Pre-event favourite Pontus Tidemand led WRC 2 at Rally Guanajuato Mexico after a hot and dusty day’s action on Friday.
The Swede, driving a Skoda Fabia R5, headed the standings after last night’s opening two speed tests in Mexico City. However, he yielded the advantage to main rival Eric Camilli as soon as today’s delayed schedule kicked into action this afternoon.
Brake problems in the marathon 54.90km El Chocolate stage were to blame but Tidemand regained the advantage on the next test. He reeled off a run of four consecutive stage wins to build a 35.4sec lead over Camilli’s Ford Fiesta R5.
“I was too careful in the first stage and overused the brakes, but it has been better since then,” said Tidemand, who shares the championship lead. “I will try the same approach tomorrow but I am expecting a big challenge. It’s a long day and I must stay focused.”
Frenchman Camilli’s early pace was slowed by a variety of problems. A damaged steering rack, broken rear left damper and brake issues left him unable to fight back, but he had 31.8sec in hand over local hero Benito Guerra.
Guerra was lucky to survive when he hit a wall in one of Guanajuato’s underground silver mine tunnels. The impact broke the rear left wheel of his Fabia R5 but he replaced it and continued.
Neither Hubert Ptaszek nor Pedro Heller completed the day, both stopping in the opening El Chocolate stage.
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