Saturday PWRC wrap: Flodin under pressure
Swede leads but Kosciuszko vows to push on final day in Spain
Patrik Flodin is six stages away from claiming his first victory in this year’s Production Car World Rally Championship. However, with Michal Kosciuszko just 11 seconds behind, success for Flodin is by no means guaranteed.
Flodin, in a Subaru Impreza, has maintained his lead throughout the day but was far from satisfied at the completion of Saturday’s closing stage.
“I’m struggling with my driving,” said the Swede. “We tried to adjust a little bit our driving style to see if we could improve but it didn’t go very well. I don’t know what the problem is but I can’t find a good rhythm on the Tarmac.”
Kosciuszko could have overtaken Paddon on Saturday’s final stage but lost time when his Mitsubishi Lancer developed a left-rear brake problem. “I had almost no brakes for the final four kilometres,” said the Polish driver. “We will have a nice fight tomorrow.”
Benito Guerra remains on course for his maiden podium finish despite losing three minutes when he had to stop and change a puncture on stage seven.
Bader Al Jabri is a strong fourth overall in his Abu Dhabi Junior Team Impreza with Valeriy Gorban fifth in his Lancer. Oleksandr Saliuk is sixth with Peruvian champion Nicolas Fuchs seventh. Gianluca Linari overcame a broken differential on stage seven to hold eighth overnight.
Production Car world champion Hayden Paddon impressed on his return under SupeRally regulations following his early exit on Friday by setting the PWRC pace on five out of six stages in his Impreza. “I’m loving Tarmac,” said the New Zealander following a strong showing alongside co-driver John Kennard.
Martin Semerad, currently second in the PWRC points, broke a wheel rim on stage seven before crashing into retirement on the very next stage. Dmitry Tagirov rolled on stage seven. With his Impreza badly damaged the Russian won’t go any further in Spain.
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