For the sixth round of the 2015 European Rally Championship, the action moved from the tarmac roads of Ypres to the sweeping fast gravel roads of the auto24 Rally Estonia. After the lead changed several times during the course of the rally it was Alexey Lukyanuk who took the win in his Mitsubishi Lancer ahead of Championship contender Kajetan Kajetanowicz’s Ford Fiesta. Lukyanuk was actually registered for the ERC 2 support category due to the supposed difference in performance compared to the lighter R5 and RRC cars. In fact three of the top four cars in the overall classification drove ERC 2-spec Lancers; home drivers Rainer Aus and Siim Plangi claimed third and fourth respectively. With Lukyanuk claiming the honours in ERC 2, the remaining class winner was Ralfs Sirmacis, who held off Emil Bergkvist for the win in ERC 3 en route to a fine tenth overall.
It was a nightmare event for Craig Breen, who suffered a mystery power issue that left him outside of the podium places, before retiring from fourth place on Day 2 with oil pressure problems. He wasn’t the only rallying star who suffered; Karl Kruuda led at one point before his rally ended with radiator problems, whilst yet another Estonian in a Mitsubishi, Egon Kaur, crashed out when on course for the final podium place. This though was Lukyanuk’s day and he claimed his debut ERC victory to move up to third place in the overall classifcations. But the real beneficiary from this rally was Kajetanowicz whose second place, coupled with Breen’s retirement, meant that he overhauled the Irishman to lead the Championship once more by just five points. The next round takes place on the Czech asphalt of Rally Zlin, which traditionally brings a high entry list and high drama, starting on the 28th of August.
Final Classifications – 6. auto24 Rally Estonia 2015
|1||A. Lukyanuk||A. Arnautov||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||1:32:25.4|
|2||K. Kajetanowicz||J. Baran||Ford Fiesta R5||+12.7|
|3||R. Aus||S. Koskinen||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||+1:07.0|
|4||S. Plangi||M. Sarapuu||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||+2:06.9|
|5||T. Korge||E. Pints||Peugeot 208 T16||+2:23.7|
|6||R. Jeets||A. Toom||Ford Fiesta R5||+3:36.2|
|7||D. Butvilas||P. Mazur||Subaru Impreza STi||+4:51.4|
|8||J. Koltun||I. Pleskot||Ford Fiesta R5||+5:20.8|
|9||D. Botka||P. Mihalik||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||+7:36.1|
|10||R. Sirmacis||A. Simins||Peugeot 208 VTi R2||+8:01.6|