Craig Breen and Kajetan Kajetanowicz enjoyed an incredibly close battle throughout the second leg of the SATA Rallye Azores, round four of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship. The two drivers, who are at the head of the championship standings, were never more than 6.7 seconds apart as they battled for the lead over the the day’s eight stages.
Peugeot Academy‘s Craig Breen won the first two stages of the day in his Peugeot 208 T16 R5 and extended his overnight lead to five seconds. A spin on the 29km Sete Cidades stage cost the Irishman the lead as Kajetanowicz went into service with a 6.7 second cushion in his LOTOS Racing Team Ford Fiesta R5.
Breen went straight on the attack on the second loop and immediately took 1.6 seconds off his Polish rival on stage eight. The Peugeot Academy driver had a close shave with a rock on the ninth test but still managed to take another second off Kajetanowicz. Another stage win on stage ten reduced the gap to 2.8 seconds before Breen retook the lead on the final test of the day winning the second run through Sete Cidades to lead the Rallye Azores by just 2.3 seconds heading into the overnight halt.
Ricardo Moura remains in third place over a minute and twenty seconds adrift of the leaders. Combilift Rallying‘s Josh Moffett ended his event with a big crash at the end of stage four. Both he and co-driver John Rowan escaped uninjured. Bruno Magalhaes fixed his turbo issue from yesterday and holds fourth place 48 seconds off Moura. Jose Pedro Fontes finished the day fifth despite losing the rear bumper of the Citroen DS3 R5 against a wall on the final test of the day. He is three and a half minutes off the lead.
In ERC2 Dominykas Butvilas has extended his lead to 39.5 seconds over Luis Rego while in the ERC Junior, Chris Ingram leads the field by 22.4 seconds over Steve Rokland with series leader Emil Bergkvist a further 5.7 seconds behind in third.
Crews will have to tackle six more stages tomorrow before the finish on the final leg of the SATA Rallye Azores.