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ACI Rally Monza: Clever tactics pays off as SKODA crews lead WRC2 and WRC3 after first leg

The first leg of ACI Rally Monza was completely run inside the boundaries of – and mostly on –Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The rally crews even had to tackle the iconic banking, last used by F1 cars back in 1961. The second 2020 WRC event on Italian soil started with a single stage on Thursday evening in most treacherous weather conditions. Temperatures just above zero and heavy rain transformed the former Royal Park virtually into a mud bath. Standing water and even some patches of snow made tyre choice also for Friday’s five mixed tarmac and gravel stages kind of a lottery.

Andreas Mikkelsen opted for snow rubber for his Eurosol Racing Team Hungary run ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, a bold choice considering he might need his allocation of only eight such tyres on Saturday’s mountain stages.

Another ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo inside top 10 overall is shared by Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen from Finland. The privateers occupy ninth place on the leader board, in WRC3 trailing category leaders Mikkelsen/ Jæger by 52.5 seconds. “We experienced some crazy conditions – so wet and slippy. It’s been a rally of survival so far.” Solberg made up time during the day, reaching the overnight halt in tenth overall only 1.2 seconds from Emil Lindholm.

Standings ACI Rally Monza after Leg 1 (WRC2)

1. Tidemand/Barth (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 55:43.1 min. 3. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 Rally2, + 12.4 sec. 4. Kopecký/Hloušek (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, + 19.9 sec.

Standings ACI Rally Monza after Leg 1 (WRC3)

1. Mikkelsen/Jæger (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 54:33.5 min. 2. Lindholm/Korhonen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, + 52.5 sec. 3. Solberg/Johnston (SWE/IRL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, + 53.7 sec. 4. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN), Hyundai i20 Rally2, + 1:06.8 min. 5. Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (POL/POL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, + 1:29.7 min. 6. Bulacia Wilkinson/Der Ohannesian (BOL/ARG), Citroën C3 Rally2, + 208.1 Min.

After the first leg of ACI Rally Monza, three ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo crews are inside the top 10 overall: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger in 7th, Emil Lindholm/Mikael Korhonen in 9th and Oliver Solberg/Aaron Johnston in 10th.

The calendar of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship

Monte-Carlo 23/01/–26/01/2020 Sweden 13/02/–16/02/2020 Mexico 12/03/–15/03/2020 Estonia 04/09/–06/09/2020 Turkey 18/09/–20/09/2020 Italia Sardegna 08/10/–11/10/2020 Monza/Italy 03/12/–06/12/2020

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Dec 07, 2020 at 15:03

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