Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak shared wins in the two Destination NSW Super Special Stages to complete the opening day of Kennards Hire Rally Australia, the title decider for the FIA World Rally Championship on the New South Wales Coffs Coast.
Ogier topped the first charge through the 1.27km harbourside stage while Tanak claimed the win on the repeat run.
It was Ogier’s first stage win after spending the day sweeping the stages as first car on the road.
The only change tonight to the daytime positions saw Jari-Matti Latvala leak a huge four seconds over the 1.27km section.
This dropped the Finn to third overall, elevating Citroën’s Irish driver Craig Breen into second position behind teammate Mads Østberg, who had led since the end of the third stage.
Ostberg will go into day two with a 6.8s lead after claiming the fifth and seventh-fastest times on the Super Special Stage, which was packed with thousands of spectators enjoying early-summer weather.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon was ninth fastest in both Super Specials to hold his fourth position overall, 12.5s off Ostberg.
Saturday’s second day will see crews tackle 10 competitive stages south of Coffs Harbour.