IRC Puncture and brake problems hamper Skydive Dubai Rally Team in Corsica
55th Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, May 9-12, 2012
Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), round 4
For immediate release
Friday, May 11th, 2012
PUNCTURE COSTS SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY
TEAM USEFUL PLACING IN TOUR DE CORSE
· Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khalid Al-Kendi climb back to 32nd overall
· Dani Sordo leads from Jan Kopecky after five special stages
BASTIA (Corsica): A puncture and problems with the brakes marred the Skydive Dubai Rally Team’s progress after five special stages of the 55th Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, the fourth round of the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, on Friday afternoon.
The Emirati duo of Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khalid Al-Kendi slipped to 38th overall after the flat tyre on the third stage on Thursday evening, but were back in a competitive pace in their Skoda Fabia S2000 over the first two stages on Friday morning.
They set the 28th quickest time and climbed two places to 36th overall on the fourth 27.53km Le Fangu-ND de la Serra stage and moved up another four places to 32nd overall on stage five after recording the 26th quickest time.
“My times since Gran Canaria have been improving when I compare them to the other drivers,” enthused Al-Ketbi. “The puncture was frustrating because I did not hit anything and lost four minutes.”
At the wheel of a Mini John Cooper Works S2000, Spaniard Dani Sordo held an overall advantage of 20.8 seconds over Czech driver Jan Kopecky after five stages. Early leader Andreas Mikkelsen left the road and was forced to change a punctured tyre.
Giandomenico Basso set the fastest time on the opening stage on Thursday afternoon in a Ford Fiesta RRC, but defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen snatched the lead in his Skoda after the second 16.89km stage and maintained it at the overnight halt in Calvi, despite being beaten by Pierre Campana to the quickest time in SS3.
The bulk of Friday’s action was centred around the town of Corte in the centre of Corsica, with five special stages on offer. Mikkelen beat Kopecky by 2.3 seconds on the first one to extend his overall advantage over Sordo to 7.2 seconds, but he left the road in the fifth stage and dropped over two minutes and 40 seconds to the leaders.
The event finishes in the northern town of Bastia at 19.40hrs on Saturday evening.
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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