The one from Torrelavega wins with his Hyundai WRC; Llarena is sixth in the European
European victory goes to Russian Alexey Lukyanuk
Dani Sordo, along with Carlos del Barrio, won the Rally of Rome at the wheel of his Hyundai WRC. The Cantabrian dominated the test won 14 of the 15 specials. The only one in which he did not prevail was the third in which he had a slight start due to an accelerator problem and lost half a minute solving the problem.
This momentarily led his teammate Pierre Yves Loubet, but he ended up setting the pace for the Spaniard who reached the final goal with more than half a minute of advantage.
But the two Hyundai acted as whoever says – as well as the local Pedro – ‘out of competition’. The importance of the Roman event was that it was the opening of the European Championship, a championship that does not support the WRC and is played between drivers with R5 cars.
The Russian Alexey Lukyanuk has been dominator of the European round, which begins the championship by pointing directly to the title, a title that last year escaped him possibly because he abandoned in the first two tests.
The Russian finished the first day with a 34-second advantage over Giandomenico Basso while Andrea Crugnola left for an early start. On the second day, Lukyanuk knew how to control the situation, he did not worry that the reengaged Crugnola scored many scratches and he only worried that Basso did not recover too much time.
Crugnola’s interest was in ‘winning’ the second day since facing the Italian championship each stage was a different rally and he could thus recover the points lost in the first day.
Lukyanuk has carried out a great operation here. Not only because of the victory, but also because the second and third classified —Basso, who only runs the Italian, and Oliver Solberg, who came to perfect himself on asphalt— will not follow the European Championship. Solberg managed to contain the somewhat irregular Craig Breen; Breen, pilot of Hyundai in some tests of the World Cup, will race the European Championship to present the MRF tires, which want to have a plot on the market; The Irishman managed to stay ahead of the Italian Tempestini.
The sixth place went to Efrén Llarena, that this year disputes the absolute European. Efrén made a good rally, taking the pulse of the car and without making mistakes. If he was somewhat cautious in the first stages, then he knew how to improve the pace
In the Junior European, Pep Bassas had an impressive debut, despite an initial puncture that took about three minutes. The one from Osona finally finished second in the category with his Peugeot 208 Rally4 from the Rally for Spain team.
Bassas maintained a rhythm similar to that of the two tamers in the category, Pedro Antunes and Ken Torn. The latter with his Ford was a good part of the rally up front, but the Portuguese reacted in the final stages, to take the lead in the absence of two specials.
At the start of the last special Antunes arrived with minutes and a three-second advantage, he went for everyone, suffering a spectacular accident. Bassas who was just behind stopped as well as the rest of the participants in the category, who would later withdraw the time they were standing. This incident allowed Bassas to finish second, three minutes and fifty seconds behind Torn and three minutes ahead of third-placed Martin Laszlo, who beat his brother Zoltan, fourth.
Sergio Cuesta left in the 4th special due to engine breakdown when he was 12 of the ERC Junior, while Sergio Fuentes managed to finish after having re-engaged with the SuperRally rules.
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