Huge lead for Suninen in WRC 2
Support category decimated by tough conditions
The Finn steered clear of trouble in the hot and dusty mountains above León to bring his Skoda Fabia R5 into the final overnight halt with a lead of 19min 05.9sec after adding five more stage victories to his tally.
The toughest job for Suninen, whose pace carried him into ninth overall, was keeping his focus.
“I had some problems with concentration. It’s not that easy to drive more cautiously, it’s better to drive at speed. I could drive much faster but now is not the time for that,” he explained.
Pole Hubert Ptaszek was second in his Peugeot 208 T16. After a catalogue of problems yesterday, Ptaszek had only rear-wheel drive this afternoon but held off Max Rendina with a 1min 32.2sec advantage. The Italian had afternoon issues with his Ford Fiesta R5’s steering rack.
Nicolas Fuchs started in second but had to use a screwdriver to hold together a damaged gearbox early in the opening stage. The patch-up lasted only a few kilometres and the Peruvian dropped almost 30 minutes making further repairs. He went on to win four stages, despite a broken turbo sensor and held fourth.
Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari replaced Fuchs in second but his tenure lasted just one stage before the Qatari ripped a front wheel from his Fabia R5 and retired. Fellow countryman Khalid Al Suwaidi did not restart after feeling unwell and Armin Kremer retired his Fabia R5 for a second day with rear suspension damage.