Overnight leader Nicolas Fuchs continues to top the division in his Mitsubishi Lancer but there was a time this morning when he thought his dream of claiming his maiden category win would end when a differential fault took hold on Saturday’s first stage.
However, Fuchs was able to make repairs and with Michal Kosciuszko stopping for good after stage nine with an oil pressure glitch, the Peruvian was back in front and seemingly heading for victory, only for a time penalty to cause more anguish when he was late leaving midday service.
“We had to work a lot on the car in the service,” Fuchs explained. “We changed the front differential, the shocks, the brakes, it was amazing and we had to finish the work on the road section. All day we have had problems and there is much work to do but I am happy.”
Guerra took advantage of team-mate Kosciuszko’s exit to climb into second overall. The Mexican is intent on preserving his Lancer over the demanding terrain and arduous competitive distance so has adopted a risk-free strategy.
Ukrainian Valeriy Gorban is third overall in his Mentos Ascania Racing Lancer with Marcos Ligato battling up to fourth, despite restarting on Saturday under Rally 2 rules. The Argentine encountered suspension problems in the morning but enjoyed a trouble-free afternoon in his Subaru Impreza.
Experienced Italian driver Gianluca Linari was the fifth and final PWRC competitor to complete day two as problems befell Suban Aksa, Lorenzo Bertelli, Ricardo Trivino and wildcard entrant Ezequiel Campos. All four are set to return to the action under Rally 2 regulations on Sunday but Oleksiy Kikireshko is out after retiring on stage nine with a mechanical failure.