COFFS COAST (NSW) – Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak shared wins in the two Destination NSW Super Special Stages to complete the opening day of Kennards Hire Rally Australia, the title decider for the FIA World Rally Championship on the New South Wales Coffs Coast.
Ogier topped the first charge through the 1.27km harbourside stage while Tanak claimed the win on the repeat run.
It was Ogier’s first stage win after spending the day sweeping the stages as first car on the road.
The only change tonight to the daytime positions saw Jari-Matti Latvala leak a huge four seconds over the 1.27km section.
This dropped the Finn to third overall, elevating Citroën’s Irish driver Craig Breen into second position behind teammate Mads Østberg, who had led since the end of the third stage.
Ostberg will go into day two with a 6.8s lead after claiming the fifth and seventh-fastest times on the Super Special Stage, which was packed with thousands of spectators enjoying early-summer weather.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon was ninth fastest in both Super Specials to hold his fourth position overall, 12.5s off Ostberg.
Tomorrow’s second day will see crews tackle 10 competitive stages south of Coffs Harbour.
The tests total 133kms of gravel racing. The itinerary features live television broadcasts in Australia on Fox Sports Australia and 7mate, plus globally, of the Argents Hill stage at 7.08am and 12.08pm.
Top 10 WRC outright standings after SS8:
1 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen) 53:37.4s
2 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen) +6.8s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota) +8.7s
4 Hayden Paddon/Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai) +12.5s
5 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Toyota) +16.9s
6 Esapekka Lappi/ Janne Ferm (Toyota) +28.3s
7 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford) +38.2s
8 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford) +47.2s
9 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford) +45.2s
10 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai) +1:11.9s
Tickets to Rally Australia are available at these locations:
• Gate entry to daytime spectator points
• Gate entry to Destination NSW Super Special Stage
• Pedders Rally Central Service Park
• Rally Souvenir Shop, Coffs Central shopping centre, Harbour Drive
• Ticketek, Information Desk Coffs Central shopping centre, Harbour Drive
Entry to the daytime special stages is free for spectators aged under 18, children 12-18 pay $10 at the Destination NSW Super Special Stage.
Full details including times, maps and driving directions for all spectator points are available at the website www.rallyaustralia.com.au, under SPECTATORS.
Kennards Hire Rally Australia is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.