Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) after three tough rides Friday morning in the rally of Turkey to the pipe. The Norwegian has a 6.3 seconds lead on his first pursuer, the Irishman Craig Breen (Citroen C3 WRC). The Norwegian Mads Ostberg (Citroen C3 WRC) follows as the third in 8,2 seconds. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) had a trouble-free morning and as a fourth to 13.1 seconds of team-mate Mikkelsen.
The opening stage of the rally of Turkey was announced as one of the toughest rides of the season. The following days were not good at. And yet, virtually all of the riders, except Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta WRC), unscathed from the three morning rides.
Thierry Neuville had a excellent morning. The Belgian is riding around in fourth position but more important is that he has a lead on his closest titelconcurrenten: 10 seconds over Sébastien Ogier and 19 seconds on Ott Tänak. The Belgian had as a world CHAMPIONSHIP leader first on the road. That didn’t stop him for the second ride of the day to win.
“The day started in a horrible way,” says Neuville. “First went to 5.15 you the fire and the hotel evacuated. After, there was that terrible first klassementsrit of 38 km in the beginning of the local wet and slippery in lag. Afterwards, dried it and I had my pace to adjust to avoid that I have to be rushed. Also, the second ride of the day was terrible. A lot of boulders, nowhere, tracks, a lot of wheelspin and, consequently, a lot of wiping. In the last ride there were less boulders but it was gritty. All in all a good morning. In these rough conditions performs well with our car very well.”
The riders now go to the assistentiezone in Marmaris where the vehicles are to be prepared on the same loop of three klassementsritten that Friday morning were driven.