Circuit of Ireland Rally - Craig Breen On Top After Leg 1

Craig Breen
Irishman Craig Breen has opened up a healthy lead after end of day one of Circuit of Ireland rally and is on course for another victory. He had a strong day at the office and outpaced his rivals all day long. Elfyn Evans had a bad day after he was forced to retire with an overheating engine thus ending his winning hopes.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz
Elfyn Evans made a good start to the rally by winning the very first stage and was leading by 6.4 sec from Craig Breen. After that problems hit the Brit as he developed overheating issues with his engine, but somehow managed to limp through 2nd stage. By now Craig Breen moved to top spot but by only nine tenth of a second over Polish driver  Kajetan Kajetanowicz. After Elfyn Evans exit there was no looking back for Craig Breen, he extended his lead to 25 sec after third stage before heading to midday service. Then he won two stages in the second loop, but made an error in the final street stage by spinning and losing 11 sec to his rival Kajetan Kajetanowicz. But his lead was intact by 25.1 sec. Craig Breen hadn't put a foot wrong on day one, his tyre choices were spot on and at the end he was in a commanding position.

Alastair Fisher
Kajetan Kajetanowicz had a good day behind the wheel of his Fiesta R5 winning a stage and had a good pace to keep the leader in sight. Still he lies second trailing by 25.2 sec. Alastair Fisher ends Leg 1 in third overall and had a good run, he is only 2.5 sec behind Kajetanowicz. British driver Martin McCormack finishes in fourth position 58.1 sec behind the leader but he is the leading BRC driver in the field. ERC runner Jaromír Tarabus and local man Josh Moffett was in fifth and sixth respectively. Fredrik Åhlin's tarmac debut was a good one. He started with a steady pace gradually moving up to fourth, but after hitting a road side kerb on the last stage he was in seventh overall. David Bogie, Sam Moffett and Jonathan Greer rounded off the top ten.


Wojciech Chuchała leads the ERC2 class in his Subaru Poland Rally Team. German driver Marijan Griebel is the leading Junior ERC class in his Opel Adam R2.

Overall Classification after Day One

It has been a action packed day on the Irish roads. But still eight stages to run on second day, so anything can happen. Stay tuned for further updates. Until then Happy Rallying!
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Circuit of Ireland Rally - Slippery and Muddy Qualifying Stage

Second round of FIA European Rally Championship got underway with the qualifying stage. But the slippery conditions made it very difficult for the crews to keep the car on the narrow Irish roads. Brit Elfyn Evans made a good start by going quickest on the 4.22 km stage. The same stage was used as free practice, so lots of mud was pulled into the road making it slippery and muddy and making grip levels unpredictable.

Elfyn Evans

Elfyn Evans, leader of BRC set a time of 2min 28.9sec in the Tardree qualifying stage. Polish driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz was second fastest 4.575secs slower than Evans. Local star Alastair Fisher finished third making it top three Fiesta R5 on the leader board. Last year Circuit winner Craig Breen was fourth quickest ahead of Keith Cronin driving a DS3 R5. Martin McCormack was sixth in Fabia S2000 ahead of  Fredrik Åhlin (Fiesta R5) and Jaromír Tarabus (Fabia R5). Federico Della Casa crossed the line ninth in-spite of broken front left wheel and a puncture to his DS3 R5. 

Robert Consani

With the grip levels on the stage was treacherous Robert Consani had a bad start to the event. A high speed spin damaged the front end of his DS3 R5, leaving him limping to the end of stage. David Botka too driving a DS3 R5 went into a ditch a could not make it to finish.

Qualifying stage was followed by ceremonial start in Lisburn, and drivers choosing their starting position for the Leg 1 of rally. No wonder Elfyn Evans wanted to be first on the road. Followed by Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Alastair Fisher. Craig Breen had no choice and had to settle for fourth. Leg 1 comprises of six stages and no doubt it will be typical Irish conditions for the crew.

Thats all for now tune in for further updates, until then Happy Rallying!
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Nasser Al-Attiyah Clinches Second Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Victory

Nasser Al-Attiyah emerged victorious in the 2nd round of world cup for cross country rallies. Held in the deserts of Abu Dhabi, Al-Attiyah bagged his second win in Abu Dhabi. In the bikes department Dakar winner Toby Price came on top after a fine riding throughout the rally.
Photo credits : MCH Photography
Al-Attiyah took commanding five stage wins on his course for victory. Driving a Toyota Hilux alongside his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel, Al-Attiyah was fastest on the 234km Abu Dhabi Avaiation stage and reached the finish line at Yas Marina Circuit with a huge winning margin of 32 mins 13 secs over Yazeed Al Rajhi in his Mini All4 Racing. Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen with his French co-driver Michel Perin finished third further 38 min 13 secs behind leader and just 8 mins behind Al Rajhi. He also took a stage win in his Mini All4 Racing machine. USA driver Bryce Menzies and Polish pilot Jakub Przygonski made it 4 Mini All4 Racing in top five spot.

Photo credits : MCH Photography
In the Moto category Dakar winner Aussie Toby Price took the win, but it was a hard fought victory till the last stage. Ultimately winning by just 2 min 11 secs over his Factory KTM team mate Sam Sunderland. Factory Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla gave hard times for Toby Price by taking the rally lead twice, but at the end it was not enough for the Chile rider to stop Price from winning. He finished third further 3 min 23 sec off the leader. UAE rider Mohammed Al Balooshi showed impressive pace to finish third in his KTM Rally replica against the best factory riders. 

Rafal Sonik
In the T2 Production class Qatar's Adel Hussain Abdulla and his Egyptian co-driver Hakam Mohamed Rabeia took victory in their Nissan Patrol. Poland's Aron Domzala and Szymon Gospodarczyk took victory in T3 Buggy class in a Polaris RZR. Poland's reigning FIM World Champion Rafal Sonik won the Quads category.

Overall Classification Cars

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (QAT / FRA) Toyota Hilux                        17:14.49
2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gotschalk (KSA / DEU) Mini All4 Racing                     17:47.02
3. Mikko Hirvonen / Michel Perin (FIN / FRA) Mini All4 Racing                             17:53.02
4. Bryce Menzies / Andreas Schulz (USA / DEU) Mini All4 Racing                       17:59.04
5. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul (POL / BEL) Mini All4 Racing                         18:06.33
6. Mathieu Serradori / Didier Haquette (FRA / FAR) Buggy                                    18:38.00
7. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi / Khalid Al Kendi (ARE /ARE) Mini All4 Racing          18:56.01
8. Marek Dabrowski / Jacek Czachor (POL / POL)                                              19:52.40
9. Yuriy Sazonov / Dmytro Tsyro (KAZ / RUS)                                                     20:56.29
10. Khaled Al Feraihi / Abdulhaleem Al Busa’idi (KSA / OMN ) Nissan Patrol         23:15.59

Overall Classification Bikes

1. Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 Rally Factory 1                                             18:18.24                     
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 Rally Factory 1                                    18:20.35
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) Husqvarna 450 Rally Factory 1                            18:21.47
4. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE) KTM 450 Rally Replica                             18:56.38
5. Pierre Alexandre Renet (FRA)                                                                18:57.02
6. Laia Sanz (ESP) KTM 450 Rally Factory 1/3                                           19:19.25
7. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL)                                                        19:19.28
8. Jakub Piatek (POL) KTM 450 Rally Replica 1/4                                        19:27.57
9. David McBride (GBR) KTM 450 Rally Replica 1                                       19:37.17
10. David Thomas (GBR) Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica 1                             20:51.22

Stay tuned for more news from the world of rallying. Until then Happy Rallying!
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Alexey Lukyanuk to miss Circuit of Ireland Rally.

Current FIA ERC drivers standings leader and previous round winner Alexey Lukyanuk is forced to miss this weekends Circuit of Ireland Rally due to pre-event testing crash, thus bringing his hopes of winning a hat-trick of rallies to abrupt end.

During pre-event testing in wet and slippery conditions Lukyanuk had a high speed incident on the narrow Irish roads, doing some serious damage to his Fiesta R5. They had already completed 70 km of testing and were trying different set ups and tyres. According to Lukyanuk they were testing in combination of intermediate and wet tyres, their pace was good until they lost the rear of the car in a fast corner and it was impossible to correct the mistake on those narrow roads. He also added that in-spite of damage, the car was able to repair but they had to skip the rally to pay for the repair works on the car. Its so unfortunate to end a rally even before it had started.

Stay tuned to further updates on the rally. Happy Rallying!

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Circuit of Ireland International Rally - Round 2 of FIA ERC Preview

Circuit Of Ireland 85 years old in 2016Round 2 of the FIA European Rally Championship is all set to run on the wet slippery Irish tarmac roads. It is also the 2nd round of MSA British Rally Championship. The combination of two championships one International and the other National has resulted in a jaw dropping entry list which is a treat to any rally fan.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz
ERC regulars Kajetan KajetanowiczAlexey Lukyanuk will be competing in their Fiesta R5. Other top ERC entries are  Craig Breen in his DS3 R3, Robert Consani driving a DS3 R5, Jaromir Tarabus piloting his Fabia R5, Dávid Botka in his DS3 R5. Well these were  the regular ERC competetors adding to this  there is a large entry of Great Britain and Ireland  drivers as this is also a round of BRC and also  Irish National Tarmcac Championship.

Craig Breen
Heading the field in BRC is DMACK British Rally Team with their two drivers Elfyn Evans and Max Vatanen looking for another strong result in their Fiesta R5. Alastair Fisher, Tom Cave, Fredrik Ahlin and David Bogie will be driving their Fiesta R5's in the hunt for points. Neil Simpson will be piloting his Skoda Fabia R5. Alastair Fisher in his DS3 R5. These are the top entries for the rally and the list goes on.

DMACK British Rally Team
Main highlight of this star studded entry list is, there will be whopping 26 R5 cars competing. The rally commences on 7th April with the qualifying stage followed by ceremonial start. The crews have to tackle total of 14 special stages making it 210 km of competitive distance. Being an International event rally will be also broadcasted throughout the globe with the help of Internet and can be watched on the official rally website. For full entry list and all ther rally info Click here to go to official website. 

In latest developments during pre-event testing Alexey Lukyanuk has badly crashed his Fiesta R5 and is still not sure if he can make it to the rally.
This weekend its all set for some action packed tarmac event. Stay tuned for more updates, until then Happy Rallying!

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