Saturday | 16 Oct 2021

WRC2: Comfortable Camilli stays in front

Eric Camilli is on course to claim his first WRC2 victory of the season after a clean drive on Saturday at Rally RACC - Rally de España.

The Frenchman moved into first on Friday afternoon when title challenger Mads Østberg picked up a puncture and he hasn’t looked back since.

Camilli opted to carry two spare wheels during the afternoon in a bid to reduce his own puncture risks. The extra weight altered the handling of his Citroën C3 Rally2 on the relentless roads, but his stage times still rarely strayed outside the top three.

By close of play Camilli had managed to expand the gap to his rivals and he rounded out the day with a 27.1sec lead.

Teemu Suninen continues to hold onto second spot

"We can be happy,” Camilli said. “We had to be cautious in the second loop to avoid kerbs and so on, but we are here without punctures. It was not easy to keep the lead like that, but I will try to take care of this lead tomorrow,” he added.

Teemu Suninen remained Camilli’s closest challenger. Confidence in his new Hyundai i20 N Rally2 car grew with every stage and the Finn even claimed fastest times on both passes of El Montmell. Suninen still has a mathematical chance of championship glory but would need to win this weekend to make it possible.

Ford Fiesta Rally2 driver Erik Cais continued to put on a show on his FIA World Rally Championship debut. Despite displaying an impressive pace, the 22-year-old’s hopes of catching Suninen began to fade away and he trailed his rival by 25.4sec in third.

Østberg was 55.6sec further back in his C3. An irreparable suspension niggle put any hopes of a comeback drive in doubt and, as it stands, his title chances look slim.

American pilot Sean Johnston brought his C3 home 2min 54.8sec behind Østberg’s, whilst Georg Linnamäe completed the leaderboard a hefty 6min 02.5sec back from the leaders in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Engine issues which plagued Jari Huttunen on the opening day returned on Saturday morning. He managed to complete three stages before retiring his i20 for good at regroup before midday service.

• Full coverage from RallyRACC Rally de España will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

 

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