Nikolay Gryazin won the Minirallijs Latvija 2019

Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
Nikolay Gryazin won the Minirallijs Latvija 2019
Last weekend the Russian rally driver won the race on the Bikernieki track in Riga.

On Saturday, Nikolay Gryazin went to the start of the fifth stage of the Latvian Minirallijs championship for the second time in a row. It was held at the Bikernieki track. The popular one-day race in Riga always draws a large number of participants to the start.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
This year Nikolay was joined by his brother Vasiliy. They both started on the same Škoda Fabia R5 cars in the Open class. In Riga Nikolay Gryazin had Konstantin Alexandrov as his co-driver instead of Yaroslav Fedorov. Konstantin has recently joined the SRT team.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
The Minirallijs Latvija route consisted of seven asphalt special stages, divided into three sections. From the very start of the race, the Gryazin brothers and another SRT driver, Mārtiņš Sesks, who also started the race driving the Škoda, had a fight for leadership.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
The rules limit the type of tires used by the competitors, namely, you can use either gravel or any production tires. Sesks chose rain tires for the first section, the Gryazins preferred semi-slicks. At first, the brothers' choice was the best. The track of the first special stage was slightly wet and the brothers were way ahead of their main rival. Nikolay led the race and Vasiliy was slightly behind him. The situation was the same in the second section, in spite of the fact that Sesks chose semi-slicks as well. Nikolay was in the lead, and Vasiliy was in the second position.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
However, in the third section, rain poured over the track, and Sesks, who had chosen rain tires again, began to win back some time. For the remaining special stages, he managed to take the second place from Vasiliy. Nikolay, however, kept his leadership and won the race.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019

Nikolay Gryazin
Driver
"The race went well, and we are satisfied with it, except for a small choice of tires misstep. This race has become our lesson for the future, tire selection can be crucial even in a sprint rally. We chose production tires, recommended for asphalt use in cold weather conditions – and the temperature was just 2-3 degrees above zero.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
Unfortunately, it started to rain in the third section. In such conditions, the chosen tires simply didn't work, they did not warm up and started to aquaplaning on water. The asphalt on Bikernieki is new and very smooth, so we had to struggle with the car that skidded at any gear. I had to slowdown beforehand, 100 meters before the corner, in order to drive carefully. I managed to keep the result, but, unfortunately, Vasiliy came third.
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019
In spite of this fact, Vasiliy did a great job and had an excellent race. He started the Minirallijs Latvija in a Fabia R5 right after short tests and was actually faster than Sesks in pure speed. Sesks took part in a race in Italy with this car before and has vast experience in asphalt driving. Moreover, the road was very twisted, and in this case the loss will always be greater than on the highway. I'm especially pleased that my brother wasn't far behind me, and in one special stage he lost only five thousandths."
Nikolay Gryazin - mini-rally Latvia 2019