SS12: Loix closes on lead
With stage win
The battle for victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín has intensified after Freddy Loix slashed Jan Kopecký’s overall lead to one second with three stages of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event remaining.
Loix was 2.7s faster than the Czech driver through the 24.37-kilometre Halenkovice stage. He said: “I’m pushing and trying to make no mistakes. It’s going quite okay and I will try to keep this speed.”
Kopecký said his car was “working very well” after he repaired the powersteering glitch that hampered him on the day’s first stage by bypassing the oil cooler to the powersteering pump. “We need to fix it in service – it’s going to be an interesting battle to the end,” he said.
Juho Hänninen, in third overall, lost time when the rear of his ŠKODA Fabia began to lose grip in the forest section of the stage. “It was not good,” he said. “I thought I had a puncture because I lost the rear a few times. I did not have the feeling any more. It’s bad.”
ŠKODA UK’s Andreas Mikkelsen’s bid to pass Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg’s Thierry Neuville faltered when he overshot a junction and had to reverse.
Craig Breen, in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta, set the fourth fastest time in his efforts to close on sixth-placed Toni Gardemeister.
PROTON Motorsports’ PG Andersson suffered a spin and reported that either a rear differential or propshaft had broken nearing the end of the run. He drops to 10th in the overall standings.
Guy Wilks has moved into eighth place after going fourth fastest through the stage in his Peugeot UK 207.
|1||Kopecký Jan / Starý Petr||Škoda Fabia S2000||1h45m35.1s|
|2||Loix Freddy / Miclotte F.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+1.0s|
|3||Hänninen Juho / Markkula Mikko||Škoda Fabia S2000||+10.2s|
|4||Neuville T. / Gilsoul Nicolas||Peugeot 207 S2000||+1m53.9s|
|5||Mikkelsen Andreas / Floene Ola||Škoda Fabia S2000||+2m11.4s|
|6||Gardemeister T. / Suominen Tapio||Škoda Fabia S2000||+2m53.6s|
|7||Breen Craig / Roberts Gareth||Ford Fiesta S2000||+3m05.7s|
|8||Wilks Guy / Pugh Phil||Peugeot 207 S2000||+3m21.3s|
|9||Kresta Roman / Gross Petr||Škoda Fabia S2000||+3m28.1s|
|10||Andersson P. / Axelsson Emil||Proton Satria Neo S2000||+3m47.3s|
|11||Sołowow Michal / Baran Maciej||Ford Fiesta S2000||+3m56.0s|
|12||Kruuda Karl / Järveoja M.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+4m00.7s|
|13||Sandell Patrik / Parmander S.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+4m36.6s|
|14||Barrable Robert / Connolly Damien||Škoda Fabia S2000||+4m40.2s|
|15||Basso G. / Dotta Mitia||Proton Satria Neo S2000||+4m53.7s|