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GP Week : Issue 139
WRC SPAIN >> Round 6 of the PCWRC started off with a lot of unexpected news. Hayden Paddon, winner of the first four rounds of the series and world champion elect, found his car had suffered a throttle problem as the car was being prepared for the start line. A minute piece of electrical insulation had become dislodged. Suddenly there was hope for others! The event turned into a close battle between Patrik Flodin’s Subaru Impreza and Michal Kosciuszko’s Mitsubishi Evo X. Conversely however, Kosciuszko hit a tree and broke a rear window, subsequently suffering from dust entering the cabin as well as from the dust of slower drivers on Day 1. On Day 2, he was very lucky to finish after he lost his brakes near the end of stage 12, nearly spearing off the road as a result. On the final day, he set out to catch the Swedish driver again, which he just fell short of doing by just 2.0 seconds at the finish. Paddon meanwhile was able to start Day 2 under SupeRally rules, immediately taking fastest times ahead of the overall leaders. The new FIA 2-wheel-drive Cup winner Harry Hunt went off the road with his Citroen DS3, with both Martin Semerad and Dmitry Tagirov also heading off the road. Sebastien Ogier made a lightning wheel change in mid stage after he punctured in Stage 5. Co-driver Julien Ingrassia explains how they did it. “My driver and I practice the system so that we get to do things automatically without having to discuss things first,” said Ingrassia. “ This tells us what to do when everything is normal, but things are not always normal on a rally. It can always be unexpectedly more difficult to change a wheel. This time we were really motivated but there was a special factor, it was because the organisers had ordered that the cars on the afternoon of Day 1 should unusually run at four-minute intervals. “ This meant that we never had to check whether we would be in a convenient place to put the car before getting out to change the wheel, because we knew the next car would not arrive for another four minutes, we stopped the car in the middle of the road. That was a most unusual opportunity.” Ogier and Ingrassia only dropped about 1m40s because of the puncture. Drivers against night stages hanninen The supeR LighTning seb opening The fLoDin gaTes 43