Huttunen wins opening stage

(28.06.2019) The battle in PZM 76th Rally Poland got underway. Spectacular super special stage held in Mikolajki Arena opened the Polish ERC counter. It were Jari Huttunen and Mikka Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5), who clocked fastest time this evening. Reigning European champions – Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov (Citroen C3 R5, +0,2 s) came second, while Poles – Mikolaj Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia R5, +0,7 s) took third place. Sindre Furuseth i Jim Hjerpe (Peugeot 208 R2) were quickest among competitors in 2WD cars.

Mikolajki Arena super special stage was the last part of day one of PZM 76th Rally Poland. Before crews competed in pairs on 2,5-kilometre loop of rally track nearby Golebiewski hotel, shakedown and qualifying stage were held. Afterwards, start selection ceremony took place in the picturesque main square in Mikolajki. Top 15 drivers from qualifying stage have chosen the order in which they will tackle Masurian gravel stages on Saturday.

After winning the qualifying stage this morning, Czech youngster Filip Mares (Skoda Fabia R5) earned the privilege to choose his road position first. Road order will be especially crucial on Poland’s gravel roads, with whoever starts first needing to sweep loose gravel away for those starting further down the order.

The decision was a no-brainer for 27-year old Mares. Saturday’s stages of Rally Poland run mostly on pretty hard and fast roads and no rain is forecasted for tomorrow, therefore Mares decided to run as 15th crew, in order to avoid road sweeping position. Second-placed Lukyanuk followed Mares’ tactics, choosing 14th position. All other drivers also opted to go as far behind as possible.

In Mikolajki Arena, however, the top FIA ERC crews in R5 cars were the last to start. As usual the simultaneous battle gathered a large number of fans around the track. After taking the victory on the first stage, Jari Huttunen and Mikka Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5) are overnight leaders of Polish ERC counter. It took them 1:46,0 s to cover 2,5-kilometre long loop of Mikolajki Arena track. Second placed Lukyanuk and Arnautov (Citroen C3 R5) lost just 0,2 s. Third fastest time was a result of Mikolaj Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia R5). Current leaders of Polish Rally Championship standings were 0,7 seconds slower than stage winners.

Many drivers took this tricky, opening stage cautiously, because ever-changing grip increases the risk of costly error. However, not every of them avoided mistakes. Arai clipped the Armco barriers twice in as many laps of the superspecial, but eventually finished 12th. A mistake from past ERC1 and ERC3 Junior champion Marijan Griebel on the left him P13, 3,6 s behind Huttunen.

In 2WD category it were Sindre Furuseth and Jim Hjerpe, who showed best pace. Scandinavian duo in Peugeot 208 R2 was also quickest among ERC 3 Junior competitors.

PZM 76th Rally Poland is also a round of Lithuanian championship. On the top of this leaderboard there are Vytautas Svedas and Zilvinas Sakalauskas in Volkswagen Polo GTi R5.

Tomorrow as many as 8 stages will be held with total distance of 112 competitive kilometres.

PZM 76th Rally Poland classification after SS1:

1. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN, Hyundai i20 R5) +1:46,0 s
2. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS, Citroen C3 R5) +0,2 s
3. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +0,7 s
4. Habaj/Dymurski (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +1,0 s
5. Domzala/Baran (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +1,7 s
6. Herczig/Ferencz (HUN/HUN, Volkswagen Polo GTi R5) +2,2 s
7. Mares/Hlousek (CZE/CZE, Skoda Fabia R5) +2,3 s
8. Kasperczyk/Syty (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta R5) +2,5 s
8. Ingram/Whittock (GBR/GBR, Skoda Fabia R5) +2,5 s
10. Koltun/Pleskot (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta R5) +2,8 s
 





 



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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

PZM 76th Rally Poland - Leg 2

2019 Calendar

21-23 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

02-04 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

24-26 May

Rally Liepāja (Latvia)

28-30 June

76th Rally Poland

19-21 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

16-18 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

27-29 September

Cyprus Rally

08-10 November

Rally Hungary