Saturday | 22 Aug 2015

SS10: Honours even in Saturday's openers

Duelling team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala shared the honours through Saturday morning’s opening two speed tests at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Stage info: SS9/10

SS9: Grafschaft 1, 18.35km
Saturday’s curtain-raiser is a typical vineyard test, with a high wall on one side of the road, a drop into the grapes on the other and plenty of unseen junctions. However, there is a 3km section early on which crosses open fields. It’s virtually identical to last year except that the opening 800 metres have been chopped off.

SS10: Bosenberg 1, 17.13km
This is the rally’s only test on Saarland’s country roads and mixes asphalt last used in 2007 with new sections. The opening kilometres contain a bit of everything - narrow and muddy lanes, wide flowing roads and gravel on the surface. Afterwards it’s a mix of small and large roads with plenty of opportunities to cut corners.

Leader Ogier won the Grafschaft vineyard stage in his Volkswagen Polo R to extend his advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala to 11.8sec. The Finn retaliated with victory in Bosenberg’s country roads to bring the deficit back down to 9.0sec.

“I had a clean drive and didn’t take any risks. I confirmed the pace notes for the second run,” said Ogier, the Frenchman clearly hoping to raise his pace on this afternoon’s repeat pass, a technique that allowed him to pull clear of Latvala yesterday.

Latvala was third in Grafschaft and unhappy with his braking, but more comfortable in the flowing Bosenberg. “In some sections I couldn’t get the exact feeling when I should be braking, but the next one was better. I remembered some parts from 2007 and there were more straights – it was easier to see!” he said.

Andreas Mikkelsen preserved third while strong times from Thierry Neuville enabled the Belgian to ease ahead of Hyundai i20 team-mate Dani Sordo by 1.8sec in the fight for fourth. Sordo had a gearchange issue in Bosenberg that made it hard to shift down in hairpins.

Elfyn Evans was second in SS9 to maintain sixth ahead of Ford Fiesta RS team-mate Ott Tänak, who was hampered in SS10 when an onboard camera came loose. “It affected my concentration. I tried to hold it up so it didn’t get caught behind the brake pedal,” said Tänak.

Mads Østberg went off the road briefly in Grafschaft after messing up a handbrake turn and ended the next stage with a vibration in his DS 3 after clipping something in a corner. Martin Prokop dropped almost 30sec with a broken driveshaft in his Fiesta RS.

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