The second start in the European Rally Championship 2019 ended for Nikolay Gryazin with retirement.
Before the German round of the World Rally Championship, Nikolay Gryazin and Yaroslav Fedorov went to Barum Czech Rally Zlin start – the most difficult tarmac ERC event. The second and the final start of the year in ERC was to be training before Rallye Deutschland, during which the SRT crew had to increase speed on asphalt and check the settings gained during the tests.
Nikolay and Yaroslav joined the fight with Škoda Motorsport driver Jan Kopecky and defending European champion Alexey Lukyanuk from the very start and after the win on SS3 they took the lead. However, shortly afterwards, our crew got a puncture on the SS5, lost two minutes and rolled back to the 21st place.
Nikolay and Yaroslav were chasing the race the rest of Saturday and won another special stage (like in the morning, it was the most difficult stage of the rally – SS Semetin) and took the 7th position overall.
The Russian crew began the final day of Barum Czech Rally Zlin with the determination of showing the highest speed, getting as high as possible in the rankings. Unfortunately, having won Sunday's first special stage, Nikolay and Yaroslav crashed on SS11 and finished their rally.
"Me and my co-driver Yaroslav are safe and sound, and this is the main thing. We're very disappointed by our crash: it happened in a simple place, because of the error in pace notes.
This was a new stage for us, which we had never been through before. We used new pace notes for this stage, and this corner was marked as a little bit faster than necessary. So I had no time to adjust the line, and the car was thrown out. We drove very fast, which did not allow us to correct the error immediately.
Well, Rally Zlin is one of the most dangerous tarmac rallies with fast and dirty roads and difficult special stages. One must be nuts on driving really fast here – but we like this stage due to its complexity. Some special stages – like Semetin – is an excellent challenge for the crew.
As for the rally in whole, we showed good speed and our pace allowed us to go at the level here and there, and sometimes we were even faster than the Škoda factory driver on the new Fabia R5 Evo in his home rally. By the way, Jan won Rally Zlin for the ninth time, and we congratulate him!
As has always been the case, the amazing atmosphere of this rally with its fans is worth pointing out – both in the service park and at special stages. We hope that, as in the case of Rally Estonia and Rally Finland, all our problems and troubles will remain in Zlin, so we looking forward to German round of WRC."
Nikolay Gryazin - Driver
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