Breen tops WRC 2 in France
Lappi keeps title bid alive in third
The Frenchman was second overnight in a Ford Fiesta RRC but second fastest time in Saturday’s opening speed test promoted him to the top of the leaderboard. He then won the second and final stage to head Esapekka Lappi by 19.0sec with one day remaining.
The Frenchman punched the air in delight after his opening stage performance, relieved to have a much better feeling in the drier conditions.
Lappi won the first stage to narrow the gap to Maurin to 2.2sec but the Finn, needing a strong result in his Skoda Fabia R5 to keep his title hopes alive, could not match Maurin in the final test.
Craig Breen led after yesterday’s rain-soaked leg in a Peugeot 208 T16. He was only fifth fastest in the opener to drop to third and then lost more than three minutes changing a puncture to end the leg in sixth.
Armin Kremer climbed to third, despite an understeering Fabia R5 this morning. The German is almost 70sec behind Lappi and more than 90sec clear of Teemu Suninen’s Fiesta R5. Eric Camilli dropped two minutes with a rear puncture but is fifth in a similar car.
Max Rendina continued to lead the Production Cup, but the Mitsubishi Lancer driver had his lead cut from 35.8sec to 7.5sec by Joan Carchat, who won both tests.