Greece ERC: Sirmacis takes shock win on main-class debut
Latvian driver Ralfs Sirmacis won his first main-class ERC event in Rally Acropolis, taking advantage of crashes from Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Alexey Lukyanuk.
Sirmacis, 21, became ERC Junior runner-up in his first full-time international campaign last year and stepped up to the main class for 2016.
Winning the first stage of the Greece event, the Latvian established himself in the lead for most of Day 1 only to end up two seconds behind Lukyanuk, who was slowed by a puncture in SS2.
Kajetanowicz, meanwhile, having finished second in both Spain and Ireland, was quickly out of contention as he rolled in SS1, losing 14 minutes in the process.
Lukyanuk suffered a second puncture in the opening Sunday stage, allowing Sirmacis through.
The Russian then damaged his suspension two tests later, giving Sirmacis a safe overall lead.
The youngster completed a drama-free rally to take his maiden ERC almost three minutes in the clear.
Local driver Lambros Athanassoulas inherited second but was in danger of losing the runner-up spot in the final stage when he caught up the crawling Peter Ranga.
He ended up just one tenth ahead of Jaromir Tarabus to secure back-to-back podiums on home soil.
Estonian Raul Jeets completed a Skoda 1-2-3-4 with ERC2 winner Wojciech Chuchala completing the top five after Jaroslaw Koltun lost four minutes in SS12.
Tomasz Kasperczyk took seventh, followed by Kajetanowicz, who recovered with eight stage wins out of 12.
The top 10 was completed by Paraguayan Jose Luis Rios and Lukyanuk.
Top 10 results
|Pos.||Driver / Co-Driver||Car||Time/Delay|
Jose Luis Rios
Hernan Vargas Pena
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