SMP Racing driver Vitaly Petrov took part in the second round of the Russian Rally Championship on February 9 in the Tver region.Due to the rear suspension failure, Vitaly was forced to finish the race at the end of the first special stage.
Vitaly Petrov and Dmitry Yakovchenko started ninth in the overall standings, successfully completed almost the entire first special stage, but five kilometers before its finish the rear left suspension broke. The breakdown did not allow the crew to continue the race and they were forced to quit at the very beginning of the competition.
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 was prepared by the PRO-Sport Rally team. After the car inspection in the service park, the mechanics of the team suggested that it could be a manufacturing defect. The team will be able to confirm the cause of the issue after an investigation of the car at its base in Moscow.
“We were perfectly driving our special stage and suddenly something happened with the rear suspension on a straight line," Vitaly Petrov commented. “At first, I thought that the wheel had started to be disassembled and I decided not to stop - we had three kilometers to drive. We drove through the special stage on three wheels, inspected the car and realized that there was no point to continue the race - we would have lost a lot of time anyway. Therefore, we decided to finish the race. It's a shame, because I really liked driving in Peno. It would have been interesting to get to the finish line and see what place we would have taken in the overall standings. I think we would have finished with a very good result. But breakdowns can happen at anytime in our sport, we should move forward. I don’t know yet, whether I will race some other rounds of the Russian Championship, we will know later.”