Spain countdown: Rally rewind

Kicking off our countdown to the penultimate event of the year – RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (25-28 October) – we remember a popular win for Kris Meeke at the 2017 fixture and a pivotal moment in the race for the drivers’ title.

Friday 6 October

Andreas Mikkelsen quickly got to grips with Hyundai’s i20 as he ended his debut in the car with a 1.4sec advantage over Sébastien Ogier.

The Norwegian vaulted from fifth to first by going 2.7sec faster than any of his rivals through the Terra Alta test – the final stage of the morning loop.

Ogier completed the day with 1.6sec in hand over Meeke. The Northern Irishman won two stages in his Citroën C3 but dropped time with a spin in the afternoon.

Ott Tänak was fourth.  Despite losing time in the morning with a slow puncture, the Estonian held a 0.8sec lead over Mads Østberg who struggled with dust entering his Fiesta’s cockpit.

Saturday 7 October

As the mixed-surface rally switched from gravel tracks to asphalt roads, Meeke showed the pace of his Citroën and powered from third to first.

Ogier had one hand on the title after dramas for Neuville

Ogier held on to second but came under huge pressure from M-Sport Ford World Rally Team counterpart Tänak. Just 1.5sec separated the duo at the end of the leg.

Thierry Neuville had a turbulent day after spinning and damaging his Hyundai on a road section. The Belgian was rushing to the start of SS9 after his i20 refused to start following roadside repairs. He finished fifth, 19.2sec behind Juho Hänninen.

Sunday 8 October

Meeke safely negotiated the remaining stages to ensure a comfortable 28.0sec win. His second victory of the season came just three events after he was dropped from the team following several crashes.

Ogier’s second place – and three Power Stage bonus points – increased his lead over Neuville in the drivers’ standings to 37 points.

The Belgian’s retirement on the final morning with broken suspension all but handed Ogier his fifth world title.

Tänak rounded out the podium, while Hänninen maintained his good form with fourth. Early pacesetter Østberg completed in fifth.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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