Michael Ford is on location for RacerViews at Rally Australia. Here we take a look at the action from a dramatic Friday!
Ogier edges towards sixth straight WRC crown at Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
He took a significant advantage in the title decider Down Under over principal championship rival Thierry Neuville, who dropped almost 45sec in the final forest road speed test after locking-up at a chicane.
Both title contenders struggled for grip at the head of the start order. The forecast overnight rain failed to materialise and they brushed aside a top-coating of loose gravel to leave a cleaner line and more traction for those behind.
Neuville was seventh, three places and almost 10sec clear of Ogier, heading into the second pass through the 26.68km Sherwood test. His Hyundai i20’s left rear tyre punctured following a jump and shortly after he slid into a chicane and stalled the engine.
The Belgian, three points adrift of Ogier in the standings, dropped to 10th. He faces the unenviable prospect of starting second on Saturday, on roads covered in thicker gravel than today.