After SS18: Kubica snatches dramatic final-stage ERC victory
A stunning performance on the final stage has enabled Formula One race winner Robert Kubica to take a dramatic victory on the opening round of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship.
He overcame a deficit of 11.8 seconds starting the final stage of the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich to win by 19.9s after he outpaced erstwhile leader Václav Pech by 31.7s through the 25.00-kilometre night stage, which took place in foggy conditions.
Kubica, driving a Ford Fiesta RRC, selected a combination of studded and winter tyres for the mud and rain-hit stage and made the most of the extra grip to overhaul Pech, who opted for slick tyres for his MINI John Cooper Works S2000.
“We had a big moment when there was fog and I want to apologise to Maciej [Szczepaniak] for this,” said Kubica. “To be honest the experience I got means much more than the win because that was my plan before the start.”
Behind Pech, Raimund Baumschlager took third overall with Vaclac Pech winning the ERC Production Car Cup for a second year running in fourth position.
Vasily Gryazin spun his Fiesta S2000 but still finished in seventh place, while Robert Consani completed the stage with the light pod missing from his Peugeot 207 S2000. Michael Böhm won the ERC 2WD Championship class in his Suzuki Swift S1600.
Janner Rallye Photos: fiaerc.com/photogallery/id/14
Janner Rallye Videos: fiaerc.com/videogallery/id/14
Next Rnd 2: Rally Liepāja - Latvia - Gravel/snow 31 Jan-02Feb.
ERC newcomer in 2013, the snow rally will now focus on stages around Liepāja having ventured north up the Baltic coast to Ventspils this year.
Official Website: lvrally.com/eng
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