Driving an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, the 28-year-old Ukrainian recorded a time of 17m09.3s and now leads his home rally by 11.6s. Second fastest was Finland’s Mikko Pajunen in his Ford Fiesta S2000, finishing the slippery asphalt test 12.6s adrift of Protasov.
Vitaliy Pushkar reported an electrical problem with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X R4 at the morning service before his team made a last minute decision to change the spark plugs. Pushkar then went on to set the third fastest time and was the quickest IRC Production Cup competitor. The Ukrainian driver now leads the highly-competitive IRC Production Cup over Marco Tempestini by 4.5s.
Fourth quickest was Turkey’s Yağiz Avci in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000, 2.28s behind Pushkar. Rounding off the top five quickest stage times was Romania's Tempestini at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza R2 STI.
In the IRC 2WD Cup, Renault Mégane RS driver Robert Consani has extended his lead over Murat Bostanci. The Frenchman now leads Turk Bostanci by 22.3s.