ERC points leader Ingram “needs to be clever” after Lukyanuk retirement
Chris Ingram’s hopes of being the first FIA European Rally Championship winner from Great Britain since Vic Elford’s title success in 1967 have been boosted by problems for his chief rivals on the Cyprus Rally.
An unspecified technical issue forced reigning ERC champion Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team) to retire on the afternoon re-run of the Kapouras test, little more than a kilometre from the finish.
It cost the Russian a near-certain second place and elevated current points leader Ingram (Toksport WRT) to third, while the third title contender, Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies), is in trouble as he nurses an electrical-related throttle response issue.
With Lukyanuk out and Habaj struggling, Ingram could enter the season finale in Hungary with a big points advantage over his rivals if he can bring third place in Cyprus home.
“I’m really sorry for the guys. They’ve been absolutely flying,” said Ingram. “It’s a shame they’ve gone out but it moves us into a really strong position, so we just have to stay relaxed and push on.”
“The two guys in front of us aren’t in the championship fight, so we need to be clever now.”