Juho Hanninen leads in Barum Czech Rally Zlin after stage 3

Juho Hanninen leads in Barum Czech Rally Zlin after stage 3

01.09.2012: IRC Rallyes - BARUM CZECH RALLY ZLIN 2012 Overall Standings after stage 3, top 10 1 1 FIN 1 Hänninen Juho / Markkula Mikko Škoda Fabia S2000


Overall Standings after stage 3, top 10

1     1 FIN      1     Hänninen Juho / Markkula Mikko
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 1     00:28:21.4     00:28:21.4     00:00:00.0 00:00:00.0

2     4 NOR      4     Mikkelsen A. / Floene Ola
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 2     00:28:29.4     00:28:29.4     00:00:08.0 00:00:08.0

3     14 CZE      2     Kostka Tomáš / Houšť M.
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 3     00:28:39.6     00:28:39.6     00:00:18.2 00:00:10.2

4     7 CZE      6     Kresta Roman / Gross Petr
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 4     00:28:45.9     00:28:45.9     00:00:24.5 00:00:06.3

5     3 CZE      5     Kopecký Jan / Dresler Pavel
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 5     00:28:46.2     00:28:46.2     00:00:24.8 00:00:00.3

6     15 IRL      3     Barrable Robert / Loudon Stuart
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 6     00:29:01.3     00:29:01.3     00:00:39.9 00:00:15.1

7     5 SWE      12     Flodin Patrik / Bergsten Göran
Ford Fiesta S2000      2 8     00:29:05.8 00:00:10.0     00:29:15.8     00:00:54.4 00:00:14.5

8     11 CZE      8     Tarabus J. / Trunkát Daniel
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 9     00:29:16.9     00:29:16.9     00:00:55.5 00:00:01.1

9     19 CZE      7     Orsák Jaroslav / Šmeidler David
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX      3 1     00:29:25.0     00:29:25.0     00:01:03.6 00:00:08.1

10     6 DEU      13     Wiegand Sepp / Gottschalk Timo
Škoda Fabia S2000      2 10     00:29:26.6     00:29:26.6     00:01:05.2 00:00:01.6

Jarkko Nikara has set the pace in the IRC Production Cup, going fastest in the category on Saturday’s opening two stages in his Yokohama-shod Subaru Impreza R4 STI.

Anreas Mikkelsen has narrowed Juho Hänninen’s overall lead on Barum Czech Rally Zlín to 13.3s by winning the third stage of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event, the 18.43-kilometre Pindula test.

Mikkelsen was 1.3s faster than his fellow ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 driver despite fearing his decision to select intermediate tyres for the morning loop of stages would slow him down due to the drying nature of the stage surface.

“The stage was a little more damp in the forest section but the slick was still the way to go,” said Mikkelsen. “I tried to push as much as I can.”

Hänninen, who was running a slick tyre with cuts for additional grip, said: “We had a lot of cuts but I think the others had even more cuts. It was difficult and the tyres were overheating but we are here. Now we have to flip the coin in service and make the tyre choice the other way.”

Jan Kopecký continues to lose time with his choice of rain tyres and was fourth fastest behind ŠKODA privateer Roman Kresta. Although the Czech is now 30.1s behind team-mate Hänninen, he said his priority remained scoring as many points as possible in the Czech championship, which is running in tandem with the main IRC event.

Several drivers reported a coating of mud in the forest section of the stage, with overnight leader Tomáš Kostka dropping to third behind Mikkelsen in the overall standings. Kostka and Swede Patrik Flodin were joint fifth quickest.

Robert Barrable has slipped from third to sixth after admitting to being too cautious in the forest section. “I backed off under the trees because it was very slippery,” he said. “I hit a rock inside on a long left-hander. I didn’t want to take too many chances.”

A 30-minute service halt in Otrokovice awaits the crews with the second running of Slušovice due to get underway at 13:10hrs local time. The stage will be broadcast live on Eurosport and free-to-air Czech TV.

After SS2: Inspired Hanninen takes stage win and lead

The battle for victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín has resumed with the Slušovice ‘circuit’ stage this morning, with Eurosport and free-to-air Czech TV broadcasting all the dramatic action live.

Despite heavy overnight rain, the stage surface was largely dry and several drivers were caught out after they selected tyre compounds that were better suited to wet conditions, which had been anticipated.

Juho Hänninen’s decision to run on a dry-weather Michelin tyre with cuts to provide additional grip paid dividends when the Finn went 6.6s faster than closest rival Andreas Mikkelsen to move to the top of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge leaderboard in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

“It was more drier than I expected and we have to see how the tyres will be on the next one,” said the 10-time IRC event winner. “I tried to come smoother through the stage.”

Mikkelsen bemoaned his decision to run with an intermediate tyre. The ŠKODA UK ace said: “It was completely the wrong tyre choice but I was happy with my driving because I was neat as I could be.”

Overnight leader Tomáš Kostka was third fastest but slips 7.3s behind Hänninen in the IRC standings in his privateer Fabia. Behind Irish privateer Robert Barrable, Roman Kresta was fifth fastest with Jan Kopecký sixth, 18.3s adrift of ŠKODA Motorsport team-mate Hänninen having selected wet tyres. “It was very difficult but this is the risk. It was raining a lot in the night but now it’s completely dry. We just stay on the road and try to improve it.”

Patrik Flodin was handed a 10s time penalty for leaving service in Otrokovice this morning one minute behind schedule while his Petter Solberg Engineering mechanics raced to replace a broken alternator, which failed on Friday’s opening superspecial stage. He was seventh quickest in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000.

- IRC  Richard Rodgers -  photos IRC Series

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01.09.2012 / MaP

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