Kubica heads the field at Rallye Açores

Robert Kubica leads in Portugal

Robert Kubica leads in Portugal

Former F1 driver Robert Kubica has stormed through the rain to head the latest round of the European Rally Championship, the Rallye Açores in Portugal.

Driving a Citroën DS3 Regional Rally Car, Kubica holds an advantage of 9.7s over ERC title leader Jan Kopecký at the end of the opening three stages.

“It was a very demanding day because the grip level has been changing a lot and I don’t have the experience,” said Kubica.

“It’s not easy when you have mud, rain and dry conditions. Tomorrow is much longer and very tricky but we have to try to learn.”

Heavy overnight rain resulted in significant damage to the roads. The opening stage was cancelled with the second test shortened, leaving just two super special stages at the end of the day. With the revised stage length of leg one falling to less than 10 per cent of the total competitive distance, legs one and two were merged, which meant that the start order selected by the priority drivers for Thursday’s stages will apply to Friday’s route as well.

Keeping her head above water was Australia’s Molly Taylor who sits sixth in the two-wheel-drive category and the leading female driver in the event.

“I took it stead and got into the groove,” said Taylor.

“The conditions were slippery but better than expected.”

Results after Stage 4

 Cla  Nº  Driver  Time  Diff
1 4 Robert Kubica 11’13.5
2 1 Jan Kopecky 11’23.2 9.7
3 6 Ricardo Moura 11’24.0 10.5
4 2 Craig Breen 11’25.2 11.7
5 10 Bernardo Sousa 11’27.1 13.6
6 9 Jérémi Ancian 11’32.3 18.8
7 8 Bruno Magalhães 11’32.9 19.4
8 3 Jan Cerny 11’53.3 39.8
9 7 Mark Wallenwein 11’56.5 43.0
10 15 Jaroslav Orsak 12’03.3 49.8
25  34  Molly Taylor 13’05.2 1’51.7

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