Ogier edges closer to Rally Poland win
VW driver takes a comfortable lead into final day
Sunday morning (SS21-22)
The final day of action in Poland got underway with two consecutive stages – a re-run of the ‘Milki’ and ‘Kruklanki’ tests that were used to open the event on Thursday afternoon.
Robert Kubica’s bid to salvage something from his first Rally Poland in a WR Car hit problems before he’d even arrived at Sunday’s first stage. The Pole, a retirement on Saturday afternoon when he took the right-rear wheel off his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, was 14 minutes late out of morning service when his M-Sport team discovered a problem with the car’s alternator. That meant he was handed a 2m 20s time penalty, leaving him almost 25 minutes off the lead.
Kris Meeke’s day got off to a good start as he continued his recovery after losing time with a puncture on Saturday. The Citroen driver was 11.2s faster than Henning Solberg on the 14.54km opener and promptly cruised past the Norwegian to claim eighth place by 7.7s. “I pushed as hard as I could without going crazy,” Meeke said. His attentions then turned to catching Hayden Paddon for seventh.
Also on the move through SS21 was Jari-Matti Latvala. His fast start carried him into fifth place as he eclipsed Juho Hanninen by a margin of 2.9s. Latvala’s VW team boss, Jost Capito, had told the Finn at the start of the day to “not care about the car and hammer it – show the guys who the boss is”. Latvala took the advice and then set his sights on catching Mikko Hirvonen, a man that was 13s ahead of him in fourth place. After SS22, the gap had reduced to 8.5s.