PG Andersson, who’d led the Super 2000 World Rally Championship section since Wednesday, dropped out when his PROTON Satria Neo suffered an under-bonnet fire on Saturday’s penultimate stage, handing the lead to rival Craig Breen in the process.
Meanwhile, in the Production Car World Rally Championship Michal Kosciuszko (pictured) continues to top the category despite fears that he would struggle to reach the evening service halt in Monaco when his Mitsubishi Lancer faltered.
“We changed the gearbox this morning but then on the first stage I started having again some problems, my car was making a lot of bad noises on stage 14 then on stage 15 our differential broke and we lost a huge amount of time. I’m happy we managed to get to service.”
But while Kosciuszko dropped down the overall leaderboard as a result of his delay he was still able to maintain a healthy advantage over PWRC class rival Louise Cook in a Ford Fiesta ST.
“We are learning stage after stage and our pace notes are getting better,” said Cook. “We still have a few issues with the tyres but we’re happy to be here and hopefully going home with 18 points.”
Following Andersson’s retirement, Fiesta S200 driver Breen said: “This is not the way we wanted to take the lead of this rally, I’m very sorry for PG. Now I have to concentrate because I’m not going to say I’ve won this rally yet.”
Andersson’s team boss Chris Mellors described his driver’s exit: “They reported smelling fuel in the car and saw a fire as they were going up the hill. They put the fire out, but have been forced to retire. Obviously we don’t know the precise nature of the fire until we get the car back here.”