ERC Bruno Magalhaes action jpg*SEAJETS-backed Portuguese in front as Lukyanuk hits trouble during dramatic day
*Legendary Greek rally lives up to reputation as tough and demanding event
*Érdi Jr maintains ERC2 advantage, rookie Ghosh moves in front in ERC3

Bruno Magalhães mastered the tough and demanding all-gravel stages in style to hold a strong lead on the EKO Acropolis Rally, the third event of the all-action FIA European Rally Championship season.

Rock-strewn stages and high tyre wear meant balancing speed with safety, a compromise SEAJETS-backed Magalhães achieved perfectly on leg two. He won Saturday morning’s second and third stages to establish a 53.7s lead, which he extended to 1m04.7s by day’s end.

But while the Portuguese got his ARC Sport ŠKODA Fabia R5 to the overnight halt in Lamia out in front, it was a different story for championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, whose bid for a third consecutive ERC victory – and a first in Greece – unravelled when he retired his Ford Fiesta R5 with suspension damage on Saturday’s second stage. Lukyanuk, from Russia, plans to restart on Sunday’s final leg when collecting maximum stage points will be his main goal.

In the battle for victory on Sunday’s final leg, Magalhães will face opposition from multiple Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig – who is second overnight for the MOL Racing Team – and rising Polish star Hubert Ptaszek, completing the provisional podium in a third Fabia after a late puncture hit Grzegorz Grzyb’s hopes of finishing in the Acropolis top three for the second year running. Tibor Érdi Jr heads ERC2 with India’s Amittrajit Ghosh the driver to beat in ERC3 on his series debut.

Read more: LEG 2 REPORT: Magalhaes masters Acropolis gravel to hold ERC top spot

SERVICE D / Saturday 2 June 2018 / Leg 2

“Ideal day for us on a very difficult rally. Real Acropolis Rally. We pushed in the first stages, we made a gap and then we drove carefully, we made good choices.”

Νο3: HERCZIG Norbert - FERENCZ Ramon
“This was an epic day for my racing career. Very difficult day. Fortunately, we did not have any puncture or other technical problems. We want to keep second place to the end.”

Νο6: BRYNILDSEN Eyvind - ENGAN Veronica
“Difficult day. We did not took risk, but we had problems with tires. We are not too far off the podium, so we will push tomorrow.”

Read more: LEG 2 - ERC Quotes (Service D)

magalhaesLength: 22,50 km | Surface: Rough Gravel | Temperature: 30ο C

In spite of his large lead at the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018, Bruno Magalhaes set the fastest time at the last Special Stage of Leg 2, the second pass from Paleohori to Mendenitsa. Thus, his lead over Norbert Herczing has increased to over a minute. Young Polish Hubert Ptaszek is now in a podium position, as Grzegorz Grzyb finished the stage with a broken left tyre and lost 3,5 minutes.

“We have a good gap from the others. I had hard tyres for this loop and I lost with that some time on the previous stages, but here it was advantage.”

Νο3: HERCZIG Norbert - FERENCZ Ramon
“Extremely difficult, very slippery. Before the stage we had a problem with brakes. We repaired it, but the tyres in the last stage were absolutely worn so we tried mainly to get through.”

Read more: SS8 | PALEOHORI-MENDENITSA 2: Magalhaes increases the gap

herczig leg 2Length: 25,10 km | Surface: Rough Gravel | Temperature: 31ο C

After the 50 minute delay of the previous stage, the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 resumed with the SS7 at Drosohori. This time the leading crews avoided the problems, except Alexandros Tsouloftas who was forced to retire with a broken driveshaft on his Citroen DS3 R5. While Norbert Herczing marked the best time, Bruno Magalhaes easily maintained his overall lead.

“It was careful trying to not making a puncture. We have very hard compound so our performance was not the best, but we mainly want to save the tyres.”

Νο3: HERCZIG Norbert - FERENCZ Ramon
“It was OK, much more clean. Sometimes the dust was under the trees, but the feeling was OK. Last kilometer I realised our brakes have gone.”

Read more: SS7 | DROSOHORI 2: Herczig tops the times

EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 Launch Press Conference

Introducing a new era for the "Rally of Gods"

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Relive the 2017 Acropolis Rally

Flashback to the 2017 Acropolis Rally

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Visit the official ERC site

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Acropolis Rally History!

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