“Loads of spectators, great tracks, spectacular leaps – it was a great Saturday at the Rally Italy. We showed the potential of this ŠKODA Fabia R5,” said Lappi. On the first pass of the 42.22 kilometres of the longest special stage “Monte Lerno”, the 24-year-old and co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) distanced themselves from second-placed Ukrainian Yurii Protasov by 25.7 seconds. Lappi was also by far the fastest driver in WRC 2 on the second pass. As he hurtled around the stage, the “Flying Finn” also mastered “Micky’s Jump” successfully, where the drivers in their rally cars fly distances of up to 40 metres.
Lappi, who missed out on any chance of winning after colliding with a stone on Friday, flew up the field from position 26 in the WRC 2 overall standings at the start of the day into tenth place. Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) were also quick in temperatures of up to 40 degrees. “We tried to drive fast without taking any major risks. It wasn’t easy since there were lots of big stones on the track,” said the 33-year-old old hand. “My aim is to go home with a good position after my appearance in Sardinia.”
The final four special stages on Sunday see just 45.80 kilometres left to go on the feared gravel tracks of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.
Number of the day for the Rally Italy: 16
Esapekka Lappi moved up 16 positions in the overall standings of WRC 2 on Saturday. After the Finn lost almost half an hour on Friday, he was one of the fastest drivers on Saturday. Lappi got the best time on special stages 13 (Coiluna – Loelle 1), 14 and 19 (Monte Lerno 1 and 2). This makes it ten special stages that the Finn has won in WRC 2 this year.
Rally Italy – Intermediate standings WRC 2
1. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta RRC; 4:08:16.3 hrs.
2. Andreucci/Andreussi (I/I), Peugeot 208 T16; + 0:07.0 min.
3. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 1:58.4 min.
4. Al Rajhi/Orr (SA/GB), Ford Fiesta RRC; + 2:56.4 min
5. Fuchs/Misano (CH/RA), Ford Fiesta R5; + 6:06.5 min.
10. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 31:15.5 min.
FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great BritaiN: 12.11.–15.11.2015