Gryazin crashes out of ERC Rome lead
Nikolay Gryazin has crashed out of the lead on Rally di Roma Capitale, with last year’s FIA ERC1 Junior champion overshooting a corner and hitting a tree on stage two.
The Russian driver was planning to gain more experience on asphalt in ERC this year, using his prize fund for winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2018 to compete in both Rome and next month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
But Gryazin didn’t make it to the end of stage two, getting into trouble under braking while pushing to keep the lead and hitting a tree only a few corners from the end of Roccasecca – Colle San Magno.
“We were pushing and on this place we crashed there was strange dust on the road, I don’t remember. I was not touching the dust but the car completely locked all wheels,” explained Grazyin.
“We tried to release the brakes, it didn’t help and we just go through to the tree. We broke the guardrail and damaged the roll cage.
“We will not continue this event. For us it is finished here but when you are trying to push it’s normal that some kind of crashes can happen, but I hope we will not repeat it again.”
There were smaller incidents for other drivers, with the same hairpin catching out both Hiroki Arai (STARD) and Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) with half-spins and a few seconds lost.
Andrea Crugnola inherited the lead after Gryazin’s crash and extended his advantage over two-time ERC champion Giandomenico Basso (Loran SRL) to 4.9s with the fastest time on stage two.
Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL), himself a three-time ERC title-winner, has jumped from sixth to third, passing defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) and Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team), the latter picking up a front-right puncture when cutting a corner.
Umberto Scandola (Hyundai Motorsport N) now completes the top five with Campedelli’s delay, the double Roma winner’s first even on Tarmac in a Hyundai i20 R5.