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MADS ØSTBERG GRABS SECOND POSITION!

WRC A FULL 2014

Mads Østberg grabs second position!

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Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson head into the final day of Rally di Sardegna in second place in the overall standings.
Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson lie ninth overall and are on course to score their first points of the season.
After rejoining the rally this morning in their Citroën DS3 WRC, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle spent the day’s four stages sweeping loose gravel off the racing line.

9 June 2014

The running order was totally shaken up this morning for the second leg.Kris Meeke had the unenviable task of being first on the road.Khalid Al Qassimi started in fourth position whilst Mads Østberg was running eleventh, enjoying considerably better conditions than yesterday.

The schedule was equally very different.Crews had to complete only two stages, each run twice, with a thirty-minute midday service between loops.One of the two tests set by the organizers was the 59 kilometre-long Monte Lerno:a real challenge for the crews and their cars.

Whilst Kris Meeke used these precious kilometres to acquire as much experience as possible and run a few tests, Mads Østberg was directly involved in a four-way battle at the front of the field.

Starting this morning with a four-second lead over his fellow countryman Andreas Mikkelsen, Mads was slightly quicker on each of the stages to stretch his advantage to almost a minute.In keeping out of trouble, he also inherited second position overall when Jari-Matti Latvala stopped on the day’s final stage to change a wheel.

Still focussed on looking for the right set-up, Khalid Al Qassimi found his pace to end the leg without making any mistakes.He moved into the top 10 after SS13, and now has the chance to secure his first points of the season tomorrow.

In the WRC2 category, Sébastien Chardonnet spent this particularly tough day demonstrating his consistency and the capabilities of the Citroën DS3 R5 on gravel, as he grabbed third place.

Less than fifty kilometres of timed sections are still to be completed before the end of the rally.Three stages will lead the crews to the 8.98 kilometre-long Power Stage (starting at 12.08pm), before the scheduled finish of the rally in Alghero from 1.30pm.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Mads Østberg:“We were fairly cautious on the stages.There was no question of taking any risks.Our second position shows that it was the right strategy.There’s a fairly big gap to third and we still have some room for improvement in terms of performance.We just have to keep it up until the end of the rally!”

Kris Meeke:“It’s really not easy to sweep the lines.You have to carve out a line through the dust.It’s tough, but at least it’s an interesting experience for the future.It was a bit easier this afternoon.We used the stages to try out some new shock absorbers but I didn’t feel confident and had trouble finding the right pace.But at least we were able to use the leg to keep learning. That’s the positive we’ll take from today.”

Khalid Al Qassimi:“I span twice this morning on the long stage.At the midday service, we worked on the set-up a lot with the engineers.I think we are heading in the right direction.With the revised set-up, I enjoyed the handling of the Citroën DS3 WRC more when I pushed.I also made sure that I didn’t make the same mistakes.”

Sébastien Chardonnet:“It was a long day, even more difficult than yesterday, but just as rewarding.We were able to work on the set-up of the car.I feel like I have made good progress.There’s a second place in the WRC2 up for grabs tomorrow!”

HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED

SS10 – Monte Olia 1 (19.27km) – After a long road section, competitive action resumed.The top four in the overall standings finished in the same order on the day’s opening stage:Jari-Matti Latvala went fastest, ahead of Sébastien Ogier, Mads Østberg and Andreas Mikkelsen.Kris Meeke was back in action.The Briton had the unenviable job of running first, sweeping loose gravel off the racing line.

SS11 – Monte Lerno 1 (59.13km) – Although the longest stage so far this season provided an ideal opportunity to open up big gaps, the Norwegian pair of Mads Østberg and Andreas Mikkelsen marked one another very closely.Sébastien Ogier won the stage and edged nearer to Jari-Matti Latvala.Just behind, Mads Østberg completed the 37 minute-plus stage 3.1s ahead of Mikkelsen.

SS12 – Monte Olia 2 (19.27km) – Another stage win for Sébastien Ogier, followed by Jari-Matti Latvala and Mads Østberg, who stretched his advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen slightly further.Seventh-fastest, Kris Meeke tested new shock absorbers on this loop.Robert Kubica was forced to retire after ripping off a wheel.

SS13 – Monte Lerno 2 (59.13km) – Jari-Matti Latvala lost over two minutes changing a wheel.Sébastien Ogier took over as leader ahead of Mads Østberg, as Latvala dropped down to third overall.Khalid Al Qassimi moved into the top 10, grabbing ninth position in the overall standings.

STANDINGS AFTER DAY 2

1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:30:15.8
2. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:40.1
3. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:01.5
4. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:37.8
5. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:24.3
6. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:26.1
7. Henning Solberg / Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +6:09.6
8. Robert Kubica / Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +12:03.7
9. Khalid Al Qassimi / Chris Patterson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +15:05.2
10. Lorenzo Bertelli / Mitia Dotta (Ford Fiesta RRC) +16:08.1…
18. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +29:36.9…

FASTEST TIMES

Jari-Matti Latvala, 5 – Sébastien Ogier, 4 – Mads Østberg, Mikko Hirvonen, Thierry Neuville and Juho Hänninen, 1.

LEADERS

SS1: Mikko Hirvonen

SS2: Thierry Neuville

SS3: Juho Hänninen

SS4: Thierry Neuville

SS5 to SS12: Jari-Matti Latvala

SS13: Sébastien Ogier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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