Orlandini finishes fourth in Huancayo

After tyre problems on day one

Mitsubishi driver Raul Orlandini finished fourth overall during the Rally Pre Codasur, third round of the 2008 Peruvian Rally National Championship, after suffering tyre problems on the first day of the event.

The rally proved to be tough on most of the competitors, especially on day one, with 14 drivers retiring from the event mainly because of the rough and mixed conditions of the road.

Orlandini took the early lead, winning the first two opening stages of the rally and went into the next test 8.9 seconds ahead of second place Francisco Barco. However, the 22-year-old suffered a tyre puncture on SS3 and lost about eight minutes trying to change it with a broken jack; as a result he dropped to 17th overall.

After the midday service, it was a tough climb for Orlandini and his EVO IX and despite opting for a conservative approach for the rest of the event he was able to finish the rally fourth in the overall classification.

"What can I say?

We started the rally in good form and the car was feeling great but everything went wrong on stage three," said Orlandini. "We had to stop because of a tyre puncture and when we tried to change it, the jack was not working. We lost so much time, it was unbelievable."

"I'm still not far from the championship so I'm not giving up yet. We still have four rallies to go and anything can happen. The car is in excellent condition and we proved it with the times we did after our problems. I will work even harder now to get the results we need to get back on top of the standings," he added.

Orlandini is still second in the drivers' standings, seven points behind championship leader Nicolas Fuchs.

The next round of the series is Rally Quilmana, 21-22 June, a one-day gravel event organised by the Peruvian Automobile Club.