ERC – Lukyanuk edges ERC title rival Ingram in Hungary


*Russian keeps championship hopes alive but Habaj is out of the working on season closer

*Lengthen and incident shatter the possibilities of quite a bit of drivers, including Hungarian hope Herczig

*Cais leads ERC3 as Abarth Rally Cup is to do for final-day decider

Alexey Lukyanuk’s hopes of successful the FIA European Rally Championship for a 2d one year working remain alive after he performed the outlet leg of Rally Hungary at the entrance of the pack in his Saintéloc Junior Crew Citroën C3 R5.

The Russian returned to the overnight discontinue in Nyíregyháza with a lead of 44.4s over title rival Chris Ingram following an circulate-packed day on the no longer easy asphalt stages within the north east of the country.

He do the plug on four of the six assessments that made up Saturday’s 107.14-kilometre route and recovered from a left-rear puncture on SS5 to high the provisional rankings. As issues stand, nonetheless, Ingram is heading within the correct path to elevate end the licensed FIA ERC title for essentially the most vital time.

“We don’t know if it’s been better to be in entrance or no longer, doubtlessly it’s no longer worse but it’s gentle extensive gambling about the grip and the conditions,” stated Lukyanuk. “We usually watch the grip by likelihood and that’s extremely onerous, it’s no longer in actuality effective truly. Now we’re initiating to take into accout the next day when it will be raining because it modified into already slippery within the dry.”

The anxious stages caught out quite a bit of drivers with deflations and off-dual carriageway incidents offering the backdrop to the circulate in Hungary, which is web web hosting an ERC qualifier for essentially the most vital time since 2003.

Toksport WRT-scurry Ingram, who started Rally Hungary with a 19-level advantage over Łukasz Habaj, adopted a cautious technique within the morning and closed to within 21.3s of Lukyanuk when his rival punctured on SS5. But a correct kind-rear puncture on SS7 resulted in Ingram shedding time to Lukyanuk and falling into the clutches of Frigyes Turán, the head Hungarian runner, who demoted Filip Mareš for third on SS7, when the ACCR Czech Rally Crew driver modified into delayed by a deflated tyre.

“It’s repeatedly refined in any rally but this one is more refined than popular,” stated Ingram, who opted for a mix of dry-climate entrance tyres and wet-climate rear tyres throughout the day. “It’s going well, going to recount and we have to defend away from any more problems and be a limited bit cleaner.”

Mareš, competing on his first event since successful the ERC1 Junior title throughout the summertime and taking up his first of two prize drives from ERC promoter Eurosport Occasions for that success, has impressed throughout the day in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo. He begins Sunday’s leg 6.8s within the relieve of Turán with Motorsport Eire-supported Callum Devine in fifth.

Devine joined the checklist of drivers to have tyre damage throughout the day, which also included four-time Hungarian national champion Norbert Herczig, who modified into delayed by three deflations on his MOL Racing Crew Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

No topic his delays, Herczig is sixth overnight with Pál Lovász seventh, Albert von Thurn und Taxis eighth, Sean Johnston – on his first open in a high-stage R5 automobile – ninth and Erik Cais leading ERC3 in an advantageous P10 general for the ACCR Czech Rally Crew.

Habaj’s hopes of ERC title glory suffered a large blow when he crashed in free notice on Friday morning, which introduced on his Sports Racing Applied sciences group to total a miraculous repair job to determine up his Fabia R5 to the open. He modified into in sixth general initiating SS6 when he modified into forced to cease with damaged suspension. Having begun 2019 with a step forward dangle end on the Azores Rallye, Habaj grew to alter into a firm title contender and his exit in Hungary is heart-broken reward for a stellar campaign from the eSky-backed Pole, who is unlikely to restart on Sunday.

Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze jointly led the rally after sharing the SS1 stage dangle end with Lukyanuk. He then moved into the outright lead by successful SS2 correct for a puncture on SS4 to strike. A additional puncture on SS5 precipitated more prolong before an overheating subject caused his exit on SS6.

Double ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr retired with suspension damage on SS4, Hungarian rallying myth Róbert Bútor stopped with a technical situation after four stages, while András Hadik, the winner in Nyíregyháza last season, crashed out on SS7. Austrian Niki Mayr-Melnhof, who turns 41 this day, stopped with a damaged gearbox on SS3 but will return to the circulate on Sunday. János Puskádi went off the dual carriageway on SS2 but Paulo Nobre battled thru the refined conditions to total leg one in P11.

Penalty no situation for charging Cais in ERC3

Erik Cais leads the ERC3 class by a commanding margin over Marijan Griebel, despite a fraught open to Saturday’s circulate on Rally Hungary. The ex-downhill mountain bike champion reported a gearbox subject throughout Friday’s opening superspecial, which necessitated a replacement unit being fitted by his Orsák Rally Sport mechanics in service this morning. They performed the alternate in 17 minutes but Cais left service two minutes slack to form a 20-2d time penalty. Undeterred, the Czech federation capacity modified into a end 2d to Miklós Csomós when the Hungarian went off the dual carriageway on SS4. That left Cais in a lead he’s held ever since as a puncture and gearbox subject slowed Griebel, who is 2d overnight. ERC Girls’ Trophy title opponents Ekaterina Stratieva and Nabila Tejpar are third and fourth respectively and correct 20.2s apart. Griebel’s Toksport WRT group-mate Orhan Avcioglu went off the dual carriageway on SS4.

Abarth Rally Cup do for final-day decider

The first Abarth Rally Cup to need do within the FIA European Rally Championship will be selected Sunday’s closing leg after opponents Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński each and every retired. Nucita stopped with an electrical subject quickly after leaving morning service, while an oil stress glitch forced Poloński to park his Abarth 124 rally throughout the afternoon loop. Local driver Mátyás Nagy, a rival to Nucita and Poloński within the ERC2 class, modified into delayed by an off and a puncture and didn’t total the day’s working.

PROVISIONAL TOP 10 POSITIONS (after seven stages, 107.14 kilometres)

1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 1h06m39.4s

2 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 44.4s

3 Frigyes Turán (HUN)/László Bagaméri (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 1m05.6s

4 Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 1m12.4s

5 Callum Devine (IRL)/Brian Hoy (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 3m39.5s

6 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 4m25.0s

7 Pál Lovász (HUN)/Tamás Kürti (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 5m03.1s

8 Albert von Thurn und Taxis (DEU)/Bernhard Ettel (AUT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 5m39.0s

9 Sean Johnston (USA)/Alex Kihurani (USA) Citroën C3 R5 6m04.4s

10 Erik Cais (CZE)/Jindřiška Žáková (CZE) Ford Fiesta R2T 8m14.4s

FIA ERC3:  Erik Cais (CZE)/Jindřiška Žáková (CZE) Ford Fiesta R2T

ERC Girls’ Trophy: Ekaterina Stratieva (BGR) Peugeot 208 R2

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