Lefebvre carries JWRC lead to Poland
Stéphane Lefebvre heads JWRC as Poland hosts round two
The Red Bull-backed driver, who won in Portugal earlier this season, led from start to finish on Poland’s quick gravel stages. He set the fastest time on 15 of the 22 tests to secure a winning margin of 2m 13.3s.
“This was only my second time in the car on gravel and it was amazing,” Lefebvre said. “It’s not possible to take this rally flat all the time so I didn’t take any risks.”
Simone Tempestini and Martin Koci were the early contenders in the race to catch Lefebvre but they both hit problems.
Koci lost time when he twisted the axle on his car and was later passed by Alastair Fisher, while Tempestini crashed in SS14 – the 35.17km stage that caused carnage among the WR Car drivers running further up the field.
Fisher, who had started steadily in a bid to increase his confidence, avoided trouble on the stages to take a hard-earned second place at the finish. He was 1m 12.6s ahead of Frenchman Quentin Giordano who completed the top three after Christian Riedemann's car broke down on the Mikolajki super special.
Koci made it home in fourth – 1m 26.6s further down – and was the only other driver to make it through all 22 stages. The list of JWRC retirements included Molly Taylor who was let down by her car’s transmission, while and Panikos Polykarpou and Federico Della Cassa both crashed.
The other five JWRC drivers that made it to the finish and were classified on the final results all had to get there via the Rally 2 safety net.
Lefebvre's win in Poland means he now enjoys a 22-point lead in the JWRC standings with five qualifying rounds still to be completed. Christian Riedemann holds second place with 28 points, Alastair Fisher is third with 18 points, Quentin Giordano is fourth on 16 points, Martin Koci is fifth with 15 points and Federico Della Cassa is sixth on 14 points.