Sebastien Ogier recorded win number two of the 2010 season after a turn around of fortune changed the battle for victory at the front.

It all began in SS19, as Ogier took 2nd place from Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen (above), and cut the lead to Petter Solberg to just 2.8 seconds. Hirvonen reported a minor issue with his gearbox at the end of the stage, and it proved terminal in SS20. A failed differential pump affected gear change and transmission systems on Hirvonen’s Ford Focus WRC, losing him a lot of time and dropped him from 3rd to 5th.

Petter Solberg, Rally Japan 2010.

In the same stage, Ogier overtook Solberg for the lead and pulled a 2.7 seconds gap. At the end of SS20, Citroen Junior team driver Dani Sordo (above) benefited from Hirvonen’s misfortune and jumped to 3rd, 21.5 seconds behind Solberg. Hirvonen’s teammate Jari-Matti Latvala jumped to 4th place.

Ford’s mechanics working on Latvala’s car.

It was a close battle for the lead between Ogier (above) and Solberg, but it all changed in SS23. A broken front damper on Solberg’s car caused him to lose 6 seconds more in that stage. With only 3 stages to go, Ogier’s lead was now 11.3 seconds. Latvala however managed to jump ahead of Sordo for 3rd place, while championship leader Sebastien Loeb overtook the struggling Hirvonen for 5th place.

Ogier concluded the Sapporo Dome super special in 7th place, but that was more than enough for him to secure his 2nd win of the season. Solberg finished in 2nd and Latvala completed the podium in 3rd. Sordo was 4th ahead of Loeb in 5th. Henning Solberg finished seventh with Federico Villagra maintaining the eighth place he inherited when Kimi Raikkonen (above) left the road on Sunday’s first stage.

Sebastien Loen in action, Rally Japan 2010.

With only 3 rounds remaining, Loeb leads the drivers’ championship with 201 points, 43 more ahead of 2nd place Ogier. WRC heads to France for the 11th round of the championship, and Loeb can secure the title if he manages to win in front of his home crowd.

Photo : Citroen WRC, worldrallypics.com, Tony Welam (pettersolberg.com)

Related posts:

  1. WRC – Rally Japan Day 1 : Sebastien Ogier Leads After Friday Superspecial Stage
  2. WRC Rally New Zealand 2010 – Sebastien Ogier in Action
  3. WRC – Rally Japan Day 2 : Petter Solberg Batlles with Flu to End the Day in the Lead
  4. WRC – Sebastien Loeb Dominates at the Rally of Turkey
  5. WRC – ADAC Rally Deutschland Day 3 : A New WRC Record as Sebastien Loeb Takes 8th Successive Victory

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