Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:46

Cakal clinches Monbat Rally Sliven win

GP GARAGE MY TEAM crew takes its first overall victory relegating the former national rally champions of Bulgaria Georgi Vasilev and Stefan Dobrev

After a remarkable final day Mustafa Cakal and Ozgur Akdag (Hyndai i20 R5) won Monbat Rally Sliven, third round of the FIA Balkan Rally Trophy. The Turkish duo took the lead after the crash of their fellow countrymen Ugur Soylu and Aras Dincer (Skoda Fabia Rally2) in the opening stage this morning and never looked back.

Georgi Vasilev and Stefan Dobrev (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) cut the deficit from the leading crew to 3,7 seconds after they set the fastest time on “Kotel 1” but Cakal relegated the former Bulgarian rally champion with a stage win on the wet “Aglikina polyana 1”. Three stages before the end of the rally the Turkish driver had a healthy lead of 56.4 seconds, Vasilev was second and the leaders in 2WD category Anton Titov and Dinko Georgiev (Peugeot 208 R2) were third overall.

The second loop of Saturday stages was far less dramatic. Cakal set two fastest times from three stages and won his first overall victory. Vasliev kept the second place despite the wrong tyre choice and Titov grabed the third place on the podium.

A big drama unfolded in the 2WD category. Grigor Grigorov and Peter Sivov (Peugeot 208 R2) were leaders after the first day but lost valuable time on the wet “Aglikina Polyana 1” after they choose to start the first loop on dry tyres. Titov capitalised from their mistake and took the lead by a tiny margin over the second placed Dilian Stankov and Yordan Yordanov (Peugeot 208 R2).

Stankov tried to fight back in the afternoon loop but Titov kept the pressure and scored his best ever finish. He took the last place on the podium in the overall standings and the win in 2WD category. Stankov was second in RC4 in front of Grigorov who leapfroged Gergo Dudas and Krisztian Szabo (Peugeot 208 R2) with a stage win in the end.