Action-packed start to final 2015 ERC day in Valais

Action-packed start to final 2015 ERC day in Valais

31/10/2015 13:19

It’s been an action-packed morning on the final day of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship – and whilst Craig Breen continues to lead the Rallye International du Valais, it’s all change behind the Peugeot Rally Academy driver.

Alexey Lukyanuk has moved up to second place, despite the conditions being a lot drier than this Ford Fiesta R5’s set-up and Pirelli tyres were expecting. The Russian driver has overtaken OIivier Burri, who spun, stalled the engine and had to reverse his Citroën DS3 RRC on SS11.

Emil Bergkvist has shot up from sixth overnight to fourth – the Swede continuing his very impressive four-wheel drive debut in his Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 208 T16.

The slow and twisty gravel sections were always going to hurt François Delecour. Having set second fastest time on the all-Tarmac SS11, the Frenchman could only set 15th fastest time in the Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT on SS12, dropping him from fourth to fifth overall.

Jonathan Hirschi (Peugeot 208 T16) and Antonín Tlusťák (ŠKODA Fabia S2000) both crashed out on the long 33.07km Les Cols test (SS13), while Nikolay Gryazin damaged the rear of his ŠKODA Fabia R5 after hitting a wall on the same stage. Raul Jeets, who returned under Rally 2 rules, has reportedly crashed his Ford Fiesta R5 on SS13 as well.

Mārtiņš Sesks has regained first place in the FIA European Rally Championship’s Under 27 category on Azores Airlines Rallye, following adjustments to stage times awarded in SS8 and SS9 related to incidents causing delays for multiple drivers.

Tamara Molinaro continues to head the ERC Ladies’ Trophy category on the Azores Airlines Rallye, while Emma Falcón retired with back pain before midday service.

Sergei Remennik has resumed his lead of Azores Airlines Rallye’s FIA European Rally Championship ERC2 category, following an unfortunate retirement for nearest challenger Zelindo Melegari with clutch failure.

Diogo Gago took on the might of ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team’s pair of FIA ERC Junior Under 27 factory drivers on the Azores Airlines Rallye’s Friday stages and succeeded aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2, moving from third to first over the course of a dramatic multi-way battle.

Chris Ingram and Martin Koči traded places throughout Friday’s Azores Airlines Rallye stages in a tight battle for FIA ERC Junior Under 28 victory.

The Azores Airlines Rallye once again showed why it is such a formidable opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship, but as others hit trouble, Russian Performance Motorsport’s Alexey Lukyanuk held steady out front.