Rally Poland got underway this afternoon in Mikolajki with a short leg featuring three stages.
With the shakedown, press conference and autograph-signing session, the day got off to a busy start for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Team’s crews. But at 3.30pm, it was time to head off and tackle the opening three stages of Rally Poland.
Kris Meeke wasted no time in getting to grips with the very quick Polish roads in his Citroën DS3 WRC. Never out of the top 5, he ended this short opening leg in the top three.
Just behind him, Mads Østberg stayed in touch on each stage, arriving back at the service park in fifth place.
In the WRC2, Sébastien Chardonnet and Thibault De la Haye were also among the leaders. In the new Citroën DS3 R5, they ended the day in sixth place in the category.
Winner of the first round of the FIA Junior WRC, Stéphane Lefebvre got off to the best start in Poland in the Citroën DS3 R3. After SS3, he leads from Martin Koci and Simone Tempestini.
Mads Østberg: “I’m not far off 100%, but you need to be at 101% on these stages! That’s what I’ll be aiming to do tomorrow, because I know I can do it. I think we can improve the set-up a bit more with the technical team.”
Kris Meeke: “We didn’t think that the stages would be quite so fast. As a result, we sometimes ended up being a gear higher than what we had marked in the pace notes. I’m pleased with how I have started the race. It was still very slippery, although there wasn’t any real sweeping this afternoon.”
Sébastien Chardonnet: My feelings were relatively good in the car and I felt confident. We need to rack up more road time to improve our consistency. The Citroën DS3 R5 is working really well. If we hadn’t run off a bit into a field on SS2, we would have been very close to the leaders.”
STANDINGS AFTER SS3
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 17:49.2
2. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2.8
3. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +7.0
4. Juho Hänninen / Tomi Tuominen (Hyundai i20 WRC) +7.8
5. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +8.9
6. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +21.1
7. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +23.2
8. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +23.5
9. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +29.4
10. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +31.0…