Acropolis WRC 2: Kubica leads after day 1
Polish star leads despite dropping time in both opening day tests
Robert Kubica dominated the opening leg in the WRC 2 category to build a 38.2sec lead in his Citroen DS3 RRC, despite visiting a ditch and a spin.
The Polish F1 star was fastest through the opening 47.70km test from Kineta to Pissia by 20.5sec and won the shorter Kineta test by 13.7sec to return to the rally base in Loutraki clear of Yuriy Protasov and championship leader Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari.
“We set a good pace in the first stage, perhaps too fast,” said Kubica. “We caught the dust of Fuchs ahead and went off into a ditch but, OK, we got out. It was a shame because we lost 30sec in the dust, but this is part of rallying and part of the lessons we are taking.
“The second stage in the dark was pretty difficult. We had a spin. I went off the line and didn’t want to take the risk of trying to get back, so I reversed and lost a lot of time,” added Kubica, who lies 10th overall.
Protasov, driving a Ford Fiesta RRC for the first time, punctured a rear right tyre in SS2 but the Ukrainian is 17.1sec clear of Al-Kuwari’s similar car. The Qatari reported a minor handbrake problem in the opening test.
Valeriy Gorban lies fourth in a Mini John Cooper Works, a further 12.4sec back, with Subhan Aksa completing the top five in another Fiesta RRC.
Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs stopped to change a front left puncture on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X in the opening stage and lost more than four minutes. Ricardo Trivino lost more than eight minutes after a similar issue in his Lancer.
Ala’A Rasheed retired his Fiesta RRC in the opening test with a broken steering wheel.
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