Rally Rzeszow: Bouffier Leads At Midway Point

by Steven Batey

Bryan Bouffier leads Rally Rzeszow at the end of day one ahead of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Nikolay Gryazin with the top five drivers being separated by just 35 seconds.

Frenchman Bouffier is on course for his fifth Rzeszow victory with six stages to go on Saturday and leads ahead of Kajetanowicz by 15.6 seconds.

Despite Bouffier’s lead, it was the returning Alexey Lukyanuk who was sensationally leading the event on his return before rolling out of the rally on stage two.

Mads Østberg then took over the lead from the returning Russian, but the WRC regular hit power steering issues on stage four in his Ford Fiesta R5 and lies sixth going into day two, 38 seconds adrift of the leader Bouffier.

Fourth and fifth overall overnight are Marijan Griebel and Sylvain Michel who also trail Gryazin in the top three positions in the ERC Junior U28 class while ERC championship leader Bruno Magalhães is in twelfth after setup issues on his Skoda Fabia R5.

Photo Credit: Wilfried Marcon / DPPI

The ERC Junior Under 27 category sees Jari Huttunen, fresh from winning the WRC2 class on Rally Finland last weekend, lead after his Opel teammate Chris Ingram hit mechanical issues on stage two.

Huttunen’s lead has been overshadowed however with the class has been interrupted several times on day one due to stage closures after accidents. Second overnight is Aleksander Zawada with Karel Kupac in third.

Tibor Érdi Jr leads in ERC2 after a battling with ERC debutant Marcin Słobodzian as championship leader Zelindo Melegari crashed on stage three causing suspension damage on his Mitsubishi Evo IX and Sergey Remennik crashed out of day one with the Russian aiming to restart tomorrow morning.

Rally Rzeszow continues tomorrow with six more stages totalling 113.8 kilometres.

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