Rally Italia update #9
All the news from Saturday's first stage
Sebastien Ogier kam auf der fordernden 59km-Prüfung „Monte Lerno 1“ elf Sekunden näher an Jari-Matti Latvala heran.
Sebastien Ogier moved 11s closer to Jari-Matti Latvala on the grueling 59km ‘Monte Lerno 1’ stage after the engine temperature in the Finn’s Polo climbed to worrying levels in the Sardinian heat. He was forced to back off in a bid to save his rally.
“The temperature went up to 132 degrees (Celsius),” he explained. “We turned the ALS (anti-lag system) off and changed to road mode. We were expecting to retire, but then the temperature went down so we could go back to stage mode and carried on.”
Latvala was lucky to only drop 11s, a loss that reduced his advantage over team-mate Ogier to 17.7s. The Frenchman was frustrated because he knew the overall deficit could have been even less.
He said: “We had the information from the team that Jari had stopped and then he was back in again. We backed off. We could have gone faster.”
Kris Meeke’s hopes of moving up the leaderboard after his retirement on day one took a knock – literally – in the stage. The Citroen driver was forced to back off after picking up some damage. “Three corners in, we went wide on a hairpin left and clipped a big rock with the right-rear wheel. That knocked the wheel out of line and we had to take things easy,” he explained.
Jazeed Al Rajhi’s challenge in the WRC 2 category came to an abrupt end in the stage after he rolled his Ford Fiesta RRC at the halfway point. The overnight category leader had lost his advantage to Nasser Al-Attiyah on Saturday’s opening test and he was denied the opportunity to strike back in the 59km stage. Al Rajhi’s retirement extended Al-Attiyah’s advantage at the head of the field from 3.7s to a massive 5m 20.2s. He was a happy man.