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Sanremo ERC: Paolo Andreucci takes early lead

Paolo Andreucci

Paolo Andreucci holds the early lead in the Sanremo Rally, as local drivers push the European Rally Championship regulars down the order.

Bryan Bouffier led the way after the first two stages, but outbraked himself and clouted a barrier on SS3, Vignai.

That bent the Peugeot's suspension and cost Bouffier over a minute, dropping to eighth.

A fastest time on SS3 vaulted Andreucci ahead of compatriot Umberto Scandola to lead the rally by just four tenths of a second.

Giandomenico Basso completes an all-Italian top three covered by 6.8s.

Craig Breen is the first of the ERC regulars in fourth place, 11.7s off the lead.

Espekka Lappi is representing the Skoda factory team this weekend, with Jan Kopecky ending his season after clinching the ERC title in Croatia last month.

Lappi struggled with a lack of grip early on and also picked up tyre damage. He is currently 40.6s off the lead in seventh.

The rally resumes with two after-dark stages commencing at 8.21pm local time on Friday evening.

Leading positions after SS3:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car              Time/Gap
 1.  Paolo Andreucci       FPF Peugeot           35m46.6s
 2.  Umberto Scandola      SA Skoda                 +0.4s
 3.  Giandomenico Basso    Munaretto Peugeot        +6.8s
 4.  Craig Breen           Sainteloc Peugeot       +11.7s
 5.  Alessandro Perico     United Peugeot          +21.8s
 6.  Stefano Albertini     Racing Lions Peugeot    +38.1s
 7.  Esapekka Lappi        Skoda                   +40.6s
 8.  Bryan Bouffier        Delta Peugeot           +59.6s
 9.  Vasily Gryazin        Kruzmanis Ford        +1m47.3s
10.  Jean-Mathieu Leandri  Sainteloc Peugeot     +2m05.5s
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Basso holds on for Sanremo win
Basso leads as Andreucci hits trouble
Andreucci's lead grows on night stages