The 14.75km repeat of the Goldap stage is the final test out in the countryside for today, the only tonight’s Super Special remains after this one. It’s a re-run of the roads used in SS3, in which Ott Tanak took the stage win.
Jari-Matti Latvala was victor in this run through, beating Mads Ostberg by eight tenths of a second and moving him up to third overall, overtaking Ott Tanak to make it a Volkswagen 1-2-3. ‘My tyres are not in great shape anymore, but even with no tread it’s surprising how good they are. I really enjoyed this stage.’ Jari-Matti commented.
Ostberg came through second quickest, showing good pace, but a jump start has been reported – he’ll be penalised for that. Sebastien Ogier was third quickest, with his rally lead now 1.9 seconds over Andreas Mikkelsen, with Latvala third and 8.1 seconds behind Ogier – it remains close at the top.
Tanak has dropped out of the top three overall, with his tyres worn down to the canvas thanks to brake problems that he’s been having all day. He now has just front brakes, but promises that he’ll be pushing hard to catch up tomorrow.
Andreas Mikkelsen was fourth quickest through the stage with a time just one tenth down from Ogier’s time – he’s pleased with his performance. ‘A good day, one small mistake from my side but on this rally I would say all options are still open.’ he said.
Robert Kubica and Hayden Paddon round out the top six through the stage, both completing the stage in the same time, 4.9 seconds down on Latvala.
The only stage left for today is the 2.5km Super Special in the Mikolajki Arena, following which the crews will head to the one and only service stop of the day. Though this rally has been kinder to the cars than some of the previous rounds this season, it will be much needed by many. SS9 begins at 19:05 local time.
Top fifteen after SS8: