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Motorsport | Rallying

Sebastien Ogier © Getty Images

Ogier leads Sardinia rally mud bath

After lunch time leader Andreas Mikkelsen shuddered to a gear-box failure, Sebastien Ogier powered his Ford into the evening lead in the rain lashed Rally of Italy in Sardinia on Friday.

Belgium's Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai was second at just 18 seconds while Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala for Toyota was third at 37sec.

Ogier went into the afternoon in fourth place but as rain got worse and Mikkelsen pulled out, the Frenchman edged into the lead.

"That was a good day's racing because honestly it was treacherous out there," Ogier said.

All the specials are run on dirt tracks but with heavy rain overnight and persistent showers on Friday the usual dust-bowl effect in Sardinia became a dirt bath.

"Without the rain we wouldn't have been in the top eight. We had a few frights though, I'll have to be careful," said Neuville, the three time world championship runner up who currently tops the leaderboard by 19 points.

The rally is at the halfway stage with Saturday's 146.56km likely to be decisive in the north of the island.


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