Sun 14:34 - Thank you
From all of us to all of you, thanks for reading the Live Text throughout the 13 rounds of this WRC season. Goodbye!
Sun 14:33 - Until then…
Keep your eyes glued to wrc.com for news, reports and analysis from Australia as well as all the news from the off-season.
Sun 14:32 - We’ll be back… in 2019
Fear not, we’ll return in January 2019 as the new season begins with the always spectacular Rallye Monte-Carlo on 24-27 January.
Sun 14:29 - Goodbye 2018!
From the ice and snow of Monte Carlo and Sweden to the demanding gravel of Finland and Great Britain - and everywhere in between, this has been a fantastic season!
Sun 14:28 - That’s it!
What a rally we’ve had this weekend, such a thrilling end to what has been a fantastic season of action.
Sun 14:26 - Jari-Matti Latvala
"It has been too long, it's been two very long years. I was losing the hope that I wouldn't win a rally. These tricky conditions went my way. It is great that victory also secured the manufacturers' title!"
Sun 14:21 - Paddon
As Hayden gets called onto the podium with co-drover Seb Marshall a huge roar goes up from the New Zealand fans who have come over to watch their driver this weekend
Sun 14:19 - Jari-Matti Latvala
Latvala climbs onto the roof of the Yaris and he celebrates with Miikka Antilla!
Sun 14:17 - Thierry Neuville
"Obviously, not the end that we were looking for but sunce Friday after the puncture things were difficult. We thought there was still a little bit of chance we could take the win. When the weather came we knew we had to push. On the afternoon loop we pushed a little over the limit and crashed. Congratulations to Seb and Julien, it was a great battle all season. Looking forward to another year in the WRC in 2019."
Sun 14:15 - Drivers’ championship points
Confirmation of the final points for the top three: 1. Ogier - 219 2. Neuville - 201 3. Tänak - 181
Sun 14:14 - Malcolm Wilson
"Two months ago it wasn't looking good, but when you've got Sébastien at his best in Spain and Great Britain it means everything is possible. We'll miss him."
Sun 14:14 - Ogier
"It's been an incredible season, so close! Up, down. Not long ago we thought it would be impossible, thanks to the team for the great efforts! We've achieved something special in these last two years."
Sun 14:12 - Power Stage results
Sébastien Ogier caps the season with victory on the Wedding Bells18 Power Stage. 1. Ogier 2. Lappi 3. Østberg 4. Evans 5. Latvala
Sun 14:11 - Final classification after SS24
Victory for Jari-Matti! 1. Latvala 2h 59m 52.0sec 2. Paddon +32.5sec 3. Østberg +52.2sec 4. Lappi +1m 02.3sec 5. Ogier +2m 30.8sec 6. Evans +3m 05.1sec
Sun 14:10 - Toyota are the manufacturers' champions!
Toyota Gazoo Racing secures the Manufacturers' title by 368 points to Hyundai's 341!
Sun 14:08 - SS24: Latvala
Here it is then, his first victory of the season and his first win since Rally Sweden in 2017. Such a great result for Jari-Matti Latvala after a really strong performance in a weekend where the Toyota Yarises were a step above everybody else. Tommi Mäkinen is absolutely overjoyed at the podium at the end of this test, that's secured Toyota the manufacturers' title in just its second season.
Sun 14:04 - SS24: Paddon
Hayden hasn't put a foot wrong this weekend, the Kiwi has grabbed a great result this weekend - second overall and fastest of the Hyundais. He'll be happy with this season-ending result. "This podium feels proper! The couple we've had in the last year we've taken from other people's problems. Every year we've improved in Australia so if we're here next year then really we should take victory!"
Sun 14:01 - SS24: Østberg
Mads secures a podium finish after a strong weekend, it's not quite the win he was hoping for when he led early on in the rally but still it's a good way to end the season. He's third-fastest through the stage. "It was an incridble weekend, so many ups and so many downs. Probably more downs, but we had an amazing day today. It is tough after such a long break to get back in the car." He's asked whether he'll have a drive next year: "Well I'm third-fastest in the world on this rally, so shame on them if I don't get a drive next year!" Cheeky smile from Mads as well!
Sun 13:56 - SS24: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi finishes the rally fourth as things stand at the moment and it's been a decent weekend for him all things considered, his final rally at Toyota as heads to Citroën for 2019. He crosses the line just 0.1sec down on Ogier's fastest stage time! He tells Molly: "For sure I'll miss the Yaris, I will. But I'm looking forward to new challenges. I'm thankful for the team and their support, they've got such a big passion for rally. Hopefully Jari will come through and we'll win the manufacturers' title, that's what everyone deserves."
Sun 13:52 - SS24: Ogier
Ogier completes the Power Stage with the fastest time - by 3.0sec - and crosses the line safe in the knowledge that he has six world titles to his name. Safe to say he's absolutely delighted at stop control as he celebrates with Julien: "It is difficult because the season was so intense and just happening in between two stages - getting the message on the road section. I'm so proud of my team, you are the best! We had such an amazing time together. I just had a final push in this car! I can't wait to see the team again."
Sun 13:48 - SS24: Evans
Elfyn Evans is quick on this test, he's rapid through the splits and he's taken the fastest time on the stage by 6.5sec! Good hustle from him, after moving aside for Seb earlier. "It's been a difficult thing, many times I've had to accept and put up with it [moving aside] but I'm glad he's won the crown. He's done a great job and I'm happy for the whole team, they've all worked really hard. Hopefully more to come."
Sun 13:44 - SS24: Breen
He completes the stage now, 15.3sec off the pace. He says: "It's been really, really tough. I love this thing so much, but I've been through hell and back to get here. Just need a few things to go the right way again." A very emotional Craig Breen at the end of the stage.
Sun 13:42 - SS24: Breen
Okey dokey, we're back on to the World Rally Cars now and Craig Breen spins in his C3. He tries to get it going again and stalls before he finally moves off.
Sun 13:40 - SS24: Alberto Heller
Alberto Heller crosses the flying finish and secures WRC 2 victory in just his second start in the category. Faultless weekend from the Chilean who kept his Fiesta R5 on the road when his rivals struggled.
Sun 13:37 - SS24: Serderidis
Jourdan Serderidis finishes his rally now and completes a generally clean run on his second World Rally Championship start of the season. He tells Molly: "Top 10, it is more than a dream for me! It is fantastic. It has been a difficult week for me, but we've achieved a great result and I'm very happy."
Sun 13:33 - SS24: Glenney
The second of the Australian championship runners is Steve Glenney, he powers his Skoda Fabia R5 home to victory in their championship and he'll be 10th in the overall standings for good measure. "It has been a crazy weekend, all dramas for the Australian title contenders. It is a dream come true to be in the mix with the WRC competitors, we've been tweaking the set-up all weekend - the car's been a dream."
Sun 13:29 - SS24: Evans
No not Elfyn, Eli. We've got two Australian runners through this test, and the first is Eli Evans. He completes the stage cleanly and he becomes the Australian rally champion! Well done that man! He even does a couple of donuts as he reaches the end. And who can blame him, he's absolutely delighted: "That was really strange and bizarre year in the Australian championship, it was really hard fought between three crews. I tried everything to throw it away but I got through to the end!"
Sun 13:24 - SS24: Mikkelsen
Andreas completes his rally, and indeed his season, as he crosses the flying finish in a time of 4m 25.7sec. He tells Molly: "I'm sure we could have had a good result in this rally. It would have been nice to change things around this weekend but I guess we'll have to wait until Monte Carlo. I'm sure we'll start there in good spirits and come back strong."
Sun 13:18 - SS24: Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen is the first of our crews onto the Live TV Power Stage now!
Sun 12:42 - Congratulations Julien Ingrassia!
Congratulations also to Julien Ingrassia who secures his sixth co-drivers' title!
Sun 12:33 - Sébastien successes
Ogier's triumph means the last driver not called Sébastien to claim the WRC drivers' title was Petter Solberg in 2003.
Sun 12:31 - The standings after SS23
Ogier is crowned champion! 1. Latvala 2h 55m 31.6sec 2. Paddon +32.1sec 3. Østberg +53.7sec 4. Lappi +1m 06.4sec 5. Ogier +2m 35.0sec 6. Evans +3m 06.3sec
Sun 12:28 - Ogier
That's his sixth world title and his second with the M-Sport Ford team.
Sun 12:28 - Ogier is the champion!
With Tänak failing to finish this stage, and Neuville stopping on SS22 that means Sébastien Ogier is officially the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship drivers' champion!
Sun 12:26 - SS23: Latvala
Latvala lowers the fastest stage time again, he's 2.8sec quicker than everyone else and holds onto his lead with just the Live TV Power Stage remaining. Bit of damage to the rear of his Yaris and he's getting out to have a look. "It was increduble, so demanding, so nasty places, had to be really, really patient. I heard Ott has stopped, I'm very sorry for him. Very tricky conditions."
Sun 12:24 - SS23: Paddon
That promotes Hayden Paddon to second it would appear, he's 1.2sec quicker than anyone on the stage. "When we got 20 seconds behind we just have to make no mistakes, on some of the creeks we were so slow we could have walked faster. It's not over until the fat lady sings!"
Sun 12:22 - SS23: Tänak
Oh no, this isn't what we wanted to see, Tänak's Toyota is being pushed off the road with the help of Martin Jarveoja and a couple of the fans.
Sun 12:20 - SS23: Østberg
Blimey the watersplashes are rather brutal this weekend, Mads goes through one at a decent speed and it peels the entire rear-right door panel off his Citroën, it's hanging on but it looks like a sardine can lid! "I was caught out on some mud - like everyone! I went off the road and into a tree. To be honest I though like that was it, but after that I pushed to the absolute limit." Didn't he just? He's 3.8sec quicker than Lappi through this one.
Sun 12:18 - SS23: Tänak
And just as we send that update, more news - he's moving again now.
Sun 12:18 - SS23: Tänak
These stages are really claiming cars this afternoon. Ott Tänak is off the road at the 2.2km mark. More on that as we get it.
Sun 12:17 - SS23: Lappi
Bit of rear-end damage on Lappi's Yaris, in fact the whole rear bumper has gone AWOL! It's not hampered him at all though, he's 22.9sec than Suninen with a cracking stage time! He tells Colin: "It felt horrible, you cannot enjoy it. Even if I needed to push you can't enjoy it. Safely through." He doesn't explain where his bumper has gone though.
Sun 12:14 - SS23: Ogier
Seb's lost a touch of time late on in this stage. At the 14.99km split he was 5.9sec up on Suninen but he crosses the flying finish at 19.27km 0.7sec down. "It is incredible, it is hard to keep the car on the road even driving so slow. I am just trying to go through and it so difficult, it is crazy."
Sun 12:12 - SS23: Evans
Elfyn's lost quite a bit of time on this stage, at the first split he was 19.4sec down Teemu. He's pulled some back towards the end of this 19.27km test to finish just 11.1sec down. Ah, this might explain his time loss - Dan Barritt is having to hold his door shut, how did it come open in the first place I wonder? "We just nipped wide and slide a little bit and the door popped open. Just a small impact and then couldn't reverse because the door was stuck against the tree." Camera crew at stop control shows off the damage to the door on Dan's side.
Sun 12:05 - SS23: Suninen
Teemu Suninen reaches the end of the penultimate stage and he is 37.3sec to the good over Craig. "Still muddy but it was okay. Careful with the driving, just once I needed to reverse."
Sun 12:04 - Thierry Neuville on Twitter
We’ve been giving everything and took some risks to try to get the title. We had nothing to lose anymore. In SS22, the conditions were really bad. We went wide, clipped a tree, damage our car and had to retire.
Sun 12:03 - SS23: Breen
It really looks like they're skating on ice through this stage Craig is really picking his way through the gravel. Helicopter shot shows his spoiler is hanging off and a bit of rear-right damage after his off earlier. What does he say to Colin Clark at stop control? "Just finding all the tricky bits, I was completely stopped and on a left-hander on pure ice I got stuck on a tree and stopped for almost 30 or 40 seconds."
Sun 11:56 - SS23: Suninen
Ah Teemu! Well it had to happen some time, after such a controlled drive so far in Australia. He slides through a corner at slow speed and hits the bank, it delays him a bit but he keeps going.
Sun 11:51 - SS23: Breen
Oh Craig! The notes say it is slippy and Craig is caught out on a medium-speed left. He slides off into the undergrowth as he slows for the bend. It was a struggle to get going again but he eventually does.
Sun 11:49 - SS23: Breen
We're wasting no time this afternoon, Craig Breen is onto the second run of Sapphire, the second driver to do so, after Jourdan Serderidis.
Sun 11:46 - SS22: Mikkelsen
Andreas rounds off the WRC crews to complete this stage and he is 21.7sec down on Latvala's stage winning time.
Sun 11:44 - SS22: Tänak
Tänak can't beat Latvala on this test, he is 1.3sec slower on the stage and his deficit to the lead grows to 6.3sec. "Of course I want to win, but I don't think it is the position to push for it as we can see what has been happening." Obvious reference to Thierry, Ott doesn't want to risk his second.
Sun 11:41 - SS22: Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala leads the rally and looks to be on course for his first win since Rally Sweden in 2017, this is another clean stage from the Finn who sets the fastest time! He's 0.5sec quicker than Esapekka. He says: "It was a good stage for us. The first 3km was very slippery. It started to get better but there were some corners that were slippy."
Sun 11:38 - SS22: Paddon
Hayden is sitting in quite a comfortable position at the moment, but these stages have been catching people so he can't rest on his laurels yet. A more measured drive from the Kiwi sees him complete 9.2sec slower than Lappi. "We heard Thierry was out. Obviously not the best way to finish the year for Thierry but we've still got our job to do for the rest of the day."
Sun 11:35 - SS22: Østberg
Mads isn't too far off Esapekka's stage time here, the Norwegian obviously very comfortable with the handling of his C3 on this stage. He is just 1.6sec off the pace. "We have two difficult stages to go still, nothing is missed and nothing is done yet. The conditions are tricky." He's not writing off a podium just yet!
Sun 11:31 - SS22: Lappi
Seb is driving like his grandmother, but Esapekka is storming! He sweeps through in the fastest time of anyone - 5.9sec to the good. How did he find this test? "I was so slow on the first pass that I could mark all the slippery places and now it is okay when you know where it is slippery!"
Sun 11:29 - SS22: Ogier
No risks, no fuss from Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. They're not the fastest through the stage - they've dropped 11.4sec to Suninen - but that doesn't matter, all they need to do is keep their Fiesta on the road. "I haven't seen him actually, but I hadn't started the stage when I heard he was off. I was driving the stage like my granny would do!"
Sun 11:24 - SS22: Evans
Everyone is treading carefully on this test in the tricky conditions. Elfyn reaches the end 10.8sec down on his team-mate. He tells Emyr Penlan: "Very difficult conditions, it wasn't as bad towards the end but still some random corners with zero grip. When I saw Thierry stopped I just backed off completely to be honest."
Sun 11:19 - SS22: Suninen
Further up the stage, Suninen crosses the line 3.8sec quicker than Craig Breen
Sun 11:17 - SS22 eyes on the skies
As it might have already become clear, it's really raining here and it looks to be getting heavier.
Sun 11:15 - SS22: Neuville
The Belgian finds a wide spot and pulls the car in. He's out the car now. Such a shame for him after such a spirited fight this morning.
Sun 11:14 - SS22: Neuville
The on-board shot shows a flashing blue light on the dashboard of Neuville's Hyundai after he hits something a second time! He's crawling through the stage now, what exactly has he done to that i20?
Sun 11:13 - SS22: Neuville
Oh no Thierry! He's giving it everything he can on this stage but spins at the 1km mark after hitting a bank. He points the i20 back in the right direction and continues on.
Sun 11:12 - SS22: Suninen
Teemu is slipping and sliding his way through the stage and at the first split - at the 5.3km mark - he's 3.0sec up on Craig Breen
Sun 11:06 - Afternoon tyres
The final tyre choice of the 2018 season is in and all the crews have gone for 5 Michelin medium compound tyres.
Sun 11:05 - SS22: Serderidis
He's the first car out on the stages, scouting on the conditions as the rain continues to fall, and he spins on a left-hander featuring a rather large puddle of water.
Sun 10:55 - Are you sitting comfortably?
Then we'll begin... There's less than five minutes until the final three stages of a thrilling 2018 season get underway, you do not want to miss a single moment of what's to come.
Sun 09:33 - Short break
The cars are heading back to Coffs Harbour for a mid-leg service so we'll take a short break and return for the start of SS22 - Coramba 2 - at 11.01 local time.
Sun 09:31 - WRC standings after SS21
Just three stages left to run. 1. Latvala 2h 33m 38.4sec 2. Tänak +5.0sec 3. Paddon +19.6sec 4. Østberg +47.6sec 5. Lappi +58.1sec 6. Ogier +1m 45.8sec Neuville is 8th
Sun 09:27 - SS21: Mikkelsen
Hmm, it seems Andreas might have had an issue of some description on this stage, he's dropped 11.1sec on this test.
Sun 09:24 - SS21: Tänak
The Estonian has slipped to second overall and can't close the gap back in to JML as he matches his team-mate's time - 0.6sec slower than Lappi. "I don't think we will fight, we need to keep Paddon behind." All eyes on the manufacturers' title in the Toyota camp.
Sun 09:20 - SS21: Latvala
Our new rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala is through the first three stages of Sunday and he's just 0.6sec slower than countryman Lappi. He tells Molly: "There was one jump I've never done this way and we bottomed out and went sideways a little bit. It's all okay though."
Sun 09:16 - SS21: Paddon
Paddon's been hustling his i20 throughout the morning and with Tänak's problems on SS20, he's just 17.5sec off the lead. He completes this test 2.6sec slower than Lappi. "I think on speed alone we can't quite get them but we'll keep pushing. We're just driving at a safe place but we don't want to be too far behind if they spin or make a mistake."
Sun 09:12 - SS21: Østberg
The former rally leader is the next to put a time on the results board at stop control and he is 1.5sec slower than Esapekka on this stage. "On the slippery, we changed the car to suit those conditions, the car is really sensitive and small changes make a big difference. In the dry this car is really difficult to drive with the set-up."
Sun 09:08 - SS21: Lappi
Lappi's final day with Toyota is going pretty well here, on this stage he's 0.4sec quicker than Neuville. Good old effort from Esapekka as he tackles the jumps full on as well. "This stage I was enjoying, you could see that the conditions were dry but the first two were not so nice conditions-wise."
Sun 09:04 - SS21: Ogier
Seb Ogier rounds out the morning loop now with another controlled run through the stage. He's dropped 3.6sec as he gets a view of the stage before it runs again as the bonus points-paying Power Stage this afternoon. "At the moment I don't need bonus points, I'm just trying to finish the rally. This morning the conditions were tricky."
Sun 09:00 - SS21: Evans
The Welshman has seen his advantage over Neuville eaten into this morning, he drops another 3.8sec on this test and he is now just 17.6sec ahead of the Belgian. He tells Molly: "I'm not convinced it is that critical [to stay between Ogier and Neuville], if Seb stays ahead it is enough. Just doing a good clean job."
Sun 08:56 - SS21: Neuville
Neuville is giving it full commitment this morning and this stage is no exception. He's 6.6sec up on Suninen in his Hyundai. "I have nothing to lose so I don't care so much. A small mistake in the previous stage - it is really tricky when the conditions are like this. Just trying to have fun and see what's going on."
Sun 08:52 - SS21: Suninen
Teemu Suninen has capitalised on Breen's misfortune as he goes 26.2sec faster than the two cars already completed. He says: "On the stage the conditions were much easier and the grip was much more consistent. It was a good run for me, there were a few places where I could be a little faster but it's not so bad."
Sun 08:48 - SS21: Breen
The C3 WRC driver reaches the end of the stage now and he is 8.0sec quicker than Serderidis. He's discussing that incident with Molly Pettit at stop control. "I don't know. Something inside on the grass, I wasn't off line so it must have been something hidden. I don't know what I have to do any more."
Sun 08:46 - SS21: Breen
Oh no he's had a spin! It appears he clips something and that sends the car spinning. He drives back up to the junction and spins the car back round and gets going again.
Sun 08:44 - SS21: Serderidis
Jourdan completes Wedding Bells18 - which of course will be the Live TV Power Stage this afternoon - and he has set a 4m 56.1sec.
Sun 08:41 - SS20: Kremer
Armin Kremer has rejoined the action today after damage to his Skoda's cooling system forced him to reture yesterday. However, it would appear he's hit trouble again on Sapphire as he finishes 3m 20.2sec down on Alberto Heller.
Sun 08:38 - Stage info: SS21
Wedding Bells18 1, 7.16km Wedding Bells is so named because a gold miner took his new bride there for their honeymoon. It is fast but narrow in places and the surface is clay, with little loose gravel for the early starters to worry about. It is best known for a popular spectator area which features a jump, followed by a watersplash and right bend on a second visit, just before the finish.
Sun 08:29 - SS20: P. Heller
Pedro Heller has stopped twice on this test so far, and guess what? One of those stops was at that tricky 11.7km corner which has caught out Neuville, Breen and Tänak so far!
Sun 08:28 - WRC standings after SS20
Tänak lost the lead on SS20 1. Latvala 2h 29m 22.9sec 2. Tänak +5.0sec 3. Paddon +17.6sec 4. Østberg +46.7sec 5. Lappi +58.7sec 6. Ogier +1m 42.4sec
Sun 08:27 - SS20: A. Heller
Alberto Heller is keeping it steady this morning, he's got no pressure on his lead at the top of the WRC 2 class so he can afford to be calm and not make any mistakes. He's through the stage in a time of 13m 07.3sec
Sun 08:23 - SS20: Mikkelsen
Andreas was 2.8sec to the good at the middle split but he's faded towards the end - eventually dropping 4.0sec to his team-mate.
Sun 08:21 - SS20: Tänak
Ott makes it to the stop control now and he has indeed lost the lead of the rally, he's 18.3sec down on the stage and he slips to second by 5.0sec. He's got some very passionate fans to wave him in at stop control. He's got a bit of damage to the front-right corner. "I was stuck in reverse gear for a bit, what can I say? The plan is to stay ahead of Paddon, for sure it is not easy."
Sun 08:18 - SS20: Latvala
Tänak's nearest rival - Jari-Matti Latvala - could well take advantage of that, he's 0.7sec slower than Paddon at stage-end, but on the final split he's 20.7sec quicker than Tänak. "For sure it has been a difficult morning I must say. You have to read the road all the time. I don't know what we'll do with Ott because Paddon is not so far off, the situation is changing a little bit."
Sun 08:16 - SS20: Tänak
Oh no! Tänak's off at the same corner - 11.7km in - that has caught out a few other competitors on this test. He has to reverse back out but he manages to keep on going."
Sun 08:15 - SS20: Paddon
Paddon's loving these conditions in what is effectively his home event. The Kiwi is a whole 3.2sec quicker than the rest of the field, he's not afraid of the mud and slipperiness in his i20. "We're just trying to pick a good speed, we're just keeping the pressure on the front but then also keeping the gap behind. I made a little reminder to Jari what happened last year - it's not over til it's over!"
Sun 08:12 - SS20: Østberg
Mads Østberg is taking the fight for fourth out of Esapekka's hands really, he's 0.2sec quicker than anyone and opens up a 12.0sec advantage over the Finn. "That's good, I learned a bit from the first stage about the bogginess. I tried to keep it calm and just have a clean run through the stage."
Sun 08:10 - SS20: Lappi
Esapekka said he's not taking any risk today but he's still giving it a good go. He's just 5.3sec off the fastest time through. He tells Colin his focus isn't on Mads: "You keep saying it is a good battle! But on the previous stage I said this is not the game! Normally it would be but not today, it is all about keeping Seb behind."
Sun 08:06 - SS20: Ogier
Ogier is keeping it clean, he doesn't want to risk throwing it off the road at this late stage. That said, he's obviously given it a decent effort on this test as he's just 2.5sec down on Neuville. "So difficult, at least the last kilometre is dry now but it is super slippery in there. Not a relaxing Sunday for sure!"
Sun 08:03 - SS20: Evans
Elfyn isn't taking Neuville's charge lightly here, the Welshman won't give up his position without a fight. He's just 0.3sec slower through this test. "It was okay, very tricky conditions to be honest. Some places the grip is reasonable and then in other places you just take off. Guessing it off the colour but the guess work isn't always right!"
Sun 08:00 - SS20: Neuville
He's very impressive through the splits and he reaches the end of Sapphire with the fastest time - so far - as he takes 22.3sec out of Teemu Suninen! Bit of animated discussion between him and Nicolas on the trip between the finish and stop control. There's damage to the rear of his i20, the exhaust looks pretty bashed. "Not feeling that, just on a very tight corner I went in straight and followed the lines of everybody else - I couldn't get out of it, had to reverse back out."
Sun 07:58 - SS20: Suninen
Teemu Suninen keeps it clean and reaches the end of this test with no issues, lowering Breen's stage time by 7.0sec. "It is difficult, especially when the grip is changing a lot. First time for me seeing these conditions and to be honest that was one of the hardest conditions."
Sun 07:55 - SS20: Breen
Craig Breen reaches the end of the stage now, in a time of 12m 02.9sec. He's asked how he's feeling by Colin Clark at stop control: "You're right to have a go at me this time! Two spins in places where I thought I'd braked enough. I think there'll be a bit of trouble in this one."
Sun 07:50 - SS20: Suninen
The mistakes for Breen are allowing Suninen to go green through the splits. At the 9.46km mark he's 4.1sec up on the Irishman.
Sun 07:48 - SS20: Breen
Breen's briefly off the road again at the 11.7km point on this test. He's going again now but it shows just how slippery this test is.
Sun 07:47 - SS20: Serderidis
Jourdan is moving again now in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.
Sun 07:46 - SS20: Breen
A brief off for Breen as well, he stopped briefly having slid into the trees. He's back on the road though.
Sun 07:45 - SS20: Serderidis
Jourdan Serderidis has stopped at the 11.7km mark.
Sun 07:43 - SS19: P. Heller
Sadly it doesn't count for much in the overall standings but Pedro Heller can at least gain some bragging rights over his little brother at the next family meal as he beats Alberto's stage time by 16.3sec
Sun 07:40 - Stage info: SS20
Sapphire 1, 19.27km Plenty of familiar roads from previous years strung together into a new stage. It is fast throughout and runs primarily among the trees. A rough hairpin bend at 15.6km interrupts the pace but that is the only time the speeds drop until a more technical 500 metre section that leads into the finish.
Sun 07:38 - SS19: Mikkelsen
Andreas has given it a good push on here, he's second-fastest just 5.2sec off the winning stage time from JML.
Sun 07:34 - SS19: Tänak
Good time from Ott, doesn't want to push too hard and risk his lead. That said, he's dropped 9.3sec to his team-mate, the gap between them is back down to 12.6sec. He tells Emyr: "Stage was slippy for sure, we lost all the power in the car at one point. Luckily it started again."
Sun 07:32 - SS19: Latvala
Go on Jari-Matti, he's driving it beautifully this morning - he's a massive 9.1sec up on Thierry! Where on earth as he found that extra time from? "I thought that Hayden is going to attack very hard so of course I had to do something because I didn't know his speed."
Sun 07:29 - SS19: Paddon
Hayden Paddon is in third place and looking good to solidifying his position on the podium. He's just 4.8sec off the fastest time, he's 25.9sec ahead of Østberg now. "Really difficult to find the rhythm, some places the grip is nice and sometimes there is no grip at all. As long as we can keep the pressure on anything can happen."
Sun 07:26 - SS19: Østberg
Mads runs through the flying finish and he has dropped 10.4sec, opening up a margin over Esapekka Lappi in the overall classification. "It was a tricky stage, I was not so happy. It was very boggy in there, not a lot you can do with the bogginess."
Sun 07:24 - SS19: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi was flying yesterday, this morning he's just playing it cool - not taking any risks in these tricky conditions this morning. He crosses the flying finish and drops 13.1sec on Neuville's fastest time. "We just need to finish and that's it, anything can happen in these conditions. I will be the back up and not push too hard. All about the team today for sure."
Sun 07:20 - SS19: Ogier
Sébastien Ogier bumps his way through the final kilometres and safely makes it to the end of the stage. He's 5.2sec slower than Neuville, but he's still 45.2sec ahead overall. "In the dry conditions it is challenging, but when it is wet it is worse because it is difficult to judge the grip."
Sun 07:17 - SS19: Evans
Elfyn Evans the next to put a time on the board and he is second-fastest through the stage - 8.9sec down. "Thierry has gone in there to take a few big risks, it was an okay run but it looks like he is pushing." The gap between the pair is 21.7sec now.
Sun 07:14 - SS19: Neuville
Neuville's early bit of drama hasn't delayed him much it would seem. He's the quickest through the splits and fastest on the stage as he improves on Breen's time by 11.5sec. Lot of chatting between Thierry and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul at stage-end. He tells Emyr Penlan: "I tried, very tricky. Some parts are maybe getting more dry and some more slippy. Some risks yes." Wry smile at the end from the Belgian.
Sun 07:11 - SS19: Suninen
Teemu Suninen can't beat Breen's benchmark, he's 5.6sec slower than the Citroën man.
Sun 07:08 - SS19: Breen
Breen completes the stage next, and he's a bit happier with the conditions. "Some really slippy stuff on the red sections in places, but the grip is generally okay."
Sun 07:07 - SS19: Serderidis
Jourdan Serderidis completes the stage now and it seems to have been a tricky one for him: "On braking it is a nightmare, also there are some parts in the middle that are very tricky, I think if you go faster than me you go out and I was very, very slow through there."
Sun 07:06 - SS19: Neuville
Oh Thierry! He slides into a bank at the 3.5km mark. It was a right-hander and he just slides on into the bank. Doesn't appear to be any lasting damage as he carries on going.
Sun 07:04 - SS19: Suninen
Suninen slips and slides his way through the first split - at the 5.3km mark - and he is 0.5sec up on Craig Breen
Sun 07:01 - SS19: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is the third driver onto the stage and the on board shows a rather picturesque forest and a pretty muddy stage
Sun 06:56 - Tyre talk
All the crews have gone for five Michelin medium compound tyres for the morning loop
Sun 06:54 - SS19: Once more unto the breach!
The final six stages of 2018 begins with SS19 and the Ford Fiesta of Jourdan Serderidis.
Sun 06:49 - Stage info: SS19
Coramba 1, 15.55km Coramba is fast all the way, with plenty of long straights and quick corners to test the brave. It climbs initially on roads that are unusually rough, but it is smooth for the rest of the way, apart from another rocky section from 12 - 13km. It’s forested throughout, with ‘kickers’ breaking up the rhythm everywhere.
Sun 06:46 - Weather
It didn’t rain until the final Destination NSW super special stage last night, but it has been out in force this morning! SS19 is very muddy and slippery near the start on the clay and features a lot of standing water as the rain continues to fall. While on SS20, our DJI drone crew had to push their four-wheel drive through the mud… This is going be great!
Sun 06:43 - Road Order
1. Serderidis 2. Breen 3. Suninen 4. Neuville 5. Evans 6. Ogier 7. Lappi 8. Østberg 9. Paddon 10. Latvala 11. Tänak 12. Mikkelsen
Sun 06:40 - Sunday’s stages
Three tests tackled twice form the schedule for today. Coramba - 15.55km long - gets the excitement underway early doors, with Sapphire (19.27km) following on quickly after. Wedding Bells18 rounds out the loop. There’s a service to break up the day before those three are repeated, with Wedding Bells18 2 hosting the decisive Live TV Power Stage
Sun 06:37 - Scores on the support category doors
Compared to the tight fight in the main class, the WRC 2 classifications are a touch more relaxed. After retirements for both Pedro Heller and Armin Kremer - who are both restarting today - Alberto Heller currently enjoys a lead of more than 19 minutes and is surely on course for his first WRC support category victory.
Sun 06:34 - A tight battle in store
What a day we have in prospect, Ott Tänak leads the way and looking on course for a typically classy victory but could he still be in with a shout of the title? Well Ogier is currently sixth and doing well enough to take his sixth title but as we’ve seen so far this weekend anything can still happen! Thierry Neuville is also hoping anything can happen as he sits in eighth and - as it stands - slipping to third in the drivers’ championship race, what can he do to end his season with a bang?
Sun 06:31 - We’re Live
On the WRC App and on the web at wrc.com. Don’t forget, you can watch all of the stages in sound and vision on WRC+ All Live!
Sun 06:28 - Welcome back!
Can you believe we’ve reached the final day of the 2018 season? We’ll be Live Texting all the action as it happens from the final six stages of Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Sat 18:31 - Goodbye for now
With the action sorted out on the stages we'll call it a day on the Live Text. Keep your eyes focused on wrc.com for news and reports from an exciting day in New South Wales. We'll be back tomorrow at 6.53 local time for the final six stages of the 2018 season!
Sat 18:23 - WRC 2 standings after SS18
1. A. Heller 2h 20m 29.6sec 2. Linari +19m 18.4sec 3. Kremer +24m 10.7sec 4. P. Heller +1h 03m 33.0sec
Sat 18:19 - WRC standings after SS18
1. Tänak 2h 07m 52.0sec 2. Latvala +21.9sec 3. Paddon +26.3sec 4. Østberg +46.6sec 5. Lappi +50.4sec 6. Ogier +1m 44.8sec Neuville is in 8th
Sat 18:16 - SS18: Breen
Craig is our final driver to turn a wheel competitively on Saturday and he is 10th fastest - 7.5sec down as he also ends the day in 10th overall.
Sat 18:15 - SS18: Østberg
Mads' time has just come up, he was 7.2sec down on the stage which leaves him 19.9sec away from the podium places and just 4.2sec ahead of Esapekka Lappi.
Sat 18:14 - SS18: Østberg
Just a note, Mads did complete the stage, but there's not a time on the board for him yet. We'll let you know when that pops in.
Sat 18:13 - SS18: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen's made a mistake! He just clips the concrete barrier at the first hairpin. That's cost him a bit of time but it doesn't look like he's done anything other than cosmetic damage to that car. He's through to the end with no more mischief and he is 10.8sec down.
Sat 18:10 - SS18: Latvala
Jari-Matti goes sixth-fastest on the second pass of the wet stage, but because Tänak tackled the first run when it was still dry, Latvala has a deficit of 21.9sec to the Estonian in the overall standings.
Sat 18:05 - SS17: Breen
The Irishman rounds things off for the penultimate stage as he loses 10.3sec.
Sat 18:03 - SS17: Mikkelsen
The Hyundai driver is too far down the order to make any moves happen, but he's still cracking on with putting in some quick times in the i20. However, the wet weather has slowed him down considerably, to the tune of 10.8sec.
Sat 18:01 - SS17: Østberg
Mads is the next onto the stage, he's fourth as it stands and he is sliding all over the place as he drops 10.5sec on this test.
Sat 17:59 - SS17: Latvala
Jari-Matti spashes his way through the stage and he is 10.3sec off the fastest time on this test.
Sat 17:55 - SS18: Paddon
Paddon concludes this group of cars through the two runs and he is 10.0sec slower than his team-mate.
Sat 17:53 - SS18: Tänak
The rain continues to fall on the beachside test and Tänak can't win this test - he's dropped 5.6sec to Neuville.
Sat 17:50 - SS18: Lappi
Esapekka is slinging his Toyota around the already drenched stage with the grip almost non-existent now. He drops 8.7sec.
Sat 17:49 - SS18: Ogier
Right, Seb is back onto the stage to end the penultimate day of 2018 as the rain starts to fall in the service park. Back on the stage, it's raining heavily as well and that lack of grip has caught out Ogier somewhat, he's dropped 7.5sec on the stage.
Sat 17:45 - SS17: Paddon
Hayden himself is onto the stage now, and while he might not be on planet Tänak he can at least observe it - he's second-quickest on this test, 1.6sec down.
Sat 17:42 - SS17: Tänak
Hayden described him as being on another planet earlier, and this run of the stage is yet another example of his other-worldly performance. He's 1.7sec quicker than anyone on this run!
Sat 17:41 - SS17: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi is charging again, but he can't set the fastest stage time. He matches Ogier's effort, 0.3sec off the pace.
Sat 17:38 - SS17: Ogier
We're going back in time to SS17 as Seb Ogier kicks off the second group of four World Rally Cars to tackle the stage. He can't beat Neuville on this one, he's 0.3sec down.
Sat 17:34 - SS18: Suninen
Three Fiestas heading back to the service park now as Teemu Suninen ends his penultimate day of the 2018 season. He's just 0.3sec slower than Neuville.
Sat 17:32 - SS18: Evans
Cracking time from Elfyn, he's just 0.9sec to round off a strong day for the Welshman.
Sat 17:30 - SS18: Neuville
The Belgian completes his day now with a second pass through the super special. He's quickest of anyone, by 3.1sec to be exact.
Sat 17:28 - SS18: Serderidis
They're tackling the two runs of Destination NSW in groups of four, which means Serderidis is back out to tackle the final stage of Saturday. He's second-fastest on the second pass, 0.7sec slower than Heller.
Sat 17:25 - SS17: Suninen
Teemu Suninen twists and turns his way round the jumps and donuts of this stage and he is quick - matching Elfyn by going 0.7sec slower than Neuville through the stage
Sat 17:22 - SS17: Evans
Elfyn is the next onto this seafront slalom and he is just 0.7sec slower than the Belgian.
Sat 17:22 - SS17: Neuville
And now Thierry takes the fastest time, he's 3.3sec faster than Serderidis
Sat 17:19 - SS17: Serderidis
Jourdan Serderidis is the first WRC driver to tackle the stage and he takes the fastest stage time on SS17 by 0.1sec over Alberto Heller.
Sat 17:12 - SS17&18: Linari
Gianluca Linari is the next through the stage and he is 5.8sec slower than Heller. He then goes 3.6sec slower on the second. His deficit to Alberto is 19m 18.4sec
Sat 16:56 - Armin Kremer
Kremer has officially retired after his issues on the road section before Raleigh 2
Sat 16:49 - SS18: A. Heller
Alberto also completes SS18, the second run of Destination NSW and is confirmed as the WRC 2 leader heading into the final day tomorrow.
Sat 16:39 - SS17: A. Heller
Alberto gets proceedings underway on SS17 with a 1m 28.2sec in his Fiesta R5.
Sat 15:51 - Technical break
As we wait and see with Armin will make an appearance on SS16, we'll take a short break - returning in time for the two runs of the Destination NSW SSS18 super special stage.
Sat 15:44 - SS16: Kremer
Armin Kremer was meant to have started the stage 7 minutes ago, but hasn't yet. We'll let you know when he does.
Sat 15:37 - SS16: A. Heller
Another stage, another trouble-free run for Alberto Heller. He's on course for a dominant victory as it stands, more than 3 minutes ahead of Armin Kremer.
Sat 15:35 - SS16: Breen
Scott Martin is reading out the pace notes perfectly as Craig tackles the fourth stage of Saturday afternoon. He's fifth fastest on the stage, 1.1sec off the fastest time.
Sat 15:33 - SS16: Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen is 1.6sec down on the stage - decent effort for the Norwegian.
Sat 15:29 - SS16: Østberg
Mads matches Jari-Matti's stage time, and loses 0.2sec to Hayden Paddon meaning he's now 13.8sec behind the Kiwi.
Sat 15:26 - SS16: Latvala
Jari-Matti does he focusing exercise as he prepared to launch onto the stage. He eventually finishes the stage 2.3sec down on Tänak, the Estonian's lead now 9.7sec.
Sat 15:22 - SS16: Paddon
Paddon is absolutely on it. That was an inch-perfect run round the raceway and it shows in his stage time, he's just 2.1sec off Tänak's benchmark time.
Sat 15:20 - SS16: Tänak
Ott Tänak remains in the lead of the rally through this test, understandbly, and is provisionally on course to win this test - he's 0.6sec quicker than Evans.
Sat 15:17 - SS16: Lappi
A touch wayward from Esapekka on his tyres with pretty much no grip left to offer at this point of the loop. He still sets a good time though, just 0.3sec slower.
Sat 15:14 - SS16: Ogier
Evans won this stage this morning, it looks like he could be doing it again. Ogier reaches the end of the stage 0.2sec slower than the Welshman.
Sat 15:11 - SS16: Suninen
Teemu can't match his M-Sport Ford team-mate's time through this quick test, he's 1.3sec down.
Sat 15:07 - SS16: Evans
Elfyn Evans is the next to put a show on for the crowds assembled at the raceway and he is fastest through as it stands - 0.8sec quicker.
Sat 15:04 - SS16: Neuville
Thierry is already onto the fourth stage of the afternoon - Raleigh 2 - and he sets a 1m 33.6sec
Sat 14:58 - SS15: Breen
Craig Breen rounds out the WRC entries and he is fourth-fastest through the 21.28km - 6.7sec down. "Having had that bang the first time I played it cautious this time through."
Sat 14:55 - SS15: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen also logs his time on this second run of Urunga, it's 8.5sec off the pace. "I had no tyres left, it was really difficult just had to drive with a very straight car. Difficult stage to drive with no tyres."
Sat 14:53 - SS15: Østberg
Mads has lost a big chunk of time on this speed test as well, he was 14.0sec down on Lappi at the final split and he loses more time towards the finish - dropping 17.3sec. He's dropped a position as well, Paddon moves ahead of him. He looks frustrated on the run in to the stop control. "The balance was not so nice, it was about surviving. Changing the balance but it is not so nice still. The conditions are so tricky, I can't even understand what I just went through. I don't know what to say."
Sat 14:49 - SS15: Latvala
Jari-Matti appears to have lost a chunk of time on this one, he's 6.0sec down on Lappi at the final split and he crosses the line 7.3sec down. His deficit to the leader is now 7.4sec and he's only 10.8sec ahead of Paddon now. "I should have taken two spares, I did a mistake by only taking one. My tyres are starting to go off now."
Sat 14:46 - SS15: Paddon
Hayden's not quite on the level of Esapekka on the splits but he seems to have done a better job on his 'achillies' heel' of a stage than this morning. He's just 1.0sec off the pace. "Difficult, we had bald tyres on the front and good tyres on the rear. If Mads' tyres are quite bad we could be through, we made a tyre choice for the whole loop so we should get an advantage for longer."
Sat 14:43 - SS15: Tänak
Ott Tänak was quicker than Lappi on the splits, but he loses time at the end and drops 0.7sec to Lappi - still a very respectable time for the Estonian. He tells Emyr: "It was okay. Our tyres were a bit worn from the previous one so didn't push too hard on this one. Clean stage, nothing special."
Sat 14:40 - SS15: Lappi
Another driver who should be giving a thumbs up is Esapekka Lappi, he takes 11.2sec out of the previous fastest time after another great run for the Toyota driver. "When you back off you lose the rhythm so I just went for it on this one."
Sat 14:37 - SS15: Ogier
Up and down performance from Seb on this test, he was down on the first two splits - 0.9sec up on the third but then drops almost 2.0sec as he completes the stage 1.0sec slower than Neuville. He says: "All okay at the moment, all under control. We have to carry on." And a thumbs up from the five-time champion as well.
Sat 14:34 - SS15: Suninen
Teemu is the next to have his name written onto the timing boards at the stop control and he is 12.0sec down - losing more ground to the Belgian in the overall standings. "I was struggling in the end. At the end we had good grip, but the line was quite narrow so it was difficult to go fast."
Sat 14:31 - SS15: Evans
Evans narrows his losses on this test to Neuville, as he claws back time to end just 0.6sec down. "It's all okay. Very, very difficult actually, quite deep sand and the grip was quite low. In here, I didn't suffer with the understeer and oversteer as much."
Sat 14:28 - SS15: Neuville
Solid, clean drive for Thierry through the stage and he sets an 11m 43.7sec for the rest of the crews to aim at. Hes' talking to Emyr Penlan at stage-end about whether he can catch Elfyn: "I don't think so, from being a car ahead of him I don't think it is possible. It is much hotter than expected so I couldn't use my soft tyre."
Sat 14:25 - SS15: Suninen
Suninen can't quite match the pace of the cars ahead on the opening splut, he's 5.3sec down on Neuville.
Sat 14:22 - SS15: Evans
Evans complained about the feeling in his Fiesta on the last stage, is he having the same troubles on this one? He's 1.4sec down on Neuville at the opening split.
Sat 14:17 - WRC standings after SS14
1. Tänak 1h 51m 53.8sec 2. Latvala +0.8sec 3. Østberg +15.2sec 4. Paddon +17.9sec 5. Lappi +45.1sec 6. Ogier +1m 28.6sec Neuville is 8th
Sat 14:16 - SS15: Neuville
We've ticked over onto another stage, our seventh of the day, and Thierry is the second driver onto it - hopefully he'll avoid the same issues he had earlier.
Sat 14:03 - SS14: Kremer
Armin Kremer completes the stage now, 13.7sec down.
Sat 13:56 - SS14: A. Heller
Alberto continues his strong run in the WRC 2 class, he sets a 16m 40.7sec.
Sat 13:54 - SS14: Breen
The C3 WRC driver is through to the stop control now and he is 12.9sec down Ott's colossal stage time. How is he feeling behind the wheel? "Felt nice, struggled a bit with the rear - spun in a really narrow place and had to go back up the road to turn it around, probably lost 10/15 seconds."
Sat 13:51 - SS14: Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen is the penultimate World Rally Car through to the end of the stage and he is 5.8sec off the pace - the third-fastest through. "It is not too bad, just trying to get into the rhythm. We're not fighting for anything so we don't take that last bit of risk. But I must say, Ott's time is very fast, I don't think I could compete with that."
Sat 13:47 - SS14: Østberg
Mads is maintaining his third place - just - he drops 0.3sec to Hayden on the stage and is now just 2.7sec ahead of the Kiwi. He's asked if he can do anything to take the fight to the Toyotas. "Not at the moment, I'm trying to drive to the limit but it is just not faster at the moment. I'm just lacking balance to the car, it is very nervous and difficult to control."
Sat 13:45 - SS14: Latvala
This is going to be close at the top, and it is! Jari-Matti drops 4.0sec on the stage and he's lost the lead to his team-mate! He's 0.8sec behind.
Sat 13:42 - SS14: Paddon
Hayden was quickest on the previous stage, but he can't find an answer to Ott's pace. He's still the second-fastest through mind you, 8.9sec down. He tells Colin Clark at stop control: "We're prepared to drop a little bit on this stage so we've got some good tyres for the next one. Definitely overheated the tyres a little bit on this one."
Sat 13:39 - SS14: Tänak
Cor blimey, is this a rocket fuelled Yaris? He is by far the fastest driver through the stage as he improves on the fastest time by a huge 12.0sec. "I do my best. I do everything I can. It is not easy conditions but at least it is consistent. Fun, but at the same time going my best. Manufacturers' title is the priority so definitely we need to secure this one."
Sat 13:36 - SS14: Lappi
Lappi's good pace we mentioned earlier has maintained for the rest of the stage as he lowers the bar down on the fastest time by 1.0sec. Good effort from the Finn, but what does he tell Colin? "It is just a bit boring at the moment, I though I could gain a few seconds here and there to Hayden but he was too fast on the last one. The gaps are quite big in front and behind me, it is hard to concentrate."
Sat 13:33 - SS14: Ogier
Ogier is pushing hard in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta, his final rally in the car before heading to Citroën in 2019, and he's using every horsepower under the bonnet. He's 5.0sec quicker than Neuville as he finishes the stage. "The second loop is easier I would say, in the morning it is a bit tricky. I almost had a stall at the start but then I had a clean run."
Sat 13:30 - SS14: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is keeping it clean but he can't stop losing a place overall, he's fallen behind Neuville by 0.3sec as he loses 6.3sec on the stage. "I would like to be faster, but Thierry is fast. It is slippery in places but it has been okay."
Sat 13:28 - SS14: Evans
Elfyn Evans is the next to break the beam at the flying finish and he is 5.7sec slower than Thierry Neuville. How did he find this test? "Before we were just concentrating on driving. On this test, I don't know why but I didn't have the feeling I've had all day I think something small might have broken in the back - I'm getting understeer on entry and oversteer on exit."
Sat 13:25 - SS14: Lappi
Lappi is looking very good on the splits here, at 10.92km he is 2.6sec quicker than Neuville.
Sat 13:24 - SS14: Neuville
Neuville completes the stage now. "I can only try to catch the two cars in front of me and see what happens.
Sat 13:20 - SS14: Evans
Thierry is doing great things on this stage it would appear, Elfyn Evans passes the 10.92km timing mark and is 4.1sec slower.
Sat 13:16 - SS14: Suninen
Teemu Suninen has also reached the first split and he's 0.2sec quicker than his team-mate, but 2.1sec down on Neuville.
Sat 13:13 - SS14: Evans
The opening split on this test is at the 5.43km mark and Evans reaches it 2.3sec slower than Neuville.
Sat 13:07 - SS14: Neuville
With Serderidis a fair way down the road, Thierry Neuville launches his i20 onto the test now.
Sat 12:58 - SS13: Kremer
Armin Kremer can't challenge Alberto Heller at the top of the WRC support category standings, he's 18.7sec down on the stage and 2m 43.4sec down overall.
Sat 12:56 - SS13: A. Heller
The WRC 2 class leader is the next through to the stage-end and Alberto sets a 7m 55.1sec.
Sat 12:55 - SS13: Breen
This was a cracking stage from the Irishman! He completes the stage just 1.4sec down, oh what could have been if it wasn't for his suspension dramas on SS11. He tells Molly: "Hats off to the boys and girls, they got the car fixed. I tried to enjoy it the best I could, let's see how the next one goes."
Sat 12:52 - SS13: Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen is flying on this one! He's green on all the splits and he breaks the beam at the flying finish just 0.4sec down - good effort by the Norwegian. "It is good fun, really nice stages. We tried to push a bit more than this morning and we had a clean run. All fine."
Sat 12:49 - SS13: Østberg
The former rally leader is the next to complete the stage and he is 1.3sec down - he maintains third but he's now just 3.0sec ahead of Hayden Paddon. He says: "It is an intense fight for sure. To be honest it is all about confidence and trying to find a good feeling with the car on the surface. It is tricky just to make everything perfect."
Sat 12:46 - SS13: Latvala
This is a cracking lead battle! Jari-Matti is flying through this test and he matches Ott's time - 0.1sec down on Paddon. The gap between them at the top of the standings is 3.2sec. "I don't like having two spares in the car, it isn't good for driveability. It is a good fight going on because Paddon is not letting us have it easily."
Sat 12:40 - SS13: Paddon
The New Zealander was going well on this one, going quicker than Tänak through the first two splits. He drops a bit of time on the final split but pulls it back and beats Ott by just 0.1sec! "I love this stage, and the next one, it is amazing to drive - I could drive like this 365 days of the year. Most fun I've had in a rally car this year!"
Sat 12:37 - SS13: Tänak
Ott's charge to the lead of the standings continues on this stage as he sets the fastest time by 4.5sec. We'll have to wait and see what Jari-Matti's time is before we know if Ott takes the lead. "I am focusing on my drive, focusing on the rally. This stage is really loose and cleaning a lot so we know we are not in the greatest position."
Sat 12:34 - SS13: Lappi
Esapekka is demonstrating the phenomenal pace of the Toyotas on the Australian gravel as he lowers the target stage time by 2.2sec. "The feeling is still good in the car, nothing to complain to be honest. Felt like I was not pushing at all, but all the time I was on the clean lines. At the moment I am fastest but the guys behind are going quick I tell you."
Sat 12:31 - SS13: Ogier
The Frenchman isn't messing around at all, he's faster than Neuville through the splits and his time on the board is 1.7sec up on the chasing pack. How is he feeling after this test? "Right now I am in a position where I have enough points so I don't want to take any extra risk."
Sat 12:28 - SS13: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is doing pretty good things on this test. He matched Neuville at the opening split but has lost a bit of time towards the end, he's 3.3sec down. He tells Molly: "It was a bit better than the morning loop but still not the best rhythm with the driving."
Sat 12:25 - SS13: Evans
After his bright start, Evans has lost a bit of time as the stage went on. At 11.9km he's 0.1sec down and reaching the flying finish he's now down 0.6sec. "Surprisingly so, so loose in here. Couldn't believe how loose it was now for the second pass."
Sat 12:22 - SS13: Neuville
Thierry's reached the stop control after 13.13km of plowing through gravel. He sets a 7m 25.3sec in the i20. "We are driving flat out, i pushed really hard on this one but it is impossible - the road conditions are a disaster. I will never give up though."
Sat 12:20 - SS13: Evans
Elfyn Evans had a good morning in his Fiesta and it appears that he is having the same good feeling in the car this afternoon - at the first split he's 0.8sec quicker than Neuville.
Sat 12:13 - SS13: Neuville
Thierry Neuville is the second man onto the stage now as the sun continues to shine down in New South Wales
Sat 12:08 - Afternoon tyres
Østberg/Breen/Ogier/Evans/Suninen/Mikkelsen - 5 hards Neuville/Latvala - 4 hard and 1 medium Paddon/Tänak/Lappi - 4 hard and 2 soft
Sat 12:05 - We're back
And there's just 3 minutes until we start the afternoon loop, kicking off with the second run of Argents Hill Reverse
Sat 10:57 - Craig Breen
Just a note on Craig Breen, he's been given a 3m 50.0sec penalty for his late arrival at SS12. That's dropped him to 10th overall.
Sat 10:38 - SS12: Breen
So, the Irishman completes the Raleigh test now in a time of 2m 03.6sec - 30.5sec down on the fastest time through the stage
Sat 10:36 - SS12: Breen
Speak of the devil! Just as we sent our last update, Craig has checked into the time control before the stage 23 minutes late so he'll get a penalty for that - we'll update you on the specifics of the penalty when we get it.
Sat 10:33 - Service break
With the crews heading back to service, we'll take a break now and return before the start of SS13 at 12.08 local time. If Craig Breen does complete SS12 in the meantime, we'll let you know!
Sat 10:32 - SS12: Kremer
Armin Kremer is the second WRC 2 car through the stage and he pips Alberto Heller to a stage win in the class as he goes 1.5sec quicker than the Chilean.
Sat 10:24 - WRC standings after SS12
1. Latvala 1h 29m 32.3sec 2. Tänak +3.2sec 3. Østberg +8.0sec 4. Paddon +12.3sec 5. Lappi +31.8sec 6. Ogier +1m 12.1sec Neuville is 9th
Sat 10:24 - SS12: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen rounds things off for the WRC cars - for now - and he is just 0.4sec off the fastest time.
Sat 10:21 - SS12: Østberg
Mads is in third and eager to put the pressure back on the lead Toyotas. Unfortunately for him, he's dropped 1.3sec on the stage and is now 8.0sec off the lead - 4.8sec behind Tänak.
Sat 10:18 - SS12: Latvala
With Craig being held up by the police, Jari-Matti Latvala is the next onto the stage and he is 1.4sec off the pace on this one. His lead is just 3.2sec now.
Sat 10:14 - SS12: Breen
Here's an interesting thing, Craig Breen had been stopped by police on the road section to SS12. But he's now moving again.
Sat 10:12 - SS12: Paddon
Hayden Paddon has been on good form so far and is the highest placed of the Hyundai drivers in the overall standings. This stage is also pretty decent, he drops just the 1.3sec to the fastest time.
Sat 10:09 - SS12: Tänak
Ott Tänak matches Evans' stage time on this test. How will that compare to Latvala ahead of him?
Sat 10:06 - SS12: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi puts his time on the board but can't beat Evans, he's just 0.2sec down. Still, a great morning for the Finn.
Sat 10:02 - SS12: Ogier
Ogier's clean run continues on this stage. He nudges a tyre stack but he's not fazed, going round the raceway just 0.4sec slower than Evans.
Sat 09:59 - SS12: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is the next to complete this loop of four and he is using every bit of road, grass and dirt as he gives it full beans on this test. He finishes just 0.7sec down on Evans.
Sat 09:57 - SS12: Evans
Good morning for Elfyn, he rounds out the loop by going fastest on this stage, 1.9sec quicker than Neuville.
Sat 09:55 - SS12: Neuville
The crowds are out in force on this raceway-based test and who can blame them? A great way to see the World Rally Championship up close and on a relatively demanding course. Neuville is the second to tackle it, having done some roadside repairs to his i20 but you can see that rear-right wheel toeing in quite a bit under braking. He's 5.1sec quicker than Serderidis
Sat 09:49 - Stage info: SS12
Raleigh 1, 1.99km First driven two years ago, Raleigh is on a purpose-built track used for karting, drifting and rallycross. It is tackled in the opposite direction to last year, and two small sections of gravel break up the asphalt. It’s a great venue for fans, with grass banks rising above the track providing great viewing.
Sat 09:47 - SS11: Mikkelsen
Andreas rounds off the World Rally Cars through to the end of the stage and he is 6.4sec off the pace.
Sat 09:45 - SS11: Østberg
Hello! Østberg has seen his lead snatched away. Latvala is the new rally leader as the Norwegian slips to third, 8.1sec off the lead and 3.5sec behind Tänak. "Just hard to match the Toyotas. Car is faster on the stage, seems like all three Toyotas are going well in there. Much lower grip. I have some new tyres, that might help this afternoon." A dejected Mads at the end of this one.
Sat 09:41 - SS11: Latvala
Phwoar, decent time there from JML - he's just 1.7sec off the fastest time through the stage, his advantage over Ott is down to 4.6sec. "He's been driving fast, on the team side they told me to focus on the driving and the team and not focus on Ott."
Sat 09:40 - Thierry Neuville
Speaking of damaged cars, Thierry Neuville is working on a broken rear arm on his i20 on the road section before SS12.
Sat 09:39 - SS11: Breen
A spin for Breen! He goes wide on a right-hander 15km and hooks the bank he has a full spin and damages a wheel and the suspension. He limps to the end of the stage and loses 1m 20.3sec. Such a shame for him after a really strong rally up to now. "I had a dead rear-left tyre from the start and I just tried to manage it." Understandble frustration from Breen.
Sat 09:35 - SS11: Paddon
Hayden can't come close to Tänak's stage time and he falls behind the Estonian in the overall standings by 7.8sec. He's 10.0sec down on the stage. "It's not over yet! This stage is my achillies heel, it always has been. Probably too smooth in places so we can improve a lot. We've only one bad stage on the rally so that's not too bad."
Sat 09:32 - S11: Tänak
Indeed Ott is much, much faster. The Estonian has the bit between his teeth and he is flying - he beats Lappi by 6.5sec. Expect some movement on the leaderboard when the rest of the field completes! "The championship is definitely not in our hands so there is no point thinking about that, but we are doing all we can. Another clean stage, let's see what happens."
Sat 09:29 - SS11: Lappi
Lappi strong again on this one and making the most of the superb performance the Yaris is showing off this morning. He lowers the fastest time through Urunga by 8.1sec! "It was not a good stage from me, I did a lot of mistakes, bad lines. Ott should be much, much faster."
Sat 09:26 - SS11: Ogier
Three-in-a-row in terms of M-Sport Ford cars reaching the end of the stage and Ogier can't beat his team-mate - he's 4.8sec slower. What does he tell Molly? "The loop is finished, so even if Thierry can't fix his problems he can just go to service. We are quite far from any fights so we just try to drive through."
Sat 09:23 - SS11: Suninen
M-Sport Ford's Flying Finn Teemu Suninen reaches the end of the third stage on this Saturday morning and he has dropped 12.5sec on this test. "Still struggling with the rhythm on the loose gravel and tough to find the braking points. Second loop should be better."
Sat 09:20 - SS11: Evans
Great stage for Elfyn, he seems to be really in the zone with the Fiesta on this test. He lowers the fastest time by 11.1sec. "Not so loose as before the road surface, but it is a completely different type of stage so we don't know how it will evolve."
Sat 09:18 - SS11: Neuville
Neuville reaches the end of the stage now, camera crew not showing any visible damage to the i20 after his earlier encounter with a bank. He says: "Something is broken, but the car is still able to drive."
Sat 09:16 - SS11: Ogier
At the 5.26km mark, Ogier is 1.4sec quicker than Neuville but he's 2.3sec slower than a flying Elfyn Evans.
Sat 09:14 - SS11: Evans
Elfyn is really taking the time out of Neuville, the Belgian's small off earlier making a big difference it would appear. At the second split Elfyn is 7.7sec up.
Sat 09:13 - SS11: Suninen
Strong opening split from Teemu Suninen, he's just 0.4sec slower than Neuville.
Sat 09:10 - SS11: Evans
Evans puts a time on the board at the opening split and it is 3.7sec up on Neuville. Lightning start from the Welshman
Sat 09:07 - SS11: Neuville
Careful Thierry! He slides wide on a left-hander and clips a bank his right-rear corner - he's continuing.
Sat 09:05 - SS11: Neuville
Thierry Neuville launches himself onto the stage, he's second on the road with only Serderidis ahead of him.
Sat 08:58 - Stage info: SS11
Urunga 1, 21.28km Urunga runs through deep forest with barely a place where you can see out above the trees. However, shafts of light shine through the canopy, leaving shadows on the road which make it hard to spot braking points. Potentially damaging tree stumps line the roadsides and must be avoided at all costs. It’s a tricky and twisty test apart from the final 6km, which use a wide road and are much faster.
Sat 08:52 - SS10: Kremer
Armin Kremer is the next through - after Pedro's stoppage on the stage - and he is 47.3sec down on Alberto, meaning the latter's lead is now 2m 04.5sec
Sat 08:48 - SS10: A. Heller
Alberto Heller completes the stage now and maintains his lead at the top of WRC 2 with a 16m 46.0sec.
Sat 08:43 - WRC standings after SS10
1. Østberg 1h 16m 20.1sec 2. Latvala +3.7sec 3. Paddon +7.8sec 4. Tänak +10.0sec 5. Breen +12.5sec 6. Lappi +31.9sec
Sat 08:43 - SS10: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen is our 12th car through to the end and he sets the fourth-fastest time, 6.4sec off the quickest effort. "We enjoy the stages, obviously missing that last bit of attack and taking those risks because we're not fighting for victory."
Sat 08:40 - SS10: Østberg
Mads must be feeling his rivals breathing down his neck! He drops 7.1sec on the stage and he now leads by just 3.7sec, game on! "Now I'm not happy with my tyre choice, with what we know it was not an easy choice for sure. The car is working well but when you have a mix of tyres and two of them are not working it makes it difficult for sure."
Sat 08:38 - SS10: P. Heller
Pedro Heller - second in WRC 2 - has stopped at the 9.3km mark on this test.
Sat 08:37 - SS10: Latvala
Decent times through the splits from JML and he is second-fastest through the stage, holding onto his second-place overall. He's got 4.1sec in hand over Paddon and 6.3sec over Tänak. "It is very exciting. It seems that Mr Tänak has had a good push and we are still good over Paddon."
Sat 08:34 - SS10: Breen
Craig Breen has completed the stage now and he's dropped two places, falling behind both Paddon and Tänak in the overal positions. He tells Scott on the journey between the finish and the stop control that the throttle has been sticking open. "The throttle was sticking open, every time I pressed the brake it was nosing the car on. Really, really horrible I don't know what the hell it is. Try and get it fixed before the next one."
Sat 08:31 - SS10: Paddon
Hayden can't replicate his stage-winning pace on this longer test, but he's still the second fastest car through - 4.5sec down and just 2.2sec ahead in the overall standings. "We had a good stage, feeling really good in the car today. I've got the softs on the rear and I was probably too aggresive because in the last 5/6km the rear was moving around."
Sat 08:28 - SS10: Tänak
Although, Tänak always wants to be the fastest Toyota and he is on another planet this morning, going 8.4sec quicker. "I try my best. It is really warm and I guess the soft was maybe not optimal. This will be the key stage of the loop. Still enough stages left for the rally win." Fighting talk from the Estonian!
Sat 08:25 - SS10: Lappi
Esapekka said he had just bread and eggs for breakfast but we can't believe that's fuelled him enough to find this much speed! He crosses the flying finish a massive 12.6sec quicker than Seb Ogier. He clips the bank as he goes through the finish boards sideways: "This is getting much cleaner all the time. After each car the conditions are improving so it is tough to gain time to the cars starting behind me."
Sat 08:22 - SS10: Ogier
Ogier is faster than Neuville through all the splits and his stage time is a whole 7.6sec quicker than his title rival. They're separated by 44.1sec now. "It was better. But it is obviously very, very loose today and it is going to be hard to catch some positions to be honest. But the main goal is to stay ahead of Thierry."
Sat 08:19 - SS10: Suninen
Fiesta number three comes into stop control and this one has Teemu Suninen's name on the side of it. He has dropped 8.5sec on this test - not bad considering he's never driven in anger in Australia before. "The conditions have changed a lot from yesterday and now I'm struggling for grip and trying to find the braking points on the loose gravel."
Sat 08:16 - SS10: Evans
The Welshman is through the stage and the helicopter shots are showing just how much dust there is hanging in the trees. He drops 2.7sec to the Belgian. "It is tricky out there for sure. Some places are very difficult - I could feel myself going deep in some places."
Sat 08:13 - SS10: Neuville
Neuville puts stage 10 in the books for him with a clean run through this test. What does he say at the end of the stage to Colin Clark? "Nothing we can do. It is very frustrating but it is like this. No line at all. Nothing I can do."
Sat 08:12 - SS10: Lappi
Good first split from Esapekka, that Yaris is working well on these Shire roads. He's 0.3sec up on Ogier at split one of five.
Sat 08:10 - SS10: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is also well into this test and he is 2.5sec down on Neuville 10.92km in.
Sat 08:08 - SS10: Ogier
Ogier makes it five cars onto this marathon test and at the 5.43km split he's 0.8sec quicker than anyone.
Sat 08:03 - SS10: Evans
Evans was faster than Neuville on the opening test, but on the first split of this one he's 0.3sec slower than the Belgian. Can he make that time back up? He's got a good chance, this stage is 28.83km.
Sat 07:59 - We've cars already on SS10, read what it has in store:
Welshs Creek Reverse 1, 28.83km Guess what? Welshs Creek is driven in the reverse direction to last year and, like the previous test, also features roads from Nambucca. It begins in the trees on fast but loose gravel and retains those characteristics for most of the way. Two asphalt sections, one at 5km and another at 17.5km, break up the loose surfaces. There is a short narrow section before the midpoint but in general this is one for the speed lovers.
Sat 07:59 - SS9: Kremer
Armin Kremer breaks the patter somewhat as he accelerates his Skoda Fabia R5 to the end and he is 17.8sec down.
Sat 07:57 - SS9: P. Heller
Pedro reaches the end now in his - you guessed it - Ford Fiesta R5, the third in a row to power through the flying finisg and he has dropped 13.9sec. The difference between them now is 34.5sec.
Sat 07:56 - SS9: A. Heller
Bright start for the WRC 2 leader in his Fiesta, the Chilean beats Gill's time and he is also quicker than brother Pedro on the first two splits as well.
Sat 07:54 - SS9: Gill
Gaurav Gill isn't entered in WRC 2 this weekend, but he's putting in a more than decent performance this weekend - he's ahead of the Heller brothers in the overall standings as it stands.
Sat 07:52 - SS9: Mikkelsen
Andreas is back on the road having restarted under Rally 2 and he has put in a decent time on this one - oh what could have been for him. He crosses the line 1.4sec slower than his team-mate. "Try to enjoy today as much as I can. Not much to drive for, but the stages are beautiful, it is always a pleasure to drive them."
Sat 07:49 - SS9: Østberg
My oh, my, we are in for a cracking fight for the lead today. He clips a bit of the advertising banner - Dayinsure Wales Rally GB anyone? - but it doesn't really slow him down, he's 2.1sec slower than Paddon and 1.7sec slower than Latvala. His lead is still 7.0sec though. "It felt okay, no big drama in there. A little bit different conditions than I expected, it is quite soft and feels very heavy at the back, but it is better than being first."
Sat 07:46 - SS9: Latvala
Jari-Matti has snatched second back off Craig Breen! He's just 0.4sec slower than Hayden Paddon on the stage and he moves 1.7sec clear of the Irishman. "It was a pretty good stage for us, a few places we went a little bit wide. Hayden was attacking and it will be interesting to see what Mads is doing."
Sat 07:43 - SS9: Breen
He's second overall coming into this stage and he's lost a bit of time on the splits - breaking the cycle of the times constantly improving. He's third-fastest, 4.0sec slower than Paddon, and he's now just 1.7sec ahead of the Kiwi overall. "Not pushing too hard and didn't have the best rhythm, hopefully we'll resolve that on the next stage."
Sat 07:40 - SS9: Paddon
Paddon's unleashed this morning! He's given it full beans through this test and goes 2.3sec quicker than Ott - strong performance. "Really starting to get into the groove. These stages are great to drive on. Some places I'm still a little under-committed so I need to fix those bits."
Sat 07:38 - SS9: Tänak
Ott's not hanging around this morning and continues the trend of lowering the benchmark time on this stage. He's 2.1sec to the good. "I did a good stage, but right in the beginning I had a lot of deer on the road."
Sat 07:34 - SS9: Lappi
Cracking start for Esapekka, he takes Ogier's stage time and lowers it down by a massive 4.7sec. Good effort from the Finn. "It is cleaning a lot, I just kept it on the line. You cannot push, you just need to follow the line."
Sat 07:31 - SS9: Ogier
The reigning champion is going well through the stage, he's quicker than Evans on all the splits and lowers the fastest time by 1.5sec. Esapekka Lappi is looking even better on the first two splits though. Ogier is talking to Molly Pettit at the end of the stage. "We have not the same level of attack as yesterday, I was hesitating a bit too much there - I'll look for a better rhythm on the next one."
Sat 07:28 - SS9: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is the next M-Sport Ford car through the stage and he is 8.0sec slower than his team-mate. "I was driving a bit too carefully, but it keeps the car straight and on the line. I think I can drive more aggressively."
Sat 07:25 - SS9: Evans
Strong start from Ellfyn, he's 1.3sec through the flying finish as the road continues to clean with every passing car. "It is going to get better and better with every car that passes, I think my improved time is only natural."
Sat 07:23 - SS9: Neuville
The Belgian reaches the stop control at the end of this opening test in a time of 7m 32.8sec - 1m 10.9sec up on Serderidis. He says: "There is hope for sure. We can't do much without the rain because of cleaning all the loose gravel. We will continue driving and hoping that the god of rallying exists."
Sat 07:19 - SS9: Evans
Elfyn Evans passes the first split at the 5.62km mark and he is 0.2sec up on Neuville.
Sat 07:13 - SS9: Neuville
Thierry Neuville is the next to get his day started as he launches his Hyundai onto Argents Hill Reverse
Sat 07:09 - SS9: Serderidis
Enough build up, let's get the action started! Jourdan Serderidis kicks things off in his Ford Fiesta.
Sat 07:07 - Stage info: SS9
Argents Hill Reverse 1, 13.13km As the name suggests, Argents Hill is driven in the opposite direction to 2017 and features classic shire roads from the Nambucca stage of the past. It crosses farmland and pastures, mixing a selection of breathtakingly fast roads and twistier tracks. It has recently been resurfaced and there is plenty of loose gravel to hinder the early starters.
Sat 07:04 - Tyres
Latvala/Tänak/Lappi - 2 hard and 3 medium Ogier/Evans/Suninen - 4 medium and 1 hard Neuville/Breen - 5 medium Paddon - 3 hard and 2 medium Mikkelsen/Østberg - 3 medium and 2 hard
Sat 07:01 - Weather
If the forecast is to be trusted, it should be a pretty nice day on the Australian east coast, with generally sunny skies. There’s a hint or two or a shower but it should generally be dry.
Sat 06:58 - Road order:
1. Serderidis 2. Neuville 3. Evans 4. Suninen 5. Ogier 6. Lappi 7. Tänak 8. Paddon 9. Breen 10. Latvala 11. Østberg 12. Mikkelsen
Sat 06:55 - Today’s agenda
Saturday features 10 speed tests set to test the resolve of all our crews. The first two stages - Argents Hill Reverse (13.13km) and Welshs Creek Reverse (28.83km) use sections from the legendary Nambucca test. Those two are followed by the 21.28km Urunga test and the 1.99km raceway-based Raleigh super special. All four of those are repeated in the afternoon, with another two runs of Destination NSW SSS18 rounding out the day.
Sat 06:52 - Retirement update
Only Andreas Mikkelsen failed to make it through Friday after his off-road excursion on SS3. He’s returning to action today under Rally 2
Sat 06:49 - Support standings
In WRC 2 it’s the battle of the Heller brothers as Alberto leads older brother Pedro by 20.6sec. Armin Kremer is in third while Gianluca Linari is in a distant fourth.
Sat 06:46 - How’s everything else looking?
Well after the first eight of 24 stages yesterday, the standings make for interesting reading as Citroën’s Mads Østberg and Craig Breen lead the way after a cracking opening day for the pair. Jari-Matti Latvala is third, with Hayden Paddon fourth, Ott Tänak fifth and Esapekka Lappi sixth. Main title protagonists Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are seventh and 10th respectively.
Sat 06:44 - Drama already
On that note, we've had drama already. Ott Tänak suffered a hydraulic failure as he started to leave the service park. The team pushed him back into the Toyota service area, changed hydraulic parts and he's underway now
Sat 06:42 - We’re live
As always we’re providing updates on the all action as it happens on the WRC App and on wrc.com.
Sat 06:40 - Morning/afternoon/evening all!
And welcome back to the Live Text coverage of an absolutely riveting Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Fri 18:25 - Goodnight!
With the on-stage action complete for today, we'll call it a day on the Live Text. But fear not, we'll back bright and early for SS9 - Argents Hill Reverse at 7.08am local time. Until then, keep your eyes peeled on wrc.com for the latest news and reports from New South Wales.
Fri 18:20 - WRC 2 standings after SS8
1. A. Heller 59m 06.3sec 2. P. Heller +20.6sec 3. Kremer +59.4sec 4. Linari +8m 11.7sec
Fri 18:19 - WRC standings after SS8
1. Østberg 53m 37.4sec 2. Breen +6.8sec 3. Latvala +8.7sec 4. Paddon +12.5sec 5. Tänak +16.9sec 6. Lappi +28.3sec Ogier is 7th and Neuville is 10th
Fri 18:15 - SS8: P. Heller
Pedro ends things off for today now as he powers his Fiesta R5 round the twists and turns of the Destination NSW super special stage. He goes fastest through the stage by 0.3sec, but still trails brother Alberto by 20.6sec.
Fri 18:13 - SS8: Serderidis
Decent day for Jourdan overall, he's had a clean run through all the stages and he ends this one with a time that's just 4.5sec off the fastest.
Fri 18:10 - SS8: Østberg
Mads Østberg ends the day with the rally lead, and a Citroën 1-2 as he goes 1.7sec slower on the stage. His gap to Breen is 6.8sec.
Fri 18:09 - SS8: Suninen
Teem Suninen completes Friday now with a time 2.6sec off the pace.
Fri 18:05 - SS7: P. Heller
Pedro Heller is the fourth of the WRC 2 cars to tackle this penultimate test and he is second-fastest on the stage, just 0.4sec behind Armin Kremer.
Fri 18:03 - SS7: Serderidis
Jourdan Serderidis in the fourth M-Sport Ford Fiesta puts a time on the board for this test and it is just 5.5sec off the leading time.
Fri 18:00 - SS7: Østberg
The rally leader is the next through the gates on this skill showcase and he is fifth quickest on the stage - 2.0sec down.
Fri 17:59 - SS7: Suninen
Our final group of cars to tackle the stage begins with Teemu Suninen. The third M-Sport Ford driver completes the stage 3.1sec down which means he slips behind team-mate Evans in the overall standings.
Fri 17:56 - SS8: Paddon
Paddon completes his day now and he is 2.5sec slower than the fastest time, and he is now 3.8sec behind Latvala in the overall classification.
Fri 17:54 - SS8: Breen
Craig Breen caps his superb opening day with a respectable time on this test, he's just 0.9sec down on the fastest time and that means his lead over Latvala in the overall standings is 1.9sec.
Fri 17:52 - SS8: Evans
Elfyn Evans rattles in another time on this stage and he is 1.6sec down.
Fri 17:49 - SS8: Latvala
Latvala is onto his second crack at this super special and he completes it 2.1sec slower than Tänak.
Fri 17:46 - SS7: Paddon
Hayden Paddon slides his way round the obstacles in his Hyundai i20 and he is seventh fastest through the test, 4.0sec off the leading times.
Fri 17:44 - SS7: Breen
Craig Breen is through Friday's penultimate stage and he has moved ahead of Latvala! He's 2.4sec ahead of the Finn on the stage and he moves ahead of him overall by 0.7sec.
Fri 17:41 - SS7: Evans
Elfyn Evans is the next to tackle the beachfront super special and he is fourth fastest - 1.9sec off his team-mate Ogier.
Fri 17:39 - SS7: Latvala
Back onto SS7 and Jari-Matti Latvala is the next to complete the stage. He clips the bale at the roundabout but he gets through to the end 4.1sec down.
Fri 17:35 - SS8: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi rounds off this initial group of four tackling the two stages and he is 1.3sec slower than his team-mate.
Fri 17:32 - SS8: Tänak
The Toyota driver drags his battered Yaris through the stage and to the end of the first day of competition here in Coffs Harbour and he goes fastest by 0.2sec!
Fri 17:31 - SS8: Neuville
Neuville avoids mishap on this run of the stage and he is 0.6sec down on Ogier.
Fri 17:29 - SS8: Ogier
Right, Ogier has now completed his second go on what is officially stage eight. He rounds his day off with a 1m 23.2sec.
Fri 17:25 - SS7: Lappi
Esapekka is the next through and he has dropped 1.7sec to Ogier.
Fri 17:22 - SS7: Tänak
Tänak completes the first pass of the stage and he is 0.7sec down on Ogier.
Fri 17:21 - SS7: Neuville
Oh dear Thierry! The asphalt with sand on top has made the surface pretty slippery and he slides into a sand bank at a 90 degree left. He keeps going though and reaches the end 2.0sec slower than Ogier.
Fri 17:17 - SS7: Ogier
Righto, we're back underway with the super special with Sébastien Ogier starting SS7 now!
Fri 16:54 - Short pause
With that completed, we'll take a short break as the WRC competitors prepare themselves for the super special
Fri 16:53 - SS8: Linari
Linari completes his day off now by going 4.7sec slower than Kremer on his second run through this evening's super special stage
Fri 16:51 - SS8: A. Heller
Alberto has his eye in on this test now, but he still can't beat Kremer - the Chilean drops 0.3sec as he reaches the flying finish.
Fri 16:48 - SS8: Kremer
They get their two passes of the stage done quickly this evening as Kremer completes his second run of the stage in quick fashion. This time through he sets a 1m 27.6sec
Fri 16:43 - SS7: Linari
With Pedro going later, after the 11 WRC crews, Linari rounds off proceedings on SS7 for WRC 2 at the moment - his stage time 5.3sec slower than Kremer.
Fri 16:41 - SS7: A. Heller
Alberto Heller is next onto this quick-fire test and he can't improve on Armin's time, he is 0.7sec slower which means he won't have a clean sweep of stage wins today.
Fri 16:39 - SS7: Kremer
Armin Kremer gets things rolling and he clocks a 1m 29.0sec
Fri 16:36 - Stage info: SS7 / SS8
Destination NSW SSS18 1/2, 1.27km Coffs Harbour’s fan favourite street stage in the jetty area is concentrated in a small area that provides stunning views of Boambee Beach. The action on the mainly asphalt stage will be spectacular with roundabout turns, a banked corner and two jumps. Minor changes to the 2017 format see the beach side loop driven in the opposite direction.
Fri 16:33 - Five minutes to go
Five minutes until the first run of Destination NSW SSS18 gets underway. We'll be starting with two passes of the stage for the WRC 2 runners before the WRC crews tackle the stage a little later.
Fri 15:07 - Short break
With the WRC and WRC 2 crews safely through and heading off to regroup, we'll take a short break and return for the start of SS7 - Destination NSW SSS18 1 - at 16.37 local time.
Fri 15:05 - WRC 2 standings after SS6
1. A. Heller 56m 08.7sec 2. P. Heller +21.5sec 3. Kremer +1m 00.4sec 4. Linari +8m 02.7sec
Fri 15:05 - SS6: Linari
Once again, Gianluca Linari rounds things up for the WRC 2 class as he crosses the line 1m 55.7sec slower than Alberto Heller.
Fri 15:02 - SS6: A. Heller
Blimey that was a tight finish for Alberto. He was faster and slower than his brother through the splits but just manages to cross the line to claim victory on the stage by just 0.4sec.
Fri 14:59 - SS6: Kremer
The German is the next through to the end of the stage and he is 10.5sec off the Chilean's benchmark time.
Fri 14:58 - SS6: P. Heller
Moving onto the WRC 2 class, Pedro Heller has put a time on the board of 14m 06.8sec
Fri 14:53 - WRC standings after SS6
1. Østberg 50m 47.3sec 2. Latvala +6.2sec 3. Breen +7.5sec 4. Paddon +9.7sec 5. Tänak +19.9sec 6. Lappi +29.0sec Ogier is 7th and Neuville is 10th after a stall on the stage
Fri 14:51 - SS6: Østberg
Mads was quicker than his Citroën team-mate in the first half of the stage but he's lost some time as he powers towards the stop control. His time on the board is 1.0sec down on Breen, but he gains a few tenths on Latvala - his lead is 6.2sec. "It's been really good. It was more challenging than I thought with the hard tyres this afternoon. I had the same car on all the stages so I could push well. It was absolutely in the plan to be leading!"
Fri 14:49 - SS6: Suninen
Clean run through the stage for Teemu as he continues to quickly learn the technique to driving the New South Wales gravel. He slows down to help M-Sport Ford team-mate Ogier gain another position. That slots him in seventh overall - 3.5sec behind Ogier. "I'm part of the game and just need to follow the rules. The pace has been good and it was easier to drive on the second loop."
Fri 14:45 - SS6: Paddon
The Kiwi can't match the Irishman on this test, he's 2.5sec down as he safely completes the sixth stage of this Friday. He's dropped behind Breen by 2.2sec overall. "Quite lucky really, we damaged a wheel on the last stage and the spare was a badly worn soft. Happy to minimise the time loss."
Fri 14:43 - SS6: Breen
Breen's quickest through the stage, he's having a good Friday in his C3 - he's just 1.3sec behind Latvala! He's got a big smile on his face and his quickest time leads to some good-natured ribbing of WRC+ All Live reporter Colin Clark at the end of the stage: "Doesn't that sound so much nicer and easier to say! Tried to go like the clappers on that one. "I'm sorry but I've heard so many nice things about you so when you're down and bad it doesn't suit you!"
Fri 14:41 - SS6: Evans
Elfyn Evans completes the stage now and he's lost quite a bit of time towards the end as he's told to slow down by Dan Barritt to allow Ogier to get past in the overall standings. He's 25.6sec slower on the stage and he's now 3.7sec behind the Frenchman overall. "Yeah, that's it really. We're all competitors at the end of the day wanting to compete - especially when you haven't got a seat next year - but we have to respect the decision of the team, at the end of the day we're employed to do a job and that's how it is."
Fri 14:37 - SS6: Latvala
Another quick time from a Toyota is put on the board and this one has JML's name next to it. He's gone 2.0sec quicker through this test. He's having a good old look at the timing board "We thought Neuville was 6.9sec quicker but then realised he was a minute slower. The stage wasn't too bad, towards the end there were some slippy places."
Fri 14:33 - SS6: Lappi
Lappi is really motoring through this test, he was green through all the splits and he eventually completes Sherwood 9.7sec to the good. "I need to save the car! My front-end is quite damaged. That was a heavy water splash it seems. It is nice that the engine managed to keep running after these 15 or 20 seconds misfiring."
Fri 14:31 - SS6: Tänak
Tänak reaches the end of the stage with a few half-spins in his Yaris but he still manages to complete 1.2sec up on Ogier. "Some moments we had because of the missing aero, some places you turn and nothing happens - not a great feeling. I need to try, but the mistakes I've done so far - I don't like these ones."
Fri 14:28 - SS6: Neuville
At 19.64km he's lost 21.0sec and that's increased to 37.2sec at the final timing point - 25.34km into the stage. He eventually completes the stage and he's lost 40.2sec, does he have a deeper issue in that i20? He's got extensive rear-left wheel damage. "On the landing of a jump the tyre came off the rim."
Fri 14:24 - SS6: Ogier
Ogier completes the stage now, his day is almost done - save for the two runs of the Destination NSW SSS18 super special stages. How is he feeling? "I push like crazy, this was worse than this morning - I was on the limit, including on the jump." He's told about Neuville's time loss "That is good news."
Fri 14:22 - SS6: Lappi
That misfire from SS5 certainly isn't lingering for Esapekka, at the first split he's 0.7sec up on Neuville.
Fri 14:22 - SS6: Neuville
He's hit the chicane! Thierry tries to brake for the chicane but he locks up. Thankfully the hay bales don't do too much damage to the i20 but he'll have lost a fair chunk of time.
Fri 14:20 - SS6: Neuville
Thierry's lost a bit of time at the third split - 14.72km in - as he goes 1.9sec slower than Ogier.
Fri 14:19 - SS6: Tänak
The lack of a front bumper is slowing Ott down, but not by much - at the first split he is 0.4sec down on Ogier.
Fri 14:16 - SS6: Neuville
Neuville breaks the beam at the first of five splits on this test and he is 0.8sec up on Ogier.
Fri 14:11 - SS6: Live
Sébastien Ogier gets the day's longest stage - Sherwood - underway for the second time.
Fri 14:02 - WRC 2 standings after SS5
1. A. Heller 42m 02.3sec 2. P. Heller +21.1sec 3. Kremer +49.5sec 4. Linari +6m 07.0sec
Fri 14:01 - SS5: Linari
Four WRC 2 crews out, four WRC 2 crews back in as Gianluca Linari completes Coldwater 2 in his Impreza. He's 1m 09.2sec behind the leaders.
Fri 13:58 - SS5: Kremer
The Fabia R5 driver is the next through to the end and he is 8.2sec down. Meanwhile, Alberto Heller also logs a time and he goes fastest by 4.3sec - that's a fifth stage win in a row for the Chilean.
Fri 13:54 - SS5: P. Heller
Pedro Heller switches proceedings to the WRC 2 class abdnd he sets an 8m 36.6sec.
Fri 13:51 - SS5: Serderidis
Another stage ticked off for the former WRC Trophy champion and he is 1m 20.1sec down.
Fri 13:50 - WRC standings after SS5
1. Østberg 38m 10.7sec 2. Latvala +5.9sec 3. Tänak +7.9sec 4. Paddon +8.2sec 5. Breen +8.5sec 6. Suninen +14.0sec Neuville is 7th and Ogier is 10th
Fri 13:48 - SS5: Østberg
Mads was 0.4sec up on the opening split but he's lost a bit of time as he powers towards the finish of this test. He reaches stop control just 0.7sec down - his lead is 5.9sec over Latvala. "Everything fine, it didn't feel completely perfect like this morning but the time is good so we must be doing something right."
Fri 13:45 - SS5: Suninen
Suninen was quicker than Neuville on the first split by 0.2sec. He's lost half a second on the 10.28km split though but he claws back the time on the end - just 0.1sec off the fastest time. Is he happy with that? "It was a clean stage and a good drive. Let's say we are following the plan." Definitely happy with his performance, and who can blame him?
Fri 13:43 - SS5: Paddon
Paddon is just 0.7sec off the fastest time on this one, he's lost 0.1sec to Breen but stays ahead of the Irishman by just 0.3sec. "Not a bad stage, really enjoyable with a nice flow. The last part reminds me of home, for the whole loop the tyres should work well. It is pretty close between everyone so it is small margins but there is a little bit left."
Fri 13:40 - SS5: Breen
Another strong performance from Craig on this stage, the Citroën can really stretch its legs on these faster stages. He breaks the beam at the flying finish and he is just 0.6sec down - that puts him third overall but with a few cars still to come through. "Much better than the first one, it was obviously a bogey one. I have a medium tyre on the rear so I'm trying to manage it the best I can."
Fri 13:37 - SS5: Evans
Elfyn reaches the stop control 3.6sec down and he's slipped behind Neuville overall by just 0.1sec. "The stage was all fine for me, no problems."
Fri 13:33 - SS5: Latvala
No water-related dramas for Jari-Matti on this test, he drops just 0.5sec and of course will gain a position because of Esapekka's misfortune. He should be second once all the cars come through. "It was a good stage, no mistakes, generally good clean drive."
Fri 13:32 - SS5: Evans
Brief stop for Elfyn at the 8km mark, he's going again now though.
Fri 13:31 - SS5: Lappi
The Finn reaches the end of the stage now and he's lost 22.9sec and dropped behind Neuville overall. He tells Emyr he tackled the watersplash the same way as on the first pass: "The same speed as on the first pass. I believe it is okay for the next stage."
Fri 13:28 - SS5: Lappi
Oh no! Lappi's stopped with a misfire just after the watersplash. He is going again now but he'll have lost a significant chunk of time.
Fri 13:27 - SS5: Tänak
Ott is really pushing his Yaris to the limit here, but that doesn't translate to a strong stage time - he's damaged the front-end of his car going through a watersplash and he's dropped 1.8sec to Neuville. He says: "The front was in the watersplash and took all the front away I guess. We had damage on the previous one, it is running like a dog."
Fri 13:24 - SS5: Neuville
Thierry chases the Frenchman through to the end of the stage and he's increased the gap between them by 1.6sec to 9.1sec. "The stage was okay, different tyre strategy than Ogier, let's see if it is working. I can't do much more."
Fri 13:21 - SS5: Ogier
Ogier has completed stage five in a time of 7m 52.7sec - that's almost 15sec quicker than his time on this stage this morning. He is talking to Emyr Penlan at stage-end: "The grip is better, but it is still getting a little bit better for the others. I have done two stages now where I am on the limit - I cannot do any more."
Fri 13:18 - SS5: Neuville
We quickly head onto the second run of the Coldwater test and the i20 driver has gained 0.8sec on Ogier at the 5.09km split.
Fri 13:17 - SS4: Linari
The Subaru man rounds out things for WRC 2 and he drops 51.7sec.
Fri 13:14 - SS4: A. Heller
The second Chilean through to the end of the stage is Pedro's brother Alberto. The class leader has extended his advantage on this stage to 16.8sec as he goes 4.8sec faster than the others on this test.
Fri 13:12 - SS4: P. Heller
Pedro Heller is the first WRC 2 car through to the end of the stage and he is quickly followed through by Armin Kremer - the German is 6.0sec down.
Fri 13:08 - SS4: Østberg
Mads is the next to complete the stage now and he is just 1.0sec off the fastest time - his lead is still 4.5sec. "This was the stage where we would sacrifice a bit to gain later so I am pleased with that."
Fri 13:02 - SS4: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is quietly getting on with the job at hand here, the Finn is cracking on with things during his first visit to Australia and he crosses the line 2.0sec down on the fastest time. "The driving was a bit better and I was quite happy with the driving. Maybe I could have gone a little bit faster."
Fri 13:00 - SS4: Paddon
Hayden gains a position on this stage, he's 1.9sec down on the fastest time but has enough in hand to relegate Breen down a place overall. "Sun is shining and it's hot so the hard is the only option. I knew this stage wouldn't be great for the hards but they should be spot on for the next one. I'm starting to get a bit of mojo back too."
Fri 12:56 - SS4: Breen
Craig Breen completes the stage now in his C3 WRC and he has dropped 2.6sec to the fastest time on this stage. How did he find this? "I had a couple of silly slides and mistakes but it is not bad - it's only two seconds." He's dropped a position to Tänak overall.
Fri 12:53 - SS4: Evans
The Welshman has been pushing the Fiesta sublimely through the gravel on this sunny Friday but on this stage he's lost a bit of time - he's the slowest through the stage 2.8sec down. "It's to be expected, so it's fine. It's just how it is." Hmm, that's not quite like the Elfyn we normally see, surprisingly downbeat for the M-Sport Ford man.
Fri 12:50 - SS4: Latvala
Three Toyotas in a row through to the end of this test and he is 1.3sec down - he can't match his team-mates on this 8.77km test. He says: "It is okay, we lost a little bit to Ott and Esapekka but they were running a mix of tyres while I'm running four hards. The next stages should be better for me on the hards."
Fri 12:47 - SS4: Lappi
Esapekka, competing in his last rally for Toyota before he moves to Citroën next year, is through to the stop control of the fourth stage of Friday and he is just 0.1sec down. "The road was more slippy which was a surprise for me. I expected more grip but it wasn't there. I went for the hard tyres but I don't think it is the tyre choice, it is more the surface."
Fri 12:46 - SS4: Tänak
A replay shows Ott clipped a fence post.
Fri 12:44 - SS4: Tänak
Ott was 0.8sec to the good at the 4.11km split and he holds onto that advantage as he crosses the flying finish and even extends it to 1.0sec over Ogier. He looks back at some damage to the rear-left on his Yaris: "At the start I hit the bale. It is affecting the way the car is handling."
Fri 12:41 - SS4: Neuville
Thierry's lost time in the second half of this test, from 0.3sec up he's completed the stage 0.9sec slower than the Frenchman. Does he explain the time loss to Colin? "We are on a different tyre strategy and for me I think this is the worst stage. I'm on three hard and two soft and he is on three soft and two hard so let's see what is working better." Bit downbeat from the Belgian at the end of this one.
Fri 12:38 - SS4: Ogier
Speaking of Ogier, he's through to the end of the stage already and he's speaking to Colin Clark. "Not really fantastic line, honestly I was on the limit the whole stage - I cannot do more."
Fri 12:37 - SS4: Neuville
Thierry is onto the stage and through the split 0.3sec quicker than Ogier.
Fri 12:34 - Afternoon tyres
Østberg - 5 hard Breen - 2 medium and 3 hard Latvala/Paddon/Suninen - 4 hard and 1 medium Neuville/Tänak/Lappi/Evans - 3 hard and 2 medium Ogier - 3 medium and 2 hard
Fri 12:30 - We're back!
After an exciting morning loop, we're back for the afternoon which is kicking off in just a couple of minutes!
Fri 10:50 - Technical break
With the drivers pulling back into service, we'll take a small break before Orara East 2, which starts at 12.32 local time.
Fri 10:48 - Media Zone: Lappi
"Car has been enjoyable and nothing has been disturbing so you can fully concentrate on your job. It's been nice to drive so I'm enjoying. "If you take the first part away it is really like Finland. These man-made jumps are taking away the general feeling of the stages though. "I don't want to think about the manufacturers' title too much, I'm just doing my job and then at the end of the rally we'll look at it."
Fri 10:45 - Media Zone: Tänak
"Overall, quite happy. The car has been good. On the first two stages I was more cautious but on the last stage I was pushing. The feeling is there, we just need to speed up a bit. "On Sherwood, there is a place with a compression and then a bump just after which makes the car feel a bit odd. We took the tyre off the rim. "The jumps are difficult, some are lower, some higher. Even the second loop I believe it will still be very difficult."
Fri 10:43 - Media Zone: Neuville
"I think obviously our aim was to be ahead of Seb after the first couple of stages. So that is job done, but the road is really cleaning and the cars behind are going a lot quicker so it will be tricky to try and gain any more positions. "On Sherwood it was just a bump and the car just lifted at the rear. Some are flat out and some are not so it is difficult to judge."
Fri 10:42 - Media Zone: Ogier
"For sure we were hoping for a bit of dampness but unfortunately it was not. It was the normal condition here to open the road. I'm happy with my drive, I was pushing hard, I had a good feeling but the road is getting faster and faster with every car. There's not much I can do. "I haven't heard about rain, but I think it is going to be pretty much the same story as this morning so we'll see what we can do."
Fri 10:40 - WRC 2 standings after SS3
1. A. Heller 28m 22.7sec 2. P. Heller +12.0sec 3. Kremer +26.2sec 4. Linari +4m 01.3sec
Fri 10:40 - SS3: Linari
The Italian completes the morning loop now and he is 1m 55.1sec down.
Fri 10:36 - SS3: A. Heller
Through the spluts it looked like he was going to miss out on his first stage win of the day but he just pips brother Pedro to the stage win by 0.1sec to extend his lead at the top of the class to 12.0sec
Fri 10:34 - SS3: Kremer
Armin Kremer completes the stage now and he is just 7.2sec off the pace on this, the longest stage of the day.
Fri 10:32 - SS3: P. Heller
Pedro Heller kicks off the run of WRC 2 runners powering through the stage and he has set a 14m 27.6sec.
Fri 10:30 - SS3: Serderidis
Jourdan reaches the end now and he is 2m 30.6sec slower than Østberg's cracking time.
Fri 10:29 - WRC standings after SS3
1. Østberg 25m 34.4sec 2. Lappi +5.4sec 3. Latvala +5.8sec 4. Breen +7.0sec 5. Paddon +7.3sec 6. Tänak +7.8sec Neuville is 9th and Ogier is 10th
Fri 10:26 - SS3: Østberg
Good grief Mads, where's this time come from? The Citroëns have monstered this test as the Norseman flies through the Sherwood forest. At the final split he was 5.2sec up on his team-mate and as he breaks the beam at the flying finish he's gone 5.9sec quicker than anyone! That's moved him into the rally lead by 5.4sec! "It was very enjoyable! What can I say? It was a beautiful stage and I had a good rhythm through there, I was thinking back to Finland when I was on the start line there. I didn't do this stage last year, but the car was great, it was a good morning all in all."
Fri 10:23 - SS3: Suninen
Teemu Suninen completes the morning loop and he is 6.3sec down on the stage as the sun continues to make its presence felt on the stages this morning, the dust kicking up behind the Finn's Fiesta. He tells Colin: "It was quite challenging, our first time here and I was too careful on those bumps because they look quite hard, but it was not too bad."
Fri 10:20 - SS3: Paddon
Hayden is the picture of concentration on this test as he puts in a more that respectable stage time - he's just 0.7sec slower than Breen, going second-fastest through the stage. Good morning so far for the Kiwi but he does lose a position to Breen overall. "Definitely coming back to me, the first half of the stage was really good. Struggled a little bit for the rhythm for the last five or six Ks but it's alright."
Fri 10:17 - SS3: Breen
Flat to the square right on this one, to borrow Craig's favourite phrase, as he sets the fastest time on this test - 0.9sec quicker than Ott Tänak. He thinks he might have a cracked brake disc as he talks to Scott Martin on the journey between the flying finish and stop control. "Not great, I think I have a cracked disc - very tricky through the stage. Few big jumps, couple of buckoos if you want to call them that."
Fri 10:14 - SS3: Evans
Elfyn Evans keeps it clean on what is proving to be a rather tricky Sherwood test and he is just 4.8sec down - the fourth fastest on the stage so far.
Fri 10:09 - SS3: Latvala
Ahead of Andreas, Jari-Matti is through to the end and he's dropped 1.4sec to Ott and he's now 0.4sec down on Lappi at the head of the leaderboard.
Fri 10:07 - SS3: Mikkelsen
Andreas stops the car and switches the engine off with steam coming out the front. Looks like radiator damage for the Norwegian, such a shame for him.
Fri 10:06 - SS3: Mikkelsen
Oh no Andreas! He gets a tank slapper on into a left-hander and he goes into a ditch. He's damaged the car quite a bit. He drove on for a time, but he's pulled over now with a smashed windscreen and damaged front-end.
Fri 10:05 - SS3: Lappi
And lets calm it down a bit now. Esapekka doesn't have the same drama on this test and he is through to the end cleanly. He drops just 1.0sec to his team-mate. "It's been a nice morning. I've been enjoying it. Here, the new man-made bumps are really nasty but it is the same for everybody. They are on such fast sections."
Fri 10:01 - SS3: Tänak
Oh my word Ott Tänak! He's a lucky man there. Going over a kicker he starts to lose control slightly going into a relatively tight right-hander and he goes up right against the bank. He does no harm though, and reaches the end 7.2sec up on Neuville. He's got some wheel damage on the rear-left. "It was a really big bump and it just threw us off the road. It damaged the wheel as well, it lost me time towards the end."
Fri 09:59 - SS3: Neuville
Thierry also reaches the stop control for this test and he is 3.9sec up. What does he tell Colin Clark at the end of this one? Nicolas Gilsoul is certainly excited as they pull into the stop. "I tried to do a good stage, but I got a huge kick on one of those jumps and almost rolled - I took it a bit steady after that." That explains Nicolas's 'Oo la la" at the end.
Fri 09:56 - SS3: Ogier
The man himself is at the end of the stage now, how did he find the conditions? "It is the worst, we knew it before. I guess this one is going to be hard. I think I will be cleaning again this afternoon."
Fri 09:54 - SS3: Neuville
Thierry is also continuing to take time out of Ogier as the Frenchman continues to sweep the road out front. At the 19.64km mark the Hyundai driver is 4.0sec to the good.
Fri 09:53 - SS3: Lappi
The second Toyota of Esapekka Lappi is onto the stage and he is 1.5sec down on Tänak as it stands as he passes the first split.
Fri 09:53 - SS3: Tänak
No backing off from the ice-cold Estonian - at the 9.2km split he's 4.0sec up on Neuville and 7.1sec up on Ogier.
Fri 09:50 - SS3: Tänak
Quite predictably this season, Ott has set quite a respectable opening split - he's a whole 1.6sec quicker than Neuville.
Fri 09:46 - SS3: Neuville
Five splits keep track of our crews on this 26.68km test and at the first timing point - 4.87km in - Neuville is 1.7sec up.
Fri 09:42 - SS3: Ogier
No messing around this morning, we're already onto the third stage as Ogier releases the handbrake on his Fiesta and gets onto the stage.
Fri 09:40 - Stage info: SS3
Sherwood 1, 26.68km Sherwood begins on a wide uphill road and the opening few kilometres are fast and flowing with plenty of corners requiring full commitment. After 10km the stage narrows and the second half contains the corner where Kris Meeke went off the road 12 months ago. The only stage of the event that is identical to 2017.
Fri 09:36 - WRC 2 standings after SS2
1. A. Heller 13m 55.2sec 2. P. Heller +11.9sec 3. Kremer +18.9sec 4. Linari +2m 06.2sec
Fri 09:35 - SS2: Linari
Gianluca accelerates his Impreza through to the stop control now and he is 1m 07.1sec down.
Fri 09:32 - SS2: A. Heller
Alberto is the faster of the Chileans so far, he's a massive 8.2sec to the good compared to hs brother!
Fri 09:30 - SS2: Kremer
The German is finding his rallying feet again as he tackles his first event of the year. He's 3.2sec down on Heller.
Fri 09:28 - SS2: P. Heller
Pedro is through to the end in his Fiesta and he's set an 8m 50.5sec for the rest of the WRC 2 class to chase down.
Fri 09:28 - SS2: Serderidis
Back on the stage, Jourdan Serderidis - who is Greek - is having his pace notes read in French by Belgian co-driver Lara Vanneste in a decent display of multi-lingual knowledge. Decent time on the board as well from Jourdan, he's 1m 24.0sec down. He says: "Fast and flowing indeed! We don't have the right set-up for this type of this stage, it was better suited to the last one but it is still early days." Big smiles from Jourdan.
Fri 09:25 - WRC standings after SS2
Two Toyotas tied at the top. 1. Lappi 12m 43.0sec =1. Latvala 12m 43.0sec 3. Østberg 2.4sec 4. Paddon 3.1sec 5. Tänak 3.4sec 6. Breen 3.5sec
Fri 09:23 - SS2: Østberg
Here's another driver who has lost time late in the stage. For Mads he's gone from 1.3sec up to 1.5sec down at the line but he's third overall now. "The stage is beautiful but I didn't enjoy it. I was unable to have any rhythm, I don't know why. The car was working and Torstein was doing his job on the notes, I just need to some time to get back into it again."
Fri 09:19 - SS2: Suninen
De Ja Vu here, Teemu Suninen was great on the opening split - to the tune of 1.3sec - but he too has lost some time and eventually reaches the stop control with a deficit of 2.2sec to Latvala. "I tried to keep the car on the line, and I was braking too hard - too aggressively - on a couple of occassions, but quite okay."
Fri 09:17 - SS2: Paddon
Paddon is another driver who a decent start but has started to fade slightly as he reaches the end. At the 5.09km split he was 0.9sec to the good but he's slipped to 1.6sec down - not bad going mind you. "Really struggling for a rhythm this morning, because I've been out of the car for a wee while I'm struggling to gel with the notes and the car. The car itself is fine, it's just me trying to get in sync with the car and the notes."
Fri 09:14 - SS2: Breen
Go on Craig, he was 1.5sec up on Latvala at the first split. He's lost a bit of time as the stage goes on but he crosses the line just 0.5sec off. "Mediocre, I'm struggling with the front of the car to be honest. I can't get the car to work how I want, but at least the time is going in the right direction." Not quite as happy as we thought he might have been, but more to come from Breen
Fri 09:11 - SS2: Evans
Elfyn Evans pops in a decent time here as the sun shines on the Coldwater test - he's fourth fastest, 4.3sec off the pace. He's talking to fellow Welshman Emyr Penlan at stage-end: "All pretty good I think, not perfect everywhere but pretty good."
Fri 09:08 - SS2: Mikkelsen
Hyundai number two comes through and Andreas has lost some time in the latter kilometres of this test - he's 5.3sec off the fastest time. "It was an okay stage, nothing more, nothing less. Could have gone faster, wasn't too efficient. Hope it will be better on the next stage."
Fri 09:05 - SS2: Latvala
Those Yarises are really working this morning, he's 0.4sec up on Lappi at the final split and he crosses the flying finish 1.2sec up on his countryman. He's level on times with Esapekka at the top of the leaderboard. What does he tell Emyr? "The car is working well. I was very happy to drive. One slippy left-hander - a junction where I jumped a bit more than I expected." He's a happy Jari-Matti so far.
Fri 09:02 - SS2: Lappi
Esapekka where is this coming from? He's the first driver to drop below the 8min barrier with a time 2.6sec faster than his team-mate. Good work that man. "To be honest, it didn't feel so good. It was so wide and I was too cautious. I felt like I had a lot of room on every corner. Lot of margin for sure, I can try to go much faster."
Fri 08:59 - SS2: Tänak
The Toyota man takes the fastest time on stage by 2.9sec he's doing his typical performance here - pushing hard but making it looking almost effortless. "The stage was okay, but there is still a bit of cleaning. Definitely not on the limit, still just the second stage." Blimey, when he finally gives it full beans he'll be really going!
Fri 08:56 - SS2: Neuville
The Belgian is through to the stage-end and he's 4.0sec up on Ogier through this test - the gap between them 4.5sec in the standings. He says: "It was a good stage, it is difficult one but I tried to do a clean stage. I saw the lines of Seb, very wide everywhere, I tried to calm it down and be a bit more efficient."
Fri 08:54 - SS2: Tänak
Tänak is doing what he's done so often this season - absolutely dominating. At the 5.09km opening split he's 1.9sec up on Neuville and 2.0sec up on Ogier.
Fri 08:53 - SS2: Ogier
Ogier is through to the end of the stage now and he's talking to Emyr Penlan at stop control. "Good feeling, I push and I cannot really do more than this. The end of the stage is really dry so that will affect the times."
Fri 08:52 - SS2: Neuville
With SS1 in the books for the most part, we'll look in on Coldwater and Neuville is looking good on the splits - on the second he's 1.9sec up on Ogier.
Fri 08:51 - SS1: Linari
Gianluca Linari is through to the end now in his very nice Subaru Impreza. He's dropped 59.1sec to the class leader.
Fri 08:48 - SS1: A. Heller
Pedro's brother Alberto has pushed his brother off the top with a corking time - he's 3.7sec to the good in his Fiesta.
Fri 08:46 - SS1: Kremer
Armin Kremer is through in his Skoda Fabia - very much the dominant car in the championship this season - but he can't topple the Chilean - he's 3.8sec down.
Fri 08:44 - SS1: P. Heller
Pedro Heller is the first of the WRC 2 entries to reach the end of the stage and he sets a 5m 16.6sec for the rest of the category to aim at.
Fri 08:42 - SS1: Serderidis
Back on SS1, Jourdan Serderidis completes the stage in his Fiesta and he's 57.0sec down.
Fri 08:41 - Stage info: SS2
Coldwater 1, 14.12km These roads have not been used for four years and on that occasion they were driven in the opposite direction. Coldwater starts on a wide road and climbs for the opening 5km, with a series of ‘kickers’ to keep drivers alert. The surface becomes smoother after the climbing stops, just as the roads become narrower and more technical.
Fri 08:40 - Stage info: SS2
The second stage is getting underway in 3 minutes, let's see what it has in store...
Fri 08:40 - SS1: Østberg
Blimey, the helicopter shots are showing quite a bit of rain in the forests for our penultimate WRC driver through the stage - Mads Østberg. He was 0.1sec quicker than anyone at the split but he loses time late on, finishing 2.1sec down. "Not a bad start, I struggled a bit in some sections with some understeering. But when it was working it was working nice, but with the two understeerings I made two mistakes in some pretty important corners." That explains the late time loss.
Fri 08:36 - SS1: Suninen
Teemu Suninen rounds out the M-Sport Ford cars through this opening speed test and he is 2.8sec down - decent enough start for the Finn, but lost some time in the second half of the stage. "Feeling was okay, grip was quite high so I could push a little bit harder."
Fri 08:34 - SS1: Paddon
Hayden Paddon is the 10th driver to complete this test, and he's local(ish) the New Zealander powers his way through to stop control 2.7sec down. He says: "No problems, just didn't have a very good rhythm in there. A little under-committed in some placed and over-committed in others."
Fri 08:31 - SS1: Breen
The Irishman is the first of the Citroëns through to the end of the stage and he is 4.2sec off the pace - the slowest through so far.
Fri 08:27 - SS1: Evans
On-boards show Elfyn's got his wipers on in the Fiesta as the rain starts to sprinkle on the stage. That doesn't affect him too much though, he's 2.5sec down on the fastest time as he crosses the flying finish. "It felt not so bad, but maybe a little bit careful - it's the way of the game here unfortunately."
Fri 08:25 - SS1: Mikkelsen
The Norwegian had a strong start here 12 months ago and he's not doing too bad at all on this test. He matches Esapekka's time on the mid-point split but he loses a bit of time towards the end - he's 1.8sec off the pace. He tells Colin: "It was an okay stage, careful in places - first stage just trying to get myself dialled in. Happy enough, happy enough."
Fri 08:22 - SS1: Latvala
Even though we appreciate it's only the first of 24 stages, it's a Toyota 1-2-3 at the moment! Jari-Matti slots himself into third, 1.2sec off his fellow Finn Esapekka. "This stage, we were running this in the shakedown yesterday so it was already pretty clean and we don't have the cleaning effect as much. It was pretty slippy in some places though."
Fri 08:19 - SS1: Lappi
Ott Tänak's Toyota team-mate Esapekka Lappi keeps on lowering the times down as the stage cleans. He's 0.8sec quicker than the Estonian after a cracking opening run. "It was a good start, very clean run. Pretty happy for that. Seems the set-up is good, now we go on a little different kind of surface so I hope it works good there as well." A happy Lappi this morning.
Fri 08:15 - SS1: Tänak
Speed demon Ott Tänak is flying once again - he's 1.3sec up on his fellow championship fighters early doors. He tells Colin: "Feeling is good, the grip is quite high. It is surprising, but the next stage will be a completely different surface."
Fri 08:13 - SS1: Neuville
The next to put a time on the board is Thierry Neuville and he lowers the target time by 0.5sec. "In this stage there is not much difference, in the first kilometre there is a little bit of cleaning. Had a good run, nothing major. There is still margin to improve."
Fri 08:10 - SS1: Ogier
Seb, meanwhile, gets the first stage complete now in a time of 4m 48.1sec and he's talking to Colin Clark at the end of the stage. "I would have wished for a bit more rain for sure, it is quite dry - not optimum."
Fri 08:08 - SS1: Neuville
Bright start from the Belgian, he's 0.4sec faster than Ogier at the 4.11km split.
Fri 08:06 - SS1: Neuville
Thierry Neuville gets his title charge underway as he launches the i20 onto the stage now.
Fri 08:03 - SS1: Go!
Here we go then, get yourself comfy we're going rallying! Sébastien Ogier is powering his way onto the first stage of Rally Australia now.
Fri 08:02 - Stage guide: SS1
Orara East 1, 8.77km Friday morning’s opener is new for 2018 but the roads remain familiar. Some were used in Thursday’s shakedown and others form part of Sunday’s Power Stage. It’s narrow at the start where the surface is very loose, but the roads are generally fast and a chicane has been inserted midway through to reduce speeds. Most of the test is forested.
Fri 07:59 - Tyres:
All the crews have started the day with 5 Michelin medium compound tyres for the morning loop
Fri 07:56 - Start list:
Championship order means Seb goes first: 1. Ogier 2. Neuville 3. Tänak 4. Lappi 5. Latvala 6. Mikkelsen 7. Evans 8. Breen 9. Paddon 10. Suninen 11. Østberg 12. Serderidis
Fri 07:53 - Weather
It’s a wet start to proceedings here in Coffs, and the reports are that the stages are looking damp - could that favour our championship leader starting first on the road?
Fri 07:50 - Today’s itinerary
The day kicks off with a pass of the 8.77km Orara East test, before heading onto Coldwater (14.12km) and Sherwood (26.68km). A service back in the Coffs Harbour service park splits the day up before the three stages are repeated again. Ending the day is two runs of the 1.27km Destination NSW super special stage on the beach front.
Fri 07:47 - WRC 2 crews
Four crews have made the trip out for the WRC 2 support class with brothers Pedro and Alberto Heller in Fiestas, Armin Kremer in a Skoda Fabia R5 and Gianluca Linari is taking part in a Subaru Impreza - his second start of the year after an appearance earlier in the year in Sweden.
Fri 07:44 - Runners and riders
The top WRC class welcomes 12 cars to the Antipodean test. M-Sport Ford has four Fiestas at the event, one each for Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen, as well as an extra entry for 2017 WRC Trophy champion Jourdan Serderidis, who is making his second appearance of the season. Hyundai has three i20s for championship contender Thierry Neuville, with Andreas Mikkelsen and New Zealander Hayden Paddon lining up alongside the Belgian. Toyota also enters three cars with Yarises for Ott Tänak, Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala. Rounding out the entry is the Citroën pairing of Craig Breen and Mads Østberg, who are both in C3s.
Fri 07:41 - What’s happening now?
The gravel rally gets underway in full force today with eight stages set to test the crews - starting at 8.03am local time!
Fri 07:38 - What happened yesterday?
Thursday was focused on the ceremonial start in Coffs Harbour and, of course, shakedown! Sébastien Ogier topped that, his time of 2m 53.8sec 0.2sec quicker than anyone else could manage. Joint second was Andreas Mikkelsen and Ott Tänak, with Thierry Neuville 0.3sec off Ogier in fourth. Craig Breen was fifth with Hayden Paddon the final driver within a second of the fastest stage time in sixth.
Fri 07:35 - Manufacturers’ crown
The third title set to be decided in New South Wales is the manufacturers’ title. A strong second-half of the season has moved Toyota Gazoo Racing into the prime position with 331 points. But with 43 points available for a one-two finish, Hyundai Shell Mobis (319 points) and M-Sport Ford (306 points) are both well in with a chance of snatching the title away from Toyota.
Fri 07:32 - Co-drivers’ title
As well as the drivers, the co-drivers are also fighting for a crown of their own. Ogier’s navigator Julien Ingrassia currently leads the way, with Nicolas Gilsoul second and Martin Järveoja in third.
Fri 07:29 - Drivers’ championship
After 12 rounds spanning the globe, it all comes down to this - 24 stages of action spread over three days. Sébastien Ogier currently holds the top spot but Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville is just three points behind. Ott Tänak is also in with a shot of the title - in just his first season at Toyota - and he is 23 points behind the Frenchman after a sixth-placed finish in Spain.
Fri 07:26 - We’re live
On wrc.com and the WRC app, bringing text updates from down under on a can’t miss season finale as three WRC drivers battle for the title.
Fri 07:23 - G’Day one and all!
It’s finally here, one of the most exciting title deciders in years and it is all going to go down right here at Kennards Hire Rally Australia. We'll be providing a Live Text service for the whole event, so you won't miss a thing.
Fri 06:35 - SS1 ORARA EAST 1
The opening Stage SS1 (8.77 km) starts 08:03 am local time Australia (UTC+11)
Fri 22:28 - Kennards Hire Rally Australia 2018
The ultimate World Rally Championship Battle - watch the 26 min Preview Magazine on wrcplus.com