Saturday | 13 Sep 2014

Al-Attiyah snatches late WRC 2 lead

Nasser Al-Attiyah grabbed the WRC 2 lead at Coates Hire Rally Australia in the final special stage of Saturday’s second leg.

The Qatari edged closer to daylong leader Yazeed Al Rajhi through four special stages in the dusty New South Wales outback, before eventually overhauling the Saudi Arabian driver in a chaotic final pair of tests at Coffs Harbour stadium.

Al-Attiyah will take a slender 1.8sec advantage into Sunday’s third and final leg in his Ford Fiesta RRC, knowing victory would provide a huge boost to his title prospects.

Jari Ketomaa held a provisional third in a Fiesta R5. The Finn closed to within 10sec of the lead, despite a front right puncture in SS10, but rolled in his first run at the stadium stage.

Yazeed Al Rajhi - slipped to second

The accident caused the test to be halted temporarily and although Ketomaa was allowed an additional pass through the stage, organisers could hand him a time penalty later.

Ukraine’s Yuriy Protasov was fourth, 25.5sec ahead of championship leader Lorenzo Bertelli, with Ott Tänak completing the top six after an action-packed day for the Estonian.

He lost almost a minute in the opening stage after breaking a front driveshaft – his third breakage of the weekend – but replaced it before the next test.

Tänak stopped to assist at Ketomaa’s crash and was given an additional pass through the stage after his delay. Ironically his Fiesta R5 then stopped with electrical problems during the extra run and dropped 30sec.

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