Łukasz Habaj remains focused on finishing the final ERC round of the year positively after a troublesome start to his Rally Hungary.
The Pole, who is driving a Sports Racing Technologies-prepared Skoda Fabia R5, was forced to miss the qualifying stage on Friday after crashing in practice which affected his starting position on Saturday’s leg.
Habaj, still in the hunt for the overall ERC title, made significant gains during the morning loop of stages, despite getting temporarily stuck at a hairpin towards the end of SS4.
Habaj said: “We had a puncture, but I think the biggest time loss was on one of the hairpins where we got stuck and I just couldn’t start. It was so slippery that the car was drifting with no control and then I just had to reverse and I couldn’t start.”
“Other than that, the car is working well, the tyres are also very good. I took it quite easy on the first stage, but on the second one I think we were a little bit quicker, but if you are 17thon the road in these conditions it is very difficult.
“This was also one of the reasons for this time loss. Hopefully for the next loop, we will be able to start getting closer to the guys in front of us.”
Habaj enters the second loop of the day in ninth position, over two minutes adrift of overall leader and defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk, and he is nearly a full minute behind eighth-placed András Hadik.
Nevertheless, Habaj is concentrating on building confidence and speed with the aim of reaching the finish tomorrow.
“I am just focused on the next service at the end of the next loop,” Habaj added.
“I want to reach the finish on Sunday with good pace and leave this rally with the feeling that I did my best, did what I could and that I was fighting until the end.”