After two thirds of the competition Samsonas Rally Utena 2023 are over, the fight for the honor of being called the winner of this rally does not let up, although the favorite Martynas Samsonas withdrew from the fight because of a cardan shaft damage. Estonian Egon Kaur is fighting second by second with young Norwegian P.K. Nordstrand, and right next to them – the crew of Vladas Jurkevičius and Aisvydas Paliukėnas. With four stages still to go, the tension is at its peak.
Sunday morning was fateful for M. Samsonas. On the way to the first special stage of the day the crew stopped near the start. After a short inspection it turned out that the cardan shaft of the Škoda Fabia N5+ was broken. K.P. Nordstrand, who had started first today with the Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo made a mistake – he went off the road and it cost him 16 seconds to get back. This mistake of the Norwegian crew was immediately used by Estonian E. Kaur in the Ford Fiesta KMS Proto, who stormed to the top. Later, the Norwegian found back to his usual pace, climbed to the second position and is only one second behind E. Kaur with four stages to go. V. Jurkevičius in Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo was fighting against Latvian E. Blūms in Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX for the third place, and behind them there was an uncompromising fight between R. Steponavičius and D. Gezevičius in the Ford Fiesta N5’s. These two racers are separated by a microscopic difference of 0.03 seconds
S.Trapuila, who was unchallenged at the top of the 2WD standings in his BMW M3, crashed into a tree in the ninth SS, ending the race, and the sports channel was interrupted while the fallen tree was removed from the road. S.Trapuila’s teammate G.Notkus, who had no problems today, was able to improve his Škoda Fabia R5 from 58th place in the overall standings to 23rd.
After the withdrawal of the leader in the 2WD classification, the Pole T. Jocz fights for the victory with the young Turk C. Alakoc. They are separated by nine and a half seconds. Third is Italian V. Leeda, 22.5 seconds behind. All three drive Ford Fiesta Rally4 cars.
There are still four stages to be completed today.
The participants of Samsonas Rally Utena will receive their awards at 20:30, directly after which the concert of Jovani will take place.
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