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Sat 23 Apr 2022

Rossel edges closer to first WRC2 triumph

Yohan Rossel moved one step closer to his maiden WRC2 victory after maintaining his lead on Saturday at the Croatia Rally.

The reigning WRC3 champion, starting his second event in the WRC’s premier support category, began day two comfortably in front of his opponents after a faultless drive on Friday.

He swapped times with closest challenger Nikolay Gryazin across Saturday’s drying speed tests, with a measured approach ensuring a trouble-free run in his Citroën C3 Rally2.

By close of play, Rossel’s lead remained virtually unchanged and he held 35.1sec over Gryazin’s Škoda Fabia Rally2 as well as being seventh overall.

"It's been a great day,” reflected the leader. “We kept the gap similar to yesterday, and that's very important.

“I am happy with my driving and the car is very great. Maybe I was a little bit cautious on the second loop, but it's okay," he added.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz increased his pace to climb into the top three, just 15.8sec down on Gryazin. The Pole inherited the position after Eric Camilli’s Citroën punctured at Kostanjevac - Petruš Vrh.

Fabia hotshot Emil Lindholm also benefited from Camilli’s issue to take fourth as well as leading the WRC2 Junior contingent. He trailed the leading trio by 33.8sec, but had a comfortable 46.9sec in hand over Škoda driver Chris Ingram, who set some impressive times after being held back by tyre and turbo issues on Friday.

Camilli’s woes left him 2min 25.7sec back from the lead, but he persevered and held sixth, while Fellow Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre also suffered a puncture and finished down in seventh.

Grégoire Munster became the only casualty of the day when he retired his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 before the start of SS10.

• Full coverage from the Croatia Rally will be 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