Corsica WRC: Ogier stretches lead, Meeke crashes out

Sebastien Ogier stretched his Rally Corsica lead during Saturday morning's pair of stages, adding almost a further 10 seconds to his advantage over nearest rival Thierry Neuville.

Corsica WRC: Ogier stretches lead, Meeke crashes out

The morning began with 53.7km La Porta-Valle di Rostino test, which was won by a recovering Meeke after the Citroen driver dropped out of victory contention with a puncture on Friday.

The Ulsterman won the stage by a commanding 17 seconds from Andreas Mikkelsen, with Ogier a further 0.3s back in third - and 8.6s up on the Hyundai of Neuville.

Starting the day with 44 seconds in hand over the Belgian, Ogier's lead was up to 52.6s at the end of SS5 before the Frenchman gained another second on SS6 to grow his cushion to 53.6s.

Mikkelsen equalled Volkswagen teammate Ogier's winning time on the 30.8km Novella-Pietralba stage after surviving a scare involving some cows on the stage.

"We hit something a couple of times on the inside and feared we'd punctured but all was okay," said Mikkelsen, who moved ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala for third in the process.

"We saw some cows going into a blind corner on the entry and was expecting the worst. But we kept our foot at full throttle and it was okay."

Meeke's day however came to an end on SS6 as he hit a tree early on in the stage. Both he and co-driver Paul Nagle emerged from the impact unharmed.

That left Craig Breen as Citroen's sole representative in fifth place, 1m30s off the lead but some 40 seconds ahead of Hayden Paddon in the second Hyundai.

Eric Camilli lies seventh in the best of the M-Sport Fords, followed by Sordo - another driver to suffer a puncture on Friday - and lead WRC2 driver Elfyn Evans.

UPDATE: Citroen has confirmed that Meeke will rejoin the rally on Sunday under Rally2 rules.

Standings after SS6:

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. FRA Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen 2:32:12.8
2. BEL Thierry Neuville Hyundai +53.6
3. NOR Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen +59.0
4. FIN Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen +1:13.8
5. IRL Craig Breen Citroen +1:30.7
6. NZL Hayden Paddon Hyundai +2:10.1
7. FRA Eric Camilli Ford +2:57.2
8. ESP Dani Sordo  Hyundai +2:59.1
9. GBR Elfyn Evans Ford +3:48.8
10. NOR Mads Ostberg Ford +3:56.2
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Corsica WRC: Ogier completes Friday sweep, Meeke hits trouble

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