Juho Hanninen, Skoda, Zlin 2012Juho Hanninen emerged on top at the end of a hard-fought second day of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge’s Czech round in Zlin.

Skoda has fielded all its works drivers for its home event, and Hanninen, Jan Kopecky and points leader Andreas Mikkelsen have all been involved in a constantly fluctuating lead battle that swung on tyre choices in ever-changing weather.

Hanninen took the early initiative, fell back as Mikkelsen charged into the lead through the middle of the day, and then regained the top spot at the end of the day’s second of three loops.

Mikkelsen dropped to third, losing a lot of time on both passes through the Tesak stage. He is now 29.4 seconds off the lead.

Kopecky was only sixth early on, before charging to within a couple of seconds of Mikkelsen on the second loop. Hanninen’s late surge pulled him clear of the home favourite though, and Kopecky is now 11.4s adrift in second.

Surprise overnight leader Tomas Kostka remains fourth ahead of sometime works Skoda and Ford World Rally Championship driver Roman Kresta.

Source: http://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/real-world-racing/3rdparty/hanninen-on-top-in-skoda-zlin-battle

Oscar Alfredo Gálvez Fred Gamble Howden Ganley Frank Gardner