Kopecky’s fifth Barum Rally win
- 28th August 2016, 11:25pm
Jan Kopecký has won the ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlín for the fifth time after a close battle with Alexey Lukyanuk, which was only finally settled on the final stage when Lukyanuk damaged his steering.
The 2013 European champion, Kopecký led after all but one of the 15 stages on the asphalt classic in his factory Škoda Fabia R5. Fabia R5 cars finished in the top five places.
Championship leader Kajetan Kajetnowicz had been lying third when his alternator belt pulley failed when lying third. Lukyanuk retains a chance of winning this year’s ERC title going to the penultimate round, Rally Liepāja, but Kajetan Kajetanowicz leads the series by 76 points.
There was drama down the field. Bryan Bouffier retired with three stages to go when third with engine trouble, Tomáš Kostka finished second but only after suffering a broken differential, while fellow Czech driver Jaromír Tarabus crashed when fourth.
On the final day Jan Cerný jumped from sixth to third. Pavel Valoušek recovered from a puncture on Saturday to take fourth but two-time 2016 rally winner Ralfs Sirmacis crashed on the final day, as did Polish champion Łukasz Habaj.
In the supporting categories, Chris Ingram won the ERC Junior division ahead of Łukasz Pieniążek, but Marijan Griebel retired from the first leg when he damaged the steering. Giacomo Scattolon secured his second ERC2 win of the season after setting the best time in the category on almost every stage, beaten only on the final test, but he is still 52 points behind Wojciech Chuchała.
In ERC3 (two wheel drive) Luca Rossetti finished second ERC3 behind Chris Ingram, at the wheel of a Toyota GT86 CS-R3 on its series debut .
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