Vatanen maintains as Cave slips

Vatanen maintains as Cave slips

On day three, the action headed east into the mountainous region of Serra do Marão. SS9 and 12 see the greatest elevation change, rising from 438 meters to 1,222 meters in 12km.

Max Vatanen of FInland continued his winning ways and chalked up his third stage win of the rally, finishing stage eight 9.2sec ahead of Marius Aasen, with the American new-comer Will Hudson finishing third. The UK’s Tom Cave reported a reoccurring issue with his electrical system, which meant he finished the eighth stage in fifth position.

Stage nine was driven uncompetitively by all crews due to an earlier incident, which gave the pilots an opportunity to revisit their pace-notes in preparation for the second pass in the afternoon.

Stage ten covering 37.67km, the longest of the rally, was taken by Aasen who led Vatanen by 31.1sec. Belgian pilot Ghislain de Mévius had to retire after crashing into a tree around 5km into the stage.

Going into mid-day service Vatanen maintains a slim lead of 46sec from Aasen who moves into second as Cave slips.

Max Vatanen said: “The morning has gone quite well, we started the first stage setting a best stage time. We tried to be smooth and avoid mistakes. On the last and longest stage, we tried to be careful and not destroy the tyres but maybe our pace was a bit too slow.”

Marius Aasen said: “Fairly good morning, the first stage was a bit tricky, we had to take care. I wasn’t feeling so comfortable until the last stage which was good. I was driving safe avoiding stones and it worked out well. Happy about that stage.”

Tom Cave said: “It’s been a tough morning. On the first stage we were seeing the same issue as yesterday. It’s frustrating for me because the aim was to get time back on Max. It was just a case of damage limitation and not losing too much time, to make sure the car got back to service. Hopefully the mechanics can get it back to full speed this afternoon.”

Top three overall at mid-day (subject to pending decision on nominal times SS9)

1. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 2h 4m 43.5s
2. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 2h 5m 29.2s
3. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 2h 6m 04.2s


Vatanen maintains as Cave slips
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