Masterclass by Mikkelsen – but a lot of surprises behind
Rally Australia started out with surprising results. Mikkelsen won SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, was second on SS5 behind team mate Neuville, and won SS6. Incredible. It was Tänak and Neuville that shared victories and second places on the two super special SSS7 and SSS8.
But it was behind Mikkelsen the surprises came. Meeke 2nd on SS2 and SS3, showed the Citroën is coming to form on gravel. But the biggest surprise came on SS3 where Lefebvre and Breen came in second and third. Making for some interesting H2H results.
Loosing diffusors, a big issue.
Levfebre lost a lot of time due to two punctures, but receives a feather in his cap for his SS3 speed.
The Toyotas has not been on top form, Latvala was third on SS6 and SSS7 as their best. Their aerodynamic devises felt victim to the Australian gravel roads. Lappi lost his power steering, and this meant he was out of contention.
Also Ford has struggled. Especially Tänak who lost his rear diffuser. Ogier was a remarkable third on SS1 and SS2, second on SS4, but actually struggled more on the second loop.
Paddon needs more to come.
Paddon had high hopes before this event, and it is very important to him. But he has struggled with the balance in his Hyundai i20 after loosing his rear diffusor.
Keep an eye out for him on the long stage on Saturday.
Head to heads (H2H) and Top 3, have been where the big winnings have been easiest to come by, and there will be more to come in Rally Australia – and event that yet again shows how competitive the WRC has become.
SS1: Mikkelsen, Meeke, Ogier
SS2: Mikkelsen, Meeke, Ogier
SS3: Mikkelsen, Levfebre, Breen
SS4: Mikkelsen, Ogier, Neuville
SS5: Neuville, Mikkelsen, Meeke
SS6: Mikkelsen, Neuville, Latvala
SSS7: Tänak, Neuville, Latvala
SSS8: Neuville, Tänak, Breen