This is super fast and for the final 10km it would be a surprise if the drivers dropped out of top gear anywhere. With a few jumps as well, the final half is comparable to Finland. It is narrow in places and based on clay, with a sandy top in some areas. It is a new stage but uses roads from the 2011 Plum Pudding test.
How the action unfolded:
Sebastien Ogier closed to within one 29.44km special stage of his maiden world title after reeling off another stage win in Wedding Bells in his Volkswagen Polo R.
The Frenchman starts the final Shipmans test with a lead of 64.1sec over Mikko Hirvonen’s Citroen DS3. A clean run and bonus points for finishing second or higher in the Power Stage would be sufficient for Ogier to secure the crown in Volkswagen’s first WRC season.
The only man that can deny him the title today, apart from himself, is Thierry Neuville. But that would require Ogier to slip up badly and the Belgian, realistically, would need maximum points from the Power Stage.
As Ogier has only been beaten on one country stage this weekend, it’s a long shot……..
Ogier was fastest by 1.2sec from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, with Neuville third in his Ford Fiesta RS, 2.8sec behind.
“I’m starting to think more and more about it, but up to now it’s OK,” said Ogier. “I try to keep a good rhythm to make life easier, otherwise I have too much time to think.”