Rallye Deutschland: Update #10
Neuville closes gap to Meeke in second
”“Sunday’s opener was shortened by 5.48km but is otherwise similar to 2013. The road surface was a mix of gravel and clay with a deep watersplash near the start and several tricky crests.
After a new opening 3.56km section, Peterberg followed the same route as 2013. It is fast through the open sections but when it turns into the forest it becomes damper and narrower.
Dani Sordo escaped unscathed from a heart-stopping sixth gear spin in the rain-soaked Peterberg stage at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The Spaniard, who was fighting for a podium with Kris Meeke and Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville, pirouetted his i20 7km after the start.
“We were in sixth gear, absolutely flat out. We had big braking and the car aquaplaned and started to move, and we went off. Not very nice,” said Sordo, who is now 20.1sec behind Neuville but stayed ahead of fifth-placed Andreas Mikkelsen.
Third fastest for Thierry Neuville meant the Belgian closed to within 0.4sec of Meeke in their fight for second.
Road opener Robert Kubica took advantage of the conditions to set fastest time in his Ford Fiesta RS by 7.2sec from Bryan Bouffier’s i20. Heavy rain fell as the stage progressed and the deteriorating conditions meant nobody could match his pace.
Sébastien Ogier, who crashed heavily in the first pass of this stage this morning, will not restart tomorrow under Rally 2 regulations.
The Frenchman hit a roadside barrier in top gear and after FIA officials examined the Polo R they ruled the roll cage was too badly damaged.
This afternoon’s run was shortened to avoid the section where he crashed as the roadside barrier separating the stage from a motorway was damaged.