Finn Pajunen clocked the fastest time on the 22.55-kilometre Plato 1 stage, completing the asphalt speed test at the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 with a time of 15m58.7s. Ukraine’s Protasov finished 18s behind pace-setter Pajunen in a Ford Fiesta RRC, and now slips 6.4s behind the rapid Finn on the overall leaderboard.
Third fastest was Fiesta S2000 driver Yağiz Avci, completing the stage 15.2s adrift of Protasov. Closely behind Avci was Ukraine’s Yuriy Kochmar at the wheel of a Mistubishi Evolution Lancer VIII who also clocked the fastest time out of the IRC Production Cup competitors. Fellow countryman Vitaliy Pushkar set the fifth quickest stage but now trails Kochmar in the IRC Production Cup by 4.3s.
Sixth fastest was Vizin László in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, with Valeriy Gorban finishing 11s behind László at the wheel of a Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
Frenchman Robert Consani has established more than a one-minute lead in the IRC 2WD Cup after his closest competitor Murat Bostanci encountered problems during the stage.