Lukyanuk in league of his own

(29.06.2019) After five special stages it is Aleksey Lukyanuk (Citroen C3 R5), who leads PZM 76th Rally Poland with a healthy margin. Having covered nearly 60 competitive kilometres reigning European champion is already over 20-seconds ahead of Jari Huttunen (Hyundai i20 R5). Third place belongs to Czech youngster Filip Mares (Skoda Fabia R5), while top-placed Pole is Mikolaj Marczyk, who is currently fourth.

Four special stages were held during PZM 76th Rally Poland’s first Saturday loop: Paprotki (11,26 km), Stare Juchy (13,86 km), Olecko (28,62 km) and Mikołajki Arena (2,5 km). Aleksey Lukyanuk (Citroen C3 R5) took three out of four these stages, earning 21,6 seconds over Jari Huttunen (Hyundai i20 R5). Only a minor damper issue on the Mikołajki Arena superspecial halted his progress, which cost him five seconds and reduced his lead from 25,6 seconds. Russian driver admitted he could perform even better. – I was too careful and still there are some places where we can improve. Pacenotes are fantastic, car works well – said Lukyanuk. Meanwhile Huttunen was a bit frustrated after his morning struggle. – We need to improve if we want to push Aleksey. Something is wrong with the car. The grip is not good, and we are going sideways far too often – said Finn, who came second in previous edition of PZM Rally Poland.

Top-placed Pole – Mikolaj Marczyk (Skoda Fabia R5) won SS 5 (Mikolajki Arena, 2,5 km) and slightly reduced the gap to Filip Mares (Skoda Fabia R5). It was Marczyk’s maiden stage victory in FIA ERC round. Marczyk is locked in the battle over fourth place with Lukasz Habaj (Skoda Fabia R5), who struggles a bit due to his not very fortunate road position. Running as 4th crew means that Habaj is still sweeping a lot more of loose gravel than further drivers. What is important, fifth Habaj is ahead of Chris Ingram (Skoda Fabia R5). Briton holds 7th position, losing 6,6 seconds to Habaj. The battle between Habaj and Ingram is crucial for the championship standings as Pole has only one point more (71) than Ingram.

A few competitors run out of luck during morning loop of stages. Suspension failure forced Lukasz Byskiniewicz to retire from leg one, while Szymon Ruta hit the tree with his Volkswagen Polo GTi R5. Meanwhile Marcin Slobodzian, who is third in Polish Championship standings, lost a lot of time due to engine problems in his Ford Fiesta R5.

Sindre Furuseth and Jim Hjerpe (Peugeot 208 R2) lead the pack of crews in 2WD cars. What is more, they top the leaderboard of ERC 3 Junior category. PZM 76th Rally Poland count towards Abarth Rally Cup classification. After five special stages Pole Dariusz Poloński edges out Italian driver Andrea Nucita, but the game for the victory is far from end, as Polonski has less than 2 seconds advantage over Nucita.

PZM 76th Rally Poland – overall classification after SS 5:

1. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS, Citroen C3 R5) +30:02,1 s
2. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN, Hyundai i20 R5) +21,6 s
3. Mares/Hlousek (CZE/CZE, Skoda Fabia R5) +27,6 s
4. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +47,2 s
5. Habaj/Dymurski (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +49,6 s
6. Arai/Minor (JPN/AUT, Citroen C3 R5) +55,1 s
7. Ingram/Whittock (GBR/GBR, Skoda Fabia R5) +56,2 s
8. Domzala/Baran (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +1:01,6 s
9. Adielsson/Johansson (SWE/SWE, Citroen C3 R5) +1;05,5 s
10. Kasperczyk/Syty (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:16,0 s

PZM 76th Rally Poland – list of stage winners:

SS 1 – Mikołajki Arena (2,5 km): Lukyanuk/Arnautov (FIN/FIN, Hyundai i20 R5)
SS 2 – Paprotki (11,26 km): Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS, Citroen C3 R5)
SS 3 – Stare Juchy (13,86 km): Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS, Citroen C3 R5)
SS 4 – Olecko (28,62 km): Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS, Citroen C3 R5)
SS 5 – Mikolajki Arena (2,5 km): Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5)









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