Sebastien Ogier claimed his fifth win in the 2014 WRC season during the Lotos 71st Rally Poland this past weekend. The championship leader won 10 of the 22 stages in total while his teammate Andreas Mikkelsen drove his VW Polo R WRC home to second place. For the second time this season, Hyundai Motorsports clinched another podium finish after Thierry Neuville finished in third place in his Hyundai i20 WRC.
The Lotos Rally Poland has been absent on the WRC calendar for five years. This meant that the drivers were new to the stages. Stage 14 was one of them where drama unfolded to cars as they approached it. A hidden rock on the path sent several cars rolling while others were damaged after hitting hit. M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans and Citroen’s Mads Ostberg were two victims whose cars retired after the impact.
Two time winner in the 2014 season Jari-Matti Latvala also hit the same rock which damaged his suspension but he was able to continue at a slower pace. Other drivers who hit the same rock included Kris Meeke, Henning Solberg and Robert Kubica. M-Sport’s Mikko Hirvonen used a different strategy to finish in fourth overall as he spent valuable time amending his pace notes. He finished 0.7s ahead of Latvala.
Hyundai’s Juho Hanninen finished in sixth place, 1m 38s ahead of Meeke’s Citroen. New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon finished in eighth while Henning Solberg and Martin Prokop rounded off the top 10. Elsewhere in the same rally, Sander Parn won the Drive Dmack Fiesta Trophy to extend his championship lead to 19 points. Britain’s Tom Cave finished in second while Spain’s Yeray Lemes finished in third.
The next round in the WRC calendar will take teams to Finland for the Neste Oil Rally Finland on July 31st.