WRC A FULL 2015
Rally Sweden. Bronze Arctic glow.
16 February 2015
Eurolamp WRT had a great beginning in 2015 World Rally Championship – the very first rally has brought for Valeriy Gorban and Volodymyr Korsia the first podium in WRC 2 in their career.
Sweden met the crews with extremely changeable weather: it was freezing at night and getting warm in the afternoon. Not so easy conditions for the drivers – due to changing temperature the road conditions had been changing too, literally, every hour. From the morning there were strong ice hiding under the loose snow; later after the few tens of rally cars it burst to gravel and afterwards those conditions were changing and mixing during three days of competition.
It is out of discussion – the Scandinavian drivers had some priority because of their local experience with those specific conditions for years. However, the first special stage showed that the Ukrainian crew, who has spent a lot of time with tests and training sessions nearby the Arctic Circle, is ready to fight with the locals. From the first Friday section Gorban and Korsia got the place in the top-five of WRC 2, and in the evening – after two fastest special stages during the day – they have reached the second place in the group.
However, the Saturday was not so successful for our crew: in the middle of SS14 green MINI John Cooper Works S2000 had been stuck in the snowbank because of a driving mistake. It took three long minutes to release the car and get it back to the road – the consequences were severe: a place in the top-three was lost. Fortunately, the car wasn’t damaged so our crew was able to continue the race at the same pace.
And our drivers could find the pace again – with good luck and some perseverance! First, Gorban had a great fight with his competitors and passed Yazeed Al-Rajhi, and later due to mistake of another driver, Fredrik Ahlin, Valeriy got back to the third position in the rally – and held it till the finish. It was highly important achievement – the third place in 2015 Rally Sweden became not only the first podium for Valeriy Gorban with his current car, but the first podium for the MINI brand in the WRC 2 ever.
The second crew assisted by Eurolamp World Rally Team, spent the rally without such great success, but in quite stable and confident way. Ukrainian Alexey Kikireshko and Estonian Kuldar Sikk luckily avoided serious troubles and completed the whole rally distance – as a result they finished with the eighth line in WRC 2 and also grabbed some points in group.
Valeriy Gorban, Eurolamp World Rally Team driver:
«First of all, this event has shown that we have increased our speed significantly and that allows us to be competitive crew in the leading group of WRC 2. During several training and test sessions before the rally we managed to find some good adjustments for the Swedish challenge, so the car kept the road perfectly. I’m also pleased with the fact that we did not suffer from technical problems we had troubles with in the previous seasons.
From the very beginning of the rally we have found our comfortable pace and we kept it during all three days of the competition. Perhaps under different circumstances we could achieve more than just a top-three, and it’s a challenging task for the future. However, once again, our speed got higher and that allows us to see our future with optimistic mood».
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