Rally Hungary: Devine runs fifth on ERC debut

Callum Devine and Brian Hoy
Calum Devine and co-driver Brian Hoy have impressed in the muddy conditions on the Hungarian tarmac

Callum Devine sits in fifth place after Saturday's stages on his European Championship Rally debut in Hungary.

The Claudy driver survived a double puncture on his Hyundai, which dropped him down to 11th position.

Devine recovered and posted the third and second fastest times on the final two stages to move back up to fifth.

Russia's Alexey Lukyanuk leads the rally from title rival Chris Ingram, who can become the first British driver to win the ERC in 50 years.

Ahead of Sunday's seven stages, Ingram knows shadowing Lukyanuk to the end of the rally would be enough to secure his a maiden ERC championship.

2017 Billy Coleman Award winner Devine has impressed in his Motorsport Ireland-backed entry, mixing times with ERC front-runners before dropping two minutes with a puncture on stage five.

After a cautious approach until service, Devine and co-driver Brian Hoy gave glimpses of their potential by posting top-three games in the day's last two stages.

"Well that was a mental day," said Devine.

"After our double puncture on SS5 we dropped down to 11th, but after a third fastest time on SS6 and a second fastest time on SS7, where we overshot a junction, Brian and myself are back up to fifth.

"It was a nice way to end the day and hopefully we can bring that speed into tomorrow. A few small set up changes have helped build some confidence with the car in really tricky conditions.

"Hopefully the rain that's forecast for tomorrow will come and wash some of the muck away."