Gryazin pips Lukyanuk again for opening ERC Rome stage win
Nikolay Gryazin continued his Qualifying Stage form at Rally di Roma Capitale, beating FIA European Rally Championship frontrunner Alexey Lukyanuk to fastest time in Friday’s rally-opening test.
A clean run through Rome’s tight, twisty opening superspecial earned FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship title contender Gryazin a slim 0.5s advantage over Lukyanuk heading into Saturday’s first full day of action.
Toksport WRT’s Orhan Avcioğlu demonstrated his superspecial skills once again with third fastest time, showing his stage win in Rally Islas Canarias was no fluke by finishing only 0.6s behind Gryazin.
Grzegorz Grzyb piloted his Rufa Sport ŠKODA Fabia R5 to fourth quickest time, 1.3s slower than Gryazin and edging out the Italian championship’s quickest pairing in SS1, two-time Rally di Roma Capitale winner Umberto Scandola and 10-time Italian champion Paolo Andreucci.
Double ERC champion Giandomenico Basso went seventh fastest, 1.9s off Gryazin’s pace and only 0.1s faster than ERC Junior U28 championship leader Fabian Kreim, driving his ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland-prepared Fabia.
ERC championship leader Bruno Magalhães is ninth after ACI Roma Arena’s short 1.8 kilometre burst, with Chris Ingram P10.
Fredrik Åhlin suffered drama when a driveshaft failure left him with only rear-wheel-drive, causing him to spin exiting a hairpin and wiping out a barrier lining the superspecial.
Simone Campedelli suffered a near-identical issue and though he was sliding around as a consequence, kept his car pointing the right way throughout. Åhlin and Campedelli ended P24 and P25 respectively after their mechanical troubles.
Tibor Érdi Jr picked up where he left off in ERC’s production category, as the ERC2 points leader went 3.1s faster than nearest rival Sergei Remennik. Juan Carlos Alonso dropped 9.1s to Érdi thanks to a conservative approach, while ERC2 debutant Csaba Juhász is fourth, 11.1s off Érdi’s pace.