The battle for the win has been intense on day 2 of the 2016 Barum Czech Rally Zlin, round eight of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship. Jan Kopecky and Alexey Lukyanuk are separated by just half a second heading into the final leg and haven’t been more than nine seconds apart all day.
Kopecky maintained his overnight lead after the first stage of day 2 and had increased his lead to 3.5 seconds heading into the first service stop of the day. The two drivers battled it out over the next loop and Kopecky managed to increase the gap to nine seconds at the final service if the day. Lukyanuk put on the pressure however in the final loop of the day and managed to overhaul his Czech rival on SS8 before Kopecky retook the lead on the last stage of the day.
“I have never seen this before. It’s crazy.” said Kopecky at the end of the day, “Unbelievable. Now I was pushing quite hard but no risk. I have to say thank you to this car, it’s amazing.”
Bryan Bouffier rounded out the top three but is a minute off the pace. Czech circuit racer Tomáš Kostka, follows the Frenchman in fourth just 7.9 seconds behind and still in contention for his third podium finish here in five years. Czech drivers in Fabia R5s dominate the rest of the top 10, with two of them trading places on the day’s final stage when regular ERC competitor Jaromír Tarabus moved ahead of ERC Junior graduate Jan Cerný, who only upgraded to his new model earlier this month.
Giacomo Scattolon has the ERC2 rally all but wrapped up already with a lead of over 13 minutes. In the ERC Junior class Chris Ingram is in a commanding lead, he heads Polish driver Lukasz Pieniazek by 47.6 seconds. The Briton won six of the days eight stages on the way. Nikolay Gryazin and Dominik Broz round out the top four.