Simone Tempestini carries a comfortable lead of more than three minutes into the final leg of PZM 73rd Rally Poland after a faultless drive through Saturday’s longest day of the event.
The Italian, winner of the opening round in Portugal, won five of the seven speed tests in the north of Poland to build a lead of 3min 26.8sec as young Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby saw his early challenge evaporate with mechanical problems.
“The stages were beautiful but unfortunately rough in many places,” said DS 3 R3 driver Tempestini. “It was tough for the car and sometimes we had to lift the throttle and drive slowly so as not to break it.”
Veiby won the opening stage to trim Tempestini’s lead to 9.3sec, but a damaged rear axle and a broken driveshaft this afternoon ended his hopes. He dropped almost five minutes, ending the day in third behind Terry Folb.
Romain Martel was fourth, overhauling Vincent Dubert who received a 70sec penalty for checking into a control late. Lukasz Pieniazek completed the top six, despite losing 12 minutes with a gearbox problem.
Mohamed Al Mutawaa lost four minutes with a damaged clutch before a puncture cost more time, while Andrea Crugnola retired after a broken jack meant he couldn’t change wheels in the mid-leg tyre fitting zone.