Saturday | 24 Oct 2015

Tidemand in command on Spanish asphalt

Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand remained in control of WRC 2 at Spain’s RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada after Saturday’s penultimate leg.

Although he won just one stage, the closing seafront blast through Salou, Tidemand finished 30.1sec clear of Skoda Fabia R5 team-mate Jan Kopecký with just one day remaining.

After losing a minute with power steering problems, Kopecký won five stages to reduce the deficit from more than 80sec. But with Tidemand still harbouring title chances, the Czech driver is unlikely to pose a strong challenge though tomorrow’s final six stages.

“I’ve really enjoyed today. It’s been one of those rallies where everything has worked right from the beginning. My title chances depend on other drivers, I’m not thinking about it,” said Tidemand.

Third squad member Esapekka Lappi was the latest title hopeful to see his championship hopes suffer a setback. Having established himself in second on yesterday’s mainly gravel roads, the asphalt was less kind to him and he rolled out on this morning’s second stage [below].

His demise promoted Eric Camilli into third in a Ford Fiesta R5, despite a front right puncture in the final test. The Frenchman won two stages and is a minute adrift of Kopecký.

Championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah was fourth after a difficult day in his Fabia R5. He was pursued by German Armin Kremer who slashed a deficit of 1min 50sec to just 24.2sec. Yuriy Protasov climbed from ninth to sixth in a Fiesta RRC. 

Quentin Giordano retired from sixth early in the opening stage while Craig Breen stopped in the same test with a broken differential. Martin Koci also went out following two punctures on his Peugeot 208 T16 – he carried just one spare wheel.

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