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Sun 03 Jul 2022

Soria strengthens Clio title bid

Paulo Soria moved 27 points clear at the top of the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT standings with a dominant victory at Tet Rally Liepāja.

The Argentine - who finished runner-up in the one-make Renault Clio Rally5 series last year - took the win by 3min 46.0sec to secure his third triumph in as many rallies. 

Soria was on the pace from the get-go and snuck into an early lead on Saturday morning before relinquishing the top spot to Giorgio Cogni when a damaged wheel resulted in a deflated tyre. Cogni later suffered a rear puncture, promoting Soria back in front. 

Sunday’s finale was less dramatic for the 27-year-old and he could afford to drive safely to the finish when his main rival rolled out of contention on Vecpils 2.

“This was a hard victory for us,” reflected Soria. “It was not an easy rally and the whole team and I have worked a lot.

“It was a very difficult weekend for us with some really tricky conditions. Our third win in a row is very good for the championship and I want to thank everybody who is helping us,” he added. 

Andrea Mazzocchi moved up the order to grab second overall despite incurring 2min 20sec in time penalties for lateness on Saturday. He inherited the position from Emre Hasbay - who retired in the Power Stage - and finished 55.9sec ahead of third-placed Sergio Fuentes. 

Patrik Herczig completed the depleted field with Frenchman Ghjuvanni Rossi also joining Cogni and Hasbay on the retirements list.