Lukyanuk increases gap over ERC field in Zlín
FIA European Rally Championship points leader Alexey Lukyanuk has increased his advantage on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, establishing a 20 second lead after another puncture today for Jan Kopecký.
Stage six was a rerun of Saturday morning's Březová test, whereKopecký had lost half a minute with a puncture. Hitting a rock while cutting a corner, Kopecký picked up a double left-side puncture, promoting FIA ERC Junior Under 28 leader Nikolay Gryazin to second overall.
However, Gryazin was focussed on locking down maximum points in his quest for a first ERC Junior U28 championship title, electing not to push and conceding 8.6s toKopecký in stage eight, dropping back to third place overall.
Lukyanuk remained out front throughout, benefitting fromKopecký's drama, though 20.0s is far from a comfortable gap considering 2013 ERC champion Kopecký's home form of 22 straight wins on Czech-based rallies.
01 LUKYANUK Alexey and ARNAUTOV Alexey FORD Fiesta R5 action during the 2016 European Rally Championship ERC Cyprus Rally, from october 7 to 9 at Nicosie, Cyprus - Photo Thomas Fenêtre / DPPIERC
Caught out by the same left-hander as Kopecky, Dani Sordo sustained a puncture and cracked rim but retains fourth place. With only a single spare for all four afternoon stages, Sordo was forced to nurse the cracked rim through the next two tests.
Despite a front-left puncture and a quick trip off-roadMiroslav Jakeš remains fifth, ahead of ACCR Czech Team's young talent Filip Mareš who is a clear second in ERC Junior U28, 44.7s behind Gryazin.
ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim is still third in ERC Junior U28 despite picking up a right-rear puncture in stage eight, his advantage over fourth placed Chris Ingram 20.9s. Kreim also moved to seventh overall, catching and passing Rufa Sport'sJaromír Tarabus.