The Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville completed the first day of the Rally Poland in the leading position with a minimal advantage over Ott Tanaka and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Winning two of the last full stage of the day, the Belgian took the lead with a margin of 1.5 seconds. Spectator special stage Mikolajki Arena, completing the day, Neville became only the third, but this result he had to stay ahead of the winner СУ10 Tanaka 1.3 seconds.
“I knew that starting position on Saturday will be very important, so try to be a leader,” commented Neville.
Tanak, in contrast to the leader, has not won in a day nor a single stage, with the exception of the spectator stage, but the winner of the Rally Sardinia, showed steady pace throughout the route and was ahead by 5.3 seconds nearest rival Latvala.
“Tomorrow will be key, said the Estonian after the finish. – The majority of Saturday’s special stages were laid on the new route. We are waiting for the long and challenging stages. If the weather is just like today, everything is possible!”
Latvala, who led after the morning section, in changeable conditions in the afternoon could not find the right pace, in particular, due to mismatched settings, and dropped to third place.
At least racer Toyota for almost half a minute ahead of the fourth of Sebastien Ogier.
Throughout the day four-time world champion, opens the track, complained about the handling problems, difficulties in the choice of the trajectory in wet conditions. After lunch, on any special stage, the Frenchman did not rise above the seventh position, so ended the day with a gap of 35 seconds from the leader
“I acted to the limit and attacked with all his strength. We need to analyze why I couldn’t go faster. I was hoping that the day will go better, – said Ogier. – At the end of the day I cracked the windshield, so I didn’t see anything. Difficult the end of a difficult day.”
Only 4.5 seconds lost to Ogier the Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon. After the kiwi day made up his teammate Dani Sordo.
Debutant M-Sport, Teemu Suninen sprang a surprise by winning CY7, and became the seventh.
“Oh, really?” – Finn reacted to the news of the first victory in the WRC special stage.
Eighth place was taken by Juho Hanninen, who plays for Toyota. In the battle for ninth place best of the Citroen drivers stéphane Lefebvre ahead of Mads Ostberg.
|1.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai Motorsport||56.21,2|
|2.||Ott Tanak||M-Sport World Rally Team||+1,3|
|3.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+6,6|
|4.||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport World Rally Team||+35,1|
|5.||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai Motorsport||+39,6|
|6.||Dani Sordo||Hyundai Motorsport||+51,7|
|7.||Teemu Suninen||M-Sport World Rally Team||+1.11,0|
|8.||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+1.28,9|
|9.||Stéphane Lefebvre||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+1.37,0|
|10.||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport World Rally Team||+1.42,7|
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