Saturday | 24 Oct 2015

SS15: Sordo yields second to Mikkelsen

Just 2.1sec cover the trio battling for second at Spain’s RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada with two speed tests of Saturday’s penultimate leg remaining.

Stage info: SS14/15

SS14: La Figuera 2, 26.26km
La Figuera is the first half of last year’s 50km Escaladei test, which was run to celebrate the 50th edition of the rally. After starting outside El Lloar, wide smooth roads and long bends lead to the famous El Molar hairpin, where fans gather in their thousands. The stage crosses a couple of villages and undulates throughout. It’s a real drivers stage.

SS15: Poboleda 2, 10.63km
This is another test that is reminiscent of a race track and speed and lines are crucial. It starts after the village of La Vilella Baixa and the roads are twisty until the Carthusian monastery of Escaladei. Then it’s all new, on more open and flowing asphalt, to the finish before the village of Poboleda.

While Sébastien Ogier continued serenely at the head of the leaderboard, Andreas Mikkelsen, Dani Sordo (pictured) and Jari-Matti Latvala were engrossed in a fierce fight for the other podium places.

Third fastest for Andreas Mikkelsen in the repeat run through La Figuera promoted him into second ahead of Dani Sordo’s Hyundai i20. The Volkswagen Polo R pilot extended his advantage marginally in Poboleda to hold a 1.6sec advantage over the Spaniard.

“I thought I had a puncture and was a bit too conservative. It was another six corners before I realised I hadn’t. But I’m matching Jari-Matti’s pace and I hope I can do that until the end of the rally,” said Mikkelsen at the finish of Poboleda.

But it’s Latvala that both men must beware of. The Finn was fastest in La Figuera and second in Poboleda to close to within half a second of Sordo.

Second in La Figuera and a win in the next test left Ogier 57.7sec clear at the front.

Hayden Paddon damaged a wheel rim in a SS15 cut, ending the stage with a flat tyre. Although the Kiwi retained seventh, he was only 1.8sec ahead of Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville, who felt more comfortable with his i20 after stiffening the suspension.

More News