Friday | 04 Dec 2020

Tidemand takes early WRC 2 lead after soggy Friday

Pontus Tidemand battled horrendous weather conditions at ACI Rally Monza to establish a slender WRC 2 category lead on Friday evening.

The Swede, driving a Skoda Fabia Rally2, made a slow start and found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard after Friday’s opener. 

Undeterred, his confidence and pace grew with each kilometre and, when Adrien Fourmaux picked up a rear right puncture during the second pass of Cinturato, Tidemand was well-placed to inherit the lead. 

"It's very slippery, but the feeling is okay. We will see what happens next and I think tomorrow will be completely different," said Tidemand, whose overnight advantage is just 6.8sec.

Fourmaux’s position really didn’t do him justice. He and his M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 were in formidable form during Friday’s morning loop and the Frenchman claimed three impressive stage wins.

Title rival Østberg is taking a stage-by-stage approach

Mads Østberg was 5.6sec further back in third and reluctant to take any risks so early in the event. The Citroën C3 R5 pilot is fighting head-to-head with Tidemand for the series crown and could mount an attack over Saturday’s mountain stages. 

Jan Kopecky rounded out the leaderboard in fourth, 19.9sec adrift of Skoda team-mate Tidemand up front. A Tarmac specialist, Kopecky was surprised at the loose conditions and found it difficult to enjoy the stages. 

Full coverage from ACI Rally Monza is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

More WRC 2