Stage data: SS11, Epynt 2 (8.31 kilometres)
By Ford World Rally Team co-driver Chris Patterson: “This is a mixture of stages used over the years and there’s probably no part we haven’t been on before but now it’s all joined together. This year we’ve made 100 per cent new pace notes. It’s a very tricky stage so fast with long, long straights but with very tight corners that come up very quickly. You tend to lose time going wide into the tight corners just because of the way you’re braking so late so it’s very important to get the braking right for the corners. It can be disorienting and Petter will be concentrating very hard on the pace notes.”
How the action unfolded:
Evgeny Novikov has come within 0.1s of winning a stage on Wales Rally GB after Jari-Matti Latvala narrowly beat him to the fastest time through the second Epynt test.
As a result, Latvala’s overall lead on the FIA World Rally Championship round now stands at 22.1s with two stages of the second day remaining.
Mads Ostberg was third fastest, 0.6s down on Latvala with Novikov’s M-Sport team-mate Ott Tanak fourth quickest. Ostberg, driving an Adapta World Rally Team Fiesta, said: “I’m struggling so much with the extra spare tyre, I can’t drive the way I want to and the car doesn’t react. It’s frustrating but I continue to push.”
Mikko Hirvonen was fifth fastest in his factory Citroen with Thierry Neuville sixth quickest. Petter Solberg was seventh, 1.6s down on Latvala but, crucially, 0.2s faster than Sebastien Loeb in their battle for second place.
Matthew Wilson was ninth fastest with Nasser Al-Attiyah completing the top 10 for the Qatar World Rally Team. In the battle for Super 2000 World Rally Championship honours, Yazeed Al-Rajhi has overtaken Craig Breen for first place.