Former FIA EHRC Champions Mats Mysell and Esko Junttila ended the day in the lead of the Rallye du Chablais, Round 3 of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship.
The Swedes finished the day 3.1 seconds ahead in the #7 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4, with the #2 BMW M3 E30 of Marc Valliccioni and Yoann Raffaelli in second place, with the #4 Lancia Rally 037 of Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen in third, 9.2 seconds behind the French BMW.
The opening day saw dry, sunny weather turn to heavy rain in the mountains, with several of the front runners retiring. Stage 4 was also cancelled after an accident on the modern rally. Tibor Erdi Jnr and Zoltan Csoko retired after a diff failure on the Ford Sierra. The Audi quattro of Category 3 championship leaders ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno also retired on Stage 1, the Audi stopping with a broken clutch. The Audi will rejoin the second leg after repairs.
Round 1 winner Pascal Perroud was pushing hard but on the final stage of the day the #1 BMW M3 had an accident, damaging the rear of the car. Both Perroud and co-driver Julie Amblard were OK after being checked by the medical staff on the stage, but the car is too heavily damaged to rejoin the rally today.
With the Audi quattro side-lined, Category 3 is headed by the #14 Porsche 911 SC of Pentti Veikkanen and Timo Jaakkola, the Finns finishing the day 1m24.5s ahead of the #16 Porsche of Spanish duo Fernando Dameto and Guifre Pujol. The #21 Ford Escort of Tim Metcalfe and John Conner is lying in third place just 3.6 seconds behind the Spaniards.
Category 2 is headed by the #10 Ford Escort RS1800 of Marty McCormack and Barnet Mitchell, the British crew ending the day in 4th overall and 37.7 seconds ahead of championship leader Carlo Mylle, and his co-driver Steven Vyncke, in the #9 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Paolo Pasutti and Giovanni Campeis are third, 58.2 seconds behind the Belgians in the #12 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.
In Category 1 the Ford Escort Twin Cam of Ernie and Karen Graham is leading the way for the third time this year, 2m30.2s ahead of their Flexifly Rally Team teammates James Potter and Caroline McCormack in the #22 Ford Cortina. Reigning champions Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo are 47.1 seconds further back in the #19 Porsche 911 S.
The second and final day of the Rallye du Chablais will feature eight further stages, which will decide who will be going home with trophies and a large haul of championship points.