Hanninen leads tight Azores fight

Juho Hanninen leads the Rally Azores after the first three stages - but just 0.2 seconds cover the top three drivers

Hanninen leads tight Azores fight

Local driver Bruno Magalhaes led his first home event of the year for Peugeot Portugal for the first two stages, initially by just 0.3s over Andreas Mikkelsen's Ford, then by only 0.1s over SS2 winner Hanninen.

It was Mikkelsen who then won the day-closing Grupo Marques superspecial, which put him on equal second with Magalhaes, both of them 0.2s behind Hanninen's Skoda overall.

Jan Kopecky is fourth in the second works Skoda, struggling slightly with a clutch problem but still within 5.5s of the lead.

Road position has been a major factor today, with reigning champion Kris Meeke running first as the leg one order was set by numerical order on the entry list. The Peugeot UK driver described stage one as "unbelievably slippery" and found himself in fifth - which would have potentially put him first on the road for all nine of Friday's stages as tomorrow's order starts with the top five reversed.

But Meeke then dropped him on SS2 and fell to sixth behind Portuguese championship leader Bernardo Sousa - hinting that he slowed deliberately in order to do so - which left the frustrated Ford driver facing the worst of tomorrow's stage conditions.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Juho Hanninen Skoda 18m35.8s 2. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot + 0.2s 3. Andreas Mikkelsen Ford + 0.2s 4. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 5.5s 5. Bernardo Sousa Ford + 11.3s 6. Kris Meeke Peugeot + 12.3s 7. Pedro Peres Mitsubishi + 46.6s 8. Vitor Pascoal Peugeot + 47.4s 9. Ricardo Moura Mitsubishi + 49.7s 10. Pedro Vale Mitsubishi + 1m20.1s 
shares
comments
Meeke pledges calmer approach
Previous article

Meeke pledges calmer approach

Next article

Magalhaes leads as favourites falter

Magalhaes leads as favourites falter
Load comments
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

ERC
Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

ERC
May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

ERC
Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

ERC
Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

ERC
Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

ERC
Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

ERC
Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

ERC
Nov 29, 2010