Fri 08 Sep 2023

Rossel seizes WRC2 lead as Fourmaux falters in Greece

Yohan Rossel stormed to the front of the WRC2 field after rival Adrien Fourmaux suffered heartbreak on Friday at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

Fourmaux, who drives a Ford Fiesta Rally2 for M-Sport Ford, was undoubtedly the star performer on what proved to be a testing day for several of the WRC2 category’s regular frontrunners.


His consistency appeared to be paying off as he carried an eight-second lead into the penultimate stage, but a pesky rock on the line dealt the Frenchman front-left tyre damage and his advantage was sliced to just 0.9sec.


Worse was to come on the Elatia finale, however, in the form of another puncture. Fourmaux and Alex Coria opted to perform a mid-stage wheel change, dropping almost two minutes and handing the lead to compatriot Yohan Rossel.

Rossel did not win any stages aboard his Citroën C3 Rally2 but headed Škoda Fabia RS driver Gus Greensmith by 6.8sec overnight.


“They are not easy stages,” Rossel admitted. “With my four soft tyres, I thought I had a bit of an advantage before the start of the last stage but it's very dry. On some parts you have very high grip and at the end my tyres are dead."


Rossel is set to make major strides in his title bid after championship leader Andreas Mikkelsen, as well as rival Oliver Solberg, both struck trouble. Mikkelsen plummeted down the order with a series of punctures while Solberg’s Škoda succumbed to fuel pressure woes early in the day.


Capitalising on their more experienced rivals’ issues were Marco Bulacia and Sami Pajari, who held third and fourth respectively in a pair of Toksport-run Fabias. Robert Virves brought his Fiesta through in fifth while Poland’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz completed the top six.


Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM