Thursday in WRC 2:
Cautious Camilli on top
Eric Camilli's measured approach earned him an early WRC 2 category lead after the first two stages at Rallye Monte-Carlo on Thursday night.
The Frenchman revelled in the handling of his Ford Fiesta R5 in the opening 36.69km test at Thoard - Sisteron to secure an immediate 21.9sec lead over Skoda Motorsport's Jan Kopecky.
The Czech driver turned the tables on his rival in the next test at Bayons - Breziers 1 but he could only claw 2.8sec back. That meant Camilli's overnight lead stood at 19.1sec.
"Things have not been so bad tonight and I really like the car and chassis," Camilli explained. "I tried not to push too hard when it was icy because that can give you a big problem on these roads."
Teemu Suninen filled third place after the opening two stages, a further 19.8sec down on Kopecky.
The Finn was bedding himself in gently on the icy stages but still held more than a two-minute advantage over fourth-place Guillaume de Mevius who suffered three separate spins in the opening test.
"That was not a good stage to start the rally," the Belgian reflected. "I was happy to finish that one."
Eddie Sciessere emerged from the darkness in fifth place overall and 48.0sec shy of de Mevius's pace, while Dutchman Kevin Abbring completed the list of registered WRC 2 competitors to make it through the opening pair of stages.
The Ford Fiesta driver was sixth overall and more than seven minutes off the lead after he stopped in the opening stage to change a puncture.
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