Saturday | 07 Apr 2018

WRC 2 in France: Kopecký pulls away

Jan Kopecký extended his lead in WRC 2 to more than three minutes after the second day of the Corsica linea - Tour de Corse, as his nearest rivals suffered a number of issues.

The Skoda Fabia R5 driver finished the day with a 3m04.3sec lead over Fabio Andolfi in a similar car, after six stages which mixed long, twisty, tests with sections that crews compared to a race track.

Kopecký won four of the day's six stages but was kept on his toes by fellow Skoda driver Ole Christian Veiby who won the opening two special stages before finishing as runner up on the next three.

However, Veiby's challenge was dealt a blow on SS10 - the second run of the Novella stage - when his gearbox stuck in first gear. He had enough time in hand to remain in third place at the end of the day, 3m49.9sec off the lead. 

Kopecky's other potential rivals fell at the wayside as the day went on. The first to experience issues was Stéphane Lefebvre. After recovering from brake issues in his Citroën C3 R5 on Friday, he suffered further problems on SS5 - going off the road and damaging the car so badly he was forced to retire.

Stéphane Lefebvre went off the road in SS5 and had to retire the C3 R5

Fourth placed Yoann Bonato in another C3 was suffering problems of his own, a glitch with his GPS alert system in SS8 repeatedly - and incorrectly - warned him of red flags on the stage. He lost 6m10sec on the stage and that relegated him to fourth overall. Because of the nature of his problems, the Frenchman is expected to appeal to event stewards to reclaim the time he lost respecting the system. 

"We hope to fight for second place, it was a good day for us except for this morning when I made two mistakes. But I'm happy with the car and happy with everything," he added.

Lukasz Pieniazek finished the day in fifth, more than 12 minutes down on Kopecký after hitting a wall on Friday.

Local hero Pierre Louis Loubet was forced to retire after mechanical issues on SS8 - the second run of the 35.61km Cagnano - Pino - Canari test.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Corsica linea - Tour de Corse, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis. 


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