Fuchs, from Peru, had built up a lead of more than two minutes in the showroom category only to drop almost the same amount when his Symtech Racing Subaru Impreza picked up a front-right deflation on today’s penultimate stage.
As a result, his lead over new second-placed driver Marcos Ligato starting day four has been trimmed to 46.1s. While this is still a comfortable margin with only two stages and 16 competitive kilometres left to run, Fuchs is refusing to get complacent having had his hopes of PWRC glory dashed in the past.
“Tomorrow is only 16 kilometres but it’s not nothing, anything can happen,” said Fuchs. “There are so many rocks on the road that I have tried to save my car. For this reason I am happy.”
Marcos Ligato, in a Top Run Motorsport Impreza, lost time with an electrical glitch on stage 11 but moved ahead of Mentos Ascania Racing’s Valeriy Gorban for second place on the final stage. The Argentine must hold on this position to keep alive his outside hopes of the title heading to the final round in Spain next month.
Behind Gorban, Subhan Aksa is fourth following an eventful day. After going fastest on stage 10, the Indonesian ace lost time with an overshoot and a brake glitch as the day progressed.
Oleksii Kikireshko is fifth overnight with Michal Kosciuszko sixth, Ricardo Trivino seventh and title leader Benito Guerra eighth in his Ralliart Italia Mitsubishi Lancer. Gianluca Linari is ninth with Louise Cook classified in 10th despite dropping out on Saturday’s opener with a broken driveshaft on her Ford Fiesta. The Briton plans to restart on Rally 2 rules on Sunday morning.