Aasen Ascends Again

Aasen Ascends Again

Marius Aasen of Norway reclaims the lead at the end of a day that has seen some tight competition for the top spot. He leads Tom Cave by 17.9 seconds and Max Vatanen completes the current podium nearly two minutes back. Mats van den Brand nips at the Finn’s heels following in just five seconds.

The second pass of Mazury (SS14) was officially cancelled before the first of our crews so everyone made their way to the re-run of Wieliczki.

The intense battle between Cave and Aasen was illustrated yet again on SS15 as Aasen took the win, only 0.2sec ahead of Cave. Recent stage winner Nil Solans slipped way off the pace reporting a lack of power. He finished in eighth position.

Aasen really set the stage alight on the second pass of Swietajno, finishing 19 seconds ahead of Cave. That was enough for the man from Norway to reclaim the pole position going into the last stage of the day; a third and final blast around Mikołajki Arena. Dutch driver Mats van den Brand finished well on the 16th stage, taking seven seconds out of Vatanen, who now only sat eight seconds in front.

British rookie Gus Greensmith closed what has been a very positive day for the young driver by winning his first stage of the event, bringing the number of individual stage victors to six over the course of the rally.

The weekend’s temperatures are set to peak tomorrow here in Mikołajki and undoubtably we are in for a real fight at the finish.

Marius Aasen said: “ It’s been a very good day for us. I tried to drive safely and conserve the tyres because it’s been so hot and it looks to have paid off. After service I wanted to push and we got a good time so it paid off. It was very dusty but I chose to trust my notes. I hope I can take it easy tomorrow but I know Tom will push.”

Tom Cave said: “ It’s been a good afternoon racing but it was fairly frustrating. Lot’s of hanging dust meant sometimes we would come to a crawl but those were the conditions. There is still plenty of milage to go and we will be flat out from the word go in the morning. We’ll focus on the notes and try claim some stage wins and hopfully close that gap up again. ”

Max Vatanen said: “ It was so dusty out there this evening so I had to be careful. It took some of the enjoyment out of the stages, but it was the same for everyone I guess. The car is much improved and more enjoyable to drive after service. Conditions depending, we will push and aim to maintain our third overall. ”

Top five at the end of day three

1. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 2h 34m 25.3s
2. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 2h 34m 53.2s
3. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 2h 36m 31.1s
4. Mats van den Brand / Martijn Wydaeghe 2h 36m 39.1s
5. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson 2h 38m 52.3s


Aasen Ascends Again
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