Weijs Jr began day two 2m15s in front of Yeray Lemes only for the Canary Islander to hit trouble on stage eight when he slid off into a ditch 20 metres from the finish of stage eight. It took nine minutes for Lemes and co-driver Rogelio Penate to regain the road and handed Weijs a seemingly unassailable advantage.
“It’s a big gap but in rallying anything can happen,” said Weijs. “We were a bit too slow on the first stage today so we had to pick up our speed on the next stages in order to keep a good rhythm. This will be our strategy for tomorrow although we don’t need to push too hard, just keep a safe speed and not make any mistakes.”
It got worse for Lemes when he picked up two punctures on the first Panzeplatte stage. With only one spare on board his Renault Clio he was left with no option but to retire, which handed second place to Aaron Burkart.
The German Suzuki Swift driver admitted to lacking pace on Saturday morning before he lost 20 seconds when he managed to wedge his car on top of a large boulder after a moment on a right-hander two kilometres before the finish of stage 12.
“The sumpguard got caught and we could not move and there were about 80 spectators just watching and not helping,” said Burkart. “But second is good because it will mean we are leading the championship and that is very important.”
After losing time stuck in a ditch on day one, Karl Kruuda drove largely without incident to hold third heading into the final day in his Swift. “I made some mistakes but they were only small mistakes so it has been okay,” he said.
Mathieu Arzeno plans to restart on Sunday after retiring on Saturday morning when his C2 ran out of petrol. Thierry Neuville, at the wheel of a similar car, had hoped to restart on day two but damage to his car’s engine on Friday’s final stage - caused by a broken radiator - proved too great and he was forced to retire for the third time in four events.
Follow this link to see the Rally Deutschland J-WRC stage times.
"It’s a big gap but in rallying anything can happen."