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Protasov wins Group N and Rally Class classification in Sardinia

Protasov wins Group N and Rally Class classification in Sardinia

27.10.2012: World Rally Championship - Rally Class - Rally Sardinia 2012 Ukrainian driver Yuriy Protasov and his co-driver Kiril Nesvit have won

World Rally Championship - Rally Class - Rally Sardinia 2012     



Ukrainian driver Yuriy Protasov and his co-driver Kiril Nesvit have won both the Rally Class classification and the overall Group N standings on the Rally d'Italia-Sardegna last weekend, finishing in 13th overall just behind factory Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala.     
      
    
In an astonishing performance, Protasov was consistently at the top of the Group N standings, despite running a Rally Class car – aimed at providing the best possible value for money – and DMack tyres.


Protasov once again proved how the Rally Class entrants can compete against more powerful and better equipped rivals, thanks to the excellent preparation work from Belgian firm Symtech Racing. A full season, provided competitors registered early enough, cost just €260,000 fully inclusive.


Yet on four out of the five rallies held so far, a Rally Class car won the group N classification and has even beaten the Production Car World Rally Championship competitors in 2 rallies, with another one-two in Group N for Symtech last weekend.


On the hot, narrow and rough gravel stages of Sardinia, Protasov took the lead from the start, consistently setting top-three stage times in Group N along with a number of fastest times. He also set an astonishing ninth overall time on the long Monte Lerno stage. His car had no problems at all, although like many other drivers he had some fade in his brakes over the longer stages.


"I'm absolutely delighted with what has been one of my best rallies yet," said Protasov, a former national champion. "These stages were very technical, with several sharp rocks, but we were able to stay out of trouble while setting a good pace, and we're looking forward to a strong finish to the season."


Protasov continues to lead the Rally Class standings and now needs just to finish the Rally of Spain next month to claim his prize drive on five rounds of the World Rally Championship next year, in a full-specification Subaru Impreza R4 built and run by Symtech Racing.     
    
 

     
Second in Rally Class was Mexican driver Ricardo Trivino, who also enjoyed a trouble-free run, except for a time consuming puncture on the second day. He hangs onto the runner-up spot in Rally Class, which carries a prize of two fully-paid drives in a Symtech Group N Impreza.


Multiple Indonesian drifting champion Rifat Sungkar was finally classified third in the Rally Class standings, although he lost some time when he went off the road on the opening full day, breaking a track control arm. His car was fixed on Friday night, enabling him to re-join on Saturday and complete the event.


Symtech Racing's Dirk van der Sluys commented:
"Once again, we've seen how Rally Class combines value for money with performance, as a great performance from Yuri brought him victory not only in Rally Class, but also in Group N overall. From our perspective the cars all ran brilliantly on what is a very tough and long rally. The drivers also performed brilliantly as the stages in Sardinia really take no prisoners: going off the racing line normally leads to trouble, as even a nine-time world champion like Sebastien Loeb found out!"


The next round of Rally Class takes place on the Catalunya Rally from 9-11 November, which features two days on asphalt and one on gravel.     
    

 
- Symtech Racing - also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/sardinia-rally-protasov-wins-group-n-classification-italy---104660.html

27.10.2012 / MaP

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