Turkish champion Yagiz Avci scored his first Intercontinental Rally Challenge win in Ukraine after a disastrous final day for local favorite Yuriy Protasov.
With Andreas Mikkelsen already 47 points clear in this year's one-sided championship battle, the majority of the IRC regulars skipped the Yalta Rally. Only one of the top 20 in the standings made the trip. That opened the door for Protasov, Avci and Finland's Mikko Pajunen to contend for victory.
After Pajunen crashed halfway through Friday, Protasov seemed assured of the win. Even when he lost three minutes to a puncture, he was soon back into the lead.
But another puncture on Sunday morning let Avci ahead and as Protasov tried to recover again, he went off and sustained rally-ending damage. Ford driver Avci could therefore cruise to victory with a three-minute cushion.
2WD Cup leader Robert Consani took an unlikely second in his Renault Megane, taking a string of outright stage wins to overcome Laszlo Vizin's S2000 Skoda.
Leading finishers after SS14:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Yagiz Avci Ford 3h09m58.7s
2. Robert Consani Renault + 3m12.4s
3. Laszlo Vizin Skoda + 3m38.4s
4. Mykola Chmykh Subaru + 7m35.2s
5. Vlad Cosma Citroen + 9m31.5s
6. Marco Tempestini Subaru + 12m47.9s
7. Murat Bostanci Ford + 15m14.3s
8. Ekaterina Stratieva Citroen + 15m41.4s
9. Marco Cavigoli Mitsubishi + 19m35.1s
10. Oleksiy Panov Honda + 20m54.1s