Sebastien Ogier is on course for his fifth victory of the World Rally Championship season after several of his rivals hit trouble on the second day of Rally Finland.
The Volkswagen driver, the runaway series leader, exchanged the lead with the Qatar M-Sport Ford of Mads Ostberg during the morning running, but the Frenchman then put a run of six-straight stage wins together to end the day with a 38.1-second advantage.
Day one leader Thierry Neuville lies second after being hit by a puncture early on day two, just 0.9 seconds ahead of Ostberg. The Norwegian’s challenge faded during the afternoon before he struck a rock and shattered his left-front wheel on the day’s final forest stage.
Loose rocks affected several other drivers and Ostberg said: “It’s unbelievable. It’s a lottery now, there are rocks everywhere.”
Mikko Hirvonen is fourth in the first of the Citroens after surviving a near roll on stage 12. Kris Meeke is fifth as he stands in for Khalid Al Qassimi in the Abu Dhabi Citroen team despite the Northern Irishman being delayed by Evgeny Novikov on the second stage of the day after the Russian had crashed into a pile of logs. Andreas Mikkelsen was another to fall foul of the rutted surface, as his Ford Focus lost its left-rear wheel and suspension.