Friday | 10 Jun 2016

Scandola tops WRC 2 in Italy

Italian Umberto Scandola delighted his home fans by leading WRC 2 at Rally Italia Sardegna on Friday night.

Scandola capitalised on a mistake from early leader Teemu Suninen to head Esapekka Lappi (above) by 10.1sec, with Suninen slipping back to third, a further 9.1sec adrift. All three are driving Skoda Fabia R5 cars.

Suninen set the early pace, four wins from the opening six speed tests enabling the Finn to build a 17sec advantage. But he hit a rock in SS7, puncturing the front right tyre and allowing Scandola through into a lead he cemented with two stage wins from the final three tests.

Scandola, who won four stages and survived a small spin, admitted he was surprised to lead and feared he might come under attack from Lappi tomorrow. The Finn reined in his pace, preferring a cautious policy to a flat out attack on the rocky gravel roads.

“We stuck to our plan and it was an OK day, not perfect but reasonable. There are so many loose rocks in tomorrow’s stages that we need to be even more eyes open than today,” said Lappi.

Peru’s Nicolas Fuchs won one stage en route to fourth in another Fabia R5, despite a final stage spin, and he remained in contention 27.5sec from the lead.

A front left puncture cost Czech Jan Kopecky almost a minute, but after plunging from fifth to eighth he regained his position by the end of the day. Marius Aasen rounded out the top six in a Ford Fiesta R5.

Quentin Gilbert conceded almost half an hour after hitting a rock and breaking a steering arm in his DS 3 R5. He replaced it in the stage but lost more time with broken power steering. Also in power steering problems was Jose Suarez who retired his Peugeot 208 T16 this morning.

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