Saturday | 25 Oct 2014

Kubica struggles in Saturday's opener

Robert Kubica was an early casualty of Saturday’s second leg of RallyRACC - Rally de España when the Pole struggled through the opening stage with a suspected broken rear differential.

Stage info: SS8

Tivissa, 3.96km
Used previously as the shakedown and run in 2012 in the opposite direction, Tivissa offers a short introduction to asphalt. It is bumpy and narrow, in contrast to the other stages, with opportunities for corner cutting.

He reported problems with his Ford Fiesta RS after warming the tyres before SS8 and lost almost 40sec as he limped through the test.

“There is no point in continuing, the car is undriveable and doing what it wants. I will go back to service as soon as possible,” said Kubica, who was sixth overnight.

However, after working on the car on the following liaison section, he continued to the next stage with the Fiesta in rode mode.

After yesterday’s gravel leg, the short opener gave drivers the opportunity to acclimatise to asphalt before the monster 50.00km Escaladei to follow.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest by 1.0sec in his Volkswagen Polo R from leader and team-mate Sébastien Ogier, the Finn sounding revitalised after being frustrated by his lack of gravel pace.

“My problem is that when I start to concentrate too much on one thing, I forget others. Coming here, I was thinking only about the asphalt, not the gravel,” he explained.

Ogier was unperturbed and ceding a second to his colleague. “It was bumpy and a little bit tricky, but we knew Jari-Matti would start flat out,” he said.

Third fastest for Andreas Mikkelsen promoted him ahead of Mads Østberg to third overall. The gap between them is 1.7sec.

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