Sat 10:29 - SS11: WRC 2 Ketomaa
The Finn had his fair share of problems on Friday, and he's not out of the woods yet. "The left front wheel hub is bent, and that's affecting our braking."
Sat 10:27 - Stage notes: SS12
Swietajno 1, 21.25km. Short asphalt and cobbled sections lead onto soft gravel after 850 metres and the roads become increasingly wider as the stage progresses. It passes through fields with tall grass on either side and picking out corners through the vegetation at high speed will be tricky
Sat 10:26 - Up next: SS12
We're straight over to Swietajno now. Ogier will start at 1030hrs.
Sat 10:25 - WRC top 5 after SS11
Tanak quickest [+ times to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:32:48.1, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +2.3s, 3. Latvala (VW): +13.8s, 4. Tanak (Ford): +17.5s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): +37.0s
Sat 10:24 - SS11: Suninen
"All okay - we were hitting the rev limiter in here."
Sat 10:22 - SS11: WRC 2 Kruuda
1.9sec slower than stage leader Tidemand. "So far so good, but I was a little too cautious in here. I didn't have enough confidence in the grip. Still, more than 100km to go, everything can happen."
Sat 10:19 - SS11: WRC 2 Tidemand
"Kruuda is pushing pretty hard from behind, but a safe drive from us. All okay."
Sat 10:18 - SS11: WRC 2 Lappi
The class leader safely through, and sounding typically calm and collected. "It's not so easy to enjoy these stages, but everything is running perfectly. Very nice."
Sat 10:14 - SS11: Bertelli
"The stage was not so good, but for the moment that's what i can do."
Sat 10:12 - SS11: Abbring
"I think we have the balance about right. I can use the car as I want. Most important is the improved feeling with the brakes."
Sat 10:09 - SS11: Kubica
Completes 2.1sec slower than Tanak, but he edges closer to Neuville's sixth place in the overall standings. "The first split was good but in the second half, in the tight and twisty stuff, I lost out because I didn't have the precision. Overall I can be happy."
Sat 10:06 - SS11: Tanak
Quickest so far in 6m07.7s. "Better, but I'm just driving at my own pace. I just do my best and we see where it gets us."
Sat 10:02 - SS11: Prokop
"A much better feeling now. The car is perfect, much more stable. Maybe we can push a bit more."
Sat 09:59 - SS11: Paddon
Third fastest so far. "An improvement since the first stage, a bit of tidying up in places still to do, but okay."
Sat 09:56 - SS11: Sordo
Slowest so far, 6.8sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "I can't be happy with that."
Sat 09:55 - Gilbert update
"The clutch is broken. We weren't able to change it in service last night."
Sat 09:54 - SS11: Meeke
"I'm struggling to find that extra bit of confidence. Not much fight now, we just have to manage it."
Sat 09:54 - SS11: Neuville
He's 5.5sec slower than Mikkelsen, but had been very close earlier in the stage. What happened? "I don't know. For some reason we seem to be losing traction because I had a consistent drive all the way through."
Sat 09:50 - Evans retires
Water pump-related. He did not start SS11.
Sat 09:48 - SS11: Latvala
"Okay, but I'm not completely satisfied. My performance is not quite at the level I want. I can't seem to find the right balance between risk and caution." He is 2.2sec slower than Mikkelsen.
Sat 09:44 - SS11: Mikkelsen
Fastest so far, 2.8sec quicker than Ogier. "Much better visibility and that was very close to a perfect run for me. We want to fight, so thanks to the organisers for increasing the time gaps."
Sat 09:42 - SS11: Ostberg
3.2sec off Ogier's pace. That's much more competitive than the previous stage. "Quite a good stage for me. I'm happier now than I was after the first one. It's nice to have a good feeling with the car and enjoy it."
Sat 09:39 - SS11: Ogier
Another clean run for the Frenchman who clears the stage in 6m10.7s. "I pushed all the time. I'm happy with my drive, I cannot do more."
Sat 09:36 - SS11: Evans
He will start the stage late. M-Sport report he stopped on the road section to make repairs to his car's water pump.
Sat 09:36 - SS10: JWRC Glbert
The Junior Championship leader drops more than six minutes on stage. He had been second in class.
Sat 09:33 - Start intervals
Rally organisers have increased the gaps from 2min to 3min for Stage 11
Sat 09:19 - Stage notes: SS11
Wieliczki, 12.87km. The stage starts on asphalt before joining a thickly-coated gravel road which will clean after the first few cars. It is narrow but fast, and drivers must remain tidy or risk going off. There are many straights and speeds will be high throughout.
Sat 09:17 - Up next: SS11
The stage due to start at 0930hrs CEST
Sat 09:17 - WRC top 5 after SS10
Ogier quickest. [ times to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:26:37.4, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): 5.1s, 3. Latvala (VW): 14.4s, 4. Tanak (Ford): 20.5s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): 37.2s
Sat 09:13 - SS10: WRC 2 Suninen
30.2sec slower than Kruuda. "No problems, just a little bit too careful in there." Understandable really - this is only Suninen's second rally on gravel.
Sat 09:11 - SS10: WRC 2 Kruuda
5.5sec quicker than Tidemand on stage, but is the 51sec gap in the overall standings too much to close? "I'm not giving up on the fight, but when I saw their pace off the line - wow. I'm driving well, but they are too."
Sat 09:07 - SS10: WRC 2 Tidemand
Pontus is 3.8sec quicker than his team-mate Lappi. Can he catch him? "I don't know, I'm just driving at my own speed. We made a few changes to the car, with different damper clicks, and the car feels really good."
Sat 09:05 - SS10: WRC 2 Lappi
With a class lead of almost a minute, Lappi has switched strategy. "It's all about defending the lead now. We took it steady but I'm not the guy who needs to push today. It's not frustrating, just all part of the leaning process."
Sat 09:02 - SS10: Bertelli
26.4sec off Ogier's stage winning time. "This wasn't the best stage for me - I'm struggling to get concentrated."
Sat 09:01 - SS10: Abbring
"All is fine, a fantastic stage. The brakes are working properly now, so I'm getting used to them."
Sat 08:59 - SS10: Kubica
An early error costs him around 20 sec. "We had a spin at a junction near the start, with my [arm] limitation I wasn't able to correct the wheel in time, and we had to stop and reverse."
Sat 08:57 - SS10: Tanak
3.8sec slower than Ogier - and for good reason. "I spun near the start and had to stop and turn around. I'm disappointed." He is now 20.5sec off the lead.
Sat 08:55 - SS10: Prokop
A better start to the day than Friday. "I had a good night's sleep!"
Sat 08:54 - SS10: Paddon
Second quickest - 1.3sec off Ogier's pace. But as usual Paddon sees only room for improvement. "In car it felt really bad. We went over the data with our engineer last night and established a few things I wasn't doing right. I tried to improve in here but I can do more."
Sat 08:51 - SS10: Sordo
"Not so bad. I got more comfortable as the stage went on."
Sat 08:49 - SS10: Meeke
"Seb doesn't seem to have any disadvantage at the head of the field. Still, we are where we are. Today the dust is going to be a problem - especially in the trees where it is just hanging."
Sat 08:47 - SS10: Neuville
Locked in a close fight with local hero Kubica for sixth. Doesn't sound like he'll worry him much here. "Not a perfect stage. It was quite dusty under the trees and hard to see the road, so I took it steady.'
Sat 08:45 - SS10: Evans
He completes 11sec off the pace. "We had a stall on the start line, and that set the tone for a terrible stage. Everything in the car is working okay but we can do better."
Sat 08:43 - SS10: Latvala
3.5sec slower than Ogier. How bad is the dust? "It's not very nice, but that's the situation. One of those times when it's an advantage being first on the road."
Sat 08:41 - SS10: Mikkelsen
3sec down on Ogier, and Andreas is struggling for visibility in the still air. "I'm trying to fight for victory but there is so much dust in here I just couldn't see. I need a three-minute gap. I really hope the organisers do something."
Sat 08:39 - SS10: Ostberg
15.1sec slower than Ogier. That's almost one second per kilometre. Something wrong? "We'll try again a new set-up. We have to." What can you do? "We can do quite a lot on the road section."
Sat 08:37 - SS10: Ogier
"A good stage but there is a lot of loose gravel on the road, so soft tyres the right choice. Let's see how the cleaning road will affect me." His benchmark time: 8m54.9s
Sat 08:29 - Stage notes: SS10
Mazury, 17.70km. Saturday’s opener is full of fast straights giving drivers the opportunity to push the car to its limits on roads that vary from cobbles, gravel, asphalt and sand. The opening half is narrow but it widens afterwards. A forested section at 4.3km offers a danger as the area to the side is soft and marshy.
Sat 08:29 - Up next: SS10
Sebastien Ogier was the first driver into the Mazury test at 0825hrs
Sat 08:28 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners have this morning. And it's really very simple: 5S for everybody
Sat 08:26 - Start intervals
All crews will start Saturday's stages at 2min intervals
Sat 08:26 - Start list
Here's how the WRC runners will line-up: 1. Ogier, 2. Ostberg, 3. Mikkelsen, 4. Latvala, 5. Evans, 6. Neuville, 7. Meeke, 8. Sordo, 9. Paddon, 10. Prokop, 11. Tanak, 12. Kubica, 13. Abbring, 14. Bertelli
Sat 08:25 - Start order
Like Friday, crews will run in championship standings order today, headed by Rally 2 restarters. And as there were no WRC retirements on Friday, Sebastien Ogier will be through first again.
Sat 08:24 - Set your watches
Here are today's crucial times (CEST): 0825hrs (SS10), 0930hrs (SS11), 1030hrs (SS12), 1208hrs (SS13), 1538hrs (SS14), 1643hrs (SS15), 1743hrs (SS16), 2018hrs (SS17), 2038hrs (first car into parc ferme & technical zone)
Sat 08:23 - Weather update
Another scorching, Polish-heatwave kind of day in prospect. Clear blue skies and a temperature of 24ºC for now. That temperature is forecast to hit 32ºC in the afternoon.
Sat 08:20 - This afternoon
Crews will complete second runs on Mazury, Wieliczki and Swietajno before a final pass on the Mikołajki Arena super special stage
Sat 08:19 - This morning
Drivers will contest Mazury (8.25km), Wieliczki (12.87km), Swietajno (21.25km) and Paprotki (23.15km) before heading for a 30-minute service at 1338hrs
Sat 08:19 - Coming up today
The second full day of competition features eight stages and 129.29 stage kilometres
Sat 08:18 - We're in position
At the WRC text desk in Mikolajki, ready for the stage action to resume
Sat 08:16 - Dzień dobry
From Poland, and welcome back to our live text coverage of the 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland
Fri 19:50 - That’s Friday's stages done
And the end of our live text service for today. Join us on Saturday when the action resumes. The next stage, the 17km Mazury, starts at 0825hrs (CEST) and we'll be here to bring you all the news. In the meantime, keep an eye on the news section for all the latest from Mikolajki. Bye for now!
Fri 19:49 - WRC top 5 after SS9
Ogier the overnight leader [+ times to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:17:42.5, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +2.1s, 3. Latvala (VW): +10.8s, 4. Tanak (Ford): +16.7s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): +35.9s
Fri 19:37 - SS9: Bertelli vs Abbring
Bertelli wins the heat, and rounds off a largely trouble-free day. "Okay, we had a puncture this afternoon, but compared to the other rallies I believe we have made a positive step forward," he says. Abbring too has reasons to be cheerful. "The day was really productive. Okay, we struggled with some things on the car from the beginning but we have learned a lot. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Fri 19:32 - SS9: Tanak vs Kubica
Kubica is second fastest - as he had been on Friday - while Tanak is 12th fastest. "Finally we have a service break so we can get the car fixed and look forward to getting out again tomorrow. We will have to start flat-out in the morning," says Tanak. Kubica says: "It was a difficult afternoon but the stages are incredible. It has been a good day for us. Not so easy to find the rhythm but step by step we improved."
Fri 19:27 - SS9: Paddon vs Prokop
Prokop steals the stage win from Ogier. "The day got better and better. I'm happy we won the stage - maybe that will make us more motivated tomorrow." Paddon, the man who got the afternoon tyre call just about right, is 2.3sec slower.
Fri 19:21 - SS9: Meeke vs Sordo
Sordo has more tread than most, and it shows when he sets the third-fastest time. Meeke is 1.2sec slower. "A disastrous afternoon with completely the wrong tyre choice," says Meeke. "We tried, but we weren't able to manage the tyres at all. We went right down to the wire."
Fri 19:18 - SS9: Evans vs Neuville
Neuville the heat winner. Evans 3.6sec slower than Ogier, and relieved to get his worn tyres through the final stage. "Not an enjoyable afternoon at all after a big mistake with our tyre choices. We'll think a lot more about it for tomorrow."
Fri 19:13 - SS9: Mikkelsen vs Latvala
Mikkelsen wins the heat, and the overall top three is settled with Ogier in the lead, Mikkelsen 2.1sec behind in second place and Latvala 10.8sec further back in third. "Okay, we were not on the correct tyre choice today, but I'm happy with my drive. To end up just 2.1sec behind Seb is a good result."
Fri 19:10 - SS9: Ostberg vs Ogier
The first heat goes Ogier's way by 0.4sec. He doesn't hang around to talk. Ostberg however gives a positive assessment of his day. "We managed quite well. I think we did a good tyre choice and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Fri 19:07 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS8 (updated)
[+ times to leader]: 1. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): 1m18.17.8s, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +50.3s, 3. Kruuda (DS 3 R5): +1m46.4s, 4. Suninen (Skoda Fabia S2000): +3m01.0s, 5. Kremer (Skoda Fabia R5): +3m03.2s
Fri 18:07 - Up next: SS9
Just one more stage to go today - the second trip to the Mikolajki Arena Super Special. The first pair of cars will be on stage at 1905hrs. We'll resume our live text service then.
Fri 18:01 - SS8: WRC 2 Kruuda
Slowed by a puncture on the previous test, he remains third in WRC 2 and determined to try and close the minute gap to the two Skodas ahead. "The main goal is to keep a calm head. The Skoda is a good car - I'm pushing my Citroen hard."
Fri 17:48 - WRC top 5 after SS8
Latvala up to third [+ times to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:15:54.3, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +1.9s, 3. Latvala (VW): +8.1s, 4. Tanak (Ford): +13.3s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): +35.4s
Fri 17:42 - Lefebvre update
Confirmed retired. Engine related. He reported low oil pressure after SS7.
Fri 17:38 - SS8: WRC 2 Maurin
His car completes dragging lengths of stage marking tape. He has a puncture too. "I'm fighting for a podium place, so we couldn't afford to take it easy. We went off and I'm very disappointed."
Fri 17:36 - SS8: WRC 2 Lappi
He is 0.5sec slower than Tidemand after a cautious run. "That was the roughest stage of the rally for me. Deep ruts and lots of rocks. I took it easy in there." His lead in WRC 2 is a handsome 50.3sec.
Fri 17:28 - SS8: WRC 2 Tidemand
Fastest WRC 2 driver so far, but he's expecting Lappi to be quicker. "Maybe tomorrow I can try some things to catch him, but to do that would involve taking more risks. We'll have to check what the team wants to do."
Fri 17:23 - SS8: WRC 2 Ketomaa
His rear brake caliper is leaking. "Not a very good rally for me so far."
Fri 17:22 - SS8: Bertelli
"We got one puncture, and went wide in here and hit a bank, but otherwise I can be happy with my day."
Fri 17:19 - SS8: Abbring
"A tough but really enjoyable opening day. We've carried a brake problem all day which we have worked around. At the same time we have got on and done the job we needed to do."
Fri 17:17 - SS8: Kubica
"We are not really able to push, we have a small issue with tyre blistering, so had to take it easy."
Fri 17:16 - SS8: Tanak
Ninth fastest and he drops to fourth. His tyres are worn down to the canvas in places - and again he spent much of the stage with front brakes only. Having led the rally earlier today he says his aim now is a podium.
Fri 17:14 - SS8: Prokop
"Our tyre choice wasn't right and we really struggled in there. In the car I'm feeling more confident - hopefully we can get the choices right tomorrow."
Fri 17:12 - SS8: Ostberg penalty
The results system shows a 10-sec penalty for a jump start on SS8
Fri 17:11 - SS8: Paddon
"The road is more cut up that I expected and it was hard to commit to the throttle." Fifth fastest so far.
Fri 17:10 - SS8: Sordo
Sixth fastest so far, and his decision to take two hard compound tyres means he has more tread available than most.
Fri 17:08 - SS8: Meeke
Lucky to escape an off-road moment. "We went off into a field. Completely no grip. The left rear was letting go everywhere."
Fri 17:06 - SS8: Neuville
Six seconds off the pace and another driver with a set of badly worn tyres. "The car was moving around a lot, so to lose only six seconds is pretty good."
Fri 17:03 - SS8: Evans
Slowest through - 30.4sec off Latvala's pace - and with three completely bald tyres it's easy to see why.
Fri 17:01 - SS8: Latvala
Fastest so far in 7m36.2s. "My tyres are not in great shape any more, but even with no tread it's surprising how good they are. I really enjoyed this stage."
Fri 17:00 - SS8: Mikkelsen
Just 0.2sec slower than Ogier on stage, and that keeps him just 1.9sec adrift in the overall standings. "A good day, one small mistake from my side but on this rally I would say all options are still open."
Fri 16:58 - SS8: Ostberg
He completes 0.6sec quicker than Ogier. "The feeling in the car was very similar to before but the time is much better. I can't explain why."
Fri 16:56 - SS8: Ogier
Completes with some front splitter damage. "Really? I didn't feel anything. Overall a good day but the guys behind are coming hard - especially on this stage where my tyres were done. I'm still happy."
Fri 16:30 - Up next: SS8
The repeat of Goldap, Friday's penultimate stage, gets underway at 1645hrs
Fri 16:08 - Lefebvre update
Still working on the car on the road section after the finish control.
Fri 15:58 - SS7: WRC 2 Lappi
The category leader is fastest again - 10.9sec up on Tidemand - and seems to have everything well under control. "No dramas, no problems and no reason to push harder. The feeling is good."
Fri 15:56 - SS7: WRC 2 Kremer
The German completes with a huge bulge in one of his front tyres. "We had a big moment in a fast corner. I'm very happy to be here!"
Fri 15:53 - SS7: WRC 2 Lefebvre
The Frenchman in trouble again - his car has low oil pressure. He completes the stage 1min slower than Tidemand and quickly parks up on the roadside to investigate.
Fri 15:50 - WRC top 5 after SS7
Ogier leads [+ times to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:08:16.7, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +1.7s, 3. Tanak (Ford): +2.4s, 4. Latvala (VW): +9.5s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): +31.8s
Fri 15:49 - SS7: WRC 2 Tidemand
"Really fun, so fast and flowing. Esapekka is going very well, he already has quite a lead, but I'll keep pushing."
Fri 15:46 - SS7: WRC 2 Ketomaa
"We hit a rock and now the brake pedal goes right to the floor. I don't understand why I'm having so many problems."
Fri 15:44 - SS7: Bertelli
Bertelli drops 1m46s to the leaders with a front-left puncture. "I drove on it for seven or eight kilometres. I have no idea why we got it."
Fri 15:41 - SS7: Abbring
"We are continuing to struggle with our brakes."
Fri 15:40 - SS7: Kubica
"It was okay, we have a clean run through. We have to continue like this."
Fri 15:39 - SS7: Tanak
He's 16sec slower than Ogier, and drops from the lead to third place. His four soft compound tyres are completely worn out. And his car shows signs of an off road trip - with a missing door handle and a wheel stuffed full of dirt. "No brakes, no tyres, what do you expect? I don't know how we can mess up our tyre choices so often. Not nice."
Fri 15:35 - SS7: Prokop
"In the last few kilometres we had a strange feeling in the front-right. Maybe a puncture, or perhaps a damper. We'll have a look."
Fri 15:34 - SS7: Paddon
His choice of four hard compound tyres proves inspired. He is fourth quickest so far, and jumps from seventh to fifth place. "It was good. Okay, we really struggled in the first few kilometers until they came up to temp, but later on it was much better."
Fri 15:31 - SS7: Meeke
The Brit left ruining his decision to fit all-soft compound tyres. "It was the wrong choice for sure. I was hemorrhaging time all the way through." He loses position to Neuville.
Fri 15:26 - SS7: Neuville
"I was very careful but it felt like I had no tyres left at all. With hard tyres I could have been better."
Fri 15:25 - SS7: Evans
38.2sec off the pace. And most of that time loss occurred in the final split. What happened? "We went off. No grip whatsoever and I couldn't stop. Not good."
Fri 15:23 - SS7: Latvala
He leaps out of the car to check his tyres. He has hard compound rubber at the front and soft at the rear. "We had a huge impact in the stage and I feared I had damaged one of the tyres. Luckily the Michelins are extremely tough."
Fri 15:21 - SS7: Mikkelsen
A clean stage but I don't have the confidence to push 100 per cent. I decided to drop my speed to 98 per cent here and play it safe." He loses second position to Ogier, who is now ahead by 1.7sec.
Fri 15:19 - SS7: Ostberg
"Perhaps the softs weren't the best choice. The car was sliding a lot. I think I can manage."
Fri 15:17 - SS7: Ogier
He reaches the end of the 39km stage with his front-right tyre badly worn. He has only one hard compound tyre for the afternoon stages. "I was a little too aggressive. We're going to make it, but we'll have to be careful."
Fri 15:10 - Up next: SS7
We're straight over to SS7, the repeat of Stanczyki. Ogier began the stage at 1455hrs.
Fri 15:06 - SS6: WRC 2 Lappi
Looks like another fastest time for the Finn, who is 6.7sec quicker than Tidemand - and he's only 13.3sec slower than Ogier! "That was brilliant. Not many mistakes at all. There was a huge rock in one corner which I managed to avoid. If I had time to miss it I must be able to go faster..."
Fri 15:00 - SS6: WRC 2 Lefebvre
The Frenchman's car is missing its front bumper after the earlier shunt, and he is is missing the aerodynamic benefit.
Fri 14:58 - WRC top 5 after SS6
Ogier fights back [+ times to leader]: 1. Tanak (Ford): 49:05.1, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +10.9s, 3. Ogier (VW): +13.6s, 4. Latvala (VW): +21.9s, 5. Meeke (DS 3): +32.7s
Fri 14:56 - SS6: WRC 2 Tidemand
"Of course I'm going to try and chase Lappi. The car is working well, I just need to get on the throttle earlier after the corners..."
Fri 14:52 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners have this afternoon: Meeke: 5S, Ostberg: 4S2H, Ogier: 4S1H, Latvala/Mikkelsen: 3S2H, Evans: 5S, Tanak: 6S, Sordo: 4S2H, Paddon: 4H2S, Neuville: 4S1H, Abbring: 4H2S
Fri 14:49 - SS6: Kubica
Second quickest, 1.5sec slower than Ogier, and Robert has a smile on his face. "It was a good run though. We chose different tyres to the others - we're on the hard compound Pirelli. I wasn't sure it would work, but I am now."
Fri 14:47 - SS6: Tanak
Fourth fastest, 3.1sec off Ogier's pace, and he remains first overall. "Now the tyres are getting really hot, we have to try and manage them, but it's still good."
Fri 14:43 - SS6: Prokop
Slowest through so far, 13.2sec slower than Ogier. "A bit better, and when the road is clean it's okay." He doesn't sound particularly convincing.
Fri 14:40 - SS6: Paddon
"We have a mixture of hard and soft compound tyres here, but we're going full hards for the long stage."
Fri 14:38 - SS6: Sordo
"The feeling is good now. We have taken two hard compounds for the long stage."
Fri 14:37 - SS6: Meeke
Third quickest - 2.3sec slower than Ogier.
Fri 14:34 - SS6: Neuville
"I got caught out by a dip under braking, I got off the line and lost time. I could have gone faster maybe, but I need to save my tyres."
Fri 14:32 - SS6: Evans
"There was lot of grip all round. The soft tyres seem okay."
Fri 14:31 - SS6: Latvala
Second fastest - 7m01.4s. He's running a mix of hard and soft compound tyres.
Fri 14:30 - SS6: Mikkelsen
He completes 4.1sec slower than Ogier, and sounds shaken after an off-road excursion. "We went off into a field."
Fri 14:27 - SS6: Ostberg
He's 8.1sec slower than Ogier. "The grip was better, but I still can't find a good rhythm. I have a good idea about how to improve that."
Fri 14:25 - SS6: Ogier
We're back, and so is our World Champion who reaches the stop line in 7m01.4s - that's 14 sec quicker than his first pass this morning "The road is much cleaner. All okay for us, it will be an interesting loop I think..."
Fri 12:57 - Up next: Tyre change
We're used to a 30-minute midday service on Fridays, but today there's only a remote tyre change zone in the town of Goldap. Drivers are also grabbing some lunch before the repeat stages. Next up: the second pass through Babki from 1415hrs. We'll take a quick break until then...
Fri 12:42 - SS5: WRC 2 Lappi
The Finn smashes in another terrific time, quickest so far, 14.8sec up on his team-mate Tidemand. "The time was good but the stage was not perfect. I can do better. I felt the tyres were finished near the end. I will be much quicker in the afternoon."
Fri 12:37 - SS5: WRC 2 Lefebvre
The Frenchman has plugged the leak in his car's radiator and all seems well. "The water temperature is okay, I'm very lucky. Hopefully I can complete the rest of the day okay," He completes 29.9sec slower than Tidemand.
Fri 12:35 - SS5: WRC 2 Tidemand
Quickest so far in WRC 2, but he's hoping for better. "I'm not really happy with my driving, not finding it easy to get the speed out of the corners. It's up to me to improve."
Fri 12:29 - WRC top 5 after SS5
Tanak fastest again [+ times to leader]: 1. Tanak (Ford): 42:00.6, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +9.3s, 3. Ogier (VW): +16.7s, 4. Latvala (VW): +22.8s, 5. Meeke (DS 3): +33.5s
Fri 12:28 - SS5: WRC 2 Ketomaa
"Flat out with the choke out. We are having fun now. A really enjoyable stage."
Fri 12:25 - SS5: Bertelli
"We went straight on at two or three junctions, so a lot of mistakes!"
Fri 12:22 - SS5: Abbring
"The nicest stage so far. But in the braking zones we can't get the car stopped. Apart from that it was really enjoyable."
Fri 12:19 - SS5: Kubica
"It's okay - I hope the spectators are enjoying it!"
Fri 12:18 - SS5: Tanak
A terrific fastest time from Ott, who completes 4.4sec quicker than Mikkelsen to extend his lead to 9.3sec. The front tyres on his Fiesta RS are badly won. "That's because we still have a brake problem - sometimes only the front ones are working," he explains.
Fri 12:15 - SS5: Prokop
"Not so good, my co-driver and I don't know how to find the rhythm."
Fri 12:14 - SS5: Paddon
Seventh quickest so far, 15.5sec slower than Mikkelsen. "We knew the time wouldn't be so good. Throughout the morning we haven't been able to find the rhythm. For some reason it's just not gelling. I'll try and make some mental adjustments before the afternoon stages."
Fri 12:12 - SS5: Sordo
"I was not on the right pace, all the time my notes were a little bit too slow. We need to try and understand how we can make them faster."
Fri 12:09 - SS5: Meeke
"I had a really good run. Better able to commit to my pace notes. I'm really happy with that." Fourth quickest so far.
Fri 12:07 - SS5: Neuville
"We got lost ourselves in the pace notes a couple of times. The notes were correct, but it's not easy for the co-drivers here."
Fri 12:04 - SS5: Evans
"Still not quite there, in terms of confidence, but not bad."
Fri 12:04 - SS5: Latvala
6.2sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "Not a good stage for us, we made three mistakes: one in a junction, one when we nearly went into a ditch and one with the pace notes."
Fri 12:02 - SS5: Mikkelsen
Quickest so far, in 19m31.7s, but he's concerned about the pace of those around him. "Tanak is doing a good job. We will see if he is as fast in the afternoon. And never say Ogier is not a threat either - for sure in the second loop he will be very fast."
Fri 11:59 - SS5: Ostberg
21.5sec slower than Ogier. "My speed is not good, but I feel cannot do much more."
Fri 11:57 - SS5: Ogier
"The morning loop was good. No tyre issues at all - I think mine must look like new. I was a little hesitant on the first stage perhaps but flat-out after that."
Fri 11:48 - WRC top 5 after SS4
Tanak fastest again [+ times to leader]: 1. Tanak (Ford): 22:33.3, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +4.9s, 3. Ogier (VW): +10.5s, 4. Latvala (VW): +12.2s, 5. Paddon (Hyundai): +18.5s
Fri 11:45 - SS4: WRC 2 Lappi
Fastest WRC 2 runner so far, 6sec quicker than his team-mate Tidemand. There are a lot of branches poking from the front of his Skoda. Problems? "No, nothing serious, I just picked up some grass from the side of the road."
Fri 11:42 - Stage notes: SS5
Stanczyki, 39.12km: A thin layer of loose gravel marks Stanczyki out as different to Friday’s other tests which generally have a deeper covering. A short asphalt section after 5km leads onto a wide gravel track which continues almost to the finish. It passes through a wind farm at 25km.
Fri 11:42 - SS5 Live
The Stanczyki test got underway at 1135hrs.
Fri 11:40 - SS4: WRC 2 Tidemand
"We made a few set-up changes before the stage and now it's really fun. I'm feeling comfortable."
Fri 11:39 - SS4 WRC 2 Lefebvre
He completes with frontal damage to his DS 3 and water leaking from the radiator. "I made a mistake near the middle of the stage, taking a corner flat when I should have slowed. I'm lucky to get to the end. We have to go and have a look."
Fri 11:35 - SS4: WRC 2 Ketomaa
"As well as the puncture we lost the power steering earlier and had to stop to reset the system. This stage was fine."
Fri 11:33 - SS4: Bertelli
Four clean stages so far for the Italian. "Not so bad, the car feels good. We will try to keep it up. I far prefer fast stages to the slow ones."
Fri 11:30 - SS4: Abbring
"This was one of the most difficult stages, you have to rotate the car in advance and the front feels a little unsure. It's hard work."
Fri 11:28 - SS4: Kubica
"It's been a good morning, a good start. "Not so easy for the pace notes though, the speed of the stages has taken me by surprise. We are trying to drive fast without talking too many risks. Confidence is so important here."
Fri 11:25 - SS4: Tanak
Another stage win for Tanak - 3.9sec quicker than Ogier, "That went okay, yes? I enjoyed it. I'm quite flat out. The car is perfect and I'm enjoying it. The instruction for the team is to let the other guys know were are here - and we'll be coming for them in the second half of the season."
Fri 11:22 - SS4: Prokop
"Harder than I expected, and a mistake on a junction where I had to stop, but I'm feeling more comfortable in the car."
Fri 11:21 - SS4: Paddon
"Maybe the decision to take two spare tyres wasn't the best. The wear hasn't been as bad as we expected, and we've been carrying the extra weight. Still, we have two fresh tyres now for the next one."
Fri 11:18 - SS4: Sordo
"Fast with a lot of crests here, we had to make a few changes to the pace notes."
Fri 11:17 - SS4: Meeke
"I'm happy enough. It takes a while to get your eye into these speeds." Kris is under strict instructions to get his car to the finish this weekend.
Fri 11:14 - SS4: Neuville
"Quite a lot of slip in the bumpy sections, but I was able to push a bit more that the earlier stages. There's more to come."
Fri 11:12 - SS4: Evans
I didn't feel I started so well, but in some sections near the middle I was pretty happy. Not bad."
Fri 11:10 - SS4: Latvala
"I also had problems with dust clouds in a few places, especially near the start where I couldn't see the corners,"
Fri 11:09 - SS4: Mikkelsen
The VW man 0.9sec slower than Ogier and troubled by hanging dust and poor visibility. "So dusty, you come flat out and then you see nothing! In the forest section it's very bad. I hope they do something for the next stage."
Fri 11:06 - SS4: Ostberg
He is 6sec off Ogier's pace. "I'm getting more comfortable with the speed but it's not brilliant - a few little mistakes here - and even the smallest make your heart beat faster,,, We just have to keep improving."
Fri 11:05 - SS4: Ogier
"I do my best. Maybe on the first one today I could have taken a few more risks, but not on the last two. I cannot do more. All I can do is hope for better conditions later in the event." His tyres look pristine. "There isn't enough grip to wear them," he jokes.
Fri 10:58 - Stage notes: SS4
Babki, 14.65km. Babki, which runs close to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast, is fast and varied. It starts on gravel but just after the midpoint it switches to a cobbled surface, and changes several times more in the following 1.5km as it twists and turns around houses. Dips in the road could cause problems.
Fri 10:31 - Up next: SS4
The Babki test gets underway at 1055hrs. We'll take a break and resume our text coverage then.
Fri 10:29 - WRC top 5 after SS3
Tanak takes the lead. [ times to leader]: 1. Tanak (Ford): 15:21.9, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): 0.1s, 3. Latvala (VW): 4.9s, 4. Ogier (VW): 6.6s, 5. Meeke (DS 3): 11.1s
Fri 10:25 - SS3: Abbring
12th fastest. "The rhythm was really, really nice except for a couple of corners where I was too cautious. We struggled for traction in a few places too."
Fri 10:22 - SS3: Kubica
Another clean run for the Pole. Sixth quickest.
Fri 10:21 - SS3: Tanak
Fastest so far - in 7m38.1sec - and that moves him into the lead. But he's not hanging around at the stop line. "We had some issue with the brakes in the second half. I must go and have a look"
Fri 10:18 - SS3: Prokop
16.3sec down on Mikkelsen's time. "Really unhappy. I knew from the start that we didn't have the speed, after that I was too cautious."
Fri 10:16 - SS3: Paddon
A terrific time for the Kiwi who completes 3.6sec quicker than his team-leader Neuville. "A bit more technical and cresty, I like this type of road, but my pace notes are a bit too slow, so I'm having to try and second guess where I can keep a higher gear."
Fri 10:14 - SS3: Sordo
"A little better than the first one. I enjoyed it more. I'm more in the battle." His time is 6.3sec slower than Mikkelsen's
Fri 10:12 - SS3: Meeke
Splits show he was close to Mikkelsen's pace early in the stage, but he completes 6sec adrift. "I struggled to commit to the notes, other than that no problems."
Fri 10:11 - SS3: Neuville
"Conditions were quite good. Some slippery sections on the tarmac. I enjoyed it."
Fri 10:08 - SS3: Evans
"Enjoyable enough, but we gave a way a bit of time in a few places - especially in the slow stuff. If we can sort that, we will be fine."
Fri 10:06 - SS3: Latvala
Second quickest so far, 0.7sec slower than his team-mate. "Andreas is in a really good rhythm, but that is what I was expecting. I'm feeling good too, but let's see what the guys like Kris Meeke behind can do."
Fri 10:04 - SS3: Mikkelsen
Fastest so far in 7m40.5. "A good start. Quite careful in some places where we were checking our notes ready for the repeat. We're all in the same position on these new stages."
Fri 10:02 - SS3: Ostberg
He is 5.7sec slower than Ogier, and it sounds like he is feeling the lack of a pre-event test. "We need to continue to improve. It's going in the right direction though. The car set-up feels good. It's just getting used to everything."
Fri 10:00 - SS3: Ogier completes
His time 7m44.2. "More corners than the first stage, and that means more of the road cleaning effect. I'm happy with my driving, but for sure the guys behind will be faster as the road cleans."
Fri 09:19 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS2
[+ times compared to leader]: 1. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): 7m57.7s, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +4.9s, 3. Kruuda (DS 3 R5): +5.0s, 4. Lefebvre (DS 3 RRC): +5.7s, 5. Koci (Peugeot 208 T16): +11.1s
Fri 09:14 - SS2: WRC 2
Skoda duo Lappi and Tidemand claim first and second in the WRC 2 class, with Karl Kruuda in a DS 3 third. Kruuda reckons he has more to give...
Fri 08:57 - Stage notes: SS3
Goldap 1, 14.75km. Frequent surface changes make Goldap a tough challenge as the road switches from gravel to asphalt and vice-versa on three occasions. The width also varies - at the start and middle it is narrow, but wide elsewhere. Thick gravel means the road will clean after the first cars.
Fri 08:56 - Up next: SS3
Sebastien Ogier began the Goldap test at 0950hrs
Fri 08:55 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners have this morning: All crews 5S except Abbring/Paddon who have 6S
Fri 08:44 - WRC top 5 after SS2
[+ times compared to leader]: 1. Mikkelsen (VW): 7:41.5, 2. Tanak (Ford): +2.3s, 3. Ogier (VW): +2.8s, 4. Latvala (VW): +4.1s, 5. Meeke (DS 3): +5.0s
Fri 08:41 - SS2: WRC 2 Lefebvre
"An incredible feeling in the car on these fast stages. Not a bad start." He completes more than 30sec quicker than Ketomaa.
Fri 08:39 - SS2: WRC 2 Ketomaa
He completes with a rear-left puncture and smoke billowing from the rubber. "It happened on a fast section."
Fri 08:37 - SS2: WRC 2 Al-Attiyah update
WRC TV crews report front-left suspension damage.
Fri 08:35 - SS2: WRC 2 Al-Attiyah
The WRC 2 leader is in trouble. The WRC tracking system shows his car stopped 4.6km into the stage. He has been passed by two other WRC 2 competitors.
Fri 08:33 - SS2: Abbring
"Fantastic. I think this will be the fastest rally of the season. In this stage we had to make a lot of changes to the pace notes - making them faster."
Fri 08:32 - SS2: Kubica
"It was okay, but it's not easy to come to such fast stages without big experience. We took it easy." Ninth fastest.
Fri 08:31 - SS2: Tanak
He promised 'a proper go' this weekend and starts with a terrific time, 0.5sec slower than Mikkelsen. But he sounds concerned. "At the beginning of the stage we noticed a small gearbox problem - it got stuck between gears like in Sardinia. I hope it's okay."
Fri 08:26 - SS2: Prokop
"The roads are really fast and it's difficult to find the right gear for the corners. It's completely different to what we are used to."
Fri 08:25 - SS2: Paddon
"My pace notes are a little on the slow side, but I was able to commit to them more as the stage went on. We're treating this as a warm up for the next two stages." Seventh fastest far.
Fri 08:23 - SS2: Sordo
He wasn't comfortable with the handling of his Hyundai last night. He's slowest so far, 9.5sec off the quickest time. "We were slowed by some dust clouds in the middle of the stage. I was happy with the car but I need to find more speed."
Fri 08:21 - SS2: Meeke
Second quickest so far. "Okay, I'm happy enough. After yesterday, we need to do this rally with no mistakes. That's the plan. There is some road cleaning here but we're going so fast it isn't making much of a difference."
Fri 08:19 - SS2: Neuville
5.8sec slower than Mikkelsen. "It was okay, I have quite a good feeling but I struggled with visibility in some dusty section in the trees so I took it a bit easy."
Fri 08:17 - SS2: Evans
A great start for the Welshman, who completes 4.6sec off Mikkelsen's time. "Definitely a good wake up call. It's seriously fast. A reasonable run, but these stages will take some getting used to."
Fri 08:15 - SS2: Latvala
The Finn is second quickest so far, 2.7sec slower than his team-mate Mikkelsen. "Andreas had a good time. We had clean run, a few small things, and a little cautious in places, but okay."
Fri 08:13 - SS2: Mikkelsen
Quickest so far in 5m57.0s - and the first driver to break through the 130kp/h average. "There will be some road cleaning here, it will get faster for sure. Still, I'm happy with my driving in there."
Fri 08:11 - SS2: Østberg
5.1sec slower than Ogier. "So incredibly fast. I was a little bit shocked. I'm not used to it. Last time I was in the car was Sardinia and that was very different."
Fri 08:09 - SS2: Ogier through
In 3m00.5s. That's an average of 129.86km/h! "Okay, but a long day today, and without service. I didn't find my best form immediately,"
Fri 08:02 - Stage notes: SS2
Gorklo, 13.00km. After a flowing but twisty opening, the stage becomes wider and faster until it passes through a small village and the surface changes. After leaving the village the surface reverts to sandy gravel and the road widens again. It stays like that until shortly before the finish where tall grass on the roadside hinders visibility.
Fri 08:01 - Up next: SS2
After Thursday night's Super Special, Gorklo has the honour of being the first proper gravel test of the rally. Ogier will start it at 0800hrs
Fri 08:01 - Start intervals
All crews will start Friday's stages at 2min intervals
Fri 08:01 - Start order
Crews will run in championship standings order today, which puts Sebastien Ogier through first. Here's how the WRC runners will line-up: 1. Ogier, 2. Ostberg, 3. Mikkelsen, 4. Latvala, 5. Evans, 6. Neuville, 7. Meeke, 8. Sordo, 9. Paddon, 10. Prokop, 11. Tanak, 12. Kubica, 13. Abbring, 14. Bertelli.
Fri 08:00 - Set your watches
Here are today's crucial times (CEST): 0800hrs (SS2), 0950hrs (SS3), 1055hrs (SS4), 1135hrs (SS5), 1415hrs (SS6), 1455hrs (SS7), 1645hrs (SS8), 1905hrs (SS9), 1925hrs (first car into parc ferme & technical zone)
Fri 08:00 - Weather update
It's another beautiful day in prospect - dry bright and sunny out there right now. The current temperature of 18ºC is forecast to hit 28ºC in the afternoon. Not a cloud in the sky.
Fri 07:59 - Coming up today
The rally's first full day of competition. This morning the crews set off for a loop of four stages featuring Gorklo (13km), Goldap (14.75km), Babki (14.65km) and Stanczyki (39.12km), the rally’s longest test. Although there is no midday service, the drivers and co-drivers will be able to change tyres before tackling Babki, Stanczyki and Goldap for a second time and then finishing the leg in the Mikołajki Arena. The cars are due back in service at 1935hrs.
Fri 07:58 - We're back
And poised at the WRC text desk in Mikolajki, ready for the stage action to resume
Fri 07:58 - Dzień dobry
From Poland, and welcome back to our live text coverage of the 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland, round seven of the FIA World Rally Championship
Thu 21:20 - Stages complete
And that's the end of our live text service for today. We'll return on Friday when the rally resumes. Join us for coverage of the opening Gorklo stage from 0800hrs CEST. Bye for now!
Thu 21:16 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS1
[+ times compared to leader]: 1. Lefebvre (DS 3 RRC): 1m46.5s, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +0.1s, 3. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): +1.0s, 4. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): +1.1s, 5. Kruuda (DS 3 R5): +2.5s
Thu 21:07 - WRC top 5 after SS1
[+ times compared to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 1:43.9, 2. Kubica (Ford): +0.5s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +0.6s, 4. Prokop (Ford): +1.5s, 5. Latvala (VW): +2.0s
Thu 20:59 - SS1: Ogier vs Neuville
Ogier leads! He wins his heat and moves first overall in 1m43.9s, giving him an overnight lead over Kubica of 0.5sec. "For sure Robert did a good job here - and I'm sorry to spoil it for him!" Neuville isn't surprised to complete 2.5sec slower. "I guess it's all about tyres. I was on the hard compound here. I did my best but Ogier was quicker."
Thu 20:53 - SS1: Kubica vs Ostberg
The crowds go bananas when Kubica takes to the track, and he rewards them by going fastest so far in 1m44.4s!
Thu 20:50 - SS1: Mikkelsen vs Meeke
Mikkelsen becomes the new stage leader in 1m44.5s. "I touched the barrier a little, but I lost a lot of time to Ogier here last year, so hopefully it's better this time." Meeke's car looks terrific after his multiple roll earlier today, but a stall on the start costs him three or four seconds and he sounds unusually flat. "I don't know what happened," he says.
Thu 20:46 - SS1: Latvala vs Evans
Latvala slots second quickest in 1m45.9s. "A generally good feeling to start with. It went quite well." He's wearing rose-tinted sunglasses to combat the glare. Evans, no fan of Super Specials, is 2.1sec slower. "It was alright," he says.
Thu 20:42 - SS1: Tanak vs Sordo
Tanak has the edge over Sordo by 0.9sec - but it sounds like a frightening run. "It was a bit more slippery that I was expecting, and the sun is so low now that in some places I couldn't see where I was going," he says. Sordo didn't enjoy himself much either: "Not a good run, I don't have a good feeling in the car - it was under-steering all the time. A little bit bad," he says.
Thu 20:37 - SS1: Prokop vs Paddon
Prokop takes the heat win in a new fastest time of 1m45.4. "We made a mistake in the first corner, and lost more than one second, but at least we tried," he says. Sardinian sensation Paddon is two seconds slower. "The strategy here was to go slow and save these tyres because we'll need them later in the rally. All good."
Thu 20:33 - SS1: Abbring vs Bertelli
We're into the World Rally Car heats now, and Abbring takes the first win, going two seconds quicker than Bertelli. "This isn't the real rally yet, but a good start. This rally is all about learning for me," he says.
Thu 20:31 - SS1: Holowczyc vs Al-Attiyah
Al-Attiyah has the edge over the Polish rally veteran, "A few corners a bit slippery but okay - we do our best," says Nasser. Local hero Holowczyc, in an R5 Fiesta, slots 12th fastest and promises a big push this weekend. "For the next two days it won't be easy to take time out of the youngsters, but I'll push to the limit."
Thu 20:24 - SS1: Lefebvre v Tidemand
France beats Sweden as Lefebvre edges out Tidemand by just a tenth of a second - and sets fastest time so far in Citroen's DS 3 RRC. "I was pushing hard, a good start," says Stephane.
Thu 20:20 - SS1: Lappi vs Fuchs
Lappi becomes the new man to beat in 1m47.6s - beating Fuchs by 3.5sec. "Everything is perfect," he says. Fuchs meanwhile is lucky to survive a brush with an armco barrier.
Thu 20:16 - SS1: Pedder vs Parn
Clean runs for both Fiesta R5 drivers. Parn takes the heat win, while Pedder reckons the setting sun was a bit of a distraction.
Thu 20:13 - SS1: Kruuda wins his heat
And is quickest so far in 1m49s. "Very positive. Twice I've been beaten here by Finns, and now I got one back. I love these roads," he says. Ketomaa takes defeat well. "Not perfect, but a good run and very enjoyable."
Thu 20:09 - SS1: Ketomaa vs Kruuda
A small pause before this next heat, which is due to start at 2008hrs to fit in with the Live TV schedule. (We're also live on WRC+ now). Worth waiting for though - it's Ketomaa's first stage since his enormous crash in Portugal.
Thu 20:01 - SS1: Gorban vs Kremer
We're up to our WRC 2 regulars now, and Kremer becomes the new man to beat in 1m49.1s. "Very nice for the moment," he says. Gorban, however, records the slowest time through so far - 15.9sec adrift. What happened? "Not so good for us - we have a few spins in there. I'm looking forward to the weekend though - the rally starts tomorrow."
Thu 19:56 - SS1: Hirschi vs Maurin
Maurin the new stage leader in 1m49.3s. "A beautiful stage, a lot of people, we tried to drive clean. We try to learn these roads quickly."
Thu 19:52 - SS1: Staniszewski vs Koltun
Koltun, in a Ford Fiesta R5, wins another all-Polish heat. "It's great to compete here in front of my own crowd. My dream this weekend is a podium."
Thu 19:47 - SS1: Raczkowski vs Ptaszek
The first all-Polish heat goes to Raczkowski in a Ford Fiesta R5 - and he's quickest so far in 1m49.8s. Ptaszek, in a Ford Fiesta S2000 is 1.5sec slower.
Thu 19:44 - SS1: Koci vs Serderidis
Koci the new man to beat - steering his Peugeot 208 T16 around in 1m50.7s. "We've done a lot of preparation for this rally. I hope it pays off." Serderidis says the stage was more slippery than he remembered, but he's through cleanly.
Thu 19:41 - SS1: Sousa vs Torres Fuentes
Peugeot 206 T16 driver Sousa is just 0.4sec off Suninen's stage leading time. "Finally I have the car in good shape, a slight lack of power, but as long as everything works well mechanically I'm sure I will have a good rally." Torres Fuentes sounds happy enough to slot fourth, 1.5sec adrift, in his R5 Fiesta.
Thu 19:36 - SS1: Uger vs Suninen
Suninen has switched from a DS 3 R3T to a Skoda Fabia S2000 since Rally Italia Sardegna. And he gets off to a terrific start with fastest time so far: 1m53.4s. "It feels really nice - great suspension and power. Only one day of testing though - and this is only my second gravel rally in a four-wheel-drive car, so lots of learning."
Thu 19:31 - SS1: Carchat vs Rendina
Rendina takes the heat win, 1.4sec ahead of Carchat - both in identical Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X cars. "All good," says Rendina.
Thu 19:29 - SS1: Gilbert vs Foulon
Foulon is the first 4WD competitor on stage, but his Mitsubishi Lancer is no match for JWRC leader Gilbert's DS 3 R3T. "A good start, a nice atmosphere, but my engine stopped 100 metres before the finish line so we have to have a look." He won't get a proper look before the 15-minute service on Friday morning.
Thu 19:24 - SS1: Tempestini vs Crugnola
It's a tie in this all-Italian heat, with both drivers sharing third fastest so far. "I hope to keep a good rhythm," says Tempestini. Crugnola says: "I've never been here before, so I'm doing this based on videos I have watched - and the recce of course."
Thu 19:20 - SS1: Haapamaki vs Andolfi
Happamaki just three-tenths off Folb's quickest time. "I like the Super Specials, I drove autocross for about five years, so it's good fun." Andolfi is 2.7sec slower than the Finn - a clean run.
Thu 19:17 - SS1: De Tommaso vs Perry
Perry the quicker of the two. "A lot of sliding in the first lap, after that it was okay." It's a steady start for WRC debutant De Tommaso at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 vti. He's only done two gravel rallies before.
Thu 19:13 - SS1: Folb vs Della Casa
A convincing heat win for Folb who is quickest so far in 1m57.9s. "My first time here, it's a fast rally, we are here to train for Finland and it's a great start!" All clear for Della Casa who is happy to put on a show for the spectators. "I think it's the only time we'll use the handbrake on this rally."
Thu 19:09 - SS1: Pryce vs Al Mutawaa
Our pairings commence, and the first heat is won by Pryce. "Nice and clean, not so many mistakes." He's fastest so far in 1m59.7s. Al Mutawaa is 2.5sec slower. "We enjoyed it, we are happy."
Thu 19:04 - SS1: We're off!
And the first pairing turns out to be a solo appearance for Frenchman Matthieu Margaillan. "Quite stressful out there on my own." His time 2m01.7s.
Thu 18:17 - Up next: SS1
We'll begin our live text service at 1855hrs, when the first pair of drivers approach the start line. Don't forget, this stage is also available to watch live on WRC from 2000hrs CEST
Thu 17:54 - Start order
The Junior World Rally Championship crews will head the field tonight, followed by those in WRC 2 and then the World Rally Cars. The first WRC pairing will be Abbring versus Bertelli at 2028hrs.
Thu 17:48 - Stage notes: SS1
Mikolajki Arena, 2.50km. The rally roars into life at a purpose-built super special stage next to Mikolajki’s service park. Two cars at a time will tackle the short gravel test, scene of Jari-Matti Latvala’s 2009 heartbreak when he crashed in the final stage and wrecked Ford’s 1-2 finish.
Thu 17:43 - Weather update
It's been another beautiful afternoon in Mikolajki, which is sweltering in a heatwave. Robert Kubica reckons it's the hottest summer for 30 years. Hot, dry and sunny all day. The current temperature of 24ºC will drop a couple of degrees by sundown at 2107hrs
Thu 17:33 - Thursday's itinerary
It's a straightforward schedule - and all times are quoted locally (CEST). The first car will leave the Service Park at 1840hrs for the 1km drive the stage start. The rest of the field will follow at two-minute intervals, pairing up ready for the head-to-head stage. The first two cars will take to the track at 1900hrs. Stage complete, competitors will drive 850 metres to the overnight parc fermé. Job done.
Thu 17:32 - Coming up tonight
Just one competitive stage - the first pass of the Mikolajki Arena Super Special. At just 2.5km in length, this promises to be a crowd-pleasing prelude before the proper stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Thu 17:32 - We're reporting live
from the rally's host town Mikolajki, in Poland's Masurian lake district, 250km north of capital city Warsaw. This week the trusty text desk is squeezed into the WRC TV production office, overlooking the Service Park
Thu 17:31 - Dobry wieczór
From Poland, and welcome to our live text coverage of the 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland, round seven of the FIA World Rally Championship
Mon 12:32 - LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland 2015
Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena starts thursday 2nd July 19:00 (CEST) - watch the LIVE Stages and Preview Magazine on wrcplus.com