Jan Kopecky controlled the WRC 2 category at Rally Italia Sardegna on Friday to build a comfortable lead of nearly a minute.
Yohan Rossel won last night’s short curtain-raising speed test, but Kopecky took charge in his Skoda Fabia R5 once this seventh round of the season moved onto the rough roads of northern Sardinia this morning.
He won five of the eight special stages to head the similar car of Ole Christian Veiby by 52.7sec.
“The day was really great for us. OK, I would like to battle with Eric Camilli (who is not registered for points here), but I must think about my championship,” said the Czech driver.
Veiby was fastest in two stages and apart from missing a junction this morning, the young Norwegian was untroubled. He finished 1min 32.2sec ahead of Takamoto Katsuta’s Ford Fiesta R5.
“Today was a tough day, the stages were very rough but we had no punctures and no problems,” said Katsuta. “I need to be careful in the next couple of days, then maybe a good result.”
Yohan Rossel twice punctured this afternoon but was fourth in a Citroën DS 3 R5, ahead of Hiroki Arai. Arai retired last night after electrical problems in his Fiesta R5, but recovered well once he restarted today.
Lukasz Pieniazek completed the top six despite broken power steering in his Peugeot 208 T16.
Fabio Andolfi was second early on and was still inside the top three when he crashed his Hyundai i20, while Pierre-Louis Loubet retired from third after he also went off.
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