Arai’s ERC1 Junior podium hopes end with early Zlin crash
Hiroki Arai’s chances of taking a podium place in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship standings have suffered a heavy blow after crashing out of the second stage on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
Team STARD’s young star in an R5 car is one of three drivers hoping to catch current third-placed ERC1 Junior Alexandros Tsouloftas in the championship classification, along with Matias Adielsson (Sweden National Team) and Miko Marczyk (ŠKODA Polska Motorsport).
Arai failed to complete the Březová test, oversteering out of a fast left-hander and dropping his Citroën C3 R5 down a ditch into thick foliage that left him unable to continue further.
The stage was won by Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team), who has moved up into second place at the expense of ERC1 Junior leader Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies).
There was also trouble for Miroslav Jakeš (Samohýl ŠKODA Team), who lost a minute with a spin caused by losing drive to the front wheels of his car.
Simon Wagner also had a difficult time on Březová. The ERC1 Junior debutant and graduate of the ERC3 Junior category dropped from fourth to P11, suffering from illness that also led to a lack of sleep last night.