Sep 16

IRC Prime Yalta Rally day three report

DAY REPORT: 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round 10 of 13

IRC - Intercontinental Rally ChallengeStart UCR 38Yağiz Avci has entered the record books as the first Turkish driver to win a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge since the all-action series begun six years ago following his success on the Prime Yalta Rally in Ukraine today.


  • Prime Yalta Rally
  • Day three, Sunday 16 September
  • *Maiden podium for Renault following exciting Tarmac battle in Ukraine
  • *Consani takes IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup double

Piloting an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000, the three-time Turkish champion reached the finish on the banks of the Black Sea more than three minutes ahead of his closest rival. A sterling performance from start to finish enabled Robert Consani to clinch the runner-up spot, as well as the first IRC podium for French manufacturer Renault. His maiden top-three plus an IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup double earned Consani the prestigious Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy.

“This was a tough rally but I am very happy to win,” said Avci who was co-driven by countryman Bahadir Gücenmez. “We were driving carefully this afternoon because we wanted to keep our position after Yuriy [Protasov] retired. On today’s second stage, we caught Yuriy during the last five kilometres and it was very difficult to pass him so we lost quite a bit of time. We tried to improve our pacenotes this afternoon as we hope to be back next year but right now I can’t believe I have won, it feels fantastic.”

Ukraine’s Yuriy Protasov was leading his home event until a puncture followed by an off-road excursion on the day’s second stage dropped him out of winning contention. The Fiesta RRC driver then encountered further bad luck when he broke a steering arm and damaged his suspension, forcing the 28-year-old to finally call it a day.

“For sure, I am disappointed to retire but I am still feeling positive,” explained an upbeat Protasov. “It was our first time in the Fiesta and I have been happy with our times. Yesterday we had a good day but today we were unlucky on three stages in a row. That is life but I learned a lot – I never expected to come here and win so I cannot allow myself to feel disappointed.”

A solid performance by László Vizin earned the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 driver the final podium spot in the Crimea. The Hungarian reported a gear sensor problem during the opening loop in addition to a small handling issue, but Vizin was nevertheless delighted with his first IRC podium.

Peugeot 207 S2000 driver Yukhym Vazheyevskyy dropped out of the podium fight yesterday after engine problems forced an early retirement. The Ukrainian restarted today but was not eligible to score points. Vazheyevskyy made it to the end of the rally after replacing a windscreen when the original was smashed when the bonnet flew open on stage 11.

After vying for the top spot alongside Protasov and displaying an impressive show of speed, Finn Mikko Pajunen retired after he crashed his Fiesta on the second day of competition.

IRC Production Cup

Renault Mégane RS driver Robert Consani took a resounding victory alongside co-driver Nicolas Klinger in the IRC Production Cup. The Frenchman is now only three points adrift of title leader Andreas Aigner, who was not competing in Yalta. Consani set a string of fastest stage times and finished more than four minutes ahead of second-placed Mykola Chmykh in a Subaru Impreza STI. After a series of setbacks, Marco Tempestini battled on in another Impreza to claim the third step of the podium. The Romanian reported numerous problems over the course of the three-day rally including three punctures on the closing day and a broken gear lever. Fourth place in the IRC Production Cup went to Marco Cavigioli in a Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX R4. Simone Tempestini was unable to start the final day of competition today because he was feeling unwell. Elsewhere, Valeriy Gorban was forced to retire after the Ukrainian broke his Lancer’s front-left driveshaft on day two. Fellow countryman Vitaliy Pushkar retired when his Lancer was damaged following an off-road excursion on stage five. Yurii Kochmar stopped after incurring three punctures and damaging a wheel on his Lancer.


Having led the IRC 2WD Cup from start to finish, Robert Consani clinched his second victory of the year in his Renault Mégane RS. Consani’s victory means Briton Harry Hunt’s lead in the standings has been slashed to one point. Hunt hadn’t nominated Yalta on his schedule of events. After a solid drive, Vlad Cosma was second in a Citroën C2 R2, with Murat Bosatanci overcoming a puncture to claim the third podium spot in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2. The all-female crew of Ekaterina Stratieva and Carmen Poenaru finished fourth, with the Bulgarian driver reporting a better set-up on her Citroën during the closing leg. “This has been the hardest rally of my career, the roads were incredibly slippery,” said a relieved Stratieva at the finish in Yalta. Honda Civic Type R driver Oleksiy Panov rounded off the top five, finishing more than five minutes ahead of the Fiesta of Stanislav Basedin. Seventh place was awarded to Eytan Halfron in another Fiesta R2, with Yuriy Kasim claiming the eighth spot at the wheel of a VAZ 2112. Ukraine’s Olexandr Yushkov took ninth in a Citroën Saxo VTS.


1 Yağiz Avci (TUR)/Bahadir Gücenmez (TUR) M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 3h9m58.7s

2 Robert Consani (FRA)/Nicolas Klinger (FRA) Renault Mégane RS +3m13.4s

3 László Vizin (HUN)/Gabor Zsiros (UKR) ŠKODA Fabia S2000 +3m38.4s

4 Mykola Chmykh (UKR)/Olexandr Vilchynskyi (UKR) Subaru Impreza STI +9m31.5s

5 Marco Tempestini (ROM)/Dorin Pupea (ROM) Subaru Impreza R4 STI +12m47.9s

6 Murat Bostanci (TUR)/Onur Vatansever (TUR) M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 +15m14.3s

7 Marco Cavigioli (ITA)/Monica Fortunato (ITA) Mitsubishi Evolution Lancer IX +19m35.1s

8 Oleksiy Panov (UKR)/Olexandr Yukushev (UKR) Honda Civic Type R +20m54.1s

9 Stanislav Besedin (UKR)/Olexandr Donskiy (UKR) M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 +26m41.2s

10 Eytan Halfon (TUR)/Sedat Bostanci (TUR) M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 +33m25.1s


IRC Production Cup: Robert Consani (FRA)/Nicolas Klinger (FRA) Renault Mégane RS

IRC 2WD Cup: Robert Consani (FRA)/Nicolas Klinger (FRA) Renault Mégane RS



IRC drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) 136pts; 2 Juho Hänninen (Finland) 93pts; 3 Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic) 83pts; 4 Sepp Wiegand (Germany) 53pts; 5 Giandomenico Basso (Italy) 40pts; 6 Robert Consani (France) and Patrik Flodin (Sweden) 28pts; 8 Bryan Bouffier (France) and Umberto Scandola (Italy) 27pts; 10 Dani Sordo (Spain) and Yağiz Avci (Turkey) 25pts


IRC co-drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Ola Fløene (Norway) 136pts; 2 Mikko Markkula (Finland) 93pts; 3 Pavel Dresler (Czech Republic) 83pts; 4 Timo Gottschalk (Germany) 53pts; 5 Mitia Dotta (Italy) 40pts; 6 Göran Bergsten (Sweden) 28pts; 7 Guido D’Amore (Italy) and Xavier Panseri (France) 27pts; 9 Carlos del Barrio (Spain) 25pts; Kyrylo Nevit (Turkey) 25pts


IRC manufacturers after round 10 of 13

1 ŠKODA 325pts; 2 Peugeot 187pts; 3 M-Sport Ford 137pts; 4 Subaru 110pts; 5 Renault 109pts; 6 Honda 43pts


IRC Production Cup drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Andreas Aigner (Austria) 75pts; 2 Robert Consani (France) 72pts; 3 Marco Tempestini (Romania) 63pts; 4 Vitaliy Pushkar (Ukraine) 41pts; 5 Toshi Arai (Japan) 36pts, 6 Garry Jennings (United Kingdom), Ricardo Moura (Portugal), Jarkko Nikara (Finland), and Massimiliano Rendina 25pts; 10 Johan Heloïse (France) 22pts


IRC Production Cup co-drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Nicolas Klinger (France) 72pts; 2 Dorin Pulpea (Romania) 63pts; 3 Daniela Ertl (Austria) 50pts; 4 Ivan Mishyn (Ukraine) 41pts; 5 Dale Moscatt (Australia) 36pts; 6 Sancho Eiró (Portugal), Jarkko Kalliolepo (Finland), Barry McNulty (United Kingdom) and Mario Pizzuti (Italy) 25pts; 10 Thibault Gorczyca (France) 22pts


IRC 2WD Cup drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Harry Hunt (United Kingdom) 76pts; 2 Robert Consani (France) 75pts; 3 Vlad Cosma (Romania) 43pts; 4 Martin Kangur (Estonia) 33pts; 5 Petru-Antone Boschetti (France), Simone Campedelli (Italy), Jan Černy (Czech Republic), Paulo Maciel (Portugal), Marty McCormack (United Kingdom) and Joan Vinyes (Spain) 25pts


IRC 2WD Cup co-drivers after round 10 of 13

1 Robbie Durant (United Kingdom) 76pts; 2 Nicolas Klinger (France) 50pts; 3 Florin Dorca (Romania) 43pts; 4 Cédric Beynet (France), Danilo Fapani (Italy), Filipe Gouveia (Portugal), Nicolas Klinger (France), Pavel Kohout (Czech Republic), Benoit Manzo (France), Jordi Mercader (Spain), David Moynihan (Ireland) and Andres Ots (Russia) 25pts


IRC 2WD Cup manufacturers after round 10 of 13

1 Renault 308pts; 2 Honda 131pts; 3 M-Sport 90pts; 4 Peugeot 41pts; 5 ŠKODA 35pts


Go to www.ircseries.com for full standings, including IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup.



SS1: Protasov

SS2: Pajunen

SS3: Protasov

SS4: Pajunen

SS5-SS6: Protasov

SS7: Avci

SS8: Protasov

SS9-SS14: Avci



Day one (Friday 14 September-Saturday 15 September, 153.13 kilometres):

SS1: SSS 1 Yalta (2.12kms): Overall: Protasov/IRC PC: Gorban/IRC 2WD: Consani

SS2: SSS 2 Livadija (5.49kms): Pajunen/M Tempestini/Consani

SS3: Al-Petri 1 (17.26kms): Protasov/Pushkar/Consani

SS4: Plato 1 (22.55kms): Pajunen/Kochmar/Consani

SS5: Orlinoje 1 (28.95kms): Prostav/Gorban/Cosma

SS6: Al-Petri 2 (17.26kms): Protasov/M Tempestini/Consani

SS7: Plato 2 (22.55kms): Avci/Consani/Consani

SS8: Orlinoje 2 (28.95kms): Protasov/Consani/Consani


Day two (Sunday 16 September, 116.74 kilometres):

SS9: Opolznevoje 1 (18.95kms): M Tempestini/M Tempestini/Bostanci

SS10: Sokolinoje 1 (22.35kms): Consani/Consani/Consani

SS11: Uchan-Su 1 (17.07kms): Consani/Consani/Consani

SS12: Opolznevoje 2 (18.95kms): Tempestini/Tempestini/Consani

SS13: Sokolinoke 2 (22.35kms): Consani/Consani/Consani

SS14: Uchan-Su 2 (17.07kms): Consani/Consani/Consani



IRC rally wins in 2012 (drivers)

Juho Hänninen 3; Jan Kopecký 2; Andreas Mikkelsen 2; Giandomenico Basso 1; Dani Sordo 1; Yağiz Avci: 1


IRC rally wins in 2012 (manufacturers)

ŠKODA 7; M-Sport Ford 2; MINI 1 (note: MINI is not currently eligible for IRC manufacturers’ points)


IRC stage wins in 2012 (drivers)

Andreas Mikkelsen 50; Juho Hänninen 29; Jan Kopecký 20; Giandomenico Basso 7; Freddy Loix 5; Yuriy Protasov 5; Robert Consani 4; Dani Sordo 3; Pierre Campana 2; Sepp Wiegand 2; Mikko Pajunen 2; Marco Tempestini 2; Germain Bonnefis 1; Bryan Bouffier 1; Patrik Flodin 1; Tomáš Kostka 1; Yağiz Avci: 1


Stage wins in 2012 (manufacturers)

ŠKODA 102; M-Sport Ford 16; Peugeot 9; Renault 4; MINI 3; Subaru 2


TV TIMES: Go to www.ircseries.com for more information


NEXT EVENT: Mabanol Silven Rally, 28-30 September


source: ircseries.com