Following last night’s ceremonial start of the 43rd edition of the Croatia Rally from the Trg Slobode in Poreč, today’s schedule had four special stages. At the end of the day, the lead belongs to Juraj Šebalj and Maja Sabol in Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. The Croatian crew from the AC Sveta Nedelja holds a 8.1 second lead in front of Vlastimil Majerčak and Michaela Vejačkova (Ford Fiesta R5), while the third place belongs to Antal Kovacs and Gergo Istovics (Ford Fiesta R5) with 38.7 seconds behind the leader.
Krisztian Hideg had a puncture after running onto a rock in the first turn of the third special stage, where he lost three minutes while changing the tire. This adds heat to the building when it comes to the battle for the Croatian Championship between Šebalj and Hideg, as Šebalj has a mere 11 point lead in the season’s standings. A win in Istria would secure him the championship. Seven crews haven’t finished today’s Mugeba and Žbandaj special stages, with no serious crashes. Tomorrow holds eight special stages in store – Boljun, Cerovlje, Butoniga and Buzet. The closing ceremony in Poreč is scheduled at 20:15.
1. Juraj Šebalj / Maja Sabol (HRV, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 26:55,4
2. Vlastimil Majerčak / Michaela Vejačkova (SVK, Ford Fiesta R5) +8,1
3. Antal Kovacs / Gergo Istovics (HUN, Ford Fiesta R5) +38,7
4. Janos Szilagyi / Barbara Palla (HRV, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) +46,8
5. Gergely Fogasy / David Berendi (HUN, Peugeot 208 T16) +57,3