Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle strengthened their hold on second place as the rain lashed down on day two of Wales Rally GB.
Second overall this morning, Kris Meeke set off on roads that the heavy rain had left sodden. Although he began by cutting the gap to rally leader Sébastien Ogier, the Northern Irishman was above all focused on consolidating his position and keeping ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen. He ended today’s long second leg 24.7 seconds clear of the third-placed driver.
Mads Østberg picked up a puncture on SS8, dropping a place in the overall standings. He quickly regained fourth position from Dani Sordo, before then running into trouble on Dyfnant 1. After going off and becoming stuck in a ditch, the Nordic crew had to wait for spectators to come to their assistance before they could get away again. With almost two minutes lost, they finished the leg in eighth position.
Following a very emotional night for the entire team, our thoughts were obviously with the victims of the Paris attacks.
Still weak after suffering flu symptoms yesterday, Stéphane Lefebvre upped his pace throughout the day. The reigning FIA Junior WRC champion even managed a sixth fastest time on Chirk Castle, ending Saturday’s leg in ninth position.
In the FIA Junior WRC, the Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby held onto the lead, ahead of British driver Chris Ingram and the Frenchman Terry Folb.
The final leg of Wales Rally GB features four stages. After leaving the service park at 7am, the crews will tackle Brenig, Alwen and Great Orme before completing a second run on Brenig, the final test and also the Power Stage. The rally is scheduled to finish just before 2pm.
Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “Following a very emotional night for the entire team, our thoughts were obviously with the victims of the Paris attacks. Although it may seem somewhat incidental given the terrible circumstances, we still have to keep going after our target, which is to secure the runner-up spot for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team in the World Manufacturers’ Championship.”
Kris Meeke: “We had a strong day, despite the difficult conditions. We are focused on our goal of finishing second in the manufacturers’ championship, so I tried hard to consolidate my position without taking any risks. We know it’ll still be very hard tomorrow.”
Mads Østberg: “We had started at a good pace this morning, but after a puncture and minor off, we now have to look at the race from a different perspective. We really have to be careful now to make sure we bring home important points for second place in the manufacturers’ standings.”
Stéphane Lefebvre: “We improved a lot today, getting a bit closer to the times of the leaders. I learned a lot on the night stages and I really enjoyed myself in the DS 3 WRC. The atmosphere was amazing and I’m going to try and push tomorrow!”