Kris Meeke has pulled out a 12.2-second lead in the Rally d'Italia-Sardegna after the second run through today's opening stages
The Peugeot UK driver had been just 0.1s behind leader Paolo Andreucci heading for service, but he drew 10s clear of the Italian by winning SS4, and then added a couple more seconds to his advantage on SS5.
With Meeke getting away, Andreucci is now coming under pressure from championship leader Juho Hanninen. The Skoda driver had struggled with running first on the road this morning, but found the surface more amenable on the second pass and is now just 1.5s behind Andreucci.
Jan Kopecky remains a lonely fourth in the second Skoda following his earlier problems, with Meeke's team-mate Thierry Neuville cementing fifth. The Belgian pulled away from top Group N runner Teemu Arminen and benefited from fellow pursuer Franz Wittmann putting the Interwetten Peugeot off the road on SS5.
The field now has two runs through the Monte Lerno stage to complete the day, the second taking place mid-evening.
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