Ogier crashes out of dramatic Rally Turkey

Ogier crashes out of dramatic Rally Turkey
By AutoSport

17/09/2018 at 17:29

Sebastien Ogier has crashed out of Rally Turkey leg two, losing a perfect chance to capitalise on World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville's earlier retirement.

Ogier had started the Yesilbelde stage fourth and 46.1 seconds off the lead he had lost when a heavy landing during the morning broke his M-Sport Ford's front-right wishbone.

He achieved a rapid repair and went quickest on the final stage before service despite having only three-wheel drive due to driveshaft damage, but fell to fourth thanks to a one-minute penalty for arriving at the stage late.

When the rally resumed after service with its longest stage, Ogier had already gained 31s on rally leader Andreas Mikkelsen - who had problems of his own - before he went off.

Autosport understands there was no significant damage to Ogier and Julien Ingrassia's Ford Fiesta WRC, bar a small impact to a door, but they became beached off the road at the tight right-hander when they had crashed.

With no spectators around to help them got going away, they had to retire.

Ogier had the opportunity to chip away at the 23-point deficit to Neuville - who suffered broken suspension on Saturday morning - and now powerstage points will likely be the only chance for both drivers to score.

The order was further shaken-up on SS11 by leader Mikkelsen hitting trouble.

His Hyundai kept stalling in slow-speed corners and he appeared to have a puncture and only rear-wheel drive.

Mikkelsen fell to fourth, and Toyota is now running first and second with Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala, 13s apart.

That is despite Tanak reporting his car to be "more or less undriveable" and Latvala working on hydraulic issues.

Tanak is now in prime position to gain in the championship. Winner of the last two rallies, he started this weekend 36 points behind Neuville.

Hayden Paddon moves onto the podium ahead of Mikkelsen and Teemu Suninen, who jumps the hamstrung Craig Breen.

Breen suffered from smoke in the cockpit of his Citroen C3 WRC, with he and co-driver Scott Martin stopping twice on stage, struggling to see, as they limped the car to the stage end.

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