Nikolay Gryazin finished the 2018 season with the 4th place on the tarmac Rallye du Var.
Last weekend, the crew of Nikolay Gryazin and Yaroslav Fedorov took part in the final stage of the French tarmac championship. The goal before the start was quite clear – to complete the asphalt programme, test the skills against the experienced leaders of the French series, cross the finish line and gain valuable experience.
This task was fully accomplished by the crew. Difficult weather conditions on the special stages, most of which were run in the rain, forced Nikolay to drive carefully and avoid pushing. Despite this, he constantly finished in the top ten and was fifth at the end of Friday.
On Saturday, he lost one position, but on the second pass the stages dried up, Nikolay set fastest times on the two stages of the reduced section – SS11 was canceled. On the final morning, Nikolay won one more stage and finished 4th after Stephane Sarrazin gets the puncture.
Nikolay Gryazin: “I have a twofold impression of Rallye du Var. It’s a shame that most of the stages were dirty and wet because we were faster in dry conditions. Those few dry stages, where we managed to push, showed that the final result could have been better.
In any case, all this will count as a valuable experience, because the race showed us what we need to work on. The lack of testing on the dirty and wet tarmac resulted in flawed set-ups, and I had to experiment, carefully adjusting the settings during the rally.
This is a truly legendary event, and the fourth place finish is quite a good result, especially considering difficult conditions and the fact that for us it was a debut on Rallye du Var. We’re very pleased with the quickest times on three special stages, but this is the result of a combination of weather and road conditions which were suitable for us.
Moreover, it’s very nice to see such a strong level of competition in the French Championship. It’s always good when the pace of your rivals leaves you no time to relax. Such a close run makes you push to the limit and show your best.”
The 2018 season is over now, and the team is going to prepare for the next year.
Nikolay Gryazin: “Rallye du Var has completed our season. Now we’re going to start a preparation work for 2019. We will conduct winter test sessions and preparations for the Rally Sweden. We planned a big test programme, and going to take part in a few races in Scandinavia and, perhaps, Baltic.”