Cave in control

Cave in control

British driver Tom Cave is firmly in pole position going into the mid-day service, leading Max Vatanen by 1min 11.9sec and Marius Aasen by 1min 26.7sec.

The tight competition at the top of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy table continued into the first two stages this morning. Cave and Aasen of Norway took a stage win apiece, taking their tallies to seven and four respectively.

The rutted roads around Surkee would prove challenging for the pilots as three drivers suffered punctures; one of whom was Assen. The overall Trophy leader dropped 1min 19sec off the pace and into third overall, replaced by local pilot Vatanen. Dutch drivers Mats van den Brand and Kevin van Deijne also lost time due to punctures caused by sharp rocks appearing on the racing line.

Cave wisely backed off in the knowledge he holds over a minute lead, allowing Aasen to set another fastest time on SS14; he finished +3.7sec ahead of Max Vatanen.  Van den Brand’s woes worsened after going off 4.5km into the final stage, damaging the suspension and drive shaft. The car was rendered unable to continue.

The race is really on as we look forward to this afternoon’s action. If Cave can keep his cool and out of trouble, we may see an important victory for the Brit.

Tom Cave said: “I’m obviously happy with the situation right now because the pressure is off for the moment. In the afternoon I’ll aim to stay out of trouble but balance that with going fast enough to maintain the rhythm. I’ll pick and choose which stages I push on because I don’t want to risk a puncture but then again I want to compete.”

Marius Aasen said: “Unfortunately we got a puncture and lost some time which let Tom get further in front. We decided to drive the rest of the stage with the problem and hope we didn’t damage the car. It seems to have paid off because we could have lost more time for sure. We will try and push for second place and put some pressure on Max, being carful not to suffer any more problems. I’ve got a good feeling with the car so I am still confident.”

Max Vatanen said: “Of course I am happy. Second is always better than third and I will try and take this position to the end of the rally. There are still many kilometers to drive and anything can happen.”


Cave in control
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