For want of a nail the shoe was lost…

2011 Rally Sweden PWRC#33 D.Tagirov-A.Zavershinskaya (RUS)This classic poem's phrase could be easily transferred to what had happened with the crew of Dmitry and Anna today's afternoon. But the strangest thing is that too many sudden situations at that rally are connected for Dmitry with... the photographers! On the shakedown, as we remember – the stage was stopped after he was one of those who reported about the photographers in the unsafe positions. Today almost the same situation was "the want of a nail" that lead to a very picturesque escape for Russian crew at the famous Colin's Crest. But that was not the only adventure of this evening...

 

        So, everything started from "the nail"... After one of the jumps on SS5 Dmitry found out that he has now a very good chance to collide with a couple of cameramen, who started to run across the road, but falled down on a slippery surface – namely one per each side of the car! So the emergency steering was necessary and Dmitry managed to escape the collision, but hit the snow during this unexpected exercise. The car got some snow to the air ducts. And that led to the decrease of power. When more or less the power of the engine was back – the driver had to keep the throttle open for most of the time not to lose the revs again. That led to the change of the convenient rhythm, which led to some misunderstandings with the co-driver and to unbelief to the own pacenotes... So the first one to impress the spectators at the Colin's Crest was guess who? Yes, the mentioned before #43 Ken Block with his crazy landing after 37-meters long flight. And the second was #33, but with negative emotions of trying how strong the snow banks are just after the landing!

     But even with these losses of time, the Russian crew managed to approach to Semerad as close as the "distance of the straight attack", setting the third best PWRC time on the first post-lunch stage!

       There was no changes in top three times on all the three stages of today's afternoon. All best results went to counter-attacking Flodin, who cut his gap to Grondall down to 22 seconds. The Norwegian was second everywhere. And three times third – this is about Tagirov, who sneaked ahead of Semerad and started to make his position more solid. Semerad was slowed down first by the transmission problems and then – by the additional headlights gone from the car's bonnet, broking the windscreen, so he couldn't fight with a full strength.

         2011 Rally Sweden PWRC#33 D.Tagirov-A.Zavershinskaya (RUS)But in general, the gaps now seem to be too big for the first day of the rally, so it's more interesting to look at the trends rather than to report about each time on each stage. The most noticeable thing is the increasing of Ukrainian crews' speed, as the drivers step by step are getting along with the ice road and the conditions that are not the most suitable and well-known for all of them. Gorban and Protassov are ready to start another duel as their results are getting closer and closer, but the Ascania gravel ace Saljuk seems to lose all the chances as he is too far behind.

The frost became stronger in the evening. Tomorrow day would stretch more from west to east, as today's staged were more stretched from south to north. But again the most far points of the route would be in 100 km from service park in Hagfors.