Series leader Andreas Mikkelsen began this rally with a realistic opportunity to wrap up the championship title, and all was going well for the Norwegian driver as he led after Friday’s opener at Vlachovo Březí.
But Mikkelsen plummeted down the order after going off the road in the very next test, losing more than 10 minutes as spectators desperately tried to free his car from the Czech undergrowth. His demise handed Hyundai i20 N Rally2 hotshot Lindholm the rally lead and also means that the title will most likely be decided at next month’s season finale in Japan.
Yohan Rossel, second in the points before this round, saw his victory hopes disintegrate when he crashed his Citroën C3 Rally2 into trees in SS3 while Gus Greensmith – another driver locked into the title fight – languished down in eighth after struggling with his Škoda’s set-up.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Nikolay Gryazin and Miko Marczyk completed the top 6. All three were driving latest-specification Škoda cars. In WRC3, Filip Kohn held a commanding 2.5-minute lead over Fabio Schwarz.