Russian Alexey Lukyanuk took victory on the Qualifying stage for Rally Liepāja, round two of the FIA European Rally Championship and has first choice of road position for tomorrows opening leg.
Lukyanuk, set the fastest time of 1 min 35.86sec over the 3.09 kilometre stage in his Ford Fiesta R5. The Russian driver will be the first to select his starting position later tonight for day one of the event followed by the next 14 drivers in fastest-first order.
“The conditions were so rough and it was not so nice,” said Lukyanuk afterwards. “I really feel the pain for this new car. But generally we are going very good.”
Irishman Craig Breen set the second fastest time in his Peugeot Academy 208 T16 R5 missing out on the top spot by just 0.05 seconds. He was followed by the current championship leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz in the LOTOS Rally Fiesta R5.
A number of top crews struggled including Robert Consani. The Frenchman, who is second in the championship, couldn’t get to grips with his Peugeot 207 S2000 and had a big moment in the middle of the stage.
Siim Plangi was fastest in ERC2 and fourth quickest overall in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X while David Botka following behind.
Local driver Ralf Sirmacis set fastest time in the ERC Junior Category and a very impressive 14th quickest overall in his Sports Racing Technologies Peugeot 208 R2. Aleks Zawada was second fastest in his Opel Adam R2 with Mattias Adielsson third in his Peugeot 208 R2.
With the first competitive action of the weekend finished it’s on to the ceremonial start tonight in Rozu Square. The first stage starts at 11h30 and crews will tackle five tests tomorrow before the overnight halt.
The Checkered Flag will be brining you coverage form the event throughout the weekend.