Friday | 03 Jul 2015

Lappi heads Skoda 1-2 in Poland WRC 2 clash

Esapekka Lappi dominated WRC 2 in Friday’s opening leg of 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland to head Skoda Motorsport team-mate Pontus Tidemand.

The Finn won five stages in his Fabia R5 to head Tidemand by 50.3sec, with the Swede adding two more victories for the Czech squad in the final two tests.

“I’ve had no dramas, no problems and there was no reason to push harder,” said Lappi, whose dominance was such that he was able to ease his pace in the rough penultimate stage.

Karl Kruuda was Lappi’s closest challenger for most of the day until a puncture in SS6 cost more than a minute and he ended 57.0sec behind Tidemand in third.

Germany’s Armin Kremer edged ahead of Teemu Suninen in the final test to hold fourth by just 0.3sec. Kremer is also driving a Fabia R5 while the young Finn is at the wheel of an older specification Fabia S2000.

Al-Attiyah's Friday came to an abrupt end on the opening stage

Jari Ketomaa survived a troubled day which included a puncture, power steering failure and a leaking brake caliper to hold sixth in a Ford Fiesta R5, 21.8sec behind Suninen.

Championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah was an early casualty, the Qatari ripping a front left wheel from his Fiesta RRC 4km after the start of today’s opening stage.

Stéphane Lefebvre was third until he went off in SS3 and damaged the radiator of Citroën’s DS 3 RRC. He made repairs to continue but eventually retired four stages later with oil pressure problems.

Other retirements included Valery Gorban, Bernardo Sousa and Martin Koci, while Scott Pedder drove much of the day without power steering and Julien Maurin lost a minute after puncturing in his Fiesta RRC.

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