Mikkelsen leads Ogier after opening day of Rally of Germany

© AP, 19 August 2016
Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP

Andreas Mikkelsen survived a late challenge from world champion Sebastien Ogier to maintain a narrow lead after the first day of the Rally of Germany on Friday.

Ogier finished the opening stage 1.9 seconds ahead of his Volkswagen teammate but then overshot a hairpin in the Moselland stage to hand Mikkelsen a 2.7-second lead. Thierry Neuville also moved ahead of Ogier, despite damaging a wheel on his Hyundai.

Mikkelsen followed with the fastest time in stage three, leaving Ogier 11.4 behind, and the Volkswagen Polo R driver ended the day 4.3 ahead of his French teammate after five stages in the vineyards around Trier.

"Overall a good day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow but I must say it will be tricky. Seb will be fast there but we will try to fight," Mikkelsen said.

Neuville was third, 5.9 behind, ahead of teammate Dani Sordo, 12.7 off the lead, and Ott Tanak, 55.4 behind.

Saturday's nine stages feature a mix of country roads and the tricky tests through the Panzerplatte military area.

"For me, it hasn't been the perfect day," Ogier said. "Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow's Baumholder stages."

The rally finishes on Sunday.

 

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