ERC Valais: Esapekka Lappi surges into 40s lead after first day
Esapekka Lappi increased his lead of the European Rally Championship finale to over 40 seconds with a commanding run through the Rally of Valais' Friday afternoon stages
The Finn went fastest on the first two stages of the afternoon in his works Skoda, adding 22s to his advantage over Andreas Aigner on SS7 alone, before steadily eking out his lead to 43.7s by the end of the day.
In contrast to Lappi, Aigner pushed his Stohl Racing Subaru to its limit, but with only a Group N car under his control, he was unable to keep pace with the S2000-spec Fabia.
Home hero Olivier Burri continues to hold third overall in his Ford Fiesta RRC, but is now 35s back from Aigner. Vasiliy Gryazin (Ford) and Nicolas Althaus round out the top five.
Jeremi Ancian lost ground to Lappi during the afternoon, but continued his fightback from his three-minute penalty on Thursday. He was fastest on SS9 to pull his Sainteloc Peugeot up from 10th to sixth, just 21s behind Althaus.
With his power steering having been fixed at service, Ancian's team-mate Craig Breen set top-three times on every afternoon stage to climb from 14th to eighth.
He is only 21.1s behind Jaroslav Orsak, who was fastest on SS10, the final test of the day in his privateer Skoda.
Leading positions after SS10:Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Esapekka Lappi Skoda 1h28m24.4s 3. Andreas Aigner Stohl Subaru +43.7s 3. Olivier Burri Zero4 Pui Ford +1m18.9s 4. Vasily Gryazin SRT Ford +1m41.2s 5. Nicolas Althaus Lugano Peugeot +2m19.8s 6. Jeremi Ancian Sainteloc Peugeot +2m41.2s 7. Jaroslav Orsak GPD Skoda +3m33.1s 8. Craig Breen Peugeot +3m54.2s 9. Florian Gonon Lugano Subaru +4m20.4s 10. Pascal Perroud Lugano Peugeot +6m02.7s
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