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Stohl heads pack in Mexico

Manfred Stohl has taken the lead following day two of the 'Rally of Nations' event, being run to cover Mexico's absence from this year's World Rally Championship calendar.

Stohl, who had begun the second leg 31.1 seconds adrift of P1, managed to get in front in SS10, the first run through the 39.67 kilometre Alfaro-Duarte test, when his fellow countryman and Team Austria team-mate, Andreas Aigner suffered a puncture.

In the end Stohl completed Saturday's action with a 7.5 second advantage, although technical gremlins could yet stop him from defending his position.

"We've got a problem with the engine, but I hope we can run tomorrow," Stohl explained. "I don't exactly know what's going on with the engine but they're checking it.

"There was not much strategy today. The stages were a bit slower and more difficult. The distance also makes it even harder. In the long stages the engine gets hot. The only strategy was to try and stay alive."

Aigner meanwhile was happy despite slipping down to second behind Stohl: "It was a fantastic day for us," he continued. "The long stages were hard, but we had no problems, just a small one with a flat we had to change during the first run of the 40-km stage.

"When you compare yourself to the other drivers, you see they haven't been doing that well, so for us it's been a good day. The car was good, just a few problems with the brakes, but I think everybody had them, because it was a long distance and we have small brakes in the car.

"Tomorrow is a short day, so we'll just try to keep the car on the road and stay in the same position. We already know the stages from Friday, and there is no loose gravel anymore, so it shouldn't be a problem. But we'll be see what happens. I hope that Manfred's car is still going, and we keep going like now and get to the finish line 1-2 for Austria."

Former World Rally champion Didier Auriol is next up and on course for the final podium position, albeit 40 seconds off Stohl. Auriol had a positive day, but it wasn't so good for his Team France colleague, Brice Tirabassi, who had to stop due to engine/brake issues.



Tagged as: Spain , Mexico , Aigner , Rally of Nations , Pons , Sola

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Manfred Stohl. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. Rally of Nations 2009. [Pic credit: Corona Rally Mexico]
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