Hungary’s Dávid Botka had thought he’d taken a three-point lead in the ERC2 category, after provisionally scoring class victory on the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally.
However, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driver was found to have used more than the allotted 18 tyres, and was given a two minute penalty by the Stewarts of the meeting – dropping him to second in ERC2 on the event and in the championship standings. He is now five points behind Vojtěch Štajf (Subaru).
Botka believed that the ERC event tyre allocation began from the Qualifying Stage onwards. The Hungarian driver tested some old Yokohama tyres in Free Practice, but switched to new Pirelli tyres for Qualifying and the event.
It was a genuine misunderstanding, but having used more than the allowed number of tyres, the penalty was applied. Bokta will not appeal.
It was a tremendous shame for Botka, who had led ERC2 in Cyprus before gearbox problems towards the end of day one. He came from 30.5s behind Christos Demosthenous to provisionally win by 25.5s. The Cypriot Mitsubishi driver is now declared ERC2 winner of his home round of the ERC.
Botka also drops from a superb sixth overall to eighth in the Cyprus Rally results, behind Demosthenous and Antonín Tlusťák (ŠKODA Fabia S2000).