WRC 2 in France:
Kopecký cruises to win
Jan Kopecký outclassed his rivals on Sunday’s two stages as he won the WRC 2 class by almost two minutes at the Corsica linea – Tour de Corse.
The Skoda Fabia R5 driver said his focus was on finishing the rally rather than taking any risks on the 55.17km Vero – Sarrola-Carcopino test as his hold on the top spot was unlikely to be tested by the cars behind.
His controlled driving on the stage allowed fellow Skoda driver Ole Christian Veiby to recover from his gearbox issues on SS10 yesterday evening and claim victory on the penultimate stage of the rally. The Norwegian finished 37.2sec faster than second-place Kopecký.
Veiby also claimed victory on the Live TV Power Stage, with Kopecký again finishing second – albeit just 2.4sec behind.
The Norwegian’s sweep of victories on Sunday wasn’t enough to reclaim his place on the podium as Fabio Andolfi – also in a Skoda - held onto third by 1.8sec after looking likely to miss out on a podium entirely until Veiby’s issues. However, a fourth and third respectively on the two stages allowed him to cling on.
Lying in second between the Skodas was Yoann Bonato, having been given back the time he lost on SS8 with the errors on his GPS alert system. The Frenchman took it steady on Sunday’s two stages ensuring the Citroën C3 R5 was given a successful debut, as he finished 1m52.1sec behind Kopecký in the overall standings.
Fifth place went to Lukasz Pieniazek as the Pole recovered from sliding into a wall on Friday to tighten his grip on the position. He benefited from Stéphane Lefebvre’s retirement on Saturday, the Frenchman was unable to restart today.
Kopecký’s French victory has allowed him to leapfrog Pontus Tidemand at the top of the WRC 2 drivers’ championship as the Swede elected to skip this round after victory in last month’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico. He has a seven-point lead going into the next round – YPF Rally Argentina.
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