Avci leads after Protasov suffers puncture

Turkey’s Yagiz Avci claimed the lead on Prime Yalta Rally, round 10 of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, after taking a stage win on the 22.55km Plato 2 stage.

Yuriy Protasov lost nearly three minutes when his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC incurred a puncture during the stage, and the Ukrainian was forced to stop and change it.

The puncture means that Protasov is now 24.8s adrift of rally leader Avci.

Second fastest through SS7 was Vizin Laszlo, at the wheel of his SKODA Fabia Super 2000, completing the test 19.5s faster than leading IRC 2WD Cup driver Robert Consani, who was third quickest in his Renault Megane RS.

Fourth quickest was Romania’s Vlad Cosma in a Citroen C2 R2, and rounding off the top five quickest stage times was Mykola Chmykh at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza.

Despite suffering from a broken front-right driveshaft from the previous stage, Valeriy Gorban managed to set the sixth fastest time in a Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.