As always a calm and confident looking Ogier took the day's first stage start, about 5km into the SS3 under-estimates the wetness lurking right at the braking point, skids off the road into a ditch, hitting a stepped surface in the process and damages his left-front suspension. Getting the car back on the road and a temporary repair cost him dearly, and during so, those looses vital minutes, but manages to limp out of the stage.
Jari-Matti Latvala passes him in the stage, so did Thierry Neuville who also out-timed JML to claim the stage win. Ogier dropping from the quest of rally winning chances, promotes the down-order in one each step up towards the top position. Daneil Sordo & Mikko Hirvonen is elevated to 3rd and 4th overall in the process. PG Andersson too falls victim to the opening stage and damages right-rear suspension of his Fiesta RS, and retires.
In the following stage, SS4 Moselland 1, the limping Polo R breaks down and puts Ogier into the retirement list. The young Belgian Neuville surprises once more with his pace and sets another fastest time to claim the stage win. Latvala & Sordo fall a tad shorter in few seconds.
SS8 Grafschaft 1 [19.94km] was the next stage to tackle before the mid-day service break, for many of the cars and here too Neuville showed his pace and clinched a straight 3 consecutive stage win with this one too! Latvala, Sordo, Mikko & Mads Ostberg were the next quick finishers on the top 5 list.
With the cars & crews refreshed with the break, the rally returned to the repitition of the morning loops. Once again it was Thierry fast pace that pretty much shocked most of us, Latvala returned much confident out of the first noon stage and soon finished quicker than everyone on the remainder of the next two stages to end the day. "Car is lovely, I really like driving it.," says JML with a smile.
Neuville slips 7.3s overall at the end of SS8, explains "a lot of the stage I was maximum flat out...I cannot do more actually....when I see the splits I am a little frustrated." Mikko looked almost plain, but says, "I'm happy with the pace I had today. Rally still long and things can happen."
Overall top5 at the end of day 2.
|Pos||No||Driver||Time||Diff / Prev||Diff / 1st|