Croatia Rally started under the banner of the European champions Luca Rossetti and Matteo Chiarcossi, who with their Grande Punto Abarth with Michelin tires have dominated the first leg winning all the four special stages run.
Renato Travaglia was immediately forced to retire due to an engine problem to his Skoda, the fight for second place was between Piero Longhi (Skoda) and Luca Betti (Peugeot), who took turns behind the Abarth driver and ended the leg divided by just two tenths of a second: an important gap because this gave 2 more points more (for the leg results) to Longhi in the European championship standings.
In the wake of the three Italians are Polish Oleksowicz (Ford) and Bulgarian Iliev (Skoda), while the first local driver, Croatian Niko Pulic is sixth. Andrea Dallavilla (9 th overall) leads in Gr.N and is very close to Maciej Rzeznik (Subaru R4), while Slovenian Rok Turk with the Peugeot 207 R3T leads between the 2 wheel drive cars.
It is worth mentioning the great start of Juraj Sebalj (Mitsubishi): the three-time winner of the race was fifth overall after the first two special stages, but lost 12′ on the third test.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Mauro Patrucco (Mitsubishi) lost a lot of time on the last special stage last night due to a malfunction of his lamp pods.
Luca Rossetti: Everything is going very well. I also took this opportunity to try out some alternative solutions in view of my next event in the Italian championship, the Targa Florio, which has an itinerary and a surface similar to today’s stages".
Piero Longhi: The set-up is not completely right, but I am satisfied.
Niko Pulic: It is my first race this year and I do not know the car well: I am extremely happy with my result.
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