Sweden encounters trouble at Rally of Nations
Spanish Team driver Xevi Pons and Dani Sola kept it cool at the Rally of Nations' second day, even after the latter was unable to complete the last two stages. The Spanish operation kept the lead in the Mexican event with just
two special stages left for Sunday.
The Austrian team, made up of Manfred Stohl and Andreas Aigner, took over second place from the French effort which suffered after Brice Tirabassi quit the race, leaving former World Champion Didier Auriol all by himself.
There is a 93-point difference between Spain and Austria, whilst the Frenchmen need 223 points to overtake the Austrians, a goal that is now mathematically impossible.
Under a sweltering sun that took everything out of both the crew and the machines, the four stages that took place in the Guanajuato sierra practically wore the brakes out on all the cars and took engines to the limit, resulting in the withdrawal of Spain's Sola and France's Tirabassi as well as both members of Team Sweden, Per Gunnar Andersson and Patrik Sandell.
In the individual driver competition, the top positions on the scoreboard switched around yesterday, as Aigner lost the leadership to his fellow countryman Stohl, while the French Auriol stayed in third position.
Aigner is just 7.
5 seconds away from Stohl, whereas Auriol is a seemingly distant 40 seconds behind the leader. Pons improved four positions compared to Friday and is now in fourth place.
Germans Wallenwein and Gassner Jr. rose a few places, especially the latter, who even with an upset stomach was able to jump seven places to end up in sixth behind Wallenwein.
The best performance of the day was from Mexican driver Ricardo Trivino, who after breaking his radiator on Friday and losing 10 minutes, managed to make up time and come all the way from 22nd place to eighth just behind Spaniard Sola.
Completing the first ten places are the American Matthew Johnson and Mexican Rodrigo Ordonez.
On Sunday there will be only one run held in Comanjilla, followed by the closing stage at Leon's Autodromo race circuit before the rally party heads off for the scenic venue on the lake at Foro del Lago where the prize ceremony for the winning team and drivers will take place.