FIA

Bertelli wins
WRC 2 in Italy

Lorenzo Bertelli secured a maiden WRC 2 win at his home event in Italy to take the championship lead.

The 26-year-old drove his Ford Fiesta RRC to victory by 2min 11.6sec at Rally Italia Sardegna. Second was reigning WRC 3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet, with Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa taking third, a further 1min 43.2sec behind.

Bertelli’s win gives him a nine-point championship lead, relegating Yuriy Protasov to second. The Ukraine driver finished fourth in Italy.

Chardonnet - runner up with Citroen's new R5 car

“It couldn’t be better, it’s fantastic,” said Bertelli. “First place here on my home rally is amazing.”

This sixth round was a pulsating affair. The gravel roads on the Mediterranean island caused problems for many and there were five different leaders over the four days.

Protasov led initially before Nasser Al-Attiyah, winner of the previous two rallies, took charge. Karl Kruuda, debuting Peugeot’s 208 T16 in WRC 2, briefly held sway before Saudi Arabian Yazeed Al Rajhi ended Friday’s leg on top when Kruuda stopped in the final stage.

Al Rajhi rolled out on Saturday to allow Al-Attiyah back in front, but the Qatari then crashed on the same bend during the second pass. It allowed Bertelli to the front, having recovered from a puncture and a small crash on Friday which dropped him to ninth.

Sousa - shrugged off arm injury to take third

Chardonnet never put a foot wrong on his WRC 2 debut in a first appearance in the category for Citroen’s new DS3 R5 car. Sousa overcame a muscle injury in his right arm which left him in severe pain yesterday.

After overnight changes to the times following the neutralisation of two stages on Saturday, Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari was on course for third. However, the Qatari ripped a wheel from his Fiesta RRC this morning.

Kruuda recovered to take fifth ahead of Quentin Gilbert.

Juan Carlos Alonso won the Production Cup class within WRC 2, the Argentine’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X finishing 3min 13.3sec ahead of Ramon Torres’ similar car. Max Rendina retained the series lead by finishing third.

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