Kubica cools home crowd expectations in Poland
Local hero says he has set realistic targets
Meeke, 36 today, got the session off to a decent start, posting the sixth fastest time through the 3.70km gravel stage, close to the rally base in Mikolajki. However, the Ulsterman’s morning came to an unhappy end when he rolled Citroën’s DS 3 heavily near the start of his fifth run.
“We'll find out how the car is when we get it back, but it's never pretty when it rolls six or seven times. The FIA will take a look, but if the roll cage is bent we’re going nowhere,” said Meeke.
“I was just 100 metres into the stage on a flat-left, fourth gear corner. I was on the line and the car launched into the air and rolled. I had been completely flat through that corner every time before. The ruts were getting deeper but it caught me by surprise and the car went over and landed on the bonnet,” he added.
Ogier posted quickest time in his Polo R on the last of three runs. He was 0.5sec faster than a trio of cars tied in second.
“It was a really fast road, maybe only five braking points in the whole stage,” said Ogier. “It was fairly representative of the rally and good to get an accurate feeling for the speed we’ll see over the next three days.”
Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen and local hero Robert Kubica driving a Ford Fiesta RS, all recorded the same time on their fourth pass through the test to head Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 by 0.4sec.
The leading times were:
|1||Sébastien Ogier||Volkswagen Polo R||1min 39.1sec|
|=2||Robert Kubica||Ford Fiesta RS||1min 39.6sec|
|=2||Jari-Matti Latvala||Volkswagen Polo R||1min 39.6sec|
|=2||Andreas Mikkelsen||Volkswagen Polo R||1min 39.6sec|
|5||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20||1min 40.0sec|
|6||Kris Meeke||Citroën DS 3||1min 40.2sec|
|7||Dani Sordo||Hyundai i20||1min 40.3sec|
|8||Mads Østberg||Citroën DS 3||1min 40.6sec|
|9||Elfyn Evans||Ford Fiesta RS||1min 41.0sec|
|10||Ott Tänak||Ford Fiesta RS||1min 41.1sec|
|11||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai i20||1min 41.6sec|
|12||Martin Prokop||Ford Fiesta RS||1min 42.2sec|
|13||Kevin Abbring||Hyundai i20||1min 43.0sec|
|14||Lorenzo Bertelli||Ford Fiesta RS||1min 44.8sec|
Car photo credit: Dominic Smith