Yuriy Protasov will take a huge lead of almost 25 minutes in the WRC 2 category into tomorrow’s final leg of Rally Mexico.
The Ukraine driver, who won the opening round in Monte-Carlo and leads the championship, is 24min 41.5sec clear of Max Rendina’s Mitsubishi Lancer. Italian Gianluca Linari lies third, a further 3min 17.2sec back, in another Lancer.
Protasov started the day with a 4min 21sec advantage over Lorenzo Bertelli. But when the Italian rolled his Ford Fiesta RRC in the opening stage, Protasov was left with a huge lead which he extended further throughout the day.
His only problem came when the power steering stopped working on his Ford Fiesta R5, but he re-set the system and normal service was resumed.
Bertelli lies fourth, almost five minutes clear of Ott Tanak, who returned under Rally 2 rules after crashing yesterday. The Estonian showed what might have been by setting fastest time through every stage in his Fiesta R5.
Nicolas Fuchs, Quentin Gilbert and Augusto Bestard, all of whom also returned under Rally 2, complete the order.