Gryazin takes the victory, Grzyb seals Polish championship title

(23.09.2018) Nikolay Gryazin secured his second career FIA European Rally Championship victory on PZM Rally Poland, fending off Jari Huttunen and strengthening his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 title challenge. Both the FIA ERC and Polish championship battle went on to the very last stage of the Mikolajki-based event. The 2019 Polish Rally Championship title was decided not only on the final test of the rally, but the last stage of the whole season. Grzegorz Grzyb finished third in national classification, while Jakub Brzezinski failed to score any points on Power Stage. This result gave Grzyb the Polish title for the second time in his career.

Co-driven by Yaroslav Fedorov Gryazin and ERC Junior Under 27 graduate Huttunen were locked in an epic tussle throughout leg two, and with no championship aspirations to worry about, the young Finn went flat out to catch the rally leader.

Huttunen won all three afternoon stages, unleashing the shackles on his Hyundai i20 R5. A 10 s time penalty for late check-in to SS14 undid his progress but failed to dampen his determination, driving on the ragged edge and finishing with a rear-left puncture, broken bumper and spoiler from his final push.

Though he won the rally-closing Baranowo test by 4,6 s, Huttunen fell short of victory, Gryazin securing top spot by 8,3 s, with Huttunen settling for second.

Young stars in R5 cars dominated the top positions, with Chris Ingram scoring his first overall ERC podium in third. He escaped the clutches of ERC Junior U28 rival Fabian Kreim over the course of leg two for second in class, the Toksport WRT and Skoda AUTO Deutschland pilots separated by 17,3 s at the finish. Though unable to challenge Ingram, Kreim still secured an ERC Junior U28 podium and fourth overall.

ERC Junior U28 debutant Miko Marczyk held off a late challenge from Polish championship rival Łukasz Habaj to score a sensational top-five finish for Skoda Polska Motorsport. The prodigious young talent has only three years’ rallying experience and had covered less than 200 competitive kilometres on gravel before this weekend, yet resisted pressure from both sixth placed Habaj and Grzegorz Grzyb in seventh.

In Polish Rally Championship Marczyk outran both Habaj and Grzyb to secure his second consecutive victory in national series. Standings leader Jakub Brzezinski was unlucky during the first leg, when he damaged a wheel and was forced to retire. Brzezinski managed to rejoin the rally on Sunday, being focused only of Power Stage, as only the points scored on the final test could make his championship dream come true. Ford Fiesta driver was extremely cautious, looking after his car and the tyres in order to keep fresh rubber for the final assault. The clever tactics worked well. In the middle of the Baranowo stage Brzeziński had the pace, which could give him necessary points. Eventually he finished this test only in seventh place as he suffered power steering failure, a common problem in M-Sport R5 machinery.

All in all, the title went to Grzyb, who scored as many as 151 points in five RSMP 2018 outings. Sensational rookie Marczyk lost the championship battle by only one point, while Brzezinski finished third with 146 points.

- I really enjoyed the stages. We changed one part and it took a bit longer than we expected [speaking about the penalty]. I pushed really hard, in one corner we went too flat out. I think it was good weekend, we enjoy driving here. It was full attack all the time – said Jari Huttunen.

- I’m really happy because I didn’t expect to win this rally. I wanted to win the U28 [classification] but I was able to win [overall] so it’s really good for me. We had a few problems. On the last loop we had no tyres and we just had to survive, so it was a bit advantage for Jari Huttunen because he had better tyres. It was our mistake. He had a penalty, I’m really sorry for him but that gave me the chance to win. Honestly, he was really fast. I hope in the future we’re going to have a fight with him again. On the second loop I understood that he will be faster, and I have no tyres. For sure it was difficult, but I just came down because I had to have good point in U28, so I was even prepared not to win – commented Nikolay Gryazin.

Marcin Slobodzian and Grzegorz Dachowski in Subaru Poland Rally Team Impreza were the only one duo in ERC 2 category. What is more Slobodzian and Dachowski won the Open N class in national championship too.

Tom Kristensson capped a perfect day for ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in FIA ERC Junior Under 27, scoring his first win in the Pirelli-supported category as team-mate Martins Sesks, 19, secured the championship title*. Sesks, an ERC Junior Experience graduate, had retired on Saturday after rolling his Opel ADAM R2 but returned for leg two, only to crash out again on the morning pass of Baranowo. Despite his no-score, he is now mathematically out of reach, ensuring a sensational ERC Junior U27 title on his first full year in the category. Meanwhile, Kristensson was busy fending off the advances of Efrén Llarena, who won every stage of leg two after SS10 and SS11 winner Sesks had retired. Though Llarena gained 7.1s over the course of six stages, he had started the day too far adrift of Kristensson, finishing 13.1s in arrears to clinch second place. A day of firsts was continued by Saintéloc Junior Team’s young Finn, Miika Hokkanen. Though unable to match Kristensson and Llarena’s pace, his measured drive ensured he finished third, his maiden ERC Junior U27 podium.

Jacek Jurecki and Michal Trela were the fastest among Polish rally championship entrants in 2WD cars.

The final classification of PZM 75th Rally Poland– round seven of FIA ERC 2018

1. Gryazin/Fedorov (RUS/RUS, Skoda Fabia R5) 01:53:45,3 s.
2. Huttunen/Linnaketo (FIN/FIN, Hyundai i20 R) +8,3 s.
3. Ingram/Whittock (GBR/GBR, Skoda Fabia R5) +2:25,9 s.
4. Kreim/Christian (DEU/DEU, Skoda Fabia R5) +2:43,2 s.
5. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +3:27,0 s.
6. Habaj/Dymurski (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +3:33,6 s.
7. Grzyb/Wróbel (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia R5) +3:38,4 s.
8. Mares/Hlousek (CZE/CZE, Skoda Fabia R5) +5:33,7 s.
9. Kasperczyk/Syty (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta R5) +5:50,6 s.
10. Herczig/Ferencz (HUN/HUN, Skoda Fabia R5) +6:10,2 s.

PZM 75th Rally Poland – special stage winners (in FIA ERC classification)

OS 1 – Mikołajki Arena (2,5 km): Lukyanuk/Arnautov (Ford Fiesta R5)
OS 2 – Paprotki (15,22 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 3 – Świętajno (19,6 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 4 – Stare Juchy (13,31 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 5 – Mikolajki Max (9,13 km) - ex aequo: Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5) i Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 6 – Paprotki (15,22 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 7 – Świętajno (19,6 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 8 – Stare Juchy (13,31 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 9 – Mikolajki Max (9,13 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 10 – Pozedrze (13,24 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 11 – Gołdap (19,9 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 12 – Baranowo (15,6 km): Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5)
OS 13 – Pozedrze (13,24 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 14 – Gołdap (19,9 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)
OS 15 – Baranowo (15,6 km): Huttunen/Linnaketto (Hyundai i20 R5)

FIA ERC standings after PZM 75th Rally Poland

1. Aleksey Lukyanuk 150 pkt.
2. Bruno Magalhaes 115 pkt.
3. Nikolay Gryazin 90 pkt.
4. Fabian Kreim 79 pkt.
5. Norbert Herczig 63 pkt.
6. Chris Ingram 62 pkt.
7. Simos Galatariotis 50 pkt.
8. Grzegorz Grzyb 49 pkt.
9. Jan Kopecky 38 pkt.
10. Jari Huttunen 31 pkt.

Polish Rally Championship standings after PZM 75th Rally Poland

1. Grzegorz Grzyb 151 pkt.
2. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk 150 pkt.
3. Brzeziński/Kozdroń 146 pkt.
4. Kasperczyk/Syty 96 pkt.
5. Poloński/Sitek 78 pkt.
6. Słobodzian/Dachowski 73 pkt.
7. Habaj/Dymurski 59 pkt.
8. Gabryś/Natkaniec 48 pkt.
9. Kołtun/Pleskot 42 pkt.
10. Byśkiniewicz/Wisławski 42 pkt.





 





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PZM 75. Rajd Polski / PZM 75th Rally Poland

PZM 75th Rally Poland

2018 Calendar

22-24 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

3-5 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

1-3 June

Acropolis Rally (Greece)

15-17 June

Cyprus Rally (Cyprus)

0-22 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

24-26 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic)

21-23 September

Rally Poland

12-14 October

Rally Liepaja (Lativa)