Citroën’s Sébastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi were the class of the field on the second full day of Rally Turkey and managed their pace to preserve their tyres and secure a comfortable first and second in the overall standings after 13 special stages.
Lappi started the day with a 17.7 second advantage over the six-time World Champion, but the Frenchman pulled off a brave and canny tyre choice for the longer stage at the start of the morning. The duo became embroiled in a fascinating tussle, until Ogier grabbed the lead in SS12 when Lappi stalled under braking for a downhill hairpin.
Ogier takes a lead of just 0.2s into the night halt and is on course for a 47th career WRC win and a first since Mexico in early March.
Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen delivered impressive stage times throughout the day and conserved his tyres to hold third overall, once his team-mate and Ogier’s title rival Thierry Neuville lost his way in the dust on the first stage of the morning, slid off the road and slipped down the rankings to eighth at the night halt. Mikkelsen now finds himself 1min17.1s behind the rally leader.
In what developed into a dramatic morning on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, FIA WRC leader Ott Tänak suffered a ECU failure on the road section to SS9 and was sidelined, his demise throwing the title race wide open.
M-Sport Ford’s Teemu Suninen finished the day in a strong fourth and closed the gap on Mikkelsen to just 9.8 seconds at the end of the leg.
Spaniard Dani Sordo managed to fend off the challenge from the Toyotas of both Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke to reach the Asparan Service Park in fifth overall. Meeke survived a late scare when the Yaris snapped sideways due to a lack of grip and slid off the road to hand sixth position to his team-mate.
Suninen’s team-mate Pontus Tidemand was classified in ninth and FIA WRC 2 front-runner Kajetan Kajetanowicz rounded off the Top 10.
A flat tyre and then a second puncture on his Škoda Fabia R5 Evo cost long-standing FIA WRC 2 Pro leader Jan Kopecký crucial time and gifted the advantage England’s Gus Greensmith. The Ford Fiesta R5 driver reached the end of the leg with a lead of 1min00.07s. Series leader Kalle Rovanperä returned to action today after a series of punctures blighted his progress on Friday and held third.
Behind the dominant Kajetanowicz from Poland, Bolivian driver Marco Bulacia and Italy’s Fabio Andolfi were second and third in FIA WRC 2.
2019 Rally Turkey – Unofficial results after Section 5:
|1. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA)||Citroën C3 WRC||3hr 20min 12.0sec|
|2. Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN)||Citroën C3 WRC||3hr 20min 12.2sec|
|3. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) / Anders Jaeger-Amland (NOR)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 21min 29.1sec|
|4. Teemu Suninen (FIN) / Marko Salminen (FIN)||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 21min 38.9sec|
|5. Dani Sordo (SPA) / Carlos Del Barrio (SPA)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 22min 36.7sec|
|6. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Mikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 23min 26.4sec|
|7. Kris Meeke (GBR) / Sebastian Marshall (GBR)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 23min 41.5sec|
|8. Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 24min 50.2sec|
|9. Pontus Tidemand (SWE) / Ola Floene (NOR)||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 27min 07.8sec|
|10. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL) / Maciej Szczepaniak (POL)||Škoda Fabia R5||3hr 33min 04.5sec|