Sebastien Ogier tops the qualifying, picks the bottom of the grid
Another day in the office for Sebastien Ogier – after he stormed the short qualifying stage, setting the fastest time, all he had to say was: “I felt very confident in the car. We pushed and gave it all, we took more risks then usual, but it payed off!”
And sure it did – by winning the qualifying stage, Ogier was the first to select the starting position for day 1 of the rally. Of course, he decided to play it safe, letting the guys in front of him do the dirty work of sweeping the dusty roads. Only possible issue with this decision could be the dust itself – if the wind decides to take a break tomorrow, Ogier will be eating the hanging dust. Reportedly, he said he’s not worried about that.
I am more than happy to see Dani Sordo performing well, even if only on short qualy stage. Spaniard was second fastest, and will start right in front of Ogier. Can this be the rally in which Sordo will finally part ways with the demons and lack of confidence and pace? Everything looks good for Dani so far.
Jari-Matti Latvala had a day to forget. Several mistakes, all in a short 3 kilometer stage, meant he was only able to set the ningth fastest time. Things were looking grim for the Finn, but “luckily”, Volkswagen Motorsport were able to inform Andreas Mikkelsen that he is, in fact, slower than Jari-Matti. Norwegian driver obeyed and selected the next worst spot to Latvala, so he starts 3rd, after Khalid Al Qassimi and Martin Prokop, but before Latvala. I believe Mikkelsen should thank the team by staying in front of Jari-Matti not only on starting grid, but in results as well, so get busy Andreas, plenty of points to prove in this rally!
Start order for day 1 of Acropolis Rally:
1. Khalid Al Qassimi
2. Martin Prokop
3. Andreas Mikkelsen
4. Jari-Matti Latvala
5. Mikko Hirvonen
6. Nasser Al-Attiyah
7. Mads Ostberg
8. Thierry Neuville
9. Evgeny Novikov
10. Dani Sordo
11 Sebastien Ogier