WRC A FULL 2014
MADS ØSTBERG AND KRIS MEEKE SWAP PLACES
In a very international configuration, since the WRC ventured into Lithuania for the first time, both Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team crews consolidated their places in the top 5.
After winning one stage at an average speed of over 120kph, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson grabbed third position in the overall standings for Rally Poland.
Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle ended the day in fifth position despite the increasingly tricky conditions.
The two DS3 WRCs celebrated, each in their own way, news that the 300,000th DS3 had rolled off the production line at the Poissy plant in France.
RALLY POLAND (26-29/02/2014) – DAY 1
27 June 2014
On this, its third appearance on the World Rally Championship calendar, Rally Polandincluded an unprecedented detour via Lithuania, with four stages and a remote service period.
The crews therefore enjoyed a very early start to their day. After a short warm-up stage in the east of Poland, the DS3 WRCs produced some fine performances in Lithuania. On Kapciamiestis (SS5), Mads Østberg set the fastest time, moving up into third place overall. Hampered by a less favourable road position, Kris Meeke did well to stay in the leading group.
After a short fifteen-minute service break midway through the day, the Stewards decided to cancel the second runs on the Lithuanian stages. The organisers felt there were potential safety issues for crews and spectators since the road conditions had deteriorated so dramatically after the first runs, with very deep ruts forming on the stages.
The standings remained unchanged after the final two tests held back in Poland, with Mads Østberg third overall, only 19.5 seconds behind the leader, and Kris Meeke in fifth, around twenty seconds adrift of this team-mate.
In the WRC2, Sébastien Chardonnet and Thibault De la Haye accumulated more experience on the crumbling, rutted roads. They moved up the standings, ending the day in fourth position in the category, just outside the top three.
Leader since the start in the Junior WRC, Stéphane Lefebvre consolidated his position ahead of Simone Tempestini, Martin Koci, Alastair Fisher and Christian Riedemann.
Ten stages await the crews tomorrow for the second full leg. Exclusively held in Poland, they account for 45% of the total distance of the rally. The cars are due to leave parc ferme at 7.15am, returning to the service park at 2.50pm and concluding the leg at 11.10pm.
Mads Østberg: “We had started the day very well. It’s a shame that we lost a few seconds in the ruts. We have a very full schedule ahead of us tomorrow. We have to keep pushing. I have been saying since we completed the recce that I fancy Saturday’s stages the most. I can’t wait!”
Kris Meeke: “It was a long day for relatively few kilometres of stages. On the roads in Poland, we were on the pace. However, the conditions we had to deal with in Lithuania were really appalling. We were seventh on the road and we just couldn’t get near the pace of the leaders. We have to move on quickly to tomorrow. It should be a good fight with Latvala and Hänninen.”
Sébastien Chardonnet: “We’re gaining experience and building confidence. I feel that we are making progress on each stage. We have worked well together with the team and I think all of our hard work is paying off on the fast corners. But I’m still learning! I have never driven on roads in such bad shape. I’m trying to make the most of it, because it’s a great learning experience.”
HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED
SS1 – Milki 1 (14.54km) – The rally got underway on Thursday afternoon. Sébastien Ogier grabbed the early overall lead ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen and Kris Meeke. Mads Østberg finished in fifth, close behind the leaders.
SS2 – Kruklanki 1 (17.24km) – Under mostly blue skies, Juho Hänninen went fastest on the second stage, beating Andreas Mikkelsen, Sébastien Ogier and the Citroën pair of Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg. Mikkelsen became the new overall leader.
SS3 – Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena 1 (2.50km) – The first run on the super special stage located next to the service park saw Sébastien Ogier reclaim top spot. Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke remained in the top 5.
SS4 – Wieliczki 1 (12.89km) – After a night in parc ferme, the crews set off in the order of the World Championship standings. Andreas Mikkelsen moved into the overall lead with a stage win at an average speed of over 133kph. Fourth fastest, Kris Meeke held onto a top-three spot, whilst Mads Østberg remained fifth overall.
SS5 – Kapciamiestis-Lithuania 1 (26.61km) – Mads Østberg was the first driver to win a stage in Lithuania. The Norwegian seized third position in the overall standings, just ahead of Kris Meeke.
SS6 – Margionys-Lithuania 1 (17.97km) – Sébastien Ogier took advantage of being first on the road to set the fastest time and regain the overall lead. As the lines became deeper and deeper, the gaps grew wider further down the field. Mads Østberg consolidated his third place. Kris Meeke fell back to fifth overall.
SS7 – Kapciamiestis-Lithuania 2 (26.61km) – Due to the dramatic road surface deterioration during the first pass, the stage was cancelled.
SS8 – Margionys-Lithuania 2 (17.97km) – The rally organisers decided to cancel SS8 for the same reasons and asked the crews to use the alternative itinerary.
SS9 – Wieliczki 2 (12.890km) – 6 hours 45 minutes after the start of the previous stage, the WRC returned to action. Back on the Polish side of the border, on the road to Mikolajki, the ding-dong battle between Ogier and Mikkelsen continued. This time, the Norwegian gained the upper hand. Joint fourth, Ostberg and Meeke held onto their positions.
SS10 – Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena 2 (2.50 km) – Sébastien Ogier set the fastest time on the second run on the super special stage, held after dark. Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke ended the day in third and fifth overall.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 1
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 17:49.2
2. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +0.9
3. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +19.5
4. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +32.0
5. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +40.0
6. Juho Hänninen / Tomi Tuominen (Hyundai i20 WRC) +46.8
7. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:06.8
8. Robert Kubica / Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:16.1
9. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:21.4
10. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:22.8…
Sébastien Ogier, 4 – Andreas Mikkelsen, 2 – Mads Østberg and Juho Hänninen, 1 (two stages cancelled)
SS1, SS3, SS6 to SS8 and SS10: Sébastien Ogier
SS2, SS4, SS5 and SS9: Andreas Mikkelsen
Media Citroën Racing
Admin and Translation:
Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Categories: Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años