Friday | 03 Oct 2014

Gilbert leads WRC 2 in France

Quentin Gilbert held a narrow lead over Bernardo Sousa following a day of attrition in the WRC 2 category at Rallye de France - Alsace on Friday.

The Frenchman, driving a Ford Fiesta R5, headed his Portuguese rival by 9.1sec after six special stages in the Vosges mountains south-west of Strasbourg and a spectacular street test around the city’s European Parliament.

Gilbert led after the opening stage before Pontus Tidemand briefly moved ahead. However, Gilbert regained the initiative and kept Sousa’s Fiesta RRC at bay during the afternoon, winning four of the seven stages.

Tidemand was firmly in contention until the Swede, winner of the Junior WRC title in 2013, rolled his Fiesta R5 into retirement in SS4.

Sébastien Chardonnet was only 15sec off the lead in his Citroen DS3 R5 but the Frenchman changed a puncture in SS5 and dropped 1min 45sec. However, he remained third, 2min 04.0sec from the lead.

Johan Heloise, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX, was the only other driver to compete the full day. He is fourth, 7min 39.0sec behind Gilbert, and leads the Production Cup category.

Marty McCormack retired his Fiesta R5 after going off the road in SS2 while Jourdan Serderidis, who spun his similar car in the opening test, stopped after the second stage after losing six minutes in a crash.

Jarolsaw Koltun was also sidelined when the Pole stopped his Fiesta R5 in SS4.

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