ERC3 Junior Torn’s Fiesta in front in battle of new Rally4 cars
Ken Torn leads FIA ERC3 and Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior in his all-new M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta Rally4 with Pedro Antunes second in Peugeot’s all-new 208 Rally4 following the opening leg of Rally di Roma Capitale.
Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver Torn was quickest on the first stage to open up a 7.7s advantage over Antunes. Portuguese driver Antunes then responded on SS2 to narrow Torn’s lead to 6.9s, only for the Estonian to increase his margin to 14.2s as Antunes struggled with overheating tyres.
Antunes hit back on SS5, trimming Torn’s gap to 12.8s, before scoring his first stage win of the day on SS6 to reach the overnight halt in Fiuggi 11.2s behind.
“The day went quite well with a clean run and we’re happy,” said Torn. “The delays in the morning made life a little bit harder because we were always starting with cold tyres and it’s not easy with my [lack of] Tarmac experience. For sure to be leading is a good result.”
Antunes added: “It was quite okay, we didn’t push too much. On [SS3] the tyres were completely out but it was okay. It’s a very new car and we have to adjust some things.”
After a puncture on the first stage, Pep Bassas set the pace on SS2 and SS3 for Rallye Team Spain. He was quickest again on stage five and is third in class heading into Sunday’s deciding leg followed by Amaury Molle, William Creighton, Adam Westlund and Nikolai Landa.