Eric Camilli held a comfortable lead in WRC 2 at ADAC Rallye Deutschland on Saturday night.
The Frenchman recovered from clutch problems in his Ford Fiesta yesterday to move ahead of long-time leader Jan Kopecký when the Czech driver lost time with a puncture. Camilli starts Sunday’s finale with a 1min 12.2sec advantage.
Kopecký had led the asphalt encounter since the opening kilometre on Thursday night but had to stop and change a puncture during this afternoon’s speed test on the abrasive Panzerplatte tank training roads.
It cost more than 90sec and the Skoda Fabia R5 driver dropped behind Camilli and title-chasing team-mate Pontus Tidemand. He clawed back to second during the final two tests, despite a further flat.
Despite his big lead, Ford Fiesta R5 driver Camilli was cautious. “We’re happy to lead tonight but we need to continue in the same way tomorrow. It’s not finished,” he said.
Kopecký headed Tidemand by 11.2sec and if the Swede holds position he will clinch the WRC’s principal support category title at tomorrow afternoon’s finish. He also punctured, the flailing rubber damaging his Fabia’s bodywork as he pressed on to the finish.
Gus Greensmith was fourth, the Fiesta man climbing from seventh during a clean run save for two overshoots. Quentin Gilbert was fifth in another Fabia, despite a spin, with Teemu Suninen completing the top six, 6.5sec behind the Frenchman.
Suninen was another to puncture. The Finn lost almost 2min 30sec and his title hopes are hanging by a thread.
Local hero Marijan Griebel fell back after puncturing and crashing into a ditch, while Pierre-Louis Loubet also spun off the road and Yoann Bonato was sidelined with a broken clutch.
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