Skoda driver Jan Kopecky scored a thrilling victory on the European Rally Championship Barum Czech Rally Zlin, despite suffering a total of three punctures. This was almost a repeat of the WRC2 Rallye Deutschland the weekend before when he never gave up hope of victory, and finally regained his lead two stages from the end. This time he overhauled the Ford driver, Alexey Lukyanuk (pictured below), three stages from the finish! Lukyanuk now extends his ERC championship lead to 36 points ahead of Bruno Magalhaes with two more events to follow. In the very changeable conditions which made the asphalt stages tricky, there was a close fight for third place, taken by Hyundai’s guest driver, Dani Sordo, who finished 0.3 seconds ahead of Miroslav Jakes’s Skoda. Winner of the Under 28 R5 category was Nikolay Gryazin, while Opel Adam driver, Martins Sesks (pictured below), won the Under 27 R2 category. = = = = Fourth round held in this year’s French gravel championship was the Terre de Lozere, won by Lionel Baud ahead of fellow Citroen DS3 WRC driver Thibault Durbec. Fourth place was Max Vatanen, son of Ari, in a Hyundai i20 R5. = = = = Subaru driver David Higgins won the ARA championship Ojibwe Forest Rally in Minnesota, ahead of Bryan Bouffier in a Mitsubishi Mirage Proto. Higgins’ teammate, Travis Pastrana, missed stages when he went off the road. = = = = Any true rear wheel drive Escort lover will be in Belgium next month for the one-off Escort Rally Special (15-16 September). No fewer than 140 competitors had entered Escorts. The event is based in the south-west town of Couvin. The event clashes with Rally Turkey and the British championship Isle of Man Rally.

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