Valerii Gorban and Sergey Larens have won two stages – SS3 and SS4 – and were 2nd on SS5, and, as a result, they increased to 13 seconds the gap between them and Janis Barkes’ crew, who occupied 2nd row of intermediate results list of the rally. After that, till ultimate special stage, that gap was changing only in interval of 2…3 seconds.
“It’s not evening yet!” – at such way the journalists of local Rally Radio interpreted the words of Valerii Gorban, who told that during special stages of the day’s first section the crew didn’t hurry yet to increase their pace. Close to the evening the pace of Ukrainian team’s crew grown up, but, like all other participants, they were forced to save the tires and restrain themselves because there were a lot of dangerous stones on the roads instead of snow. As a result, careful approach to the competition was letting Eurolamp WRT’s duo to control situation and to move stage by stage to the winning finish. But…
At the ultimate stage Valerii Gorban and Sergey Larens were very close to pay for their extra wariness. On SS9 the lime-green MINI span and the engine stopped, so nearly 10 seconds were lost because of that. As a result, the crew occupied only 10th row in the stage list results and less than 4 seconds separated the duo from the losing the rally win.
“It was our first visit to Rally Alūksne, so we were happy to win. We really liked the rally and want to say that it will be very pleasure to be here next time!” – noted Valery Gorban at the rally finish.
After the winning Rally Aluksne Valery Gorban and Sergey Larens occupied position of leaders of the Estonian Rally Championship. The next stage of the Championship – Sarma Rally – takes place in three weeks, on February 10.