Gaurav Gill leads Malaysian Rally - Day 1 | APRC - 2013

Rally Malaysia, the 4th round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship kick-started at Angsana complex early Friday. With a single 2.5 km short stage, the competition begun and it was Gaurav Gill in his Team MRF Skoda Fabia who took the early lead. His team-mate the Finn Esapekka Lappi finished second.

As expected the rain had made the road surface very slippery, leaving the competitors struggling for grip in the tight and muddy corners. However the opening shorter stage proved of things to come in the next set of stages, in the Tai Tak Plantation tomorrow.

In two-wheel-drive category Michael Young in his Cusco Toyota Vitz will battle with  Hiroshi Asakura in a Proton Satria Neo.

Tomorrow the action shifts north of the capital, Johor Bahru, over seven stages over 130 kilometres of closed special stages early in the morning. See you there!


Results courtesy []
1 2 Gaurav Gill IND
Skoda Fabia S2000 00:02:15.2
2 1 Esapekka Lappi FIN
Skoda Fabia S2000 00:02:20.4
3 3 Yuya Sumiyama JPN
Subaru Impreza 4WD 00:02:23.7
4 6 Shuhei Muta JPN
Subaru Impreza 4WD 00:02:36.2
5 5 Tomohide Hasegawa JPN
Mitsubishi Lancer 4WD 00:02:52.6
6 8 Michael Young NZL
Toyota Vitz RS 00:02:52.9
7 7 Horishi Asakura JPN
Proton Satria Neo 00:02:56.2
8 4 Sanjay Takle IND
Subaru Impreza 4WD 00:02:56.6
9 9 Chaiyan Longton THA
Suzuki Swift 00:03:03.4
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Latvala leads, as Ogier crashed on Day 2 - ADAC Rally Germany | WRC - 2013

Sebastien Ogier - the overnight leader, lead the pack on day 2 of ADAC Rally Deutschland, as the event moved towards the vineyard roads on the north-eastern country side of the Trier, Germany. Although it rained in the morning on the stages, it dried up considerably soon after sometime.

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
1.7J. LATVALA1:38:
2.11T. NEUVILLE1:38:11.4+7.3+7.3
3.2M. HIRVONEN 1:38:30.4+19.0+26.3
4.3D. SORDO1:38:51.7+21.3+47.6
5.4M. ÖSTBERG1:40:16.4+1:24.7+2:12.3
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ADAC Rally Germany - Day 1 | WRC - 2013, Ogier is the Leader !

Opening day of ADAC Rallye Deutschland [i.e., Rally Germany as most of us know] being the first of the proper tarmac rally of the WRC season, was also the home event of Volkswagen Motorsport. The grand ceremonial flag off was held in the city of Cologne in front of the historic Cathedral, late in the afternoon. 

Evening was the time for the real action and it began with SS1, where Sebastien Ogier started the rally and also took the stage win, nearly 5s ahead of his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala. Qatar M-Sport's Thierry Neuville showed his pace here as he did in Finland and was third quickest. Sordo & Mikko, the Citroen boys finished in 4th and 5th respectively. Almost everyone experienced lack of grip and complained of understeer, however the Russian Evgeny Novikov crashed in the stage and thus ended his rally at the beginning on the opening day.

The brilliant itinerary accommodated SS2 en-route [a few kilometers down the road from the end of SS1], which ended almost near to the Service Park in Trier, Germany. The stage results were virtually the same of the first one and it just parted the gap with the top 5.

Today's stages were mostly over the plains, however tomorrow's [Friday] action shifts to the tight and fast roads around the vineyard. It is surely going to be a good fight with the VW boys and the tarmac loving drivers.

Pos     No         Driver                       Time            Diff / Prev     Diff / 1st
1.8S. OGIER19:
2.7J. LATVALA19:38.9+5.7+5.7
3.11T. NEUVILLE19:45.9+7.0+12.7
4.3D. SORDO19:53.7+7.8+20.5
5.2M. HIRVONEN19:58.9+5.2+25.7

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