Its been a dramatic day in Finland. With Novikov going off the stage, turning left instead of right after a crest and crashed into some logs. Damaging the car, with front end missing, and the bonnet stuck up over the windscreen. The russian still continued on, despite lack of visibility. But the time lost meant that Meeke (next on the road) was stuck behind Novikov. Meeke lost time and took some damage from stones thrown up into the screen from Novikov’s car. Meeke was fuming at stage end.
Several drivers had punctures, and Fin Mikko Hirvonen went off and was lucky not to roll the car. A bit of damage but made it to the end of the day. Mikkelsen is now out of the rally after he lost a wheel.
The one man who avoided trouble and is now in the lead is Volkswagens Sebastien Ogier. After taking it easy at the start and taking his time to build up speed, he pushed when he was comfortable, and backed off when he was unsure, and the Frenchman’s tactics paid off, he now has a 36 second lead going into Day 3.
After SS14, Ogier leads ahead of final Super special, Neuville +36.3, Østberg +38.2, Hirvonen +59.7, Meeke +1:32.7.
Sébastien Ogier 11:23.1 “Really good. It was not so easy, some place were really slippy this afternoon. We had a good rhythm, very happy with this afternoon. Still long tomorrow so for sure it is not over.”
Thierry Neuville 11:27.2 – Left rear tyre has been half pushed off the rim “I had to be careful in many places not to puncture the tyre. It has been a tough afternoon. So far no mistake from our side, I have to be very careful but I made it through.”
Mads Ostberg 11:48.9 – Front left tyre off the rim, broken rim, tyre not punctured “Unbelievable now, just a lottery…”
Mikko Hirvonen 11:39.9 “There is something wrong, I do not have any confidence in the rear, especially on the left hand corners, the car is sliding all the time.”
Kris Meeke 11:35.2 “We hit a massive rock in the rut and we went into a wheelie… I am happy. This is the best hard day I have ever had, the car is incredible.”
Evgeny Novikov 11:56.7 “I saw his wheel, it was not in the way. Everything okay. We are just running and checking our pace notes for next year. The second section on any stages, we are driving quite fast and pushing but the times are not there, it is quite strange.”
Andreas Mikkelsen 12:15.3 – Finishes with his left rear wheel missing “I hit nothing, suddenly there was a small vibration and suddenly the wheel flew off… The wheel just fell off, I don’t know why…”
Dani Sordo 11:44.9 “It was really rough, different conditions, more gravel, more grip. It’s okay, I am
Jarkko Nikara 11:41.4 “It was quite good, it was not so bad condition, of course there was some rocks.”
PG Andersson 11:52.4 “Feels okay, but I am still far from good. Too soft, still moving too much (set-up)”
Jari-Matti Latvala 11:27.8 “So far we have our clearest day and this last stage I really enjoyed it, there was a bit of rough but not as bad as the last two stages. ”
Quotes from World Rally Radio