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SS1: Avci on top in Sliven following stadium stage

The stage was stopped for a time

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By Olivier Ferret

28 September 2012 - 21:51
SS1: Avci on top in Sliven following

Yağiz Avci has continued where he left off on the Prime Yalta Rally by leading the Mabanol Rally Sliven following the opening 1.91-kilometre SSS Sliven stage around the city’s Hadji Dimitar Stadium tonight.

In dry conditions and in temperatures of 26 degrees centigrade, the reigning Turkish champion, who claimed his maiden IRC win in Ukraine earlier this month, stopped the clocks in 2m00.5s at the wheel of his M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000.

IRC Production Cup contender Marco Tempestini was second fastest, 0.5s adrift of Avci in his Subaru Impreza R4 STI with category rival and IRC 2WD Cup pacesetter Robert Consani next up in his Renault Mégane RS, 3.4s down on Avci.

Cheered on by thousands of local fans, Dimitar Iliev, the five-time Sliven winner and favourite for victory in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, was fourth fastest 4.0s, off the lead. Former IRC 2WD Cup champion Harry Hunt was fifth with Petar Gyoshev completing the top six in his Peugeot 207 S2000.

Menya Krózser (Renault Clio R3) was seventh followed by Bulgarian lady driver Ekaterina Stratieva and impressive IRC rookie Yuan-Hu Lin from Taiwan. Murat Bustanci completed the top 10. Rising Bulgarian star Todor Slavov was 11th quickest with Martin Kangur the fastest Honda driver 15th overall.

The stage was stopped for a time after Bulgarian IRC 2WD Cup contender George Lazarov crashed into a tree. Lazarov was taken to hospital for precautionary checks but was subsequently given the all clear. The stage was resumed once his car had been recovered.

Day one’s action resumes with the Mollova Gora stage at 10:30hrs local time on Saturday following a 15-minute service in Sliven.

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