The championship fight: Neuville with 2.4sec advantage to Ogier

The championship fight: Neuville with 2.4sec advantage to Ogier

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The big fight at ADAC Rallye Germany is between Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier. They are tied on 160 points in the overall championship standings so whoever takes a better classification in Germany will have a psychological advantage for the next round. After the first day of the race that is the Hyundai driver, who is in third position, just a couple of seconds in front of his main rival Ogier.

“I am pleased to have made it through the day. It’s been tough from start to finish”, Neuville said

“Tyre choice has really dictated our performance, so it is a relief that we are in a provisional podium position in third place. We made a little mistake on the opening loop, with a brief trip off the road, but thankfully we didn’t lose a huge amount. In these conditions, being first on the road wasn’t too much of a handicap but there were still plenty of surprises in the stages. The afternoon was much the same, and in the final stage of the day we went wide and were really lucky to avoid something far worse. We are still in the game but we’ll definitely be looking for a better run on Saturday.”

Ogier spun on the opening stage of the morning, which cost him five seconds. The Frenchman quickly recovered – posting a top-three time on the following six speed tests and climbing into podium position.

With one stage to go, Ogier had established an 18.7 second advantage over his main championship rival. But another spin saw his hard work undone.

Sebastien OgierThe four-time world champion dropped 20 seconds and fell 2.4 seconds adrift of Neuville

“The day didn’t finish so well for us. First of all, we made the wrong tyre choice but at least we had the same as Thierry and we were managing it pretty well. But then, I spun in the mud on the last stage and lost more than 20 seconds. That meant all the hard work was for nothing”, Ogier commented.

“The wet tyre looks like a good choice for the afternoon which was a bit surprising. We don’t have much experience with them, so it was a bit of a gamble to go out on them because we’ve never really tried them. But now we’ve seen that the compound is working well.”

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and now the gap to Thierry is really small. The rally is still long and the main part of it is coming tomorrow which will for sure be a better day for us.”

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