Sunday | 09 Mar 2014

Protasov tops WRC 2 in Mexico

Yuriy Protasov won WRC 2 by a massive margin of almost 24 minutes to stretch his lead in the championship to 14 points.

The Ukraine driver, who won the opening round in Monte-Carlo, drove most of today’s third and final leg with a broken front driveshaft on his Ford Fiesta R5. But such was his advantage that his lead never came under threat.

Lorenzo Bertelli, who retired yesterday after rolling his Fiesta RRC, restarted today under Rally 2 rules and climbed the leaderboard to snatch second in the final stage.

Fellow Italian Max Rendina was third, just 15.9sec behind, in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. That was sufficient to claim maximum points in the Production Cup category in WRC 2 to add to his Monte-Carlo success.

Max Rendina - Production Cup winner

Rendina managed with a down-on-power engine today after it overheated yesterday when an impact damaged the radiator. His Ralliart Italy team replaced the radiator in service last night, but had to reduce the power in the mapping to give the engine the best chance of lasting.

Ott Tank was by far the fastest driver on the rally. He won every stage in the final two legs but his victory hopes were ended after he crashed his Fiesta R5 into retirement early on Friday. He recovered to take fourth.

Gianluca Linari was fifth, and second in the Production Cup, with Nicolás Fuchs and Augusto Bestard completing the finishers. Quentin Gilbert retired his Fiesta R5 after today’s opening stage with a damaged radiator.