Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk holds a 9.8 second lead over championship rival Kajetan Kajetanowicz on round four of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship, the Azores Airlines Rallye. The Ford Fiesta R5 driver won five of the ten stages so far to end the day with a small lead heading into the final day of the event.
Lukyanuk and Kajetanowicz traded times all day in a fascinating duel. Lukyanuk took the lead on the Pico de Pedra Golfe 1 stage to shoot from third to first, only for Kajetanowicz to fight back on a foggy Feteiras MEO test to reclaim the lead. The Pole entered service with a lead of 12.2 seconds . Lukyanuk impressed in the afternoon however and he was aided when Kajetnaowicz hit a bank on the Sete Cidades stage damaging his suspension, the Russian is in confident mood heading into the final day.
Multiple Azorean champion Ricardo Moura started well but slipped to 40 seconds off the lead, losing pace with the leaders throughout the day. Ralfs Sirmacis is just 24 seconds behind in third who started the day well but a wrong tyre choice hampered his progress. Pedro Meireles and Jose Pedro Fontes are separated by just 15 seconds in the battle for fifth with David Botka a further 12 seconds behind in seventh. Jaroslav Osak, Raul Jeets and Antonin Tlustak round out the top ten.
Ruben Rodrigues has a comfortable lead in ERC2 heading the field by well over a minute with Wojciech Chuchala and Pedro Vale rounding out the top three. In the ERC Junior category Marijan Griebel leads Diogo Gago in a close fight, the pair have been trading times all day and are separated by just 4.5 seconds. Chris Ingram had been leading the class but a puncture cost him 40 seconds dropping him to third.
The event concludes tomorrow with six more stages.