Mexican Guerra started the penultimate round of the series 15 points clear of Ralliart Italia team-mate Kosciuszko and was one place behind his Polish friend and rival after one stage when disaster struck approximately 10 kilometres into the second 28.14-kilometre Terranova test. Incredibly, Kosciuszko also stopped in the stage with both Mitsubishi Lancers stranded 200 metres apart.
Their misfortune means Nicolas Fuchs, still chasing his first PWRC win for Symtech Racing, holds a nine-second advantage over Argentine Marcos Ligato after the Peruvian was faster than his fellow Subaru Impreza driver on both stages. Fuchs said his car’s brakes had begun to fade on stage one, where Top Run Motorsport’s Ligato reported losing time in the dust clouds created by Valeriy Gorban’s Mentos Ascania Racing Lancer.
Fuchs and Ligato both stand a mathematical chance of the PWRC crown and with Guerra and Kosciuszko potentially not scoring in Sardinia, the title battle will be wide open on the final round in Spain next month, a fact not lost on Ligato.
“When I saw Guerra and Kosciuszko had stopped I made the second part of the stage very carefully because it’s so easy to make a mistake and not arrive at the finish. For the championship I must arrive at the end.”
Meanwhile, Gorban is third with Ricardo Trivino fourth and Subhan Aksa fifth alongside new co-driver Nicola Arena. Oleksii Kikireshko is sixth with Gianluca Linari seventh. Lorenzo Bertelli stopped on stage one but is ahead of two-wheel-drive class contender Louise Cook in the PWRC classification starting day two.