Martin Surilov Leads in rally Bulgaria

Martin Surilov / Zdravko Zdravkov (Citroen C3 Rally2) are the leaders in the 52nd “Bulgaria” rally after the completion of the morning stages today. They hold a 1.1-second advantage over Plamen Staikov / Rafi Kadir (Skoda Fabia R5). In third place are Miroslav Angelov / Georgi Gadzhev (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo), trailing by 20.5 seconds in the battle at the front.

Rally Bulgaria started with a fierce competition for the top spot. Plamen Staikov won the first stage with a fragile lead of 3.4 seconds over Martin Surilov. In SS2 Dryanovo 1, Surilov was the fastest, dethroning his opponent from the first position. By the midday service, they once again exchanged stage victories to finish with just a 1.1-second difference.

“We knew the battle on these stages would unfold this way. The first section was suitable for Plamen’s (Staikov) tires, while the next one favored the softer compound we had. We are fighting for every second,” commented leader Martin Surilov.

Miroslav Angelov / Georgi Gadzhev (Skoda Fabia R5) are in third place, trailing by 20.5 seconds, and currently have no realistic chance to join the battle for the first place. Behind them, at 46.3 seconds, are Simone Tempestini / Sergiu Itu (Porsche 997 RGT), who also couldn’t match the pace of the leaders.

The top five is rounded out by Anton Titov / Alexander Spirov (Skoda Fabia R5), who, earlier in the day, were battling with Simone Tempestini / Sergiu Itu for the fourth position. Unfortunately, the Romanian crew managed to build a lead of 37.8 seconds.

In the single-axle cars category, the fastest crew is Nikola Mishev / Petar Sivov (Peugeot 208 Rally4, RC4 class). They set the pace right from the start, and after the first four special stages, they have an 18-second lead over Kiril Todorov / Angel Bashkehayov (Peugeot 208 R2, RC4 class).

Stanislav Vladimirov / Chavdar Sabev (Opel Astra GS, RC3N class) are third among single-axle cars, with their current gap to the duo Todorov / Bashkehayov being 6.2 seconds.

The second part of today’s first day of the “Bulgaria” rally starts at 14:20 with SS5 Shemshevo 1 (14.20 km). Live results can be found on the official portal of the competition.

Photos: Ivaylo Starchev

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