Ghosh is taking part in only his third rally event outside of his native India, piloting a Baltic Motorsport Promotion-prepared Ford Fiesta R2. However, after Leg Two’s morning loop he now leads in ERC3, taking a steady approach as others were caught out by tricky conditions.

“The whole plan for the event was not to take any risks but drive at a decent pace, so we were surprised to see that we were only 2 seconds off the fastest [in SS3],” said Ghosh.

“For the first 7-8 km [in SS4] we took it almost at recce speed as I knew if you go hot there, you’re not going to finish that stage. When I saw our competitor [Chrysostomos Karellis] unfortunately parked, I knew the call was right.”

Though he lost 17 seconds to previous leader Artur Muradian in SS4, he then moved to the front when a wheel bolt failure ended Muradian’s day in the following stage.

“In the next stage at the first corner he was parked,” said Ghosh “I immediately backed off because it doesn’t make any sense to push, and this car can’t take it. If you drive anything more than 70%, I don’t think any car is going to finish.”

His nearest competitor Emma Falcón suffered a puncture in SS5, allowing him to extend his gap and potentially set him up for a sensational debut ERC3 win.

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13/01/2021 AT 14:00