkness. Uniquely, this event is contested on two surfaces, with Friday and Saturday on asphalt and Sunday run on gravel. A total of 61.75 competitive kilometres were covered this evening ahead of Saturday’s longest day of competition.
Ogier took a clean sweep of stage victories this evening to nudge ahead of his rivals. Behind him, Sordo held second until dropping time in the third stage to sit just 3.8 seconds behind Latvala. Rising star Thierry Neuville holds fourth ahead of Mikko Hirvonen, who struggled to maintain a good rhythm. Andreas Mikkelsen and Evgeny Novikov are both hot on his heels but it has been a disappointing start for Mads Østberg who is struggling with the set-up of the car. He nevertheless moved ahead of Hayden Paddon in the final stage, the New Zealander competing for the first time in a world rally car. The top 10 is rounded off by Martin Prokop.
RallyRACC Rally de España – Unofficial Results after Day 1