VIDEO | WRC Rallye de France-Alsace Competition Day 1

World Rally Championship | Rallye de France-Alsace Competition Day 1

Article and Images by – Michael Vettas

MyDrive | WRC – Rallye de France-Alsace - Day one of competition had the teams travel 100 kilometres south of the Zenith Service Park at Strasbourg Centre to race over the first three stages of Rally de France.

The first stage Col de la Charboniere, is 11.11 kms long and proved a challenge for some drivers, although not for the Volkswagen Motorsport team who placed first, second and third.

Latvala crossed the line in first place with the best time of 5min 34.9 sec to gain a narrow lead over team mate and current WRC Champion Ogier, by 0.3sec.  Mikkelsen kept them both honest crossing the line in third, but only 0.2sec further back.

However, this success for the Volkswagen trio would change dramatically after the second and third stages.

Mechanical  failure would enter the equation for Ogier during his run on Stage Two. Ogier reported gear selection issues, which was later diagnosed as a faulty gearbox sensor.  Although by the time he was delivered this news, the damage to his slender lead had already been done.

Ogier slipped down the leader board with the loss of four minutes across the stage. Sadly, his problems didn’t end there with Ogier’s co-driver, Julien Ingrassia, checking them into Stage Three early  earning them another penalty.

The four minutes lost in Stage Two, plus the four minute penalty for checking in early saw Ogier slip from first place to 30th, effectively spelling an early end to their French campaign.

Images by Michael Vettas

With the sun setting on Day One of Rally de France, Ogier is a massive 8min 50sec behind Rallye de France leader and Volkswagen Motorsport team mate, Jari-Matti Latvala with Andreas Mikkelsen pushing hard to bridge the 8.5sec gap in second place.

Citroen’s Kris Meeke continues to impress in third place at 22.7sec behind Mikklesen. “I’m happy with my drive, really enjoying it, but, Jari-Matti was bloody fast in here, crazy!” commented Meeke.

“I’m 2nd fastest again, and 2nd overall, I have to be happy” – continued Meeke for Citroën Motorsport.

Day Two will prove just as difficult for the teams as they cover 125 kms over seven special stages.

MyDrive | WRC Day 1 Stage Winners WRC Rallye de France

MyDrive | WRC Day 1 Stage Winners WRC Rallye de France

MyDrive | WRC Day 1 Overall Results Rallye de France

MyDrive | WRC Day 1 Overall Results Rallye de France

Stay tuned to MyDrive for more action from Rallye de France.

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