Rally Australia leader, Andreas Mikkelsen hand over the lead to his team-mate after his unexpected exit after a mistake in SS10 left his two tyres damaged. With just one spare in the car meant, retiring from the rally for the day. He enjoyed his start position from the beginning of the rally, while the World Champion and other front runners cleaned the loose gravel off the roads.
Mikkelsen‘s retirement promoted the ranks of the trailing competition, and thereby Kris Meeke who had slipped from 3rd to 4th overall after the opening stage regained his position. The rest of the crews are now heading to mid-day service, who are left another 68.97kms of competition stretch before calling it a day for the final day on Sunday.
Sebastien Ogier is far reach to the podium as his Fiesta WRC had issues with hydraulic gear shift system and had to negotiate with manual shifting, and similar fate to Esapekka Lappi who had power steering issues, both in Friday’s competitive kilometers. Craig Breen‘s pace is very commendable, considering his first outing in the Rally Australia.
Ott Tanak had his own scares on Friday and is getting closer to the podium reach if the leaders slip, then he could take over bot for himself, as well as Malcom Wilson’s wish to finish all the rallies on the podium this season. Still, that is quite a distant dream and as they famously say, “anything can happen”!
Sunday action consists of 5 stages, with a total of 64.64kms including the power-stage.