Friday in WRC 2:
Kopecky in the clear
Skoda Motorsport driver Jan Kopecky held a commanding lead in the WRC 2 category at Rallye Monte Carlo on Friday night after chief rivals Teemu Suninen and Eric Camilli both hit trouble.
With eight of the event's 17 stages complete, asphalt ace Kopecky brought his Skoda Fabia back to service in Gap with a lead of 8min 28.7sec over Peugeot 208 driver Guillaume de Mevius.
Kopecky began Friday's leg in the midst of a breakaway lead trio, trailing overnight leader Camilli's Ford Fiesta by 19.1sec, with Suninen pushing hard in third in another Fiesta.
But the three-way fight became a duel on Friday's second stage when Suninen crashed into trees and retired. And when Camilli went off in Stage 6, Kopecky found himself in a class of his own.
"It was disappointing to see the other guys hit problems today," said Kopecky. "It was a good battle with Eric but I've been in this sport a long time and sometimes this is rallying.
"Since I saw Eric in trouble I've been taking it easier - a little more careful."
Former factory Hyundai Motorsport driver Kevin Abbring is third, 30.8sec behind de Mevius, after a costly puncture in Thursday's opening stage.
WRC 2 rookie Eddie Sciessere (Citroën DS 3) is fourth, 3m36sec further back, and rounds off the support category entries.
Head to WRC+ to watch WRC All Live from Rallye Monte-Carlo