First part of todays Leg 1 of Rally Islas Canarias is behind us with Andreas Mikkelsen in the provisional lead. Norwegian driver was able to score stage victories on all three tests, but that was not enough to create a significant gap to flying Czech Jan Kopecky. Czech ace was marginally slower on every stage, with SS 1 bringing new standards into “being marginally slower” by Kopecky trailing Mikkelsen by just two tenths.
Mikkelsen’s lead after special stage 3 climbed up to 3.6 seconds, which roughly equals to one missed braking point or gear change, so Kopecky is still very much in the race. Furthermore, Czech admitted of more careful approach over the morning loop of stages and vowed to apply more pressure in the afternoon.
Third place is currently in the hands of Luis Monzon in Peugeot 207 S2000, making him the only non-Škoda driver in top five. Similarly to the battle for the lead, Monzon is being pushed by Hermann Gassner, who is 6.5 seconds behind. Even more interesting and exciting duel are promised by the fact that Gassner’s position is also under attack by Alberto Hevia and Sepp Wiegand.
Once again the IRC proves to be hugely exciting rally series and with six stages still to go today it’s pretty certain anything could happen. For now, Mikkelsen is putting up tremendous fight agains the tarmac specialist Kopecky. In the afternoon crews will do another loop over the same three stages and after second service they will tackle remaining three test of day 1.