WRC 2 in GB:
Champ Pontus on top
Pontus Tidemand has been the class performer in WRC 2 this season and emphasised his superiority to lead the category at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB on Friday night.
The Swede, who secured the world title in Germany in August, won four of the six muddy forest speed stages in a Skoda Fabia R5 to top the standings by 43.1sec after the first full day’s action in mid-Wales.
He grabbed the lead in last night’s curtain-raising test, before mastering the slimy roads this morning to win the opening two special stages in Myherin and Sweet Lamb. He did exactly the same when they were repeated this afternoon to take firm control.
Teemu Suninen was Tidemand’s closest challenger initially, but the Finn stopped to change a rear puncture on his Ford Fiesta in Hafren Forest and lost two minutes.
Ole Christian Veiby, making his debut for the works Skoda Motorsport squad, took up the task of reining in team-mate Tidemand. However, the young Norwegian rolled in the second pass through Myherin, promoting Eric Camilli to second.
Camilli incurred a disputed 10sec penalty after arriving late for this morning’s Hafren stage and ended the leg 3.3sec clear of Tom Cave, who enjoyed a superb run on home ground in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Eyvind Brynildsen was fourth in another Fiesta, with David Bogie and Pierre-Louis Loubet completing the top six.
There were many tales of woes from the remaining competitors. Seventeen-year-old Kalle Rovanperä, who passed his driving test less than a month ago, retired with a damaged radiator and Simone Tempestini went out in the repeat Hafren test.
Pedro Heller endured a dreadful day with a roll and a puncture, Gus Greensmith and Emil Bergkvist lost time with power problems and Turkey’s Orhan Avcioğlu dropped more than seven minutes in a Hafren ditch.
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