Gryazin picks P5, Mayr-Melnhof first in ERC Rome road order
Nikolay Gryazin used his free choice of road order on Rally di Roma Capitale to pick fifth in the FIA European Rally Championship running order for Saturday’s first leg, with Niki Mayr-Melnhof choosing to go first.
Unlike gravel rallies, where drivers usually opt to start as far down the order as possible, the top 15 drivers from Friday morning’s Qualifying Stage took different strategies for their start order selection.
Last year’s ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) will start fifth on the road, with second and third fastest qualifiers Andrea Crugnola and Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL) choosing to run fourth and third respectively.
Austrian national champion Mayr-Melnhof, who was fifth to choose, selected the honour of leading the ERC field into battle on Saturday, with championship points leader Łukasz Habaj (SRT) also getting creative and choosing to start seventh.
Drivers who finished between P10 and P15 in qualifying will start the rally on Saturday in the same positions, including ERC1 Junior star in an R5 car Hiroki Arai (STARD) in P10 and reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) starting from P12.
Rally di Roma Capitale gets underway with the ceremonial start and parade through Rome at 18h00 CET, starting in the iconic Castel Sant’Angelo.
The first rally action begins on Saturday with the 19.46 kilometre Pico-Greci stage, with Mayr-Melnhof the first car to depart at 09h36 CET.