Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 5 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions

ERC Rally Zlin: Pech leads after Abbring, Lappi and Breen's dramas

Mini driver Vaclav Pech found himself in the Rally Zlin lead after all the usual European Rally Championship frontrunners had near-simultaneous disasters on day one in the Czech Republic.

Works Peugeot man Kevin Abbring led from factory Skoda driver Esapekka Lappi and the second 208 T16 of Craig Breen at the end of the opening loop, but all three then hit trouble on the Trojak stage that followed lunchtime service.

Abbring's car ground to a halt with a wiring loom problem affecting the water pump, while Lappi and Breen both crashed. Although Breen made it to the finish, his impact with a tree had caused terminal damage.

That put Roman Kresta into a brief lead, only for an exhaust manifold problem to stop his Skoda one stage later.

Even after Pech assumed first place, the attrition continued. His main rival Jaromir Tarabus was closing in until sliding off the road on SS7, losing nearly two minutes as spectators helped him rejoin.

Sepp Wiegand picked up second in the remaining factory Skoda, but sustained a puncture on the day's final stage.

That would have cost him second to Tomas Kostka, had the Czech driver not lost his power steering on the same stage, meaning they remained second and third, only now a minute off leader Pech, and just ahead of Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

That puts Wiegand on course to inherit the ERC championship lead, despite not winning a rally all year.

WRC2 championship contender Ott Tanak, who won the previous ERC round in Estonia, is running only ninth. In addition to running DMACK's still-developing asphalt tyres, he has also been hamstrung by a persistent misfire.


Leading positions after SS9:                            
Pos  Driver                Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Vaclav Pech           Invelt Mini        1h16m35.0s
 2.  Sepp Wiegand          Skoda                  +54.1s
 3.  Tomas Kostka          Rufa Ford            +1m12.7s
 4.  Kajetan Kajetanowicz  M-Sport Poland Ford  +1m25.9s
 5.  Roman Odlozilik       TRT Ford             +1m37.0s
 6.  Robert Consani        Delta Peugeot        +1m43.1s
 7.  Jaroslav Orsak        Orsak Skoda          +1m54.7s
 8.  Jaromir Tarabus       Kresta Skoda         +1m57.7s
 9.  Ott Tanak             CA1 Ford             +2m21.2s
10.  Martin Vicek          Svarmetal Skoda      +2m51.8s
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Mini driver Pech wins Zlin ERC round