2016 RALLY MASTERS SHOW
The Olympic Bicycle Road on Krylatskoe Hills in Moscow for a sixth time staged an annual Rally Masters Show, which traditionally attracts the best Russian rally drivers, as well as a number of guests from abroad. The 2016 mini rally was held in memory of Nikolay Bolshih, multiple champion in various motor racing disciplines, who passed away this March. The Bolshih brothers, Nikolay and Igor, were also well known abroad: together they challenged the roads of European and World championship events.
This time the show was held in a new ‘carousel’ format: participants had to make three laps on a looped section and then went on to the final segment. This approach allowed spectators to see the passing cars more often, although as a result the whole distance consisted of two identical super stages (compare with last year’s eight), bringing the role of co-drivers to a minimum. Janar Tanak, the Estonian participant in Historic category, even mentioned that the race should have been longer.
Sadly, due to technical issues we couldn’t witness a promised duel between Alexey Lukyanyuk and Evgeny Novikov. During the first lap of the ‘carousel’ Alexey made a mistake while switching the gear before the corner, breaking down the gearbox of his Subaru Impreza. But the retirement of Evgeny’s Audi Quattro was especially dramatic. On the same first lap replica of the legendary Group B car stood still in clouds of smoke: the engine was ablaze. Fortunately, with the help of several crews behind, the fire was extinguished, and it seems that the Audi will be ready to hit the tracks again pretty soon.
Bad luck for the main rivals let the young muscovite, ERC driver Nikolay Gryazin on a brand-new Skoda Fabia R5 finish the race first at a comfortable pace. In fairness, it should be noted, however, that Nikolay was also the fastest during Friday practice runs and was perfectly capable of winning in a straight battle against Alexey Lukyanyuk and Evgeny Novikov: in last year’s race he was a runner-up at the wheel of a 2-wheel drive Peugeot 208 behind Lukyanyuk in a new AWD Subaru Impreza.
There were no similar sensations this year, as the whole channel (with the exception of historic cars) consisted of 4-wheel drive cars, and here, behind Skoda, in a long-lasting battle between Subaru and Mitsubishi all three steps of N4 category podium was after Impreza crews: Dmitry Korolev / Alexey Kurnosov, Dmitry Zorin / Victor Mihailov and Petr Borodin / Roman Cheprasov. The best among ‘three diamonds’ was only eighth in general classification and sixth in N4.
The participants in Historic were pretty tight in the end, with the victory going Estonian duo of Janar Tanak and Andres Tammel (category P11) driving a Lada 2105 VFTS, which was dubbed ‘Black Devil’ by the spectators for its aggressive and fast driving style. Among the foreign historic cars in P12 category only Toyota Celica of Grigory Berezkin and Victor Timkovskiy saw the chequered flag: P18 of the 20 finishers overall.
Event: 2016 Rally Masters Show
Date: 22-23 April 2016
Location: Krylatskoe Hills, Moscow, Russia
Distance: 51.16 km, special stages - 33.88 km (66%)
SS1 - Olympic Bicycle Road 1 16.94 km, Tarmac
SS2 - Olympic Bicycle Road 1 16.94 km, Tarmac
Categories: Overall, N4, P11, P12
Number of participants: 29 (Overall - 2, N4 - 15, P11 - 9, P12 - 3)
Finished: 20 (Overall - 2, N4 - 11, P11 - 6, P12 - 1)
2016 Rally Masters Show Results
2016 Rally Masters Show Retirements