Young Italian driver Umberto Scandola was third fastest through the 13.70-kilometre Collesando stage a mere 1.2s adrift of Andreas Mikkelsen, who set the quickest time in his similar ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.
Scandola now heads Andreucci by 5.7s in the overall classification despite reporting a handling issue. “We have a problem with the rear of the car, it’s sliding too much but it’s okay,” said Scandola.
Andreucci commented: “We have still something to fix with car because it’s still not working well. We are trying to sort it out.”
Out front, Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Mikkelsen has extended his advantage over Jan Kopecký to 4.8s with three stages of day one remaining, despite reporting patches of gravel being dragged onto the road.
Giandomencio Basso, who set the second best time on the stage in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, continues to hold third overall, 5.4s behind Kopecký. “I am pushing, we are going flat out but it’s very hard to make up time,” said Basso.
Craig Breen was the fastest Peugeot runner in fifth. The Irishman is now 6.9s behind Matteo Gamba in the chase for sixth overall.