The third round of the FIA European Rally Championship finished in Ireland. The race took place in the vicinity of Belfast and covered more than 215 kilometers of high-speed special stages on the asphalt surface.
Inessa Tushkanova and Dmitry Chumak represented Russia in a white Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Inessa had a great first racing day and secured the 5th place in ERC2 class and the 34th place in overall standings.
Troubles occurred on Saturday – at the second special stage crew Tushkanova/Chumak hit the marbles, they were both uninjured, but the car was seriously damaged.
Inessa Tushkanova: “Of course, our goal was to drive to the podium. The decision about participation in this race was taken at the last moment, the team got the car late too, that is why they did not manage to set everything up for me. Although at qualification I overtook more experienced rivals on the asphalt from Hungary and the Czech Republic and showed the 2nd time, it is still early to boast of good results. At long sections the lack of experience on the asphalt told, besides to say that the race is very difficult is to say nothing.
We had an accident on Saturday 2nd special stage, and at the 9th brakes stopped working. I was very angry because of this at 15-km special stage, I understood that there were 26-km SS-11 ahead that we could not pass. As a result, I completely lost concentration and went too fast to the right corner, plus we had troubles with braking before. The corner was narrow and slippery, I did not consider that – the dirt is different here – chips, not the soil … Of course, it was the driver mistake. Even when I had troubles with braking, I realized that I would not slow down to the desired speed.
The impact was very strong, again by my side … it was very painful of course. After an accident in the Czech Republic at the Barum Rally, where I had a concussion, I realized that such accidents greatly affect health. There we discarded the car, I lost consciousness and memory and was taken away in an ambulance.
But actually everything is going on, and we are participating in Rally Masters Show on April 18 in Moscow, and preparing to take part in Portuguese round of the FIA European Rally Championship in early June”.