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EHSRC – ‘Lucky’ Leads at the End of Day One of the Mecsek Rallye 

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The no1 Lancia Delta Integrale of ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons heads the field on the ninth and final round of the 2019 FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, the Mecsek Rallye in Hungary.  Conditions on the six stages were slippery after heavy rain yesterday, but with the sun shining and the temperatures soaring, the competitors put on a great show on the first day of the Mecsek Rally.

The Category 4 Championship contenders finished the day 48 seconds ahead of the no3 Porsche 911 of Category 3 leaders Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner and 2m40s ahead of Category 4 title rivals Will Graham and Michael Johnston in the no13 BMW M3 after the British crew clipped a log on stage two damaging the tracking and losing a lot of time to their Italian rivals.  The no13 BMW M3 finished the day third in Category 4, with the no4 BMW M3 of Valter Jensen and Erik Pedersen in third overall and second in class, 52.8 seconds behind the leading Lancia.

Category 3 title race can be won by four contenders, with Wagner and Zauner holding the upperhand at the end of the opening day.  The no2 Audi Quattro of ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno finished the opening day in fifth overall, 58 seconds behind their Austrian rivals and 12.4 seconds ahead of the third placed no7 Porsche 911 of Pentti Veikkanen and Timo Jaakkola.

UPDATE: The no2 Audi was given a 15 second penalty for repairing the car 300m before the STOP on SS5 (Stewards Decision no2).  This dropped the Italian crew down to third behind the no7 Porsche before the overnight halt at the end of Day 1.

Category 2 is led by the no 5 Porsche 911 of Anders and Ingrid Johnsen, the Swedish crew in fourth overall and 63 seconds ahead of the second placed car, the no6 Porsche 911 Carerra RS of Paolo Pasutti and Giovanni Campeis.  Laszlo and Edit Mekler are the third placed Category 2 competitors, the Hungarian couple in the no9 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTam in ninth overall and 1m22s behind Anders Johnsen’s leading Porsche.

Ernie Graham and Tim Sayer are the overnight leaders in the Category 1 battle in the no16 Ford Escort Twin Cam, 2m08s ahead of the no22 Ford Escort driven by James Potter and Karen Graham.  The third placed Category 1 competitor is the no 20 Volvo 122S of Finland’s Jari Hyarinen and Jarno Ala-Turkia, who finished the day in 14th overall and 31 seconds behind the second placed Ford.

Day two of the 2019 Mecsek Rallye will get underway 09h23 CET, with the first of the six Special Stages that will conclude the 2019 FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.

CLICK HERE for the result from Day 1 of the Mecsek Rallye