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RallyRACC-Rally de Espana

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00:00:00 (UTC +2)

12°C54°F
Salou

Retirements

Data will be available once the rally starts.

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Fri 09:43 - SS3: Dani Sordo
"The dust was very, very bad. The car is moving a lot. Impossible to drive."

Fri 09:41 - SS3: Small off for Evans
He gets away with it, and completes 16.1sec off the time of Ogier, who is still fastest through

Fri 09:38 - SS3: Double puncture for Meeke
He stopped to change one on stage, but his left front is wrecked when he arrives at the stop control. That could be curtains for the Brit, who is carrying only one spare tyre.

Fri 09:35 - SS3: Ostberg raging
The Norwegian passed Meeke on stage, but it wasn't an easy manoeuvre. "I got all the way up to him. That shouldn't happen." He drives off, punching the steering wheel.

Fri 09:32 - SS3: Meeke moving again
But he's dropped almost 4 minutes

Fri 09:29 - SS3: Meeke stopped
His Citroen DS3 WRC is parked at the 19.1km point. Reports of a puncture.

Fri 09:29 - SS3: Neuville angered by dust clouds
"It's really dangerous. You can't see the corners, even if your pace notes are right. I don't think it's rallying to fight with the dust. But what can we do?" The time is good enough to move him into a slim rally lead

Fri 09:25 - SS3: Mikko Hirvonen
"I'm trying but there's so much dust it's hard to see. Let's see how it goes for the boys behind,

Fri 09:25 - SS3: Mikkelsen's dust concern
The Norwegian slips to second place and says the hanging dust from Ogier and Latvala was to blame. "The conditions are really terrible. There is so much dust it's like driving against a wall. The car was really nice but the conditions are dangerous."

Fri 09:21 - SS3: Latvala frustated
He's 2sec slower than his team-mate and agitated at the stage end. "I'm not happy. That did not go well. Quite a lot of dust, I'm struggling with the car."

Fri 09:19 - SS3: Ogier clears
His time is 15m28.7s

Fri 09:13 - SS2: Moment for Robert Kubica
He's seventh quickest, but had a hairy moment. "My pace notes were not so good. Last year I was cruising through, this time I lost the line in one corner but it's okay."

Fri 09:11 - SS2: Hayden Paddon
A great start for the Kiwi, who is 3.3sec quicker than his Hyundai team-mate Sordo. "The second half has swept well but the first half is still very slippery. Nothing too special but okay."

Fri 09:08 - SS2: Dani Sordo
Considering his road position, we were expecting a good time from Dani. Instead, he's 5.3sec slower than Meeke. "The time is not so good," he acknowledges. "I hoped it would be better but it's like this at the moment."

Fri 09:05 - SS2: Martin Prokop
is slowest of the WRC runners so far, 7.1sec off Meeke's stage leading time and struggling in his Pirelli-shod Fiesta. "Really slippery. I have very bad grip at the rear. I expected more grip. Really tricky."

Fri 09:02 - Stage notes SS3:
Pesells 1, 26.59km. A difficult gravel test used in 2012 and 2013, Pesells is covered with a thin layer of gravel that will clean. After a slow opening, it becomes increasingly faster before a twisty final 4km. There are several short asphalt sections with barriers lining the most hazardous bends.

Fri 09:01 - SS3: Is live
Sebastien Ogier started the 26km Pessells test at 0858hrs

Fri 09:00 - SS2: Elfyn Evans
"The road isn't cleaning massively. Struggling for grip in places. I was a bit untidy."

Fri 08:59 - SS2: Mads Ostberg
Slots second-fastest, 1.5sec off the pace of his Citroen team-mate Meeke. "There's a line clearing in the road. It's getting faster and faster."

Fri 08:56 - SS2: Helicopter issue for Meeke
The Brit is quickest so far, in 4m26.3s, but he had a close encounter with one of the television camera helicopters. "I want a word with the helicopter pilot. He flew down in the road in front of me and blew all the dust up. I couldn't see anything."

Fri 08:53 - SS2: Thierry Neuville
Quicker than Mikkelsen by 1.3sec. "It's very slippery and we are sliding around. There are no lines yet, we try to do our best."

Fri 08:51 - SS2: Mikko Hirvonen
is 3sec off Mikkelsen's pace. It's not a bad start for the Finn, but he's not sounding comfortable. He thinks his car's set-up is not right.

Fri 08:48 - SS2: Mikkelsen clear
The overnight leader is fastest so far, 1.4sec quicker than Ogier. He had an early scare today when he had to push his Polo into service. "Everyting is fine now - it was just a fuel thing. We had some left but didn’t want to risk running out and damaging the car."

Fri 08:44 - SS2: Latvala rock strike
He's 1.7sec slower than Ogier and his Polo R is sporting some damage to its front right corner. "I hit a stone. There was quite a lot of dust at the beginning and I didn't see it. I didn't cut, it was on the side of the road. I was afraid I would get a puncture. I had no rhythm."

Fri 08:40 - SS2: Ogier completes
He's first through in 4m30.6. "The grip is not so good but I'm happy. I've done a good stage, but the surface is loose so for sure it won't be the fastest."

Fri 08:37 - Stage notes: SS2
Gandesa 1, 7.00km. The road from Gandesa to Bot is a repeat of last year’s stage. After 700m on asphalt, it’s fast and smooth gravel for the rest of the way on mid-to-wide undulating roads. Twisty throughout, it requires hard braking and a good balance with the car.

Fri 08:36 - Dust watch
The gravel roads are bone dry and there is not a lot of breeze on the opening stage. Cars will start at 3-minute intervals but hanging dust could hamper visibility. If it does, organisers can extend the gaps to four minutes

Fri 08:35 - Weather update
Clear skies over Salou, with a fresh early morning temperature of 10˚C. There is no sign of rain and the temperature is forecast to hit 28˚C today

Fri 08:34 - Friday's start order
is based on championship standings, which puts Ogier first on the road. Here’s the full World Rally Car start order: 1. Ogier, 2. Latvala, 3. Mikkelsen, 4. Hirvonen, 5. Neuville, 6. Meeke, 7. Ostberg, 8. Evans, 9. Prokop, 10. Sordo, 11. Paddon, 12. Kubica, 13. Protasov, 14. Al Qassimi, 15. Block

Fri 08:34 - Cars have left service
and are en route to the start of SS2, Gandesa, which kicks off at 0833hrs local

Fri 08:34 - Friday’s stages:
SS2/SS5 Gandesa (7km), SS3/SS6 Pesells (26.59km) and SS4/SS7 Terra Alta (35.68km)

Fri 08:33 - Friday’s itinerary:
crews head west for a loop of three gravel-covered stages that will be repeated in the afternoon after a midday service

Fri 08:33 - Coming up
After Thursday’s single street stage, we have a full day of gravel rallying on Friday

Fri 08:33 - We’re back
at the wrc.com desk of text, nestled inside rally HQ at the Port Aventura theme park

Fri 08:32 - Hola from Salou
and welcome to our live text coverage of RallyRACC - Rally de España, round 12 of the FIA World Rally Championship

Thu 19:30 - Thursday done
Just the one stage tonight - a curtain raiser before a full day of competition tomorrow. We'll resume our live text service at 0830hrs on Friday - in time for the 7km Gandesa stage. In the meantime, keep an eye on the news section for the latest from Salou. Adiós for now.

Thu 19:30 - WRC2 top 5 after SS1
1. Chardonnet (Citroen DS3 R5): 3m50.9s, 2. Sousa (Ford Fiesta RRC): +2.1s, 3. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): +2.5s, 4. Kruuda (Ford Fiesta S2000): +6.4s, 5. Barrable (Ford Fiesta R5): +6.4s

Thu 19:14 - SS1 Key points
Volkswagen’s Andreas Mikkelsen was fastest on the Barcelona street stage to spring into an early, 1.8sec, lead of RallyRACC - Rally de España. Pre-stage, the Norwegian scrubbed much of the tread off his gravel tyres to improve grip on the asphalt. Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are second and third overnight. Ken Block slammed his Fiesta RS into a barrier on the first corner but seems to have escaped mechanical damage.

Thu 19:05 - WRC top 5 after SS1
1. Mikkelsen (VW): 3m39.1s, 2. Ogier (VW): +1.8s, 3. Neuville (Hyundai): +2.9s, 4. Latvala (VW): +3.1s, 5. Sordo (Hyundai): +3.6s

Thu 18:59 - SS1: Ogier gets close...
But he's unable to beat Mikkelsen's time. Seb stops the clock 1.8sec slower to slot second fastest. "An okay stage, but not too much risk. The real rally starts tomorrow. Flat out, that's the plan."

Thu 18:55 - SS1: Latvala too hestitant?
The Finn is 3.2sec slower than his VW team-mate Mikkelsen. "That was a very demanding stage. The car was performing well but in a few places I was a little hesitant. I had only one soft tyre and perhaps with two - like Ogier - I could have been quicker."

Thu 18:52 - SS1: Mikkelsen tyre gamble
Fastest so far (3m39.1s) for the Norwegian who is after his first WRC rally win this weekend. He scrubbed most of the tread off his tyres before the stage and reckons his virtual slicks made the difference. "Okay, we've used up some of our allocation for tomorrow, but I think what we'll gain here is more than we'll lose tomorrow."

Thu 18:48 - SS1: Mikko Hirvonen
"The time wasn't so great but I enjoyed it." He's fifth fastest

Thu 18:45 - SS1: Neuville's donut regret
The Belgian pings his i20 WRC through in a new fastest time of 3m42.0s. "It was a good run, but a lost a little time in the donut because I did it in second gear and couldn't get full throttle."

Thu 18:42 - SS1: Meeke clears
A great time for the Brit who is 0.4sec slower than Sordo. "A brilliant stage for the spectators. I'm happy with my run, technically it was good. Lets see how the Volkswagens do - it looks like they've played with their tyres. How they are legal I don't know..."

Thu 18:39 - SS1: Great start for Ostberg
He's second quickest so far, 1sec adrift of Sordo. "A fantastic stage, right up there with my favorite super specials of the year. The setting is fantastic and there are so many people!"

Thu 18:36 - SS1: Cautious start for Evans
He retired on the Salou street stage last year - so he's understandably pretty careful tonight. "Yeah, I was trying to be careful, it's a tricky little stage. Maybe I didn't push hard enough - maybe a bit too tidy." He completes 6.8sec slower than Sordo.

Thu 18:32 - SS1: Prokop clear
and he's second fastest so far. "A fantastic stage, really nice but we are so limited by the (gravel) tyres. We managed a clear run to be ready for tomorrow."

Thu 18:30 - SS1: Sordo in trouble?
Huge cheers from the Spanish crowd as Dani completes in 3m42.7s - fastest so far. But he's sounding concerned. "I think first gear wasn't coming up very good. We didn't seem to have power coming out of the hairpins. Perhaps something is wrong. We will have a look."

Thu 18:26 - SS1: Paddon fastest so far
In a time of 3m47.5s. "I quite enjoyed this. There are heaps of people and an amazing atmosphere. We made a bit of smoke and had fun."

Thu 18:24 - SS1: Kubica slides through
This stage is run close to the former Barcelona Grand Prix circuit, but our ex F1 driver wasn't feeling at home. "It wasn't easy doing this on gravel tyres. I see tarmac and I think grip - but there wasn't a lot here!"

Thu 18:21 - SS1: Protasov clears
His time of 3m51.2s is quickest so far

Thu 18:19 - SS1: Khalid the showman
It's not easy to follow Ken Block, but Al Qassimi gives it a good go in his Citroen DS3. "We spent a lot of sideways. This was definitely not about times - this was for the show." Good man. He completes 5sec slower than Ken.

Thu 18:14 - SS1: Block completes
And his benchmark time is 3m52.0s. "The tyres were colder and slicker than I thought and it went way wider than I expected! The rest of the stage was good, I hope the damage isn't too bad. It's good to be back!"

Thu 18:11 - SS1: And Block's into the barrier!
A wild first corner for the American, who slams the left rear into a barrier. He seems to have got away with it.

Thu 18:08 - SS1: Stage is Live!
Ken Block began the stage at 1808hrs

Thu 17:53 - SS1 stage notes:
Barcelona, 3.20km: This asphalt test on the lower section of Montjuïc hill is the first stage in Barcelona since the rally entered the WRC. Concrete walls line the roads and drivers complete two laps, including ‘doughnuts’ in front of the Palau Nacional building.

Thu 17:44 - Weather update
It’s been a lovely sunny day in Salou, with blue skies and a high of 26˚C. It’s 23˚C now. Sunset tonight is 1903hrs

Thu 17:42 - Stage 1 start order
s based on championship standings reversed - which puts the WRCs returning Hoonigan Ken Block through first. Here’s the full World Rally Car start order: 1. Block, 2. Al Qassimi, 3. Protasov, 4. Kubica, 5. Paddon, 6. Sordo, 7. Prokop, 8. Evans, 9. Ostberg, 10. Meeke, 11. Neuville, 12. Hirvonen, 13. Mikkelsen, 14. Latvala, 15. Ogier

Thu 17:41 - Thursday’s itinerary
Crews left Salou from 1pm for the start of the opening stage, held on tarmac in the streets of Barcelona. The 3.2km sprint gets underway at 1808hrs (local). After covering a total distance of 222 kilometres, the cars will come back to parc ferme from 2008hrs

Thu 17:41 - Coming up
is the opening stage of this unique mixed-surface rally.

Thu 16:45 - We’re all set
at the wrc.com desk of text, inside rally HQ at the Port Aventura theme park in host town Salou.

Thu 16:45 - Hola from Salou
and welcome to our live text coverage of RallyRACC - Rally de España, round 12 of the FIA World Rally Championship

Wed 17:28 - Servicepark Livestream
Open the Live Text Pop-Up to see the Schedule

Wed 09:41 - RallyRACC - Rally de Espana
SS1 Barcelona from 6pm (CEST) live @ www.wrcplus.com

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