It didn’t take very long for leading few drivers to separate from the rest of the field, but it’s great to see the rest are being led by Pontus Tidemand, who is currently fourth overall, 24.8 seconds behind Jari-Matti Latvala. In turn, Latvala is just 0.8 seconds behind Sebastien Loeb, while Sebastien Ogier tops the charts with 10.1 seconds gap to Loeb.
“Interesting morning. Been trying to shovel my car out of a ditch with Jarmo! Snow was up to Jarmo’s waist, that’s pretty deep…”, said Mikko Hirvonen, describing his costly morning adventure. Hirvonen and co-driver Lehtinen ended up in deep sh…, umm, snow and lost huge chunk of time before they were able to dig themselves out. Shame, because he’s got the pace for top positions – he was 7.7 seconds slower than fastest man through SS4, Mads Ostberg.
At the top, there is nothing but pure, raw speed and determination by the leading three crews. For now, Ogier has the upper hand, but rally only just started. What is great, though, is the fact that Latvala is keeping it together and is also very fast, giving both Sebastiens something to worry about, other than their own little personal quarrel.
I’ll wrap this up by saying big thanks to whoever it is/was behind the sudden global availability of SVT Play video feed. We were able to see SS4 live without resorting to VPNs and whatnots, and if this is indeed some deal that took place overnight, I salute it. Next live stage should be SS19 on Sunday.