Thursday | 01 Oct 2015

Clean run essential for Lappi in WRC 2

Esapekka Lappi admits he cannot afford any errors at this week’s Tour de Corse - Rallye de France as he aims to propel himself back into the WRC 2 title fight.

The Finn failed to score in his last outing in Germany after crashing his Skoda Fabia R5 into a tree. Championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah took full advantage with maximum points in Australia earlier this month to leave Lappi languishing in fourth.

He trails the Qatari by 27 points with just two scoring opportunities remaining compared to Al-Attiyah’s one, and recognises the importance of the demanding asphalt event.

“The rally on Corsica is a real challenge. We are in it to win. We are very motivated and know that we cannot afford to make any mistakes,” he said.

Lappi, who won in Poland and Finland, starts as favourite at the Mediterranean island event. The three drivers ahead of him in the points are absent, but a no-score here for Lappi would rule him out of the title fight.

Two of his main rivals are also driving Fabia R5s, newly-crowned Asia-Pacific champion and team-mate Pontus Tidemand and German Armin Kremer. Tidemand is sixth in the standings but potentially has three more scoring opportunities.

Reigning French asphalt champion Julien Maurin and fellow countryman Eric Camilli are expected to feature strongly in Ford Fiesta R5s on their home round, while Craig Breen could vault up the standings with a strong result after a tough year in his Peugeot 208 T16.

Teemu Suninen is starting only his third asphalt rally in his Fiesta R5 but the Finn showed good pace on Germany’s sealed surface roads to finish sixth.

Production Cup leader Gianluca Linari can widen the points gap in his Subaru Impreza, but he will be hotly pursued by the three drivers behind him in the standings, Max Rendina, Alain Foulon and Joan Carchat.

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