Pieni­azek stuns the works Opels

Motor Sport News - - British Gt Preview - RE­SULTS Ir­ish Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship, round three of seven

The Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship Ju­nior cat­e­gory was won by a shock non-opel works team driver as Lukas Pieni­azek steered his pri­va­teer Adam to vic­tory on his sec­ond visit to the Cir­cuit of Ire­land.

The 25-year-old Pole fin­ished 11th in the 2015 ERC Ju­nior stand­ings, but a mea­sured week­end meant he ben­e­fited from other driv­ers’ prob­lems to jump up the or­der on the fi­nal day.

Works Opel driver Mar­i­jan Griebel led at the end of the first day, and last year’s class event win­ner looked rel­a­tively con­fi­dent and as­sured in the lead. There’s never much in it in the ERC Ju­niors though, and a com­bat­ant Pieni­azek and Niko­lay Gryazin (Peu­geot 208 R2) chal­lenged the Ger­man, both win­ning stages on the open­ing day. Pieni­azek was 19.3s down in sec­ond come the end of leg one.

Griebel’s team-mate Chris In­gram had a tricky Fri­day, his first time in the car and he had a com­plete lack of con­fi­dence in the Adam and could only man­age fourth overnight.

Griebel opened the sec­ond day by ex­tend­ing his lead over Pieni­azek, but on the sec­ond stage of the day dis­as­ter struck. A hefty cut had caused a punc­ture and he was out of the lead battle to the shock of his com­peti­tors. Last year’s win and the Ger­man’s su­pe­ri­or­ity had an air of in­evitabil­ity about it, but now he was out of win­ning con­tention.

With Pieni­azek in the lead, he quickly con­sol­i­dated it over the next few tests and all eyes turned to the battle for sec­ond, with Gryazin ahead of In­gram. It took the Brit two stages to over­turn the 7.2s lead Gryazin pos­sessed with a new set-up on the Adam. It was looser at the rear and In­gram had the car danc­ing through the af­ter­noon. Af­ter a strug­gle on Fri­day, the 21-year-old showed his met­tle to stay fo­cused on the event, and he reaped the re­wards justly. More im­por­tantly, he leads Griebel in the points head­ing to one of his favourites, the Azores.

Griebel over­turned his half a minute deficit to Gryazin to take the fi­nal podium spot and earn the ERC’S Colin Mcrae Flat Out Tro­phy. The Scot, who won 25 years ago on the same event, would have al­most cer­tainly en­joyed such a first class ef­fort from the Ger­man driver.

The ju­niors will re­turn in Azores in June, with the over­all prize of a drive in an R5 car on the last round in the se­nior di­vi­sion in Cyprus.

The British Rally Cham­pi­onship Ju­niors pro­duced an equally bril­liant battle, with Robert Dug­gan com­ing out on top in a Vaux­hall Motorsport 1-2 with Swede Mat­tias Adiels­son fin­ish­ing sec­ond.

Dug­gan com­peted on the Na­tional event last year and last year’s Road to Wales win­ner in the North­ern Ir­ish Cham­pi­onship was supreme from the out­set. He topped the first five stages only be­ing ousted by Adiels­son on the New­tow­nards TT spec­ta­tor test. In to­tal he headed nine of 14 stages, with Adiels­son tak­ing the other five, and he was no­tice­ably quicker through the sec­ond day.

Adam Bus­tard fin­ished on the podium de­spite en­ter­ing in Rally2 af­ter a drive­shaft went on day one. With Aaron John­ston on the notes they al­most didn’t make the rally af­ter prob­lems on the Cir­cuit of Kerry, but the never-giveup at­ti­tude from the crew was a high­light.

Meirion Evans/jonathan Jack­son and team-mate Josh Corn­well/ Dai Roberts both suf­fered turbo is­sues on their Ford Fi­esta R2TS and re­tired, and Blair Brown suf­fered a bro­ken clutch. Na­bila Te­j­par/ Emma Mor­ri­son man­aged fourth in the Al­lied Poly­mer­sliv­er­ied Ford Fi­esta R2. Aaron Win­dus/ Rhi­anon Gel­somino were fifth af­ter re­tire­ment on stage one forced Rally2.

DRIVER

Derek Mc­gar­rity/barry Mcnulty Ol­lie Mel­lors/ Ian Win­dress Wes­ley Pat­ter­son/johnny Baird Camil­lus Bradley/craw­ford Henderson Don­nie Mac­don­ald/an­drew Fal­coner Alas­tair Cochrane/ Ian Kidd De­clan Mcnaughton/sean Hayde Jamie Jukes/dave Wil­liams Fin­tan Mc­grady/ Ray Fitz­patrick John Devlin/john Mccarthy

11 Ross Marshall/ Dave Rob­son (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 12 Oran Don­nelly/ Paul Hughes (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 13 John Gor­don/thomas Wed­lock (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 14 Colm Mcfall/ Der­mot Mccaf­ferty (Mit­subishi Lancer E9); 15 Patrick Mc­toal/ Con­nor O’loan (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 16 Chris­tian Cochrane/ Conor Lav­ery (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 17 Davy Arm­strong/ Martin Mc­gar­rity (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 18 Jonny Mor­row/ Si­mon Mor­row (Mit­subishi Lancer E9); 19 Alan Carmichael/ Ivor La­mont (Skoda Fabia S2000); 20 Kyle White/ Sean Top­ping (Citroen C2R2 Max). Class win­ners Nick Bar­nett/martin Brady (Honda Civic); Mcfall/mccaf­ferty; Mel­lors/ Win­dress; Mc­gar­rity/mcnulty; Leroy Mills/si­mon John Rogers (Vaux­hall Corsa); White/top­ping; John Gor­dan/thomas Wed­lock (Ford Es­cort); A Cochrane/i Kidd; Pat­ter­son/baird; Niall Creighton/gre­gory Roberts (Ford Lo­tus Cortina); Ian Mil­lar/ro­nan O’neill (Ford Es­cort RS1800).

near per­fect start to the North­ern Ire­land Rally Cham­pi­onship con­tin­ued. As for Mel­lors he bagged some much-needed British points, while Pat­ter­son was the top Ir­ish mod­i­fied driver.

With the weather im­prov­ing late on and the roads dry­ing, Camil­lus Bradley be­gan to stretch the legs of his Ford Es­cort and as his con­fi­dence grew was able to ce­ment fourth. It also made up for a dif­fi­cult first day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.