A day of drama in Wales has seen Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier have to retire after turning his car on ss8 in the morning. The driver who usually performs well on the gravel tracks of Wales Rally GB had been chasing the runner-up position in this year’s drivers championship.
The disaster for Ogier puts privateer Petter Solberg in strong contention for second place in the drivers championship this year. The Norwegian has won in Wales before and looks strong to win if he can out perform Sebastien Loeb tomorrow.
Today Solberg wiped out Loeb’s 1.8-second overnight lead on the morning’s first stage before establishing a 3.2-second advantage of his own.
But Frenchman Loeb, driving a similar Citroen to Solberg, recovered from an earlier spin to storm stage 10 and assert his control after 281.6 kilometers through the Welsh hills.
With nearly 50 miles of competitive rallying still to go, either driver could claim the winner’s laurels when they return to Cardiff Bay for the ceremonial finish at 3.25 tomorrow afternoon.
Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen lies third less than 10 seconds ahead of team-mate and fellow Finn Jari-Matti Latvala while Spanish Citroen driver Dani Sordo is fifth.
Monster’s Ken Block is hoping to restart the rally tomorrow after a broken drivers shaft caused him problems earlier in the day while the best placed Brit in the pack Stobart-Motorsport’s Matt Wilson is seventh in the race at the end of day two.
Further down the field Aberdovey teenager Tom Cave was forced out of the event yesterday with engine failure on his Proton Satria but 17-year-old Osian Pryce from Aberangell continues to lead his class in his Ford Fiesta.
Local boy Jason Pritchard from Builth Wells is fourth in class and 22nd overall in his Subaru Impreza.
As we’ve seen today – anything can happen in rally. We’ll just have to wait and see who’s comes into Cardiff as Wales Rally GB champion after the drivers tackle both the Resolfen and Margam Park stages.