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ERC NEWS 

ERC Romania: Jan Kopecky pulls clear of Francois Delecour

Jan Kopecky, Skoda, Sibiu ERC 2013Jan Kopecky is on course for victory in the Sibiu Rally after nearest rival Francois Delecour admitted he would settle for second place.

The current European Rally Championship leader started Saturday's final leg of stages 15.4 seconds ahead of Delecour and extended the gap by a further 8.5s after the first 8.5-kilometre test in Sadu.

Kopecky followed this up by completing Gatu Berbecului - the longest stage of the rally at 31 kilometres - 15.9s quicker than Delecour who, upon completion of the test, conceded defeat in the fighting for the lead.

"I was not pushing very hard," said the rally veteran. "I want to finish, I do not want to push anymore. Today I think Jan also has not to go flat out."

Delecour dropped a further 26.9s behind Kopecky after suffering from a suspected shock absorber failure that lead to a slow puncture during the final stage of the morning.

Kopecky therefore leads the event by 1m06.17s with Toshihiro Arai now running in third place after setting the production class pace and demoting local hero Edwin Keleti.

The rally concludes with a second pass of the trio of stages before culminating with a 3.5-kilometre super special on Saturday afternoon.

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