European Rally Championship

Lukyanuk on course for Victory as Sirmacis Improves

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Credit: ERC Media

Alexey Lukyanuk is on course for his second win of the season after another dominant performance on day two of the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally, the final round of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship.

The Russian won all but two of the days stages and increased his advantage to over a minute and a half heading into the final leg.

“It’s been a very good day for us, with only a few small mistakes and overall a really nice and enjoyable day.” said the Russian at the end of the day’s action. “It’s not a 100 per cent safe mode but we have been reasonably fast trying not to take risks.

“The car is very good, the stages are beautiful so it would be a shame not to have some joy. We are saving some tyres for the Golden Stage tomorrow. We want to do well there but the finish is the most important thing.”

Marijan Griebel is having a dream debut in the top flight of the ERC, despite an overshoot yesterday the German has had a solid day and finds himself in second 41.6 seconds ahead Ralfs Sirmacis in third. The German secured the prize drive in a Skoda Fabis R5 after winning the ERC Junior title at the last round in Latvia.

“We had some problems this morning but the afternoon loop was with no mistakes, everything went well and I’m happy with the pace,” said the German.

Griebel had also been enjoying a good fight with Nickolay Gryazin but the Russian rolled his Fabia R5 into retirement on SS6. Sirmacis has rediscovered his speed after a cautious start yesterday and jumped from sixth to third over the course of the day winning SS3 and SS6 in the process.

Dávid Botka, who has made more ERC starts than anyone else this season, is fourth overall in his Citroên DS3 R5 but a combination of mechanical issues and a heavy landing on the superspecial means he is only 7.4 seconds ahead of local ace Christos Demosthenous who has a comfortable lead in the ERC2 category. Murat Bostanci holds the advantage in ERC3 with a 43-second lead over Bugra Banaz.

Four stages await crews tomorrow on the final leg of the 2016 ERC season.

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