Ogier leads as rivals keep title race alive


Sebastien Ogier stayed comfortably in charge of the Rally of France on Saturday but he may have to wait a little longer to claim a fourth successive world title.

The Volkswagen driver was 46 seconds ahead of Belgian rival Thierry Neuville in a Hyundai and 1min 08sec in front of teammate Andreas Mikkelsen.

If Neuville finishes on the podium in Corsica on Sunday and if Mikkelsen comes home in the top eight then Ogier will have to wait until the next race, the Rally of Catalonia, in two weeks’ time to take the title.

Ogier has never won in Corsica where the testing, mountainous conditions have led to the race being dubbed “The rally of 10,000 bends”.

“It was a good day,” said Ogier, who is just 64km away from breaking his duck in the event.

“I just wanted to finish the day in the tricky conditions. There is still a big special stage ahead of us (stage nine on Sunday is 53km), but it’s the last big challenge that awaits us this weekend.”

Standings after second day:

1. Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/VW Polo-R) 2h32:12.8, 2. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) at 46.5, 3. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger (NOR/VW Polo-R) 1:08.0, 4. Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (FIN/VW Polo-R) 1:41.3, 5. Craig Breen-Scott Martin (IRL-GBR/Citroën DS3) 2:04.9, 6. Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (NZL/Hyundai i20) 2:42.7, 7. Dani Sordo-Marc Marti (ESP/Hyundai i20) 3:03.9, 8. Eric Camilli-Benjamin Veillas (FRA/Ford Fiesta RS) 4:18.2, 9. Mads Ostberg-Ola Floene (NOR/Ford Fiesta RS) 5:10.5, 10. Elfyn Evans-Craig Parry (GBR/Ford Fiesta R5) 5:47.0

Stage winners: Ogier 6 (SS1 to SS4, SS6 dead-heat, SS7), Meeke 1 (SS5), Mikkelsen 1 (SS6 dead-heat), Neuville 1 (SS8)

© 2016 AFP

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