Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk opened the 2016 FIA ERC championship by winning the first round at Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés. Co-driven by Alexey Arnautov, this was their second straight career victory following their win at the final round in the 2015 season in Switzerland. Lukyanuk who drives a Ford Fiesta R5 battled his way into victory by beating defending champion and fellow Ford driver, Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
Top 10 Results FIA ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2016
1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5….2h03m49.6s
2 Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/Jarosław Baran (POL) Ford Fiesta R5….+32.3s
3 Luis Monzón (ESP)/José Carlos Déniz (ESP) Citroën DS3 R5….+1m41.5s
4 Jonathan Pérez (ESP)/Alejandro López Fernández (ESP) Ford Fiesta R5….+2m44.0s
5 Wojciech Chuchała (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) Subaru Impreza STi ….+5m27.0s
6 Jarosław Kołtun (POL)/Ireneusz Pleskot (POL) Ford Fiesta R5….+5m28.1s
7 Robert Consani (FRA)/Maxime Vilmot (FRA) Peugeot 208 T16….+6m40.1s
8 János Puskádi (HUN)/Barnabás Gódor (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5….+7m18.1s
9 Surhayen Pernía (ESP)/Juan Luis García (ESP) Renault Clio R3T….+7m48.7s
10 Tomasz Kasperczyk (POL)/Damian Syty (POL) Ford Fiesta R5….+8m01.4s
Kajetanowicz won the most number of stages (6 in total) and was leading in the final day before a tire problem forced him to slow down. The LOTOS Rally Team driver lost the lead to Lukyanuk on SS9, he tried to reclaim the lead but Lukyanuk managed to extend the gap to 32 seconds, he won four stages in total.
Kajetanowicz finished second overall leading local hero Luis Monzón who was driving a Citroen DS3 R5. Monzon was running within the top order and managed to beat Lukyanuk to win SS10. Elsewhere, Robert Consani was among the top runners and ranked third on Friday until his Peugeot 208 T16 bailed out on him. He managed to finish in seventh place overall despite garnering several penalties.
Ford enjoyed a third car in the top five thanks to Jonathan Pérez who finished fourth overall in a Ford Fiesta R5. Wojciech Chuchała won the ERC2 category driving a Subaru WRX STI, he finished fifth overall ahead of the Ford Fiesta R5 of Jarosław Kołtun. Polish driver Łukasz Habaj won the ERC3 category driving a Peugeot 208 R2
WRC star Mads Østberg made his ERC debut and managed to lead the rally from SS2 to SS6. He crashed out after suffering a braking problem, he also acknowledged the high level of talent in the ERC.
The Circuit of Ireland Rally is the next stop for ERC drivers and will take place from 7 – 9 April.