WRC: Jari-Matti Latvala takes narrow lead into Rally de Espana's final day
Jari-Matti Latvala leads heading into the final day of the Rally de Espana after misfortune struck Sebastien Ogier.
Last Updated: 27/10/13 2:08pm
Ogier, who secured the title at home in France three weeks ago, won all three of Friday's stages but suffered a puncture on leg six and starts Sunday back in fourth place, 46.5 seconds off the pace.
That left Latvala and Dani Sordo to fight out the lead and it was the Finn who grabbed the advantage by a slim 1.6 seconds.
Between Sordo's Citroen and Ogier's Volkswagen lurks Belgium's Thierry Neuville in his Ford Fiesta RS, and Mikko Hirvonen and Evgeni Novikov round out a top six covered by less than a minute.
The final day sees the rally switch surface, and Latvala said: "Going from asphalt to gravel after two days won't be easy.
"It's a new challenge but I have a good feeling. I hope the weather will give me some support. A little bit of moisture to dampen the loose gravel would be nice."
And Ogier is not ruling himself out of getting back into contention, as he said: "I don't know what's possible. There's 140km to go and I'm starting fourth on the road. We'll push and see what we can do."
In the WRC2 class, former Formula One driver Robert Kubica is one day away from claiming the title.
He needs to finish first or second in his category and has more than four minutes advantage over Sepp Wiegand heading into the final day.
Kubica was fastest on five of the six stages, and was only beaten on the day closing 2km sprint through downtown Salou because a technical problem meant he wasn't able to spin his Citroen RRC around the hairpin bends.
"Our only problem was a broken handbrake, so in tight conditions we had to stop and reverse to get around the corners," he said. "Other than that it has been a good day, all okay for us."