Wednesday | 22 Oct 2014

Al-Attiyah and Kruuda take aim at Bertelli

Lorenzo Bertelli’s long-standing WRC 2 lead will come under threat at Rally de España (23 - 26 October) as Nasser Al-Attiyah and Karl Kruuda bid to enhance their title credentials.

The Italian has led since winning in Sardinia in June, despite scoring just once since in Australia. Although he will compete in Spain, it is not one of his nominated rounds and both the Qatari and Estonian could move ahead.

Al-Attiyah (pictured above), driving a Ford Fiesta RRC, is eight points behind while Kruuda, in a Fiesta S2000, has 19 points to make up. A maximum 25 points are available here.

Kruuda, who won the Finnish title last month, has a practical view of his chances. “The title is still possible and I’m obviously not thinking it’s just another event but, at the same time, I’m not feeling too much pressure,” said the 21-year-old.

“Of course it would be nice to win another crown but I’m younger than everybody else and if I don’t achieve the title this year I won’t be too disappointed. If that were the case, I would definitely come back next year when the goal would be to take it.”

Karl Kruuda - chasing WRC 2 title

Finn Jari Ketomaa, the other driver with realistic title hopes, will not be in Spain but all four will tackle next month’s final round at Wales Rally GB. Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa could still win, and is in Spain, but his chances rely on others slipping up.

Several other drivers could challenge in Spain, notably Yazeed Al Rajhi who has shown great pace in a Fiesta RRC but has been hampered by retirements.

Asphalt experts Sébastien Chardonnet (Citroen DS3 R5) and French championship leader Julien Maurin (Ford Fiesta R5) will be strong, while all eyes will be on new JWRC champion Stéphane Lefebvre (DS3 5), who steps up to WRC 2 for the first time.

In the Production Cup within WRC 2, Juan Carlos Alonso will aim to cut leader Max Rendina’s 36-point advantage while Mexico’s Benito Guerra, PWRC champion in 2012, makes his first category start.

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