Hanninen leads as Bouffier closes
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, June 4th 2011, 07:45 GMT|
Juho Hanninen continues to lead the Yalta Rally with just one loop of stages to go, although Bryan Bouffier has closed back in this morning.
Reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Hanninen (Skoda) looked like he had the rally under control as he pulled away on Friday afternoon, but Peugeot France's Bouffier reeled him in on today's first three stages, reducing the Finn's advantage from 12 seconds to 5.1s.
But the quickest drivers this morning have been those battling for third. A pair of stage wins for Skoda UK's Andreas Mikkelsen have brought him to within 12.9s of works Skoda driver Jan Kopecky's third place, though the Czech driver did set a fastest time himself on SS10 in between Mikkelsen's two wins.
After Friday's string of punctures and other dramas, there are larger gaps between the rest of the leading cars, with Kronos Peugeot duo Guy Wilks and Thierry Neuville relying on trouble ahead to move up from their current fifth and sixth places.
Leading positions after SS11: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Juho Hanninen Skoda 2h15m58.7s 2. Bryan Bouffier PH Peugeot + 5.1s 3. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 44.7s 4. Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda UK + 57.6s 5. Guy Wilks Peugeot UK (Kronos) + 3m09.8s 6. Thierry Neuville Peugeot Belux (Kronos) + 4m58.9s 7. Toni Gardemeister TGS Skoda + 6m46.5s 8. Karl Kruuda ME3 Skoda + 8m30.3s 9. Marko Tempestini Peugeot (private) + 9m40.3s 10. Jean-Michel Raoux 100% Renault + 16m27.5s