WRC | Ogier takes a commanding lead in Catalunya

2015 World Rally Championship | RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada

Written by Michael Vettas | Images by Michael Vettas and André Lavadinho

Rally de España 2015  | Shakedown and Heat 1

Today heralds the start of RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada, the only mixed surface event of the championship and marks the second last round for 2015.

News

Hyundai Motorsport has just announced they have extended Hayden Paddon’s contract for a further three years. This will see the New Zealander continue with Hyundai as a WRC driver until 2019.

Shakedown

The official shakedown of the event saw Hayden Paddon and Robert Kubica tie for line honours with most suggesting this could be the event where either driver performs at their best, although time will tell.

Day 1

The first day of the event saw teams mainly on gravel stages south of the service park which is held in the tourist coastal town of Salou.

The official start and first stage was held on Thursday night in the capital city of Barcelona, a 3.3km sprint around many famous monuments in this amazing city.

Ogier showed his dominance yet again setting an early pace and putting in the fastest time.

Heat 1 Friday consisted of four gravel stages run twice, a total of 128km of competitive stages and 300km of liaison.



As he has done all year, Ogier will again start first on the slippery conditions as he sweeps the road for the rest of the field.

Mads Ostberg was the early leader with Hayden Paddon after first stage.

The star of the morning however was Robert Kubica leading the rally after four stages, followed by Ostberg and Paddon in third however it would be short lived.

On stage five Kubica had two flat tyres losing seven places to lose top spot to Ogier followed by Latvala in second only .8sec behind with Tanak in third 2.5seconds further adrift.

By the end of the day Ogier had eclipsed all his competitors by almost 7seconds, stretching his lead of the event by 4 seconds over Latvala with Tanak remaining in third a further 11.3seconds behind.

The remainder of the weekend will see competitors compete on tarmac stages. With Ogier leading and not having to sweep any dirt road stages, this gives him now a distinct advantage to increase his lead and make moves to win yet another round of the championship.

Next Round

The next round of the championship moves to the European mainland and RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada just outside of Barcelona, Spain 22nd to 25th October, 2015.

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