Sat 02 Jul 2022

Broken wheel fails to derail Soria's Clio charge

Paulo Soria ended Saturday’s opening leg at Tet Rally Liepāja with a comfortable lead in the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT despite damaging a wheel in the morning.

The Argentine ace is heading towards his third consecutive victory in the one-make Renault Clio Rally5 series and will carry a 1min 17.8sec advantage into the final day. 

Soria laid down the gauntlet with back-to-back stage wins in the opening two tests, but relinquished the top spot to Giorgio Cogni on SS3 when a broken wheel resulted in a costly puncture. 

Cogni kept his rival at bay for most of the afternoon only to be dealt his own share of bad luck on the final test. A right rear puncture cost over one minute and Soria was back in front. 

“Today was more complicated than we expected,” said overnight leader Soria. “We tried to do our best, but it was not easy. 

“After we broke the wheel, we tried to push in the afternoon. The conditions were not the best, but we managed to finish the day in a strong position so I am really happy with that,” he added. 

Emre Hasbay trailed the frontrunners by 1min 52.4sec to complete the podium, with Spaniard Sergio Fuentes another 28.0sec behind. 

Patrik Herczig ended 23.4sec further back in fifth, followed by Andrea Mazzocchi, who incurred 2min 20sec in time penalties for arriving late to SS4. Frenchman Ghjuvanni Rossi completed the leaderboard. 

  • Full coverage from Rally Liepāja is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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