Ford has dominated the Azores Airline Rally this weekend in Portugal, round 4 of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship with a full podium. Ricardo Moura was the lead man in the 1-2-3 victory, the very first full podium for Ford in ERC. For Moura, this was just more than an ordinary victory for him as he is a native from Azores, making him the first Azorean to win the event since 1971.
The second Ford Fiesta R5 belonged to pro Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk who led defending champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz. The latter was leading the rally on the first day but an error followed by a broken driveshaft robbed him time and ultimately forcing him to drive with a rear drive setup before his team could fix the driveshaft. Kajetanowicz is still looking for his first win of the season.
Lukyanuk had the rally in control leading Moura by over 40 seconds, that was up until a spin cost him 22 seconds. As if that was not enough, a loose turbo pipe cost him a further 42 seconds putting him behind Moura on the final day with just two stages left. Lukyanuk gave it all he had, trimmed down the gap to five seconds but Moura had already clinched his much needed home victory.
Fourth place went to Citroën DS3 R5 driver David Botka, who led Jaroslav Orsák in another Ford Fiesta R5 while Pedro Meireles was the best placed Skoda driver in sixth.
The ERC2 win went to Wojciech Chuchała in a Subaru WRX STI while Diogo Gago claimed the ERC3 win in a Peugeot 208 R2.
The next event on the FIA ERC calendar will be the Ypres Rally in Belgium scheduled for June 23.