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ERC NEWS 

Andreas Mikkelsen to lead Rally Azores into final day

Andreas Mikkelsen, Skoda UK, Azores 2012Andreas Mikkelsen will take a 16.2-second lead into the final day of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season-opener in the Azores after heavy rain led to the Friday afternoon stages being truncated.

Stage eight Coroa da Mata was cancelled outright and stage nine Sao Bras to Vila Franca reduced from 16 to six kilometres.

Skoda UK driver Mikkelsen still managed to extend his lead over works rival Juho Hanninen by 0.8s in the brief stage mileage that took place.

Bryan Bouffier's Peugeot remains third, while Hermann Gassner Jr has taken fourth from Sepp Wiegand.

Leading positions after SS9:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car               Time/Gap
 1.  Andreas Mikkelsen   Skoda UK             1h05m34.0s
 2.  Juho Hanninen       Skoda                   + 16.2s
 3.  Bryan Bouffier      Peugeot               + 1m01.6s
 4.  Hermann Gassner Jr  Red Bull Skoda        + 3m26.3s
 5.  Sepp Wiegand        Skoda Deutschland     + 3m36.2s
 6.  Ricardo Moura       Mitsubishi            + 4m55.8s
 7.  Oleksandr Salyuk    Iurii Chemezov Ford   + 6m43.9s
 8.  Sergio Silva        Subaru                + 8m33.2s
 9.  Ruben Rodrigues     Mitsubishi           + 10m10.1s
10.  Rui Lousado         Subaru               + 10m14.4s
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