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European Rally Championship
Updated: 39 min ago

Herczig heads ERC start order for day two of Azores

1 hour 16 min ago

MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig will run as the first FIA European Rally Championship car on the road during tomorrow’s Rally Azores action.

Finishing Thursday’s single afternoon loop P10 overall, Herczig now restarts his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 at the top of the start order, followed by a trio of local experts.

Ricardo Teodósio is second in the start order, having struggled with a damaged suspension arm that knocked one of his wheels into positive camber and compromised the handling of his ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Behind him are Luís Rego and current ERC vice-champion Bruno Magalhães, who has switched from a Fabia to Team Hyundai Portugal for this year.

The rest of the top 10 as they stood after SS2 is reversed, with SS3 not counted for road order calculation due to being a superspecial stage.

That means Marijan Griebel’s unfortunately timed puncture on SS2 puts him fifth on the road despite gaining a place on SS3, having dropped down from third due to his puncture.

Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies), ERC1 Junior’s Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT), Ricardo Moura, Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet and rally leader Alexey Lukyanuk will run in positions six through ten in the start order tomorrow.

Dmitriy Myachin, who retired on SS1 when he rolled his TBRacing PEUGEOT 208 R2, will attempt to restart tomorrow as the last car out, set for departure 1h26m after Herczig.

Friday’s stages begin with the 11 kilometre Pico da Pedra test, with Herczig scheduled to kick off proceedings at 09h53 local time (11h53 CET).

Both the morning and afternoon loop take in the iconic Sete Cidades stage that circles the volcano sharing its name, finishing with another run of the Marques superspecial that concluded Thursday’s action.

The post Herczig heads ERC start order for day two of Azores appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

FPAK’s Pedro Antunes leads ERC3 Junior on home event

2 hours 56 min ago

FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s junior prodigy Pedro Antunes leads his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship in the ERC3 Junior class, topping the Rally Azores order by 3.8s.

Antunes made a great start by winning the opening Coroa da Mata test by 3.2s but is being charged down by Saintéloc Junior Team’s new ERC3 Junior recruit for 2019, Sindre Furuseth. A decision to take soft tyres benefitted Antunes on SS1 but by the end of the next stage, his front tyres were worn out.

Furuseth won SS2 to move past Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena for second place, building a 2.8s advantage of his fellow PEUGEOT 208 R2 rival in third. Though he dropped back, Llarena is still very much in the lead battle, only 6.6s behind Antunes.

Yoann Rossel is fourth in ERC3 but the PEUGEOT Rally Academy driver is not eligible for ERC3 Junior, so the first of the two ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team drivers Elias Lundberg in fifth place is also fourth in ERC3 Junior.

It was a show of perseverance from Lundberg, who was driving through illness to finish the day only 0.7s ahead of reigning Junior British Rally Champion Steve Røkland, the latter hitting a bank and losing time on SS2.

Team Stengg Motorsport’s Simon Wagner is sixth in ERC3 Junior, running through SS3 with a puncture and with the bootlid of his Opel ADAM R2 wide open.

ACCR Czech Rally Team pair Erik Cais and Dominic Brož are seventh and eighth in ERC3 Junior, with Team Romo’s Roman Schwedt and the third ACCR-backed car of Jan Talaš completing the ERC3 Junior top 10.

Grégoire Munster is P11 on his ERC3 Junior debut in the second ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team car, while Sean Johnston (Saintéloc Junior Team) and Catie Munnings (PEUGEOT Rally Academy) bringing up the rear in ERC3.

ERC3 newcomer Dmitriy Myachin’s debut was short-lived, rolling his TBRacing-prepared 208 on the rally-opening Coroa da Mata stage and retiring.

The post FPAK’s Pedro Antunes leads ERC3 Junior on home event appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lukyanuk edges Loubet for early ERC Azores Rallye lead

3 hours 37 min ago

Alexey Lukyanuk has established a slim 3.1s advantage over FIA European Rally Championship rival Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet to lead the Azores Rallye.

Though reigning ERC champion Lukyanuk won all three stages, ERC1 Junior class leader Loubet was right behind him throughout, at one point finishing only 0.1s behind the Russian on the Mediana Remédios test.

There was a slight concern for Lukyanuk towards the end of the final stage as the dashboard and associated buttons on his Citroën C3 R5 were not functioning fully.

His team-mate and ERC1 Junior contender Mattias Adielsson, racing under the Sweden National Team banner, was delayed by over a minute by electrical gremlins in the sister C3 R5, which caused his car to stop on both SS2 and SS3 and dropped him to sixth place in ERC1 Juinor.

2016 Azores Rallye winner Ricardo Moura holds the final podium place by 1.9s from Toksport WRT’s Chris Ingram, who is also sitting second in ERC1 Junior and only 9.9s off rally leader Lukyanuk.

ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior championship winner Marijan Griebel is fifth on his return to the ERC, driving a Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI. He had initially been third but dropped back to sixth when he picked up a puncture while running off-line on SS2, though swiftly recovered to finish the day in fifth, 10.4s off the lead.

Griebel demoted Sports Racing Technologies driver Łukasz Habaj to sixth on the day-ending Marques superspecial. Bruno Magalhães is seventh, having struggled to find a good set-up aboard his Team Hyundai Portugal machine, while Ricardo Teodósio moved past fellow ŠKODA Fabia R5 runner Luís Rego for eighth on Marques. Behind Rego in ninth, Norbert Herczig completes the top 10 for MOL Racing Team.

Portuguese pair and ARC Sport team-mates Migue Correia and Pedro Almeida are separated by a mere 0.3s in their battle over third place in ERC1 Junior.

Both had been behind Alexandros Tsouloftas initially but the Cypriot sustained a puncture on the day-ending Marques test, which dropped him down to fifth, albeit only 2.9s off Correia in third.

Despite his car troubles Adielsson is also still within striking range in the ERC1 Junior battle, 20.8s behind Tsouloftas in sixth.

An incredible battle ensued over honours in ERC2, with Sergei Remennik leading Juan Carlos Alonso by a mere 0.3s. They swapped places on each stage, Alonso taking the lead away from Remennik on SS2 only to lose it again on SS3.

The post Lukyanuk edges Loubet for early ERC Azores Rallye lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Follow the ERC live

6 hours 16 min ago

The 2019 FIA European Rally Championship is underway and this is how you can follow the action live:

LIVE STREAMING
Live streaming of selected stages is available here: https://www.fiaerc.com/live-streaming/

Thursday 21 March
15h00-19h00: Coroa da Mata (SS1, from 15h28) and SSS Marques 1 (SS3, 16h31)

Friday 22 March
10h30-12h58: Sete Cidades 1 (SS5, from 10h39)
14h30-19h00: Sete Cidades 2 (SS8, from 14h38) and SSS Marques 2 (SS10, 16h26)

Saturday 23 March
10h20-12h30: Tronqueira 1 (SS12, from 10h26)
15h40-19h00: Tronqueira 2 (SS15, from 15h52), final-stage stop line and podium (from 18h10)

LIVE RADIO
Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will be reporting live from all stage finishes. Follow this link and click on the ERC Radio link: https://www.fiaerc.com

Live timing: https://www.fiaerc.com/live-timing/

Follow the ERC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

The post Follow the ERC live appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tsouloftas to lead ERC crews into Azores Rallye stages

8 hours 23 sec ago

FIA European Rally Championship ERC1 Junior contender Alexandros Tsouloftas will lead the ERC field into the first leg of action on Azores Rallye this week.

Taking part in today’s road order selection ceremony, Tsouloftas was the last driver to pick his road order position, having finished P15 on this morning’s Qualifying Stage aboard his Toksport-prepared ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Tsouloftas is taking on his first full ERC campaign this year, after appearances at both his home round of the championship in Cyprus and on the Acropolis Rally in the past two years. He scored his best ERC result of fourth place on the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally in 2017.

At the other end of the scale, Team OSCARO athlete Pierre-Louis Loubet – who also drives a Fabia –was first to pick his road order position and elected to start P15, an advantage he earned through winning the Qualifying Stage earlier.

With Azores Rallye’s roads covered in a top layer of loose gravel that is swept away by the first batch of cars coming through, running lower down the order is advantageous, providing more grip for the drivers in Loubet’s position.

“First of all, I’m really happy,” said Loubet of his Qualifying Stage effort. “We have a really good feeling with the car, so it was easy to push because I was confident.”

“For the rally, I hope to have a good result, but I don’t know the rally very well, so I just hope to be in a good position.”

Reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk will start one place ahead of Loubet as P14 on the road in his Saintéloc Racing Citroën C3 R5, with Tsouloftas’s ERC1 Junior team-mate Chris Ingram P13 in the order.

In all, the first 15 cars on the road for Leg One are in reverse order of their finishing position on the Qualifying Stage. That means ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Vojtěch Štajf will be the next car out after Tsouloftas, followed by ERC1 Junior pairing Pedro Almeida (ARC Sport) and Mattias Adielsson (Sweden National Team).

Leg One begins with the 11.4 kilometre Coroa da Mata test at 15h28 local time (17h28 CET) today. Thursday’s action features two stages and a superspecial in all, before a full set of seven further stages completing Leg One on Friday.

The post Tsouloftas to lead ERC crews into Azores Rallye stages appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC1 Junior star Loubet scores Azores Qualifying Stage win

10 hours 32 min ago

FIA European Rally Championship ERC1 Junior star Pierre-Louis Loubet scored a stunning Azores Rallye Qualifying Stage victory, beating reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk by 0.595s.

Team OSCARO-backed Loubet, son of 1989 ERC champion Yves Loubet, was one of only two drivers to break into the 1m53s bracket on Remédios, the 3.12 kilometre Qualifying Stage which sets the road selection order for later today. Loubet will be given first choice, with the 15th fastest driver, Toksport WRT’s Alexandros Tsouloftas, last to pick.

Both Loubet and Lukyanyk have switched cars for this year, with Loubet now in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 and Lukyanuk driving a Saintéloc Racing-prepared Citroën C3 R5.

“It’s a really nice car, easy to play with and we are enjoying it,” said Lukyanuk, who went second fastest. “We’re still learning of course, we have the whole rally to explore the car and find the best tyre etc. But so far we are happy.”

ERC1 Junior graduate Chris Ingram was third fastest on his return to the ERC, having finished as runner-up in that category last year. Once again driving a Toksport WRT-prepped Fabia, he was 1.244s off Loubet’s benchmark and only 0.139s up on MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig.

Herczig is one of two drivers giving the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 its ERC debut this weekend, with team-mate Marijan Griebel also campaigning in an identical car.

Though Griebel was an early title favourite, he started on the back foot after suffering power steering issues on the pre-event test. He completed both passes of free practice this morning but elected not to participate in the Qualifying Stage.

Sports Racing Technologies Fabai driver Łukasz Habaj completed the top five, 1.562s slower than Loubet. Local experts completed the top 10 on the Qualifying Stage, with Ricardo Teodósio, 2016 rally winner Ricardo Moura, two-time Azores winner Bruno Magalhães, Luís Rego and Miguel Barbosa in sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and P10 respectively.

The final crews to pick their road order positions later today will be Bernardo Sousa (Raly/Aautoaçoreana Racing), ERC1 Junior Mattias Adielsson (Sweden National Team), Pedro Almeida (ARC Sport), Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Tsouloftas. Start order selection will take place at 12h30 local time (14h30 CET) at Portas do Mar, Ponta Delgada.

The post ERC1 Junior star Loubet scores Azores Qualifying Stage win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

It’s Thursday in the ERC

14 hours 16 min ago

It’s Thursday in the FIA European Rally Championship and the long-awaited start of the 2019 season on the Azores Rallye.

First up for the ERC priority drivers on day one is Free Practice from 07h30 local time followed by the Qualifying Stage from 09h48.

The fastest 15 drivers from qualifying will earn the right to select their starting positions for Thursday’s opening stages at the start selection ceremony at Ponta Delgada’s Portas do Mar from 12h30. The quickest driver selects first followed by the second fastest driver and so on until positions have been chosen.

Following the autograph signing session from 13h00, crews will begin their final preparations prior to the start at 1430 and the first of 15 stages from 15h28, the 11.40-kilometre Coroa da Mata test. Click here to view the full itinerary.

The post It’s Thursday in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019: what’s new?

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 21:00

The 2019 FIA European Rally Championship fires into life on the Azores Rallye this week (21-23 March). Here’s a summary of the main changes for the season ahead.

New names for ERC Junior categories
The FIA ERC Junior Under 28 and FIA ERC Junior Under 27 championships are renamed for 2019, bringing them inline with other FIA regional championships. ERC Junior U28, for young stars in R5 cars, becomes the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship, while the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior 27, for rising talents in R2 machinery, is retitled the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

ERC2 goes from strength to strength
On the back of its most successful season yet in terms of competitor numbers, ERC2 is set for another strong year in 2019 with cars conforming to the R4-K and RGT technical regulations permitted to take part alongside traditional N4 machinery, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and Subaru Impreza STI.

Abarth Rally Cup joins forces with ERC
The eagerly-anticipated Abarth Rally Cup will run in conjunction with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019. Contested over six rounds of the eight-event ERC, the Abarth Rally Cup is open to competitors using the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscars, which conform to the FIA’s R-GT category technical regulations. The Abarth 124 rally is available for €110,000, which includes the ERC registration fee. On each round the following prize fund will be offered: First position: €12,000, Second position: €10,000, Third position: €8,000, Fourth position: €4,000. At the end of the season the Abarth Rally Cup winner will receive a final prize of €30,000.

Rally Hungary is new addition to ERC schedule
Hungary will return to the ERC for the first time since 2003 with a new Tarmac event in Nyíregyháza, northeast of the country, approximately two hours 30 minutes by car from the capital Budapest. While the event was effectively brand new for 2018 when it ran as the Nyíregyháza Rally and counted as the Hungarian championship closer, Nyíregyháza was a regular host of national-level events in the 1980s. With several Hungarian drivers contesting the ERC each season – including back-to-back ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr – a Hungarian round of the championship is perfectly timed. Government and local authority support are other plus points. Rally Hungary is schedule to run from 8-10 November.

Eight of the best: ERC calendar 2019
In other changes to the ERC calendar for 2019, Rally Liepāja in Latvia and Rally Poland will take place earlier than scheduled in recent years. Host of the season showdown in 2017 and 2018, Rally Liepāja moves forward to late May, while Poland’s counter occupies a late June date after running on the penultimate weekend of September in 2018, when it celebrated its 75th anniversary. Meanwhile, the Cyprus Rally switches from June to September. Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes place two weeks earlier than usual in mid-August.

The post ERC 2019: what’s new? appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Why Griebel will have to wait to put on a Show in the ERC

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 18:00

Marijan Griebel will be a reluctant spectator when the City Show takes place ahead of the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship tonight.

A non-competitive element of the Azores Rallye, the fan-friendly demonstration run is a highlight of the Ponta Delgada-based event with a new route for 2019.

Griebel had been due to take part in his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. However, a minor technical issue will make him a City Show no show.

“It’s nothing big, we just have a small issue,” said the double ERC Junior champion and German title winner from 2018. “The spare part we need is stuck in the cargo at the airport and that’s why it’s not possible for me to compete in the City Show. But another part will come late night with the mechanics from Austria so tomorrow it’s no problem at all.”

Asked whether missing out on much-needed seat time in his all-new Polo, Griebel said: “It’s just one kilometre, it will not help me for the rally. I am just really sorry not to be there for the fans. I was doing the City Show four times now and it’s always a pleasure to drive in front of such cool, atmospheric fans. I am sorry, but I will put on a show tomorrow and the next days.”

The post Why Griebel will have to wait to put on a Show in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Season Launch Live today

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:00

The 2019 FIA European Rally Championship season will be launched live on Facebook at 19h30 CET (17h30 local time).

A number of leading drivers will be taking part including defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk and double title winner Marijan Griebel.

The live launch is ahead of the Azores Rallye opening the 2019 season from 21-23 March. Click here to watch.

The post ERC Season Launch Live today appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Introducing the ERC car that Llarena and Fernández built!

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 12:00

This is the Peugeot 208 R2 that Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández will use to contest the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship in 2019 – having built it themselves from scratch.

The RFEDA Spanish federation-backed Rally Team Spain pair spent 150 hours turning a kit of parts into the car they will use from this week’s Azores Rallye.

“It’s one of the ways for us to be here,” explained Llarena. “We build the car, we earn some money and we also know the car very well now. It’s completely new and we are very happy with it.”

Llarena and Fernández prepared for the the Azores Rallye with a class win on the gravel-based Rally Tierras Altas de Lorca in their native Spain last weekend.

“It was good to try to get the feeling, so some kilometres and we are very happy because we win,” said Llarena.

Photo: Julian Porter/ERC Radio

The post Introducing the ERC car that Llarena and Fernández built! appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Title-winning engineer joins Ingram’s ERC bid

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 09:00

Chris Ingram has recruited Lewis Allen to engineer his FIA European Rally Championship title assault in 2019.

Allen worked as Alexey Lukyanuk’s rally engineer when the Russian claimed the ERC crown in 2018 driving an H-Racing Ford Fiesta R5.

The Briton will link up with compatriot Ingram at the ŠKODA Fabia R5-equipped Toksport WRT organisation from this week’s Azores Rallye season opener.

“I’m so pleased to be working with Lewis Allen, my new engineer,” said Ingram, who will bid to win the ERC title outright as well as trying to claim the ERC1 Junior accolade in 2019. “He’s a young lad like me and we get on really well. Last year he won the championship as Alexey’s engineer, he’s also worked with Ott Tänak. So to have somebody like him helping me is going to be massive asset to me.”

Ross Whittock will co-drive Ingram in 2019. They tested in the Azores on Monday, their first time working together in a rally car since the 2018 ERC finale in Latvia last October.

The post Title-winning engineer joins Ingram’s ERC bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings delighted with new ERC co-driver fit

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 06:00

Catie Munnings says “it’s fantastic” how quickly she has formed a partnership with new co-driver Veronica Engan.

Norwegian Engan will partner the Peugeot Rally Academy Brit in the FIA ERC3 Championship this season.

However, prior to Monday’s test ahead of the Azores Rallye, they had never been in a rally car together.

“It’s been a really cool day,” said Munnings following the test in her Peugeot 208 R2. “It’s fantastic how quickly it’s all fitted together. I really appreciate the work she has put in and we’ve got a really good rhythm already. It was the first time I’d been in a car since Rally Liepāja last October so we’re eager to get started now.”

Of her target for 2019, Red Bull athlete Munnings said: “Our goal is definitely to continue the progression from last year and keep scoring points.”

The post Munnings delighted with new ERC co-driver fit appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Schwedt begins ERC adventure with “many things to learn”

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 21:00

Roman Schwedt admits he has plenty to learn during his first season in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship with Team ROMO.

The Azores Rallye marks only the 19-year-old German’s second start on gravel and his first in a front-wheel-drive car.

Following the opening day of reconnaissance, Schwedt said: “The stages are amazing but every corner the gravel is different. In Germany we have long straights, 90-degree corners, we brake late then go on the straight. Here it’s corner and corner and the gravel is changing, you have the fog, it’s really amazing. It’s not easy and I have many things to learn.”

The post Schwedt begins ERC adventure with “many things to learn” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Why “exciting” Lukyanuk is an asset for ERC Junior Adielsson

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 18:00

Mattias Adielsson reckons teaming up with ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk can only help him in his bid for FIA ERC1 Junior Championship success.

Lukyanuk will lead the Saintéloc Junior Team’s pursuit of ERC glory in 2019 with Adielsson also flying the Saintéloc flag in a similar Citroën C3 R5.

“It’s very exiting and to have a guy like Lukyanuk as a team-mate,” said Sweden National Team-backed Adielsson. “Its will also make everything more interesting because you know he has the pace to be a European champion. For me it will be a big help when doing a test or similar. I can see where the pace is and also learn a lot from him. It will be great fun.”

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Brož vows to fulfil potential in ERC3 Junior

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 15:00

Dominik Brož will do all he can to deliver on his potential and achieve the results his natural talent craves when he embarks on his fourth season in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

Brož has formed part of his national federation’s European championship squad since 2017. But persistent misfortune has hampered his performances, leaving his continued participation in the ERC in doubt. However, he as secured the funds to begin his European campaign on the Azores Rallye, where he hopes to impress enough to land further support for the 2019 season.

“We are not fully part of the ACCR Czech Rally Team this year as we were not sure if we will have enough budget to do the season,” Brož explained. “For Azores we have asked to start under the wings of the Czech federation but more cooperation is not agreed for now, it will also depend on our results.”

Driving a family-run Peugeot 208 R2 on Pirelli tyres, Brož has frequently shown his pace alongside co-driver Petr Tĕšínský. But his efforts have been undone by a lack of results although he has vowed to put that right in 2019.

“I believe that I can show that there is something inside me,” said the 22-year-old, who works for his family’s car servicing business when he’s not competing in the ERC. “In the last few seasons we had a lot of bad luck, so for this season we are determined to change this bad luck, use our previous experience, show that we have the speed and can achieve good results. We like the ERC because every event is different and is giving us a lot of experience. There is also a very friendly atmosphere.”

Brož has faced an uphill struggle to continue his ERC Junior campaign in 2019, as he revealed. “We were working on finding the budget until the very last moment. One day before the closing date for entries we were sure that we will be missing because it has been more and more difficult to find some partners. But I must say big thanks to the company Final s.r.o., who gave us a helping hand. Without their support, we will not be able to start in Azores and also ERC Junior again. Now I would like to break my bad luck, show our speed and finally make good use of our previous experience.”

Co-driven by Tĕšínský, Brož completed a short test in the Azores yesterday (Monday). The Czech pair will spend Tuesday and Wednesday undertaking reconnaissance for the spectacular gravel rally, which starts on Thursday.

“There are a lot of new parts of the stages but for sure it will be an advantage for me to know the roads from previous years,” said Brož. “So I know where I can push and where is better to be more careful.”

The post Brož vows to fulfil potential in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Munster heads to Azores a winner

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 12:00

Grégoire Munster will start the Azores Rallye a double winner following his successful start to 2019, which continued with a second Belgian Junior Championship victory on the Spa Rally last weekend.

Munster, part of the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship, is also undertaking a programme of events closer to home alongside co-driver Louis Louka.

“It was a long weekend with 24 special stages where we gave it our all,” said Munster, son of Belgian rallying legend Bernard Munster. “On the first day Timo Van Der Marel produced a higher pace than us. We knew we had to try to reclaim lost time. We went flat out. In the final run we needed to make up 3.8s. It was the third passage and the road was covered with mud. It was extremely slippery. We experienced two or three hot moments but we finally won. Just as we reached the time checkpoint, I spotted my father exuberantly jumping and waving his arms in the air. A fabulous moment.”

Of his ERC3 Junior bid, Munster said: “I can’t wait to tackle those terrific stages in the Azores in my ADAM R2. I am preparing the start event of the FIA ERC3 Junior like every other rally before, completing a specific physical programme and watching on-boards of different drivers from the previous year. I am still missing some experience on gravel but my co-driver Louis and myself will do our best to fight at the top.”

Photo: BMA Autosport

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Portuguese leader Teodósio ready for ERC action

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 09:00

Ricardo Teodósio will start his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship leading his national title standings following his maximum score on the season-opening Rallye Serras de Fafe last month.

Teodósio finished second on the road behind winner Dani Sordo. But with Sordo not registered for points in his Hyundai i20 R5, Teodósio took the maximum available ahead of Miguel Barbosa and Ricardo Moura, who will join Teodósio on the Azores Rallye entry list this week.

"It is always a pleasure to race in the Azores and, for me, this is one of the most beautiful rallies in the championship,” said Teodósio. “This year’s rally has about 40 per cent of new roads but I believe that the characteristics of the stages will not be very different. We are motivated by the victory in Fafe and we have now made an upgrade in the differential and gearbox, so I believe we’ll get a set-up very close to what I like.”

Teodósio will drive an ARC Sport-prepared ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the Azores Rallye, which counts for ERC and Portuguese championship points. José Teixeira will co-drive.

The post Portuguese leader Teodósio ready for ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Curious Štajf the focus in ERC

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:00

Vojtĕch Štajf turned back the clock during testing for the Azores Rallye, which opens the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship season this week.

Co-driven by fellow Czech Veronika Havelková, Stajf is planning a full-season ERC campaign in a Racing 21 ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Of his choice of tyres for Monday’s test, Štajf said: “The last time we used these tyres was in the Azores in 2015 in my Subaru. I am quite curious what they will be able to show.”

The post Curious Štajf the focus in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

‘Crazy’ Alonso returns to fight for ERC2 title glory

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 21:00

Juan Carlos Alonso will continue to commute from Argentina to chase success in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 division this season.

After winning his class on the season-opening Azores Rallye last year, Alonso suffered a spate of bad luck and dropped out of the title reckoning as a result.

However, he’s determined to hit back and win the ERC’s production category with a programme of at least five ERC2 events.

He said: “I’m a bit crazy because the economic situation in our country is very difficult. But I am here to try to win the championship, that is our reason. I think it is the last chance so we try to do the best.”

Alonso will continue to compete in a Proracing-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer with co-driver and compatriot Juan Pablo Monasterolo.

“We were really unlucky last year but we showed a good performance with the car and good speed. I think it’s possible for us to win the championship but we need to fight.”

Sergey Remennik/Marina Danilova and Luís Pimentel/Nuno Moura will battle Alonso/Monasterolo for ERC2 honours in the Azores.

The post ‘Crazy’ Alonso returns to fight for ERC2 title glory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 75. Rajd Polski / PZM 75th Rally Poland

PZM 75th Rally Poland

2019 Calendar

21-23 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

02-04 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

24-26 May

Rally Liepāja (Latvia)

28-30 June

76th Rally Poland

19-21 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

16-18 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

27-29 September

Cyprus Rally

08-10 November

Rally Hungary