Morning round-up: No stopping Lukyanuk in ERC Rally Islas Canarias victory bid
Alexey Lukyanuk continues to set the super-fast standard in the FIA European Rally Championship, leading Rally Islas Canarias by 41.1s after Saturday’s opening four stages.
Starting the final leg of the ERC season leading by 32.6s in his Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën alongside co-driver Alexey Arnautov, Lukyanuk has been fastest on all four stages this morning for a stage-win tally of 12 out of a possible 13.
He bettered Nil Solans’ time by 0.5s through SS10, outgunned Efrén Llarena by 1.1s on SS11, was quicker than Llarena again by 1.4s on SS12 before he went 1.5s faster than Miko Marczyk on SS13.
“We are not backing off and we are doing our pace,” Lukyanuk said. “The set-up of the car is good and the tyres are performing well so thank you to Pirelli and our team, all is good.”
With four stages of the all-asphalt event remaining, Pirelli-equipped Lukyanuk is being chased by Llarena in second and third-placed Marczyk, who is 4.5s adrift of his Spanish rival.
Rallye Team Spain’s Llarena and ORLEN Team’s Polish title winner Marczyk are fighting to finish second in the final ERC standings behind provisional champion Andreas Mikkelsen. Their respective navigators, Sara Fernández and Szymon Gospodarczyk, are battling for the honour of winning the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship for Co-Drivers.
Marczyk moved up to third when he outpaced Enrique Cruz on SS10, with Simone Campedelli also demoting the Canary Islands champion for fourth. But Cruz moved back ahead of Campedelli on SS11 and heads to service at the Estadio Gran Canaria 6.0s behind Marczyk.
Iván Ares is sixth behind Campedelli with Surhayén Pernia seventh despite being slowed by a puncture on SS10 and a broken rear anti-roll bar on SS13.
Yoann Bonato crashed out of eighth place in the final kilometre of SS10. Engine failure forced Jarosław Kołtun’s exit from P13 on SS12.
After 12 stages Joan Vinyes was the driver to beat in ERC2 with Anthony Fotia extending his advantage over Jean-Baptiste Franceschi to 12.3s in ERC3/ERC3 Junior. Sami Pajari, who is battling Franceschi for the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior title, was 0.9s behind his French rival prior to SS13.
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