Midday round-up: Gryazin leads but Llarena closes up on ERC Rally Liepaja
Nikolay Gryazin leads Rally Liepāja after the opening pair of high-speed stages – but Efrén Llarena is in hot pursuit on round two of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship.
Gryazin, the 2018 ERC1 Junior champion, was fastest on both runs east of Talsi in his Pirelli-equipped Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
Heading to the remote service halt at the city’s airfield, Gryazin is 4.9s in front of Rallye Team Spain driver Llarena in second.
Llarena, a member of the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory who is making the most of his lowly starting position of 25th, is 1.4s ahead of Craig Breen, the former Rally Liepāja winner who is third for Team MRF Tyres.
Andreas Mikkelsen (Toksport WRT) and ERC title leader Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team) are fourth and fifth respectively with Lukyanuk 13.4s behind his fellow Russian Gryazin.
Qualifying Stage winner Miko Marczyk is sixth for ORLEN Team and is being chased by Pole Promotion’s Fabian Kreim, Ole Christian Veiby (Printsport) and Nil Solans (Rallye Team Spain) and Callum Devine (Motorsport Ireland).
Georg Linnamäe is P11, Emilio Fernàndez P12 with Eerik Pietarinen P13 followed by Raul Jeets and Simone Tempestini.
Ken Torn heads ERC Junior in his Pirelli-equipped M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3. Tibor Érdi Jr is setting the pace in ERC2, while Dariusz Poloński leads Martin Rada in the Abarth Rally Cup.
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi is the driver to beat in ERC3/ERC3 Junior in his Renault Clio Rally4 with a 4.0s advantage over Sami Pajari (Ford Fiesta Rally4). Yigit Timur tops the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT ranking ahead of Ghjuvanni Rossi.