Five close ERC finishes revisited
Following the dramatic finish to Croatia’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship yesterday, here’s a reminder of five tight deciders FIA European Rally Championship-style.
0.0s (Belgium, 2014): In terms of close finishes, nothing can rival the drama in Belgium in 2014 when Stéphane Lefebvre and Andrea Crugnola tied on time after 20 stages and just shy of 300 kilometres of competitive action. While their battle was for ERC3 Junior honours rather than outright Ypres success, it was dramatic, nevertheless. Lefebvre, who took the win courtesy of his fastest time on the first stage, completed the 27.56-kilometre Hollebeke stage with the bonnet of his Peugeot 208 R2 resting on the windscreen…
0.3s (Czech Republic, 2019): A tiny margin in terms of time but hugely significant in terms of outcome with Filip Mareš winning ERC1 Junior gold – and the 100,000 euros career progression grant on offer – by 0.3s ahead of Chris Ingram in their battle for second overall on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
0.3s (Italy, 2017): With Kajetan Kajetanowicz going for the ERC title, the last thing he needed was a charging Bryan Bouffier taking precious points away from him on Rally di Roma Capitale. Bouffier moved in front with two stages remaining and won by 0.3s with Kajetanowicz finishing just behind.
0.5s (Austria, 2013): There was high drama when the International Jänner Rallye opened the 2013 ERC, the first season with Eurosport Events at the helm in its role as promoter. This time Bouffier was on the losing team, dropping behind Jan Kopecký on the final stage by 0.5s.
0.6s (Cyprus, 2018): Simos Galatariotis cemented his status as a local legend by scoring a dramatic last-gasp victory over Bruno Magalhães by 0.6s, despite carrying a front-right puncture across the finish line. Nasser Al-Attiyah had stormed into first place on the penultimate stage, taking 20.6s out of Galatariotis to gain a 2.3s lead with one stage left. However, Al-Attiyah was forced to stop and change a puncture close to the finish of the final test, his attempts to continue with a deflating tyre for several kilometres ultimately in vain. Magalhães overtook Al-Attiyah in-stage moments before the finish line to snatch second place and the ERC championship lead. Relive the action by clicking here.