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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Rnd 7 - Rally Poland June30 - July3



Official Website: rajdpolski.pl/en

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Thursday: Shakedown


Sebastien Ogier proved fatherhood hasn’t slowed him by topping an incredibly close shakedown at PZM 73rd Rally Poland on Thursday morning.



The Frenchman, whose wife Andrea gave birth to Tim following the previous round in Italy, went fastest on his fourth and final run in the 3.38km Lubiewo stage, close to the rally base in Mikolajki.

Just four-tenths of a second covered the leading four cars. Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen was second, 0.1sec behind Ogier, with Hyundai i20 drivers Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon next up.

Ott Tanak twice topped the times in his Ford Fiesta RS before Mikkelsen and finally Ogier moved to the front over sandy but blisteringly fast roads of the type which characterise this event.

“There are many sections where you are full throttle for a long time. It’s demanding for the engine and the times in the shakedown suggest the rally will be very close,” said Ogier.

“It’s another kind of driving compared to the previous round in Italy, and you need even more commitment here. I knew I would need the shakedown because I skipped the test before the event, but after a few passes in shakedown I feel good in the car so I’m ready to start.”

Dani Sordo was fifth and Jari-Matti Latvala completed the top six, the Finn only 1.0sec behind team-mate Ogier.

The start was delayed after fans refused to comply with organisers' requests to move from dangerous viewing positions. It was briefly halted after a handful of cars for similar reasons before continuing to its conclusion with no further hold-ups.

click: wrc.com/poland-shakedown



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Discussion Starter #2
SS1 Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena -1 (2.50 km)

Thierry Neuville started his bid for back-to-back WRC victories in perfect fashion when he won Thursday evening’s opening speed test at PZM 73rd Rally Poland.



The Belgian, who scored his second career victory in Italy earlier this month, defeated S?bastien Ogier in the headline heat at the Mikolajki Arena special stage to take an overnight lead of two-tenths of a second in his Hyundai i20.

Thousands of fans watched as drivers competed head-to-head around the sweeping curves of the purpose-built test on the edge of Mikolajki and Neuville distanced FIA World Rally Championship leader Ogier by four-tenths of a second to claim the early advantage.

“I tried to be smooth and take care of the tyres because we need them later in the rally,” said Neuville. “The surface was abrasive and it was also more slippery than I thought. I wasn’t totally happy with my driving, but beating Seb is always good.”

Volkswagen Polo R pilot Andreas Mikkelsen claimed second by beating Dani Sordo in their duel, while Ott T?nak completed the top three after his Ford Fiesta RS outpaced Hayden Paddon. The Estonian was 0.1sec behind Mikkelsen and the same margin ahead of Ogier.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth in another Polo R and St?phane Lefebvre rounded off the top six in Citro?n’s DS 3. The leading sextet was covered by just 0.9sec.

Friday’s first full day comprises two identical loops of four stages north-east of Mikolajki before a second pass around the arena test. Drivers fire up their engines at 06.30 CEST and face 119.42km of action before returning for the overnight halt.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss1



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Discussion Starter #3
Friday:

SS2 Chmielewo -1 (6.52 km)




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SS3 Wieliczki -1 (17.30 km)

SS2/3: Mikkelsen moves ahead in Poland.


Andreas Mikkelsen claimed the lead of PZM 73rd Rally Poland after Friday morning’s opening two speed tests.



Mikkelsen, who was second after last night’s curtain-raising test in Mikolajki, was fourth in the short blast through Chmielowo before scoring a comfortable win in the following Wieliczki in his Volkswagen Polo R.

It gave him a 3.6sec advantage over Ott Tanak, who won Chmielowo in a Ford Fiesta RS to put his DMACK team into the lead of a WRC event for the first time.

However, Mikkelsen’s progress wasn’t without a scare. “There was a huge rock in the middle of the road and I tried to hit it with the middle of the car. I was so afraid it was ‘Sardinia 2’ but it seems OK so far,” explained the Norwegian, who was sidelined from the previous round in Italy following a similar incident.

The sandy gravel roads began to deteriorate after the passage of just a handful of cars. “It’s super soft now. We’re carrying two spare wheels and that time is all I can do at the moment,” Tanak said at the finish of Wieliczki.

Hayden Paddon topped the rankings in SS2 and fourth in the following test left the Kiwi in third place in his Hyundai i20, four-tenths of a second behind Tanak. Sebastien Ogier was a further 0.4sec back in fourth, the Frenchman pleasantly surprised by the amount of grip from his position as road opener.

The top six was completed by Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville, Sardinia winner Neuville another to express concern about the conditions.

“I miss power like hell because the road is getting softer and slower. It’s taking away the power and it’s not possible for me to go faster,” said the Belgian.

Dani Sordo dropped a handful of seconds after sliding wide in a fast SS2 corner in his i20, Henning Solberg struggled with an intercom system that only worked intermittently and Craig Breen complained of understeer in his DS 3.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss3[/URL]



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SS4 Swietajno -1 (21.14 km)



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SS5 Stare Juchy -1 (13.50 km)

SS4/5: Narrow lead for Mikkelsen.


Andreas Mikkelsen held a slender lead at PZM 73rd Rally Poland after Friday morning’s speed tests as Hayden Paddon and Ott Tanak piled on the pressure at the top of the leaderboard.

Mikkelsen was second fastest in both the Swietajno and Stare Juchy tests to return to service in Mikolajki with a 2.6sec advantage in his Volkswagen Polo R.

Victory for Paddon in Stare Juchy allowed the Kiwi to climb to second in his Hyundai i20, 3.4sec clear of Tanak, who claimed his second stage win of the morning in the previous test.

Mikkelsen was disappointed with his performance in the final test of the loop. “It wasn’t so good for me. All the other stages were really good but this one just wasn’t the same. But it’s not been a bad morning,” said the Norwegian, who is bidding for a second WRC career win.

Paddon was hampered by understeer and promised there was more to come when the stages are repeated. “We have plenty of things to improve on this afternoon,” he said.

Tanak struggled for grip on the dry and sandy roads in the second part of Stare Juchy but the Estonian was delighted to live up to pre-event predictions for a strong performance.

Sebastien Ogier was fourth in a Polo R. The Frenchman was 9.3sec off the lead but no doubt disappointed that the rain forecast for this morning had not materialised to ease the challenge posed by starting first on the sandy tracks.

Thierry Neuville was concerned about the front left damper on his i20, but the Belgian was fifth ahead of an out-of-sorts Jari-Matti Latvala. The Finn struggled to find a good feeling in his Polo R and lost several seconds with a front right puncture in Swietajno.

Stephane Lefebvre was 0.1sec behind Latvala in seventh, despite overshooting a junction in his DS 3. Team-mate Craig Breen was eighth with M-Sport duo Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg completing the leaderboard. Ostberg struggled for pace all morning and went off the road in Stare Juchy when pushing too hard.

click: [URL="http://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/news/july-2016/poland-ss5/page/3682--12-12-.html"]wrc.com/poland-ss5




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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
SS6 Chmielewo -2 (6.52 km)



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SS7 Wieliczki -2 (17.30 km)

SS6/7: Tanak closes on Poland lead

Ott Tanak closed to within a whisker of the lead at PZM 73rd Rally Poland after opening Saturday afternoon’s action with two special stage wins.



He topped the timesheets in deteriorating road conditions through the repeat of the short Chmielewo and the following Wieliczki tests to relegate Hayden Paddon from second and move to within 0.3sec of leader Andreas Mikkelsen.

“I was on the door handles in the first one, I gave it absolutely everything,” said Ford Fiesta RS driver Tanak. “The next one was another tricky stage, and I was a little worried because it was fast and at such high speeds it’s easy to go out of the road.”

Mikkelsen was frustrated with the handling of his Volkswagen Polo R and was only fifth in both tests.

“I had a problem with understeer, I’m really struggling to make the car turn in. The conditions are very difficult now and I’m not happy with the set-up so we’ll make some changes. There are limitations to what we can do out here but we’ll find something,” he said.

The soft, sandy roads were heavily rutted having already been driven this morning and Paddon was another to struggle as he slipped 3.9sec behind Tanak. The Kiwi was second in SS6 and seventh in the next test in his Hyundai i20.

“The ruts are very deep and the car was jumping out of them. Maybe I went too low on the ride height, it was all a bit untidy,” he explained.

Sebastien Ogier remained in contention in fourth in his Polo R, the Frenchman’s prayers for rain in vain as the expected thunderstorms failed to materialise and clear skies sent the thermometer up to 27˚C.

Stephane Lefebvre climbed to sixth in SS6 but promptly fell back to eighth as Jari-Matti Latvala regained the position. An inspired Craig Breen was third fastest to also demote the Frenchman and just 3.1sec cover the trio.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss7



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SS8 Swietajno -2 (21.14 km)



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SS9 Stare Juchy -2 (13.50 km)

Tanak treble secures Rally Poland lead


Ott Tanak led PZM 73rd Rally Poland on Friday night after outgunning Andreas Mikkelsen and Hayden Paddon in an exciting fight over super-fast sandy roads in the north of the country.



It is exactly 12 months since the Estonian last led a WRC round here and the first time that a driver using DMACK tyres has topped the standings in a championship round.

Tanak, driving a Ford Fiesta RS, headed Mikkelsen’s Volkswagen Polo R by 4.2sec after 10 speed tests covering 121.92km. Paddon was a further 6.0sec behind in a Hyundai i20.

Tanak relegated Thierry Neuville, who led after last night’s curtain-raising test, in this morning’s opening special stage. Mikkelsen then moved ahead for five stages before three consecutive wins enabled Tanak to regain the initiative. He ended the day with five victories.

“It’s been a great day, especially this afternoon when I found a great rhythm,” said Tanak. “The stages have been so fast, and some were quite rough, but the ‘button’ was in. If you want to win there is no other way.”

Mikkelsen was never able to push his advantage above 3.6sec. When the soft roads became heavily rutted this afternoon as they were driven for a second time, he was unhappy with his car’s handling and admitted he could do no more to fend off Tanak.

Paddon won three stages although the Kiwi was never comfortable with his car. He changed the set-up this afternoon to try to improve the balance, but the ride-height was too low for the deep ruts.

Championship leader Sebastien Ogier was fourth, 16.3sec off the lead in his Polo R. The Frenchman hoped the forecast thunderstorms would arrive to offset the disadvantage of opening the roads in loose conditions, but the day stayed dry with temperatures rising to 27˚C.

Thierry Neuville was fifth, despite dropping two wheels into a field, with a dispirited Jari-Matti Latvala completing the top six. The Finn never found a rhythm, ending 2.8sec ahead of Stéphane Lefebvre with DS 3 team-mate Craig Breen a further 1.7sec behind after the trio traded places all day.

Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg completed the leaderboard in Fiesta RS cars. Østberg was disappointed with his pace after a strong showing earlier this month in Italy and lost a handful of seconds after going off the road.

Henning Solberg suffered intercom problems all day while Dani Sordo’s run of four consecutive fourth place finishes is in jeopardy after ending 11th.

click: wrc.com/wrc-friday-wrap



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SS10 Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena -2 (2.50 km)

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Saturday:
SS11 Gołdap -1 (14.75 km)


Ott Tanak more than doubled his PZM 73rd Rally Poland lead over Andreas Mikkelsen with a crushing win in Saturday morning’s opening speed test.



Tanak opted for DMACK’s hard compound tyres on his Ford Fiesta RS and the choice paid dividends as he sped to quickest time through the loose roads of the Goldap stage, in the far north of Poland.

He was fastest by 4.2sec from Hayden Paddon with Andreas Mikkelsen 6.7sec adrift in third, increasing his overnight lead from 4.2sec to 10.9sec.

The roads were more technical than those encountered further south yesterday and thick gravel on the surface offered an advantage to those drivers lower down the start order.

“I could see there was a lot of cleaning which is good for us and I had a perfect stage. We have hard tyres on the car and at the moment at least it’s working for us,” said Tanak.

Mikkelsen is third in the running order, five places higher than Tänak, and the Norwegian was realistic about the problems it posed. “I tried to drive as fast as I could but there was so much cleaning that it’s difficult. It’s not human to be able to challenge Tänak here,” he said.

Paddon closed to within 3.5sec of Mikkelsen, the New Zealander boosted by a better handling Hyundai i20. “We made changes last night and the car is just as I like it. It’s just the driver that’s a bit off form this morning!” he said.

Road opener Sebastien Ogier suffered most in the loose conditions. The Frenchman was ninth in his Volkswagen Polo R and dropped behind Thierry Neuville to fifth in the standings. Neuville felt his pace notes were too slow for the lightning quick roads.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss11



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SS12 Stanczyki -1 (25.27 km)



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SS13 Babki -1 (21.02 km)

SS12/13: Clean sweep for Tanak


Ott Tanak completed a clean sweep of stage victories at PZM 73rd Rally Poland on Saturday morning to distance himself from Andreas Mikkelsen and Hayden Paddon.



After winning the opening Goldap, Tanak topped the times in the longer Stanczyki and Babki tests to reach the mid-leg tyre change zone with an 18.0sec lead in his Ford Fiesta RS.

“The surface on the previous stage was soft but this one was harder and our tyres worked well. It’s far too early to think about Sunday afternoon’s finish. These are proper stages and the speeds are high so the concentration needs to be as high as possible,” he said.

Mikkelsen was second and third in the two tests to head Paddon by 6.9sec, but the Norwegian’s frustrations with the loose surface were obvious.

“I was at the maximum everywhere. I couldn’t go faster, not one bit. We have to take big risks to fight at the top if we want to – and we want to. The lines are getting cleaner and cleaner with every car. We have a good set-up so let’s see if it’s the same in the second loop because that’s where we struggled yesterday,” said the Volkswagen Polo R driver.

Third and fifth fastest ensured Paddon kept the pressure on but it was quite ragged from the New Zealander. “The car was moving a lot and I’m trying to keep it tidy, but that’s something I haven’t mastered yet. We’re over-driving and hanging out in ditches too much,” he said.

Thierry Neuville broke his Hyundai i20’s gear lever which fell into the footwell. The Belgian was fourth while Jari-Matti Latvala climbed to fifth despite overshooting a junction and stalling his Polo’s engine. However, the Finn was happier with his speed today.

In contrast, team-mate Sebastien Ogier described the morning as ‘a disaster’. Enduring the worst of the loose sandy conditions, he dropped to sixth 0.2sec behind Latvala and 3.8sec ahead of Stephane Lefebvre, who was second fastest in Babki.

Craig Breen, Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg completed the leaderboard.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss13



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Discussion Starter #6
SS14 Stanczyki -2 (25.27 km)



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SS15 Babki -2 (21.02 km)


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SS16 Goldap -2 (14.75 km)



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SS17 Super Special Stage Mikolajki Arena -3 (2.50 km)


Tanak closes on maiden win in Poland


Ott Tanak extended his lead of PZM 73rd Rally Poland in Saturday’s sun-kissed penultimate leg and starts tomorrow’s short finale on course to secure his maiden WRC success.



He completed the longest leg of the four-day event 21.3sec clear of Andreas Mikkelsen’s Volkswagen Polo R, with Hayden Paddon completing the provisional podium a further 6.5sec behind in a Hyundai i20.

Tanak was imperious in his Ford Fiesta RS this morning. He won all three speed tests to increase his lead from 4.2sec to 18.0sec, making the most of better grip than his rivals further up the start order who swept the sandy roads.

Road conditions were more equal when the stages were repeated. Mikkelsen initially regained a few seconds before Tanak stemmed the loss, leaving the Estonian looking forward to Sunday when heavy rain is forecast to replace today’s 30˚C temperatures.

“I’m relaxed and hope I have enough in hand for tomorrow. I’ve led for the last two days so why not tomorrow? I was flat out in every corner this morning and did everything I could to extend the lead. I knew the afternoon would be tough in the extreme heat, it’s not easy for the tyres,” he said.

Mikkelsen overshot a junction in the final long stage as he gave his all to peg back Tanak. “I was at the maximum everywhere. I couldn’t go faster, not one bit. We have to take big risks to fight at the top if we want to – and we want to,” said the Norwegian.

Paddon was happier with his car’s set-up after overnight changes. His driving was ragged at times as he struggled to tame the i20 in the loose morning stages, but the New Zealander remained hot on Mikkelsen’s heels.

Thierry Neuville climbed to fourth in the opening stage. The Belgian survived a bizarre incident when his i20’s gear stick broke and fell into the footwell and he also complained his pace notes were too slow for the roads, which were more technical than yesterday but still lightning fast.

Jari-Matti Latvala overshot a junction en route to fifth in a Polo R. The Finn finally found his rhythm and overhauled despondent team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who was on a hiding to nothing in the sandy conditions from his position as road opener.

Stephane Lefebvre scored his maiden WRC stage win this afternoon as he retained seventh ahead of Abu Dhabi DS 3 team-mate Craig Breen. Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg completed the leaderboard.

Sunday’s final leg is the shortest with just 59.60km of competition. Drivers tackle two identical lops of stages, split by service in Mikolajki. The final Sady test forms the live TV Power Stage with bonus points for the fastest three crews.

click: wrc.com/saturday-wrap



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Discussion Starter #7
Sunday:

SS18 Baranowo -1 (21.25 km)




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SS19 Sady -1 (8.55 km)

SS18/19: Tanak edges towards victory


Ott Tanak eased through Sunday morning’s opening two speed tests to move within touching distance of victory in his Ford Fiesta RS at PZM 73rd Rally Poland.



Closest challenger Andreas Mikkelsen regained 2.4sec from the Estonian through the opening Baranowo test and a further 0.3sec in the short Sady test that followed. It left the gap between the duo at 18.6sec with just a repeat of the two stages remaining.

Yesterday’s blazing temperatures were a thing of the past. Heavy overnight rain left standing water in places and the grip on the sandy roads was poor in some sections but better than expected in others.

“Everything is looking good,” said Tanak. “The first stage was so tricky and slippery and the car set-up was far too hard. But the grip was much better in the next stage. Now we can make some changes to the car in service. I need to soften it a bit and learn from yesterday.”

Mikkelsen had a clean run in his Volkswagen Polo R. “The set-up is really good. It’s easy to drive and that’s what you’re looking for in these conditions,” said the Norwegiam.

Hayden Paddon was fifth in both stages in his Hyundai i20, the New Zealander believing the set-up was far from ideal. “We have the car pretty soft because I expected it to be really slippery. It’s not that bad though and the car is rolling around,” he explained.

Paddon’s deficit to Mikkelsen rose to 12.9sec and he had 20.0sec in hand over team-mate Thierry Neuville, who lost time when he missed a chicane that caused problems for several drivers. Dani Sordo slammed into the bales there and finished with coolant leaking from the front of his i20.

In worse trouble was Stephane Lefebvre who spun wildly and the rear of his DS 3 smashed into a tree. The impact broke the rear suspension and he dropped five minutes as he limped to the finish.

click: wrc.com/poland-ss19



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SS20 Baranowo -2 (21.25 km)



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SS21 Sady -2 (Power Stage) (8.55 km)


BREAKING NEWS: Mikkelsen gifted Poland victory


Andreas Mikkelsen was handed an unexpected victory at PFM 73rd Rally Poland on Sunday when a puncture just kilometres from the finish denied Ott Tanak a maiden FIA World Rally Championship success.

Heavy rain made the sandy roads treacherously slippery and long-time leader T?nak dropped 40sec in the penultimate speed test to hand the Norwegian victory by 26.2sec in a Volkswagen Polo R.

A devastated Tanak recovered to finish second in his Ford Fiesta RS with Hayden Paddon third in a Hyundai i20, a further 2.3sec back.

Championship leader Sebastien Ogier won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points in a Polo R. Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala took two points for second while Thierry Neuville secured the final point in third in an i20.

click: wrc.com/poland-breaking



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Next Rnd8 WRC Finland July 28-31




Official Website: nesterallyfinland.fi/en/

Listen Live: wrc.com/live_popup_radio

WRC+ : Live Stages/Live Maps/Onboard Action/Full Highlights plus.wrc.com/


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