NIKOLAY GRYAZIN TAKES SECOND PLACE AT THE RALLYE DU VAR

Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
NIKOLAY GRYAZIN TAKES SECOND PLACE AT THE RALLYE DU VAR
The Russian driver finished his season at a high note as the fastest in the R5 class at a France Championship round.

Last weekend, Nikolay Gryazin and Yaroslav Fedorov participated in the Rallye du Var, the final round of the French tarmac championship for the second year straight. The legendary national championship event traditionally sees a large number of fast drivers. Local stars often get to compete alongside drivers from other countries, at times even the World Championship athletes who usually drive powerful WRC cars.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
That was exactly the case in this year's race. Gryazin was facing his recent WRC 2 rival Ole Christian Veiby, who was driving a Hyundai i20 R5, among the diverse group of competitors. Sebastien Loeb was also at the start of the Rallye du Var behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
It was clearly impossible to compete against the 9-time World champion who's driven the home race eight times and who's grabbed three victories there, particularly because Seb had a much more powerful vehicle in his hands than the Škoda Fabia R5 evo of the Russian crew. Nonetheless, Gryazin was the one who lead the rally on Friday. He was the fastest in the two out of three special stages despite the never-ending heavy rainfall, having beat Loeb by 2.5 seconds.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
On Saturday morning the weather conditions got even worse, as the rain intensified, and flooded most of the special stages. The organizers had to cancel the second day after the fist test where Loeb beat our crew and stormed ahead. In their turn, Nikolay and Yaroslav were able to increase the gap between themselves and their closest rival, last year's France champion Yoann Bonato who was driving a Citroën C3 R5, up to 25.5 seconds.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
On Sunday Nikolay started by setting the second fastest time at the SS11, having beat Bonato by 10.2 seconds. While the SS12 got canceled as well, the 22-year-old Russian drove carefully through the two remaining special stages. He managed to stay second in the overall standings and became the fastest in the R5 class.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019

Nikolay Gryazin
Driver
"We are very happy with the way this race went, despite the fact that a large share of the competitive distance was cut short due to weather conditions. On the part of the organizers it was the only right thing to do. Driving through Saturday special stages would've been both impossible and dangerous in those conditions.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
The weather was truly harsh. Never before had I ever faced such conditions during the race. Regardless, it was in those particular conditions that we got to try the new Michelin MW tires, which did an excellent job, and even helped us overtake Sebastien Loeb himself for a while.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
On Sunday we were deliberately pushing at the SS11 to make our rivals aware that we were not willing to give in. We knew that stage really well and its conditions allowed for pushing without taking a particular risk. We were able to grow our gap there, thanks to which we managed to keep our rivals behind, and became the fastest among the R5 crews. The victory in this class was especially valuable because we got to beat the fast French drivers on their home soil.
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019
So we had a really beautiful finale of the season with a very good result at the end of a truly challenging rally. I really want to thank our team that provided us with our fast and reliable car. I thank our partners who stood behind our victories and excellent results. And of course I thank our fans that followed us this year."
Nikolay Gryazin - RALLYE DU VAR 2019