Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnatov are winners of 53. Azores Airlines Rallye 2018 as first event in European Rally Championship this season. They won 6/15 special stages and didn’t have a big problems (except one little off and avoiding cows on stage).
On second place finished Ricardo Moura – Antonio Costa and on third place Bruno Magalhaes – Hugo Magalhaes, both with Škoda Fabia R5.
It was almost double russian win on Azores, but Juan Carlos Alonso from Argentina was too strong on the end of rally and won in ERC2 section. The leader of half of event in this section, Sergey Remennik, almost retired on last stage, when he hit a stone and damaged a wheel.
But he wasn’t the only one, who did mistake on last stage. Martin Koči did the same, but his wheel didn’t survived a hit. But it wasn’t a big damage on his Fabia R5 – more damage made Ptaszek when he hit a wall:
So Koči lost his excellent fourth place overall and a lot of points for championship, but he wasn’t alone. Botka has some brakes issues on this event, but the main problem was his off road on last stage, where he lost his P10:
A lot of bad luck had again Simon Wagner, who also finished right on the end of event. He retired right before last stage due gearbox failure and lost his fourth place in ERC3 section, where won Diogo Gago with codriver Miguel Ramalho. On second place in this section finished Martin Sesks and on third place Efren Llarena.
Gago won also in ERC Junior U27 section. In ERC Junior U28 section won Chris Ingram with debut in R5 Rally car. Another debut in the same class rally car had Tamara Molinaro, who won in ERC Ladies section.