Nicosia, November 03 (QNA) – Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah leads the Intercontinental Rally Challenge finale by 93.6 seconds despite completing the stage with a broken front driveshaft and an alternator glitch on his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC.
“It’s not been easy today,” said Al Attiyah. “We made the decision to use the reinforced Michelin tyre, which is heavier, but it’s better to lose 10s in a stage than a lot more time with a puncture as the risk of punctures is very high in Cyprus. I need to win this rally for the Middle East championship and now we have a good lead for tomorrow. Our strategy then will depend on the pace of Andreas but I am not concerned about his pace. If we keep our pace we will win this rally.”
SKODA UK Motorsport’s overnight leader Andreas Mikkelsen, who cannot be caught in the battle for this year’s IRC title, won the stage and is back into second place following a delay on stage two.
The Norwegian had been on top by 4.4s following Friday night s Pafos Super Special Stage but dropped back to seventh when he stopped to change a right-rear puncture 10 kilometres into Saturday’s opening 23.97-kilometre Koilinia test won by Al Attiyah.
Mikkelsen also set the pace through the 12.43-kilometre mixed-surface Salamiou stage, the second of the day, and climbed to fourth before overtaking Sepp Wiegand and Jarkko Nikara on SS4.
German Wiegand, who is chasing his first podium in the IRC, dropped more than a minute when he spun his SKODA Auto Deutschland Fabia Super 2000 and had to reverse. (QNA)