Training for WRC is over: Gryazin finished third in Rally Sarma

Nikolay Gryazin and Yaroslav Fedorov's training plan for debut start in the World Rally Championship was fulfilled last weekend.

Rally Sarma became the final point in "training" schedule of SRT crew before WRC Rally Sweden. One-day race near Gulbene was another opportunity for Nikolay to gain experience in driving under conditions similar to that of Swedish WRC round.
The crew got good pace and took the lead of the race from the start. They won the first four special stages and make the gap from the Norwegian Oliver Solberg to 42 seconds in the overall standing. The weather conditions were extreme: it was warm; the snow melted and turned the road into slushy mess.

Unfortunately, on SS5, Nikolay drove into one turn a little faster than needed, touched a snowbank and the car was turned around. The crew continued the race at once, but radiators clogged with snow caused engine overheating and forced our sportsmen to stop for cleaning.

As a result Nikolay and Yaroslav rolled back to the 8th place and continued the race almost three minutes behind the leader. But the crew managed to score 3rd place in the Rally due to winning SS6 and SS8 and two other participants' problems.
Nikolay Gryazin: "Owing to extreme weather conditions at this rally we've got great practice that we'd never had before neither during tests nor other rallies. We had to crack certain problems right along the rally and now we have to find a way to drive fast exactly in such conditions.

Anyway, we are satisfied with the rally. If Sweden greets us with the same weather we can cope with it thanks to experience gained in this rally.
It's a pity we couldn't please the fans and win this race, but we are glad that we won the most of special stages when we had no problems. Hopefully we delighted the audience with spectacular drive. We congratulate Oliver Solberg on the 2nd victory in Latvia with his new car: he did it well."
Now the training is over. Nikolay and Yaroslav are waiting for their first start at the world championship event – WRC Rally Sweden, which they entered in WRC 2 category. The Rally near Karlstad will take place from February the 14th to 17th.

The WRC Sweden performance of our crew will be covered on Nikolay Gryazin's official website in the Live section.

More photos from rally Sarma