Hanninen builds on lead in Ireland

Juho Hanninen won stage 10 of the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally to extend his advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen to almost five seconds.


The SKODA Motorsport driver was half a second faster than Mikkelsen, bringing the gap between the two to 4.7 seconds overall.

“There was a lot of gravel on the road so it was difficult but there were no mistakes,” said the Finn, IRC champion in 2010.

Defending champion Mikkelsen, in a ŠKODA UK-backed Fabia, said: “There was more gravel but we tried to push. Juho is driving fast and there is not much I can do.”

Jan Kopecký was third fastest in his works Fabia.

He said: “It was not an easy stage and we are trying to stay on the road.”

Irishman Craig Breen has reduced the gap between himself and fifth-placed countryman Robert Barrable to 7.1 seconds after recording the fourth-quickest time in his Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 207 S2000.

French star Mathieu Arzeno was fifth fastest, and said: “It was slippery and difficult but when I look at the time of the ŠKODA drivers it’s unbelievable.”

IRC 2WD Cup leader Marty McCormack who suffered two right-side punctures in a stage to forget for the Ulsterman.

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