Fri 21 Jul 2023

Korhonen marches on in WRC3

Roope Korhonen has continued his charges toward the WRC3 championship title, building a healthy 55sec lead over Laurent Pellier on the first full day of action at Rally Estonia.

The Finnish 2023 debutant has been in sensational form in the all-Ford Fiesta Rally3 championship, having already picked up wins on every one of his three starts this season.

Admittedly, the 24-year-old was not having everything go his way with Rautio Motorsport team-mate Benjamin Korhola showing no nerves in his maiden WRC start, claiming a treble of stage wins to start the weekend leading by 18.6sec.

But his lightning run came unstuck on the day’s fifth test when he got beached in deep ruts late in the stage. With no spectators on hand, he was forced to retire.

“In one right-hander at the end of the stage there was a big rut and it knocked the [steering] wheel from the hands [of Korhola],” explained co-driver Pekka Kelander in an exclusive interview with wrc.com. He continued: “The speed was normal, but the second passes of the stages were really rutted.

“The damage is cosmetic, I think we can restart tomorrow.”

Another Finn, Toni Herranen also had troubles on the same stage as Korhola, losing more than 19sec to Pellier and allowing the Frenchman to overtake him to claim second position.

Turkey’s Ali Türkkan finished the day in fourth overall, more than three minutes behind leader Korhonen.

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