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Sainteloc preparing ERC3 Junior campaign with all-new Peugeot 208 Rally4, vacancies available

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 06:00

Drivers planning to contest the 2020 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship can do so with one of the category’s most successful teams.

The Saintéloc Junior Team has vacancies in its line-up for the upcoming season when it will switch from Peugeot’s 208 R2 to the all-new 208 Rally4.

Vincent Ducher, Saintéloc’s Rally Manager, explained: “We will have this car during the month of May. With four rallies remaining in the ERC3 Junior Championship, everything is possible to win the title.”

Of Peugeot’s latest rallying creation, Ducher admits he’s been impressed. “The new 208 Rally4 will be the worthy successor to the 208 R2, which, since 2013, has achieved a lot of success in Europe with the titles of Stéphane Lefebre in 2014 and Efrén Llarena in 2019 in ERC Junior. The new Peugeot 208 exploits the Rally 4 regulations to the maximum with a 1200cc engine allowing more power and torque, without compromising on reliability. The chassis has also been optimised.”

Saintéloc’s achievements in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category are well known with Lefebvre, Diogo Gago and Catie Munnings among those to progress following time spent with the French team, which guided Norwegian talent Sindre Furuseth to third place in last season’s ERC3 Junior standings.

Click here to contact Vincent Ducher or go to www.sainteloc.com.

The post Sainteloc preparing ERC3 Junior campaign with all-new Peugeot 208 Rally4, vacancies available appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Registrations open for ERC Abarth Rally Cup**

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 15:00

Registrations are open for the second Abarth Rally Cup**, which is due to run within the FIA European Rally Championship framework again in 2020.

Exclusively for the Abarth 124 rally using Pirelli tyres, the Abarth Rally Cup is set to take place over six rounds of the ERC (four on asphalt, two on gravel) with a total prize fund of €210,000 up for grabs.

Six great rallies offer asphalt and gravel action
The 2020 Abarth Rally Cup, which is subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval, is due to feature on the following rounds of the ERC:

Round 1: Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt), 7-9 May
Round 2: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel), 29-31 May
Round 3: 77th Rally Poland (gravel), 26-28 June
Round 4: Rally di Roma Capitale (asphalt), 24-26 July
Round 5: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt), 28-30 August
Round 6: Rally Hungary (asphalt), 6-8 November

All six rounds count, while Abarth Rally Cup competitors will be eligible for the ERC2 production category.

Hugely attractive prize fund of €210,000 up for grabs
On each round, the following prize money will be awarded:

First position: €12,000
Second position: €10,000
Third position: €8,000

The title-winning driver receives an additional €30,000.

Full on-event support provided
In addition to a very attractive prize fund, Abarth will provide an on-event parts support service plus technical back up from its expert engineers.

A dedicated hospitality centre will be open at all rounds, while the Abarth Rally Cup will be pushed through the ERC’s digital platforms with action also included on television coverage of the series on Eurosport and other networks around the world.

Regulations online
The Sporting Regulations, which contain details of how to enter, for the 2020 Abarth Rally Cup, which are subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council validation, can be downloaded here.

**Subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council validation

The post Registrations open for ERC Abarth Rally Cup** appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Nucita goes up against fellow Abarth-powered driver Hauger in champions’ challenge

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 06:00

Andrea Nucita, the winner of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship-based Abarth Rally Cup, and Dennis Hauger, who took last year’s Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth title, went up against each other in a unique challenge – and drew.

They were both crowned Champion of Champions following a contest in Abarth’s new 695 70° Anniversario at the Misano circuit in Italy, as Abarth also announced its competition plans for 2020.

Sicilian Nucita and Norwegian Hauger were both given the opportunity to showcase their skills on their preferred surface of gravel and asphalt respectively, as well as trying out the surface of choice of their opponent.

An Abarth communication read: “The challenge was evenly matched, with the two specialists driving simultaneously on the racetrack and on a dirt track, each with an advantage by driving on their own terrain.

“Their two driving styles were in clear contrast. A racetrack requires precision, continuity and the ability to harness the engine's full power, along a precise trajectory. A dirt track requires an ability to improvise, to control any skidding and, despite the difficult road surface, to be more efficient in search of performance while taking advantage of skills in stability and traction. Even so, there was only one objective: to be the faster of the two.”

Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat and Abarth Brands, commented: "We wanted to end the 2019 season and begin 2020 with an unusual challenge. Andrea and Dennis are two different drivers in terms of the driving features, style, experience. They clearly come from two divergent car categories, but with a lowest common denominator: Abarth at their heart. We put them in the driving seat of the new 695 70° Anniversario and the result was fantastic.

“All Abarth drivers and teams, both on the circuits and in rallies, are fundamental to our research and development work. In fact, for us, racing represents a stringent battery of tests for technological solutions, which we then sometimes use in series production.

“In 2020, our commitment to racing will continue both on the track with Formula 4 in Italy and Germany, and in rallies, at the European Rally Championship and the Abarth Rally Cup. We love to test ourselves and improve on a daily basis, just as Carlo Abarth taught.”

The fun, high-performance Abarth 695 70° Anniversario proved itself able to adapt to both Nucita’s more acrobatic driving and to Hauger’s more precise run. The result was a draw. At the end of the day, both drivers were crowned Champion of Champions.

Click here to watch the Champion of Champions and here to watch the interview with Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat and Abarth Brands.

The post ERC’s Nucita goes up against fellow Abarth-powered driver Hauger in champions’ challenge appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior graduates are Swede speeders

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 06:00

Several FIA ERC Junior graduates were on top form when the world championship visited Sweden last weekend.

Jari Huttunen, ERC3 Junior runner-up in 2017, won the World Rally Championship 3 category in P10 overall. Filip Mareš, the defending ERC1 Junior champion, made his world level debut and finished a fine sixth in class amid difficult conditions caused by a lack of snow and ice.

Meanwhile, Nikolay Gryazin, the reigning ERC1 Junior champion, was sixth in class as Tom Kristensson (pictured) led home Mārtiņš Sesks and Ken Torn in the Junior world championship to ensure an ERC3 Junior graduate top three.

The 2020 ERC season begins on the Azores Rallye from 24-26 March when the next group of young stars will be aiming to prove their talent.

The post ERC Junior graduates are Swede speeders appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From learning to competing: Pardo plots ERC3 Junior challenge

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 06:00

Javier Pardo, one of Spain’s most promising young rally drivers, is FIA European Rally Championship-bound in 2020 after he announced an ERC3 Junior campaign in a Ford Fiesta R2T.

Pardo, a graduate of the ERC Junior Experience training programme, which ran between 2016 and 2018, has notched up numerous titles in his homeland, including the Spanish Junior Gravel title in 2019.

Co-driven by compatriot Adrián Pérez, Pardo will contest the six-round, Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior Championship, which features three events on gravel and three on asphalt, including his home event, Rally Islas Canarias, from 7-9 May.

The 23-year-old Pardo will combine his ERC3 Junior programme with a selection of events in Spain and Portugal at the wheel of the Suzuki Motor Ibérica-supported Swift R4lly S.

“I am fortunate to be able to enjoy a season like this and that is why I am very happy,” said Pardo. “That Suzuki continues to trust me, the premiere of the Swift R4lly S and the programme with gravel, asphalt and a world championship event [in Portugal] is incredible.

“The ERC programme really appeals to me to discover new rallies, fight with other pilots and add experience in all types of terrain. Driving a front-wheel drive again, although very different to the ones I’ve driven before, also motivates me to get it to the limit and to be an effective driver in all kinds of conditions and with any car.”

Pardo added: “It is very important to thank all the sponsors and collaborators who continue to support me to carry out these new projects. And above all, to Suzuki Motor Ibérica that allows me to make other programmes to evolve as a driver. Of course, there is no doubt that both Adrián and I are going to put all our effort to not let anyone down.”

Where to watch Javier Pardo in 2020?
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August.

The post From learning to competing: Pardo plots ERC3 Junior challenge appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2020: Cyprus Rally refresher

Sat, 02/15/2020 - 06:00

Following two event on asphalt, it’s back to gravel for the Cyprus Rally in October. Here’s some key information on the penultimate round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

When: 9-11 October
Where: Nicosia, Cyprus
Surface: Gravel
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 6 (2014-2019)

The rally in 100 words: The Cyprus Rally has put car and crew to a significant test since 1970. And while the current format is a little less taxing than it once was, underestimating the challenging nature of this rallying heavyweight is a big mistake. Although fundamentally a gravel rally, some Tarmac sections feature, while punishing ambient and ground temperatures are a factor. A return to Nicosia for 2019 resulted in mountain stages around the capital being revived. The street stage through the United Nations-controlled Buffer Zone between Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas continues remains on the combined ERC and Middle East rally.

Event eligibility:
FIA European Rally Championship 2020, round 7 of 8

Also counting for…
​FIA ERC2, FIA ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams

Recent winners:
2019:
 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5)
2018: Simos Galatariotis/Antonios Ioannou (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2017: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Ford Fiesta R5)
2016: Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Ford Fiesta R5)
2015: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Ford Fiesta R5)
2014: Yazeed Al-Rajhi/Michael Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC)

Five facts:
1: The Cyprus Rally’s origins date back to 1970 when Victor Zachariades won in a Fiat 125. Although he didn't take part, 1967 ERC champion Vic Elford formed part of the route-planning team.
2: While Nasser Al-Attiyah is the rally’s most successful driver with six victories, other winners include Stig Blomqvist, Marcus Grönholm, Sébastien Loeb, Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Petter Solberg, Ari Vatanen, Björn Waldegård and current European championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who took top honours in 2016.
3: There have been 10 ‘home’ winners of the Cyprus Rally since the first edition in 1970. Prior to Simos Galatariotis and Antonios Ioannou winning in 2018 by 0.6s in a dramatic final-stage decider, Nicos Thomas and Spiros Georgiou were the last Cypriot pair to triumph back in 2008.
4: The Cyprus Rally has formed part of the ERC calendar in its various formats since 1978. From 2014 it’s been ever-present on the European roster when the event was based in Nicosia after a spell in Pafos.
5: Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean behind Sicily and Sardinia. There are 380 rural villages in the republic, while Mount Olympus in the Troodos Range peaks at 1951 metres.

The post ERC 2020: Cyprus Rally refresher appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mag-nificent! Multiple ERC winner Magalhaes returns with Team Hyundai Portugal

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 14:00

Love is in the air for Portuguese pacesetter Bruno Magalhães who has marked Saint Valentine’s Day by announcing his return to the one he loves, the FIA European Rally Championship.

A three-time ERC event winner, Magalhães will drive a Hyundai i20 R5 for Team Hyundai Portugal in the eight-event European championship, starting with his home round, the Azores Rallye from 24-26 March.

Carlos Magalhães, who co-drove his namesake to two Portuguese titles and fifth place in the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, returns for their first campaign together since 2014.

Team Hyundai Portugal made the exciting announcement live on Facebook earlier today. Sérgio Ribeiro, CEO of Hyundai Portugal, proudly revealed the 2020 project with big ambitions for both the national championship and the ERC. He said: “We will take our values and our passion for rallies to the European championship, supporting national motorsport beyond borders.”

Lisbon-based Bruno Magalhães, who claimed the runner-up spot in last year’s Portuguese championship at the wheel of an i20 R5, said: “The championship I love is European. You have the special atmosphere, the coverage is really good and the rallies are all completely different, so it’s a big challenge for the drivers. Last year was difficult for me to be on the outside of the ERC, but I never forget the ERC. I was able to make an agreement with Team Hyundai Portugal to do the full European championship, which is really crazy news, really very good news.”

From one Magalhães to another for Magalhães
With Hugo Magalhães, who has co-driven Bruno Magalhães for the last five seasons, forming a new partnership for 2020, Bruno Magalhães has recruited Carlos Magalhães for his ERC return. “Hugo didn’t know about this project when he decided to go with another driver. But we are good friends and I decide to go with Carlos Magalhães because, as you know, to be my co-driver the name needs to be Magalhães! I talked with Carlos to make the project and he’s very excited because last year he just made one rally.”

Sports&You to provide expert support
Portuguese preparation specialist Sports&You will run Magalhães’ Team Hyundai Portugal-entered i20 R5, which has been updated to the latest specification. “I tried the car with the engine and suspension updates in Sardinia at the end of last year,” Magalhães, 39, explained. “It’s a big step compared with the car from last year and everybody is excited about the project. It’s the first time for Sports&You in the ERC so it’s a big challenge, but I have experience of most of the rallies and this will be important.”

Magalhães brings title-chasing pedigree to the ERC
While Magalhães isn’t setting any targets for 2020 while he focuses on his pre-season preparations, the Portuguese has recalled the 2017 and 2018 seasons as being particularly significant. “In 2017 I was fighting for the title until I crashed in the last round in Latvia. In 2018 I was second, just six points behind [Alexey] Lukyanuk, but I missed the two last rallies because of financial problems. That was a big disaster in my mind when you are so close to fight for the title again but you cannot because you don’t have money, that’s difficult to accept. But the truth is I never gave up. I came back to Portugal for a new project last year, but I didn’t forget the ERC. When I saw I had a chance, even though it was a very small chance to come back, I tried everything. If one day I can win this title then it’s the most important thing in my career for sure. I was so close in 2017, I was fighting for the dream in 2018 so this is my third chance to make good history, but I am not setting any targets.”

Where to watch Bruno Magalhães in 2020?
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August; Cyprus Rally, 9-11 October; Rally Hungary, 6-8 November.

Pictured from left to right are Carlos Magalhães, Sérgio Ribeiro and Bruno Magalhães

The post Mag-nificent! Multiple ERC winner Magalhaes returns with Team Hyundai Portugal appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Falcón aims to go fast on four in the ERC

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 06:00

Emma Falcón has set “top positions” as her main goal for the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

Canary Islander Falcón, winner of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2018 in a Citroën DS3 R3T, is embarking on her second season aboard a Citroën C3 R5. And after adapting to the top-of-the-range French machine in 2019, Falcón wants to make more progress during the upcoming campaign.

The 29-year-old will begin her 2020 ERC bid on her home event, Rally Islas Canarias, in May before contesting the European championship’s remaining sealed-surface rounds, namely Rally di Roma Capitale, Barum Czech Rally Zlín and Rally Hungary.

“I'm very happy to be back in the FIA ERC with our Citroën C3 R5,” said Falcón, who will also tackle a programme of national and local-level events in 2020 in her Rally2-specification car. “My main goal is to be near the top positions of the overall classification.”

Hungary for a new adventure
While Falcón has previous experience of Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín, November’s Rally Hungary is unchartered territory for the Lanzarote-based driver. “I know Roma and Barum but Hungary is going to be new for me so it will be an exciting season for us,” she said.

Carrera recruited
With previous co-driver Eduardo González no longer available, Falcón has recruited Cándido Carrera for the 2020 season. Carrera is best known for his partnership with José Suárez, which included a six-event ERC1 Junior Championship campaign with the Peugeot Rally Academy in 2017. “Cándido has a lot of international experience and we are very excited with the season that we have ahead,” Falcón said.

Did you know?
While Gran Canaria-born Falcón is best known for her exploits in Citroën rally cars, she actually used a Peugeot 208 R2 to secure the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title on Rally Liepāja in 2018 when she beat Catie Munnings in a final-round decider.

Where to watch Emma Falcón in 2020?
Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August; Rally Hungary, 6-8 November.

The post Falcón aims to go fast on four in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Entries open for ERC Azores Rallye

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 06:00

The entry period for the opening round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, the Azores Rallye, has begun.

Crews now have until Tuesday 10 March to enter the spectacular event, which takes place on the island of São Miguel in the md-Atlantic Ocean from 26-28 March and also counts for the Azorean and Portuguese championships.

Entries can be submitted at this link: https://registrations.fia.com/rally

Click here to for the event’s supplementary regulations.

The post Entries open for ERC Azores Rallye appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tibor returns! Erdi Jr goes for an ERC2 treble

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 06:00

Tibor Érdi Jr will go for an ERC2 title treble in 2020 – and he’s turned mechanic to ensure his challenge gets underway as planned on next month’s Azores Rallye.

Hungarian Érdi Jr won the FIA European Rally Championship’s showroom title in 2017 and 2018 before stepping up to ERC1 for Rally2 (formerly R5) cars in 2019.

Érdi Jr had initially planned a second season in the ERC’s top tier only for car availability issues to prompt a change of plan for the start of the new decade. However, success in ERC1 remains a long-term target and Érdi Jr hopes to be back behind the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo for the season-deciding Rally Hungary in November.

“We didn't want to skip a season due to these circumstances, so they led us to change the plan and return to ERC2 with our Mitsubishi,” said Érdi Jr, who scored seven wins during his back-to-back ERC2 title-winning campaigns. “I am much more motivated now that I know the new plan for this season. I love the ERC atmosphere and I don't want to stop. We won ERC2 twice before, let’s try to do the hat-trick.”

Érdi Jr gets his hands dirty for ERC2 return
Such is his determination to be ready for the season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March, Érdi Jr has turned mechanic. “I started to disassemble my Mitsubishi to make the revision on the drivetrain and suspension,” he explained. “The new livery is ready, so the plan is to participate on the first event.”

A first title for Kovács?
Co-driver Szabolcs Kovács will target a first ERC2 title in 2020 after being confirmed as Érdi Jr’s navigator for a second season. György Papp partnered Érdi Jr to his two ERC2 crowns and was in the co-driving seat when Érdi Jr stepped up to ERC1 level on Rally Liepāja in 2018. However, Kovács completed the season with Érdi Jr and co-drove him on all nine events contested in 2019.

ERC1 ambitions remain
While Érdi Jr is stepping back to ERC2 for the start of the season, a return to ERC1 is planned for later in the year. “We are in the process of purchasing a ŠKODA Fabia Evo, so my intention is to return to the highest level of ERC at the end of this season,” he said.

Where to watch Tibor Érdi Jr in 2020?
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June. Érdi Jr is planning two more appearances, including Rally Hungary (6-8 November).

The post Tibor returns! Erdi Jr goes for an ERC2 treble appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC rally best in Italy

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 06:00

The ERC-counting Rally di Roma Capitale has been voted best round of the 2019 Italian championship.

Italy’s FIA European Rally Championship qualifier for the past four seasons received the top award from the ACI Sport Commission with Francesca Pagliuca from event organiser Motorsport Italy accepting the accolade at a ceremony held in Monza last Friday (7 February).

A statement from the all-asphalt event read: “Rally di Roma Capitale has been chosen by a panel of experts [from ACI]. This choice has been made considering several parameters that went beyond the technical and sporting content of the event. An important point that made this rally the benchmark in Italy has been the huge work put in by the group led by Max Rendina in terms of communication – at a local, national and international level, and the efforts to bring the Rally di Roma Capitale close to the people.”

Rally di Roma Capitale joined the ERC roster in 2017 with Bryan Bouffier beating Kajetan Kajetanowicz to victory by 0.3s. This year’s event, which counts as the fifth event of the ERC season, takes place from 24-26 July.

The post ERC rally best in Italy appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Proud to be turning 50 in the ERC: Logo for Zlin’s half-century revealed

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 06:00

Barum Czech Rally Zlín organisers have continued their preparations for the event’s half-century celebrations in the summer by releasing the official logo plate.

Utilising the rally’s traditional blue and yellow colours, the plate features the number 50 prominently in the design to signify the milestone edition of the sealed-surface event, which takes place from 28-30 August and counts as round six of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

The post Proud to be turning 50 in the ERC: Logo for Zlin’s half-century revealed appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC ace Lukyanuk supports FIA Action for Road Safety campaign

Sun, 02/09/2020 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk has spoken to children in his adopted city of St Petersburg about the importance of road safety.

Winner of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship, Lukyanuk is ranked as one of the sport’s fastest drivers and only lost out on a second ERC title in a thrilling final-stage showdown with Chris Ingram on Rally Hungary last November.

Earlier in the season, Lukyanuk committed a road traffic offence while driving to a special stage on Rally Liepāja. As part of his penalty, Lukyanuk agreed to support the FIA’s Action for Road Safety campaign. He explained how he has tried to make a difference.

“I developed a presentation to speak to school children regarding safety rules, not just regulations but typical situations in big cities,” said the Russian Rocket. “On walking areas and pedestrian crossings, we have many accidents with problems of attention, not just drivers but pedestrians also, quite tense moments on our roads.”

Lukyanuk, who also included a section on safety in rallying as part of his presentation, said his presentation had been well received by school children. “The feedback from children is positive,” he said. “They were involved in asking questions, playing some active roles and sharing their experiences. It’s not easy for me of course to be like a presenter, but it was a nice thing to do.”

As well as speaking to school children, Lukyanuk held a session for young members of a motoring club.

The post ERC ace Lukyanuk supports FIA Action for Road Safety campaign appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2020: Barum Czech Rally Zlín refresher

Sat, 02/08/2020 - 06:00

Hot on the heels of Rally di Roma Capaitale, the FIA European Rally Championship’s asphalt attack continues with Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which will turn 50 this August. Here’s a recap of the all the important details.

When: 28-30 August
Where: Zlín, Czech Republic
Surface: Asphalt
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 16 (2004-2019)

The rally in 100 words: Ever-present on the ERC schedule since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. The long-term ERC rally turns 50 in 2020.

Event eligibility:
FIA European Rally Championship 2020, round 6 of 8
FIA ERC1 Junior Championship 2020, round 6 of 6
FIA ERC3 Junior Championship 2020, round 6 of 6
Abarth Rally Cup 2020, round 5 of 6

Also counting for…
​FIA ERC2, FIA ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams

Recent winners:
2019:
 Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo)
2018:
 Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2017: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2016: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2015: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)

Five facts:
1: 
Zlín’s rise from small town to big city is credited to Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894. His old office – located in a moving elevator – is preserved in the Regional Authority Building 21, which is home to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s headquarters.
2: Now established as a bustling university city, Zlín’s south-eastern Moravia setting is 300 kilometres from the Czech capital Prague and 220 kilometres from the Austrian capital Vienna.
3: Zlín became Gottwaldov from 1949-1990 after the first Czech communist president, Klement Gottwald.
4: Barum Czech Rally Zlín ran for the first time in 1971 and turns 50 in 2020. Jan Halmažna took the inaugural honours in a ŠKODA 1100 MB.
5: Event sponsor Continental Barum’s giant tyre factory and distribution centre in nearby Otrokovice hosts the rally’s permanent service park.

The post ERC 2020: Barum Czech Rally Zlín refresher appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC1 Junior champion Mares gears up for Azores attack

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 06:00

Filip Mareš will continue to prove his talent in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2020, starting with next month’s Azores Rallye.

The outing, the second of two prize drives for winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2019, will allow Mareš to further showcase his emergence as a strong performer on gravel, while also promoting Czech Motorsport, a new marketing and communication initiative from the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, a long-term supporter of his career.

However, before he contests the Azores Rallye, Mares will step up to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time on next week’s Rally Sweden alongside regular co-driver Jan Hloušek.

“It is amazing that we have so big opportunity this year,” said Mareš, 28. “It was a dream from childhood to start on a world championship event and I am ready to face this challenge. I would like to thank my partners for the possibility to represent them and I am promising that I will do the maximum on the stages at home and abroad.”

Jan Šťovíček, President of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, said: "Filip is one of the faces of our new communication brand, Czech Motorsport, which moves closer together the sporting activities of the Autoclub to a wider spectrum of fans.”

As well as a programme of European and world championship events, Mareš will contest rounds of his national championship, including Barum Czech Rally Zlín, a combined ERC and MČR (Czech championship) event from 28-30 August.

Kresta Racing, the team operated by Czech rallying legend Roman Kresta, who inspired Mareš to start competing, has been retained to run Mareš and Hloušek in a Rally2-specification ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.

Meanwhile, the Azores Rallye takes place from 26-28 March using mainly all-gravel stages. The route includes the iconic Sete Cidades test, part of which runs along the rim of a volcanic crater lake, as its deciding stage. Mareš and Hloušek have one Azores Rallye start to their name dating back to 2017 when they finished third in ERC3 Junior.

Did you know?
Mareš beat Chris Ingram to the ERC1 Junior title by 0.3s in a final-stage decider on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last August to earn 100,000 euros in career support.

The post ERC1 Junior champion Mares gears up for Azores attack appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

WTCR racer Panis praises role ERC team Saintéloc played in Trophée Andros glory

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 06:00

Aurélien Panis used his post-Trophée Andros title celebrations to praise the work of leading FIA European Rally Championship team Saintéloc Racing.

Panis said he relied on Saintéloc’s consistency to come out on top at the end of the first all-electric Trophée Andros season.

And following his success with the French squad, which claimed the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams in 2019, Panis was keen to credit the efforts of the outfit.

“Thanks to them we won the championship,” said Panis who normally races in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, which, like the ERC, is promoted by Eurosport Events. “We were really consistent during the whole championship and this was really important. We also did podiums and victories and finished 23 points in front of the next driver. This was really good for us.”

The post WTCR racer Panis praises role ERC team Saintéloc played in Trophée Andros glory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Breen joins Team MRF Tyres for ERC 2020

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 18:00

Craig Breen will bring his FIA World Rally Championship pace and prowess to the ERC in 2020 after he was selected to spearhead MRF Tyres’ return to international rallying.

The 30-year-old, who has two world championship support category titles to his name, placed second in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2015, an achievement that earned him a step up to world rallying’s top tier for 2016.

After scoring two world championship podiums and multiple points finishes during the next two seasons, Breen demonstrated his impressive diversity in 2019 when he notched up wins in four different types of Rally2 (formerly R5) cars. He also scored points on two world championship starts with the factory Hyundai World Rally Car squad.

While success at world level remains the Irishman’s ultimate goal, his experience of the ERC, combined with his technical understanding and undoubted speed, makes him an ideal candidate for MRF Tyres, which has joined forces with BRC Racing Team to tackle the eight-event ERC with a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-supported Hyundai i20 R5.

“I am really happy to start this adventure with MRF Tyres,” said Breen, who will compete under the Team MRF Tyres banner alongside co-driver and compatriot Paul Nagle. “We worked together last year placing emphasis on tyre development. It will be a great year with MRF Tyres, BRC Racing Team and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and great to get back to some rallies I have done in the past along with some new rallies.”

MRF Tyres Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Arun Mammen, said: “MRF Tyres has a long and proud history in rallying in India and the Asia-Pacific region. With nine APRC titles, it is the right time to take the next step and take Indian motorsport into the European Rally Championship. We know it will be a challenge to compete with our European rivals but we are committed to rallying in the long term and we are aiming to learn and develop.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator for promoter Eurosport Events, said: “We are very happy that MRF Tyres has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship for its return to international rallying when it will develop its products and services in an arena where Michelin and Pirelli are already active. In Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, MRF has a very capable and professional partnership, while Craig will be the one to beat for drivers aiming to prove their talent at international level.”

Breen, Nagle, BRC Racing Team and Team MRF Tyres will begin their ERC campaign on the Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.

The post Breen joins Team MRF Tyres for ERC 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Unrivalled volcano stage to decide ERC Azores Rallye

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 06:00

The stage that former winner Craig Breen said is unrivalled in terms of “spectacle” will decide the FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye next month.

Organisers Grupo Desportivo Comercial have confirmed the iconic Sete Cidades volcano stage, which traditionally ran during the middle day of the Azores Rallye, will now serve as the closing test of the spectacular event on the mid-Atlantic Ocean island of São Miguel.

Breen, who won the Azores Rallye in 2015, said: “There’s probably no other spectacle in sport like Sete Cidades. To drive a rally car along the ridge of a volcano is an incredible experience.”

In other exciting changes for the 55th edition of the Azores Rallye, which takes place from 26-28 March, the Ponta Delgada-based, all-asphalt City Show switches from a Wednesday evening demonstration event to a competitive stage on Thursday 26 March under a new name, PDL Stage.

Meanwhile, Graminhais and the jungle-esque Tronqueira on the east side of São Miguel, will form part of the leg one itinerary on Friday 27 March having previously taken place on the final day.

Entries open on 7 February when the supplementary regulations will also be published.

The post Unrivalled volcano stage to decide ERC Azores Rallye appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Young Austrian chooses ERC to Landa experience

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 12:00

Nikolai Landa has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship to continue to grow his experience, teaming up with his co-driving father Günter in ERC3 Junior.

The 21-year-old from Austria is targeting three rounds of the Pirelli-supported category in 2020 with a full assault on the young driver category the ultimate aim next season.

Having recently completed his university exams, Landa will begin his ERC adventure on Rally Liepāja in May before he contests 77th Rally Poland in June. A return to Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which he first tackled last season, completes his three-event campaign although an outing on July’s Rally di Roma Capitale is also under consideration, budget permitting.

What do you hope to archive in ERC3 Junior?
“The main goal is to learn as much as we can and collect as many kilometres as we can. With Beppo Harrach we have made a plan of how we will approach these rallies. It’s much more helpful when you drive the rally on a constant speed and get to the finish line, as it’s way better than to have a really good speed and crash on the second stage. But we also want to be fast so we need a good balance.”

Then what?
“We want to compete in the whole of ERC Junior in 2021 if that’s possible with the sponsors. We are trying to get a lot of experience because we are against other ERC Junior drivers who have done these rallies two or three times.”

It’s fair to say you are getting plenty of advice?
“Beppo Harrach is our team leader and former Austrian champion and it’s amazing to have him on our side to help us. Then I also have my father, my co-pilot. He used to drive himself when he was in his 20s and that’s how I got into rallies because I was in touch from an early age and got really excited about it. My father shows me in the recce what’s important and to find the good racing line. He’s helping me a lot so that’s really useful to have somebody in the car who also has experience from the driving seat.”

You’re planning two gravel rounds of the ERC, is that your preferred surface?
“I like to drive on gravel more than on Tarmac because I think I am a bit faster on gravel. We are planning some rallies in Italy as well this year because I know I have to improve on Tarmac and there are some really good roads there. We tried to pick our rallies with the focus on where we have to improve the most.”

Landa’s ERC3 Junior campaign is being made possible by the support of the following: Advancis, DriftCompany, Lederer IT Services, Allianz - Agentur Latzl, Dormakaba, Pirelli, Pfabigan Photo & Video and Rallyepics by Autengruber.

Did you know?
Landa’s team boss, Beppo Harrach, is a two-time ERC2 event winner and an outright podium finisher at FIA European Rally Championship level.

Where to watch Nikolai Landa in 2020?
Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August

The post Young Austrian chooses ERC to Landa experience appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Co-driving legend Delecour was unbelievable, says ERC’s Fernández

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 06:00

Sara Fernández, who co-drove fellow Spaniard Efrén Llarena to the FIA ERC3 and ERC3 Junior titles in 2019, has spoken about the moment when she realised that she’d be navigating rallying legend François Delecour.

The former factory FIA World Rally Championship driver was invited by French magazine Échappement to test Peugeot’s all-new 208 Rally 4 on a Tarmac stage close to Fafe in northern Portugal from 10-12 December.

Having co-driven Llarena during the car’s development phase, Fernández was ideally placed to guide Delecour at the test organised by Peugeot Sport and respected preparation company Sports&You.

"In the first moment, when somebody told me at the beginning of the test session that a few hours later I would be co-driving François Delecour, I couldn't believe it,” said Fernández. “I felt very satisfied and grateful for that experience when I realised I was inside a rally car next to a master driver like him. It was my first time co-driving in a foreign language, using French pacenotes, but I felt really comfortable and motivated. I hope my job was helpful for François.”

Llarena, who won his ERC3 and ERC3 Junior titles with backing from Rallye Team Spain – Spanish federation RFEDA’s talent programme – was also present at the test and had the opportunity to speak to Delecour about the Peugeot 208 Rally 4.

“It was really special for me to share my feedback at the wheel of the new-brand Peugeot 208 Rally 4 with such a legend driver like François Delecour,” said Llarena. “It was a pleasure to chat together and to explain him my feeling with the car and the role I played for the first time as Peugeot Sport factory team test driver. He enjoyed a lot discovering on a twisty tarmac stage the performance of the great machine developed by Peugeot".

With grateful thanks to Nacho Villarín

The post Co-driving legend Delecour was unbelievable, says ERC’s Fernández appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

PZM 76th Rally Poland - Leg 2

2020 Calendar

26-28.03.

Azores Rallye (Portugal)

07-09.05.

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

29-31.05.

Rally LiepaŻja (Latvia)

26-28.06.

76th Rally Poland

24-26.07.

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

28-30.08.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

09-11.10.

Cyprus Rally

06-08.11.

Rally Hungary