WRC A FULL 2016
Another perfect day’s racing for Lefebvre and Breen!
Picking up where they left off on day one, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT crews once again impressed onlookers at Rally Poland. Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau scored their maiden World Rally Championship stage win on their way to extending their lead over team-mates Craig Breen and Scott Martin to twelve seconds.
Rally Poland – Day 2
2 July 2016
After the morning service, the competitors headed north east and closer to the border with Lithuania. The day featured two loops of three stages, contested with no service period, just a mid-leg tyre change zone. The leg concluded with a final run on the Mikolajki super special stage.
With only 1.7s between them as they set off on the day’s opening test, Goldap 1 (SS11), Stéphane Lefebvre and Craig Breen resumed their very closely contested battle. By the end of the stage, Breen had closed the gap to leave the two Abu Dhabi Total drivers tied in the overall standings!
Stung into action, Stéphane Lefebvre retaliated on the next two stages. With the second fastest time overall on Babki 1 (SS13), he pulled out an 11.9s lead over his team-mate.
During the mid-leg pause, the PH Sport engineers had to guide the drivers in choosing their tyres for the second loop. With the road conditions deteriorating and the high temperatures in the north of Poland, the drivers opted to go with hard-compound Michelin LTX Force tyres.
This strategy proved to be especially effective for Stéphane Lefebvre. After losing time in the dust behind Henning Solberg on SS14, the Frenchmen then claimed his first ever WRC stage win on Babki 2 (SS15).
Following the super special stage, Lefebvre headed for service still in 7th place, 13.1s behind Sébastien Ogier. Meanwhile, Craig Breen enjoyed another impeccable day behind the wheel to hold onto 8th position, 12s adrift of his team-mate.
Tomorrow, the third and final leg of Rally Poland will be contested on roads around Mikolajki. Four stages totalling 60km will determine the final standings for this year’s event!
Stéphane Lefebvre (#7): “There’s no question that winning your first WRC stage is an important step in a driver’s career! We had already set the second fastest time on the first pass on the Babki stage and we managed to go even quicker on the second run. Overall, it has been an encouraging day, because we also matched the pace of the leading drivers on the sections that were new for everyone. I feel I am getting close to the limits of the car when the road is relatively flat and ‘readable’. It’s more difficult in the ruts and the sections full of potholes and rocks. In conditions like that, I think I still have too many instincts from the lower categories and am not making full use of the potential of the suspension systems. But we’ll be looking for more of the same tomorrow.”
Craig Breen (#8): “It was a long day, but it’s always fantastic to be behind the wheel of this car! This morning, the last two stages of the loop didn’t go very well for me. I made a few minor mistakes and lost my rhythm. I had to take a step back and regroup, before looking to improve again. In the end, it was another good day. I have so little experience in this car that it’s still difficult for me to know when I can push really hard. I prefer to take the time to build up confidence rather than run the risk of making a stupid mistake and going off the road. We were also very pleased with our tyre choice for the afternoon. With the hard tyres, the handling of the car was consistent and we able to push, no holds barred. Well done and thank you to the technical team for their information and advice!”
1. Tanak / Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 2:05.37.2
2. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (VW Polo R WRC) +21.3
3. Paddon / Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +27.8
4. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +43.5
5. Latvala / Anttila (VW Polo R WRC) +1:04.5
6. Ogier / Ingrassia (VW Polo R WRC) +1:08.1
7. Lefebvre / Moreau (DS 3 WRC) +1:21.2
8. Breen / Martin (DS 3 WRC) +1:33.2
9. Camilli / Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:10.6
10. Østberg / Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:14.9
Media Abu Dhabi Total WRT
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