WRC 2 heavyweights line up Down Under
Principal title contenders face off in Australian outback
The Saudi Arabian driver took the lead in the opening special stage but stalled the engine of his Ford Fiesta RRC in the next test and dropped behind Al-Attiyah and Jari Ketomaa. However, he was back in front after the next stage and leads by the Qatari by 7.1sec.
Al-Attiyah and Ketomaa held second and third all once Al Rajhi regained the lead and the difference between them was 16.0sec.
Al-Attiyah was bemused by unexplained handling issues this afternoon in his Fiesta RRC, while the turbo boost system in Ketomaa’s Fiesta R5 didn’t work properly for much of the day.
Yuriy Protasov was fourth in another RRC car, the Ukraine pilot more than two minutes further back and 22.9sec clear of series leader Lorenzo Bertelli. The Italian struggled with handbrake issues this morning and a differential problem in the afternoon.
Subhan Aksa was sixth with Ott Tänak seventh after a difficult day. A broken front differential this morning and front driveshaft problems this afternoon cost the Estonian several minutes, but when his Fiesta R5 was healthy Tänak was fast and won two stages.
Jourdan Serderidis was eighth after crashing into a tree and suffering an engine misfire. Max Rendina, leader of the Production Cup within WRC 2, retired with electrical problems in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.