MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

WRC 2 IN CHILE: ROVANPERÄ SEALS PRO WIN

KALLE ROVANPERÄ EASED THROUGH SUNDAY’S FINAL LEG OF COPEC RALLY CHILE TO CLAIM HIS MAIDEN WRC 2 PRO VICTORY.

Carrying a lead of more than half a minute into the short final leg of this sixth round of the season, the young Finn measured his pace through the final four speed tests to win by 23.6sec.

“It hasn’t been such a good start to the season for us. It was a great rally and although I was quite happy with my performance, it wasn’t as good as I expected so next time we have to be faster,” said the Skoda Fabia driver.

Mads Østberg won all four of Sunday’s tests in his Citroën C3 but was unable to recover the time lost due to a brake fluid leak on Saturday morning.

Gus Greensmith finished third in a Ford Fiesta, almost 3min 30sec off the lead following a troubled weekend. The consolation for the Briton was that he moved to the top of the championship. Bolivia’s Marco Bulacia completed the finishers in another Fabia.

Takamoto Katsuta (pictured bottom) scored a convincing victory in WRC 2 to vault into second place in the standings.

The Japanese driver’s rallylong battle with local hero Alberto Heller eventually ended on the second stage today when the Chilean rolled his Ford Fiesta into retirement.

Alberto Heller crashed out of second place in WRC 2

His demise left Katsuta with a handsome advantage in his Fiesta, and he eased through the final kilometres to win by 3min 06.1sec from Benito Guerra’s Skoda Fabia.

Mexican Guerra steered clear of trouble on the tricky forest roads and increased his championship lead to 14 points over new second-placed driver Katsuta.

Alejandro Cancio completed the podium in another Fabia after Martin Scuncio retired before the penultimate stage. Cancio was more than two minutes adrift of Guerra and 20sec clear of Cristobal Vidaurre. Samuel Israel finished fifth, ahead of cousin Vicente Israel.

Eight-time national champion Jorge Martinez won three of today’s four stages.