4th event of Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 championship is over and this time it was different from previous Open RBR-LT WRC seasons. 56 participants traveled to Azores Island where ERC event was going, but this time it was under WRC glass with some regulations issues. Despite the rally was shortened to one leg and had just 9 special stages, conditions was quite tricky and hard. Just 41 crews reached the finish and just 29 without "Super Rally" rule.
As always we had the main characters in the center of action. Two championship leaders by equal points in overall classification Tomek Wach and Anton Kochetkov was also here and ready to fight for every point. Juan Marzoa from Spain and Portuguese Paulo Tempera probably knows these places best and can be really fast. We missed just Alex Karkach from the top drivers but we got Raivo Dabins. After three unsuccessful runs in opening events Latvian finally made it to the finish and almost reached the podium. Raivo was going really fast in some stages, during the half way of the rally he was 2nd but some issues occurred and dropped to 3rd. In SS7 Raivo took a stage win and before last stage he was 35 seconds ahead of Arnas Kerbelys in 4th place. But then a tragedy happened... After a mistake in one of the corners "Citroen C3 WRC" piloted by Raivo flew into the zone where was some photographs. Luckily all of hurt photographs were conscious and was fast taken to the hospital, now their condition is stable. During this accident Raivo lost much time and also 3rd place, Latvian finished 4th 2.62sec behind Arnas,- "What a stupid mistake and hit in photographs.. Okey, Thank You organizers."
Arnas Kerbelys was using his "VW Polo R WRC" to challenge the local Paulo Tempera and fought with him all the rally. Before last stage Paulo was just 3.42sec behind Arnas, but it was also a disastrous stage for him,- "Too much time lost in this one, went wide about 3 times, ruined my rally in this last stage.(sad)". One more guys accident's let Arnas to climb on a podium for a first time in this season. And that guy was Tomek Wach, Pole was fighting for 3rd place with Raivo, but in stage 6 he lost almost a minute and on SS8 he was out of the radar till rally finish. No points for Tomek here could mean a lost leader position in overall standings.
And the wait wasn't long. Spaniard Juan Marzoa was going strong all the rally and kept his position in top 3 all the time. From SS5 Juan took the 2nd place and didn't let it till the end with 22.13sec advantage over Arnas in 3rd with same "Polo". But there was one man who went much stronger... Russian Rocket Anton Kochetkov flew in different kind of speed. Just after two stages Anton already had 25sec advantage and kept increasing it till SS6 and SS7 where Russian had some problems with very foggy weather and made a mistake. These was the only stages Anton didn't won, he finished the rally wining SS8 and SS9 in total wining 7 stages out of 9 and managed to load a massive 1min 43.23sec advantage against nearest opponent. After winning second event in a row Anton had some words to say,- "OK! Great Race for me. Thanks guys for battle and Orgs for Race! See you."
In WRC2 classification there was again the same song playing until Tomek Wach retired in SS8. This was the chance for Jyrki Niemela to shine and bring a first victory for a "Ford" team. And Finn did it, by winning over Jan Gais from Slovakia with 31.45sec advantage. 3rd place was taken by Ukrainian Kiril Kolomiets with "Škoda Fabia R5". Kiril was trying to catch Jan all the rally, but finally had to admit opponents advantage by losing to him 13.58sec.
We would like to say something new about WRC 3 classifications, but sadly there is nothing new. 4th Oscar Estévez win out of 4 and Portuguese again isn't happy about his performance,- "Bad rally for me. Thanks!". As Artur Hazuka started to had some technical problems from SS2 and left the fight from podium positions. Same three drivers Oscar Estévez, Remus Diaconescu and Maciej Zawisza drove in same order from SS4 till the end. With no surprise of Oscar won by 2min 43.76sec over Remus Diaconescu it was just second finish for Romanian and first podium finish this season. Polish Maciej Zawisza lost 26.36sec for Remus, they had great fight during stages but this time "Renault Clio IV R3T" piloted by Remus was faster.
We had a great and treacherous ERC event and now Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 events are traveling from island to island. Teams will have to solve over 3000km logistic challenge in just a one week. Because after 7 days cars should be layed out in Corsica island shore for the 5th event of Open RBR-LT WRC 2019. See You all in Tour de Corse!