ERC Valais: Esapekka Lappi moves into narrow lead

Esapekka Lappi moved into a narrow lead of 2.9 seconds on the final round of the European Rally Championship after overhauling Andreas Aigner on the second morning of the Rally of Valais

ERC Valais: Esapekka Lappi moves into narrow lead

Lappi, driving a works Skoda Fabia S2000, was 8.8s faster than Aigner's Group N Subaru on the rally's fourth stage, which opened the day's proceedings, and moved into a 5.1s lead as a result.

The Finn increased his advantage on SS5, but backed off on the slippery SS6 and allowed 2008 Production World Rally champion Aigner to close back in.

Local hero Olivier Burri maintained third spot in his Ford, but is only 9.5s ahead of impressive Russian teenager Vasiliy Gryazin.

Sebastien Carron, sixth overnight, crashed on SS6 works Renault man Robert Consani retired on SS4 when a wheel fell off due to sheared studs.

The star performer of the morning was Jeremi Ancian, who was fastest on all three stages.

The Frenchman, who had shared the lead with Craig Breen after Thursday's opening test, began the day 28th due largely to a three-minute penalty for checking into SS2 early.

The Sainteloc Racing driver hauled his S2000 Peugeot into ninth spot by the Sion service, taking 23s off Lappi in the process.

Ancian's team-mate Breen began the day 16th, having been penalised two minutes for a similar offence on Thursday.

But his fightback was curtailed when he hit a white post while apexing at a right-hander on SS4 and broke his car's power steering. He dropped another two minutes to the leaders during the morning and lies 14th.

Leading positions after SS6: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Esapekka Lappi Skoda 53m06.3s 3. Andreas Aigner Stohl Subaru +2.9s 3. Olivier Burri Zero4 Pui Ford +34.0s 4. Vasily Gryazin SRT Ford +43.5s 5. Gregoire Hotz Zero4 Pui Peugeot +1m00.6s 6. Nicolas Althaus Lugano Peugeot +1m10.5s 7. Jaroslav Orsak GPD Skoda +2m08.6s 8. Florian Gonon Lugano Subaru +2m15.3s 9. Jeremi Ancian Sainteloc Peugeot +2m32.4s 10. Antonin Tlustak GPD Skoda +3m23.4s 
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ERC Valais: Andreas Aigner leads as Craig Breen is penalised

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