Nutahara out of luck on IRC’s Czech visit
"Both crew are okay"
Fumio Nutahara’s hopes of a strong finish in the IRC Production Cup section of Barum Czech Rally Zlín are over after the Japanese driver crashed his Subaru Impreza R4 STI on the fifth stage of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier.
Nutahara, who is co-driven by fellow Japanese Hakaru Ichino, was running in the top 20 in the new-for-2011 category when he went off the road in his Yokohama-backed car three kilometres from the end of the 11.49-kilometre Semetín stage.
“Things were going well and we’d made some improvements to the set-up,” said Yokohama’s technical consultant Ian Beveridge. “Until we get the car back to service we won’t be able to determine the full extent of the damage but both crew are okay.”
Despite being handed a 40-second time penalty for leaving Saturday morning’s first service late while his mechanics rushed to change a front differential, Czech driver Václav Pech heads the IRC Production Cup standings by 26.6s in his Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX R4 after five stages. Jaroslav Orsák is second in another Lancer R4 with Jaromir Tarabus third in a more standard Lancer.