IRC: Meeke holds overnight lead in Brazil

Kopecky's team-mate Juho Hanninen holds fourth overnight after spending much of the day recovering from the left-rear puncture he picked up two kilometres into the first stage of the day. Because he was only carrying one spare tyre, the Finn had to be extra cautious over the next three stages of the morning loop before returning to service. An extra spare tyre for the afternoon's three stages helped his confidence although the decision to run soft compound rear tyres in the afternoon caused a bout of oversteer and triggered a handling imbalance.

Bruno Magalhaes was fourth at midday service but lost time on stage five when his Peugeot's front-right tyre became partially detached from the rim. Although it remained inflated, a change at the end of the stage was required and meant he had to tackle the next two tests with no spare and dropped behind Hanninen as a result of his cautious approach.

Daniel Oliveira achieved his aim of completing the leg without incident as he continues to build his experience of his Stohl Racing Peugeot 207. The young Brazilian had never driven the car on gravel before Thursday's shortened shakedown. While he conceded he still needs to find more speed he said he had learned plenty during the day alongside new co-driver Denis Giraudet.

Eduardo Scheer, the son of Brazilian rallying legend Oswaldo, won the A6 class in Curitiba last year. Now armed with a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Lancer, Scheer impressed throughout the day to hold a slender advantage over Bolivian driver Eduardo Peredo in seventh overall.

Peugeot 207 driver Marcos Tokarski is in control of the IRC 2WD Cup with veteran Brazilian Ulysses Bertholdo in second in a similar 1600cc 207.

Rally Internacional de Curitiba – Top 10 positions after leg 1:

1. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000 49m17.2s
2. Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh Skoda Fabia S2000 +32.7s
3. Jan Kopecky/Petr Stary Skoda Fabia S2000 +1m00.1s
4. Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula Skoda Fabia S2000 +1m42.7s
5. Bruno Magalhaes/Carlos Magalhaes Peugeot 207 S2000 +2m07.9s
6. Daniel Oliveira/Denis Giraudet Peugeot 207 S2000 +5m58.7s
7. Eduardo Scheer/Geferson Pavinatto Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +7m16.1s
8. Eduardo Peredo/Claudio Bustos Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +7m19.5s
9. Marcos Tokarski/Laercio Reginatto Peugeot 207 1600 +11m37.1s
10. Juan San Martin/Martin Villete Subaru Impreza WRX +11m55.1s

Related Pictures

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Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle. Peugeot 207 S2000. Rally Internacional de Curitiba. Brazil. March 4-6 2010. [Pic credit: IRC]

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