Nikolay Gryazin has been stripped of his Rally Hungary victory, handing Mads Østberg his first ever European Rally Championship win, for failing to stop at the scene of Norbert Herczig’s accident.
Gryazin, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, had led the rally basically from start to finish, eventually finishing 37.3s clear of Østberg who was making a one-off ERC appearance on the penultimate round.
But several hours after the rally concluded, Gryazin was handed a 15-minute time penalty and therefore dumped to 24th overall for failing to slow at the scene of an accident on SS8 – the first stage of the second and final day.
Herczig had been Gryazin’s closest challenger on the rally but crashed his Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo out on SS8; an incident which broke co-driver Ramón Ferencz’s ribs.
Gryazin was the first car onto the scene but onboard camera footage and a spectator video showed that he didn’t slow down to check if his fellow competitors were OK.
Gryazin, co-driver Konstantin Aleksandrov and team representative Prednirks Arturs were summoned to the stewards.
The stewards’ bulletin read: “According to video evidence it is obvious that the accidented car was fully visible from car No.8 [Gryazin].
“The videos also show that at approximately 100 meters before the accident a marshal made a sign inviting car No.8 to slow down and at the accident place a second marshal made a sign to push car No.8 to the opposed [side] to the accident place.
“It seems also that only the driver of car No.4 [Herczig] made signs that are difficult to be understood by the stewards.
“The stewards stated that none of any video evidence showing an SOS or OK sign [were] displayed from driver of car No.4 or the marshal.
“The driver of car No.8 says that he misunderstood the signs given by the marshals and the accidented driver.”
Despite passing the scene of Herczig’s accident, Gryazin set the fastest time on the stage by 4.7s.
Gryazin breached Article 53.3.2 of the FIA’s Regional Rally Sporting Regulations which states: “Any crew which has the red “SOS” sign displayed to them, or which sees a car which has suffered an accident, and the OK sign is not shown, shall immediately and without exception stop to render assistance. All following cars shall also stop.”