Thursday | 02 Jul 2015

SS1: Ogier spoils Kubica's joy

Sébastien Ogier ruined hopes of a home victory by edging out local hero Robert Kubica to win the opening stage of LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland on Thursday night

Stage info: SS1

Mikolajki Arena 1, 2.50km
The rally roars into life at a purpose-built super special stage next to Mikolajki’s service park. Two cars at a time will tackle the short gravel test, scene of Jari-Matti Latvala’s 2009 heartbreak when he crashed in the final stage and wrecked Ford’s 1-2 finish.  

Pole Kubica set fastest time in his Ford Fiesta RS by defeating Mads Østberg in the penultimate headline heat at the 2.50km Mikolajki Arena, only for Ogier to snatch victory by 0.5sec after beating Thierry Neuville in the final encounter.

“I’m sorry to spoil it for Robert because he did a good job here. It’s nice to see such a big crowd. It’s a great atmosphere and I think we’re going to have a good weekend,” said the Volkswagen Polo R pilot.

Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen was third despite swiping a barrier with the rear of his car as he fought to beat Kris Meeke, whose DS 3 was rebuilt by Citroën mechanics after the Ulsterman rolled heavily in this morning’s shakedown. Meeke was only 17th after stalling at the start.

The Fiesta RS cars of Martin Prokop and Ott Tänak were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the Polo R of Jari-Matti Latvala, for whom this is his 150th WRC start.

Citroën’s Stéphane Lefebvre was the top WRC 2 competitor in seventh after pipping Pontus Tidemand’s Skoda Fabia R5 by a tenth of a second.

The action restarts tomorrow morning when competitors journey close to the Polish border with Russia and Lithuania, tackling eight stages covering 152.54km.

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