FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Rally Islas Canarias

5/7/2018 12:00:00 AM

Alexey Lukyanuk continued his fantastic Azores-winning form in the FIA European Rally Championship to lead Rally Islas Canarias at the overnight halt in Las Palmas. But a pack of ERC Junior Under 28 rivals are fighting hard and ready to pounce.

Though Lukyanuk holds a 21.3s advantage aboard his Russian Performance Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5, nearest rival and ERC Junior U28 leader Nikolay Gryazin says he took a “calm” approach to Friday’s stages, hinting at more pace to come on Saturday’s final leg.

While overnight rain made for damp sections this morning, Gran Canaria had one last curveball to throw the drivers’ way on the second pass of the Artenara stage, as thick fog descended upon the middle of the run and meant Gryazin’s pace was kept in check. “I think we lost some time in the fog, in some places it could be faster,” the 20-year-old Russian said after SS6. “I want to keep pushing like this, not too much and without mistakes.”

Q:
The perfect start to your ERC Junior Under 28 Championship challenge. But was there a temptation to push Alexey for the overall victory?
Nikolay Gryazin:
I am really satisfied with this result for this race. I was expecting to be fighting for ERC Junior U28 so it was difficult to fight with Alexey as well so we decided to keep our position.
Q:
You said before the start of the rally that you are more confident on gravel than asphalt. What does this result say about how much you’ve improved on Tarmac?
Nikolay Gryazin:
We have a big programme testing in Italy so we drove two races, which is why we missed the Azores. We were very prepared for this race.
Q:
With all the changes to the stages for this year how difficult was this rally?
Yaroslav Fedorov:
This year it was a little bit faster I think but it’s not a problem.

ERC Junior U28: Gryazin wraps up the win

Nikolay Gryazin wrapped up a faultless FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship victory on Rally Islas Canarias, winning four stages in category on Saturday despite his “cautious” approach. Sports Racing Technologies-run Gryazin went fastest in all three of Saturday morning’s stages but took a back-seat in the afternoon to a close battle for second place between Fabian Kreim and José Suárez.

NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (RUS) Position: First
Co-driver: Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS) Team: Sports Racing Technologies Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“We are very happy because we are progressing and this result is very good. My car fits me like a glove, my driving is not at the limit and we can go faster and faster with more training. Maybe this calm driving is better than pushing but it’s only just the start. Sometimes I have been quicker than Alexey when I am pushing. I am not sure if I am faster than Lukyanuk but I will be faster in the future I think. ERC Junior Under 28 was the target this weekend so it was difficult to try to catch Alexey if I wanted to. When I was faster than him [on stage 10] it was clear driving without big mistakes but I am not sure if Lukyanuk was pushing on that stage. But it was a good time and we managed the road position well [on Friday].”


Overall results: 


1. Lukyanuk Alexey / Arnautov Alexey

Ford Fiesta R5

2.  Gryazin Nikolay / Fedorov Y.

Škoda Fabia R5

3.  Kreim Fabian / Christian Frank 

Škoda Fabia R5

4. Suárez J. / Carrera C. 

Hyundai i20 R5

5. Pellier Laurent / Combe Geoffrey 

Peugeot 208 T16

6. Grzyb Grzegorz / Wróbel Jakub

Škoda Fabia R5

7. Magalhães B. / Magalhães Hugo 

Škoda Fabia R5

8. Ares Iván / Pintor José

Hyundai i20 R5

9. Brynildsen E. / Eriksen T.

Ford Fiesta R5

10. Habaj Łukasz / Dymurski Daniel 

Ford Fiesta R5


ERC JUNIOR U28 results:


1. Gryazin Nikolay / Fedorov Y.

Škoda Fabia R5

2. Kreim Fabian / Christian Frank 

Škoda Fabia R5

3. Suárez J. / Carrera C.

Hyundai i20 R5

4. Pellier Laurent / Combe Geoffrey 

Peugeot 208 T16

5. Ptaszek Hubert / Szczepaniak M. 

Škoda Fabia R5

6. Zawada Aleks / Dachowski G.

Hyundai i20 R5

 


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