Pärn Eases The Pace As Caves Suspension Goes

Pärn Eases The Pace As Cave's Suspension Goes

As the afternoon stages got underway, Estonian Sander Pärn was sitting in 19th place in the overall rally standings with Tom Cave in 20th, just 21.8sec behind. The skill of our top drivers is shown here as they are setting faster times than some of the more powerful front-wheel-drive vehicles in the WRC 3 category.

Szymon Kornicki of Poland was unable to start the first stage of the afternoon due to engine trouble on the road section leading to Mökkiperä 2. Pärn set the fastest time on SS19 followed by Frenchman Quentin Gilbert 1.0sec later, who was ahead of British driver Cave by just 0.1sec.

The difficult conditions proved problematic for our crews on SS20, as Tom Cave damaged his suspension and was unable to continue.  José Suárez's difficult rally came to a dramatic and early close when he rolled his R2 Fiesta just 300m past the point where Cave stopped earlier. Gilbert claimed his fourth set of fastest stage time points with Finnish driver Max Vatanen coming in +6.4sec and Pärn +7.8sec after the leader.

The Surkee 2 stage saw Marius Aasen post a second set of fastest times. Gilbert followed on after +3.5sec. With Caves early exit, the pressure on overall leader Pärn reduced, with the Estonians nearest competition over three minutes behind. Subsequently Pärn eased off the pace, sacrificing any potential stage points for the security of finishing the stages safely.

Pärn takes a lead of +2min 55.4sec into the final day of rally Finland ahead of Quentin Gilbert, who in turn is in front of Marius Aasen by just +37.3sec.

Sander Pärn said:
"In the first stage we drove ok but not as fast as the first pass, the road conditions just wouldn't allow it. We really didn't push it this afternoon because we just didn't need to. When we saw tom stopped at the side of the road, at first we thought it was a puncture so we backed off the pace a little and when we realised he had retired, we moved safely to the finish. That is the plan for tomorrow, slow and steady to the win.

Quentin Gilbert said:
"We pushed hard today, but not all the time. On the second pass, the surface was completely destroyed so we were forced to slow down. We will try and collect as many stage point as possible tomorrow without jeopardising our placing. The car is ok, the pace is ok. Maximum pace, maximum enjoyment.

Marius Aasen said:
"We had a puncture just after service this afternoon so we lost some time on that. I was trying my best to avoid the stones as much as possible. It's a short day tomorrow but should be exciting. Stage 2 tomorrow will be tough with no new tyres. We aren't going to take any chances, not going to push it. We would prefer to take third then go off the road.

Tom Cave said:
"I was back in my rhythm when the suspension was damaged so its very disappointing. We tried to fix it by the road but it wasn't possible. The stages were very rough. The suspension was ripped out as we hit a hole on a fast left hander. It was bad luck and it could have happened to anyone. But we were lucky not to go off the road. We are going to try collect some stage points tomorrow. The experience is very important to me.

1. Sander Pärn / James Morgan 3h 09m 23.2s
2. Quentin Gilbert / Renaud Jamoul 3h 12m 18.6s
3. Marius Aasen / Marlene Engan 3h 12m 55.4s
4. Yeray Lemes / Rogelio Penãte 3h 15m 29.3s
5. Max Vatanen / Mikko Lukka 3h 17m 33.2s
6. Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet 3h 23m 42.3s
7. Nil Solans / Miquel Ibanez 3h 25m 23.4s


S Parn_3
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