Łukasz Habaj will embark on Azores Airlines Rallye’s Friday stages first on the road, resuming from P10 in the FIA European Rally Championship’s opening round of 2018.
Today’s first 10 runners are set by a reversed classification from Thursday’s overall top 10, leaving Habaj to tackle 76.56 kilometres of dusty gravel roads as road sweeper, thanks in part to engine issues that affected his car during the opening loop.
Starting immediately behind Habaj are Frank Tore Larsen and last year’s ERC Junior U28 champion Marijan Griebel, followed by ERC debutant Fredrik Åhlin and last year’s championship runner-up Bruno Magalhães.
Rally leader Alexey Lukyanuk resumes his challenge from P10 in the running order, two minutes after his nearest competitor, nine-time Azorean rally champion Ricardo Moura, enters today’s stages.
ERC Junior U27 holds potential for an exciting quick-fire battle, as first and second placed Mārtiņš Sesks and Efrén Llarena line-up two minutes apart, P2 and P1 in their class’ running order respectively.
Juan Carlos Alonso, who lost a well-earned ERC2 lead following a fuel pump failure on Thursday, kicks off his category’s battle almost a quarter of an hour before Sergei Remennik begins defending his 32 second lead over Zelindo Melegari.
Notably absent from the starting order are Pierre-Louis Loubet and Laurent Pellier, both of whom retired from technical issues on Thursday. As today’s stages are a continuation of leg one from Thursday, both must wait until Saturday’s second leg to restart.
This morning’s first stage, Pico da Pedra Golfe, is scheduled to begin at 10:28am local time with Habaj’s start-line departure.