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Updated: 59 min 42 sec ago

Past ERC2 title contenders reunited

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 18:00

Confirmation that Zelindo Melegari will chase ERC2 success in the FIA European Rally Championship this year brings back memories of the Italian’s epic title fight with Tibor Érdi Jr in 2017.

Italian Melegari and Hungarian Érdi Jr fought for the showroom category three years ago with Érdi Jr just doing enough on the Rally Liepāja decider to claim top honours.

Poland’s Dariusz Polońksi and Russian Dmitry Feofanov have also announced their ERC2 plans for 2020 with Polońksi eligible for the prestigious Abarth Rally Cup.

Meanwhile, 2019 ERC2 champion Juan Carlos Alonso is stepping up to the top-tier ERC1 category in 2020, driving a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Melegari is pictured left with Érdi Jr (right) on Rally Rzeszow in 2017 shortly after the Hungarian lost out on the class victory to the Italian when his car broke at the finish of the final stage.

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Crash fears not pictured as Melegari gets ready for ERC return

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 12:00

Zelindo Melegari is revving up to return to the FIA European Rally Championship once the season gets underway – and insists his crash on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last summer is long forgotten.

Melegari, from Italy, and co-driver Corrado Bonato were injured when they crashed at high speed on the Tarmac event. With both fully recovered, another ERC2 campaign awaits, this time in a Subaru Impreza.

Comeback no problem
“We know that with motorsport there is a risk as is the case with life,” said Melegari, owner of the Movisport driver management company. “But we cannot stop doing things because of this fact, we must continue if we are motivated by the passion for our work, sports or hobbies. If you have an accident at work or in the car in everyday traffic, you don't change your job or stop traveling by car. This is part of the game. Of course, we need to work on safety in work as much as in sport. But I am not afraid of any effects of the accident. In the last weeks before this pandemic I made a short test in Italy and I truly enjoyed it.”

Hoping for health then happiness
“I would like to win the ERC2 category. It would be a great satisfaction, but I also want to find the right feeling with the car and to be competitive in the category. But really we just hope this pandemic will end as soon as possible with everyone staying healthy.”

Switch to title-winning car confirmed
“In the past years I have used several types of car in the ERC2 category. So, for this year, I have chosen the Subaru Impreza serviced by GB Motors. Perhaps it is not the best performing car, but this is the car I have had the greatest feeling with, the easiest to handle. It was the car of Gianluca Linari, who is also part of the Movisport team, when he won the last Production Cup in the World Rally Championship in 2015.”

Bonato ready to continue partnership
“Corrado has confirmed his participation with me. We have achieved a good feeling together, and he is also looking forward to start the season.”

ERC gives positive feedback
“I really like the ERC and the beautiful and demanding races. Eight races is a perfect number to combine work commitments, and there is a good feeling among everyone, pilots and professionals. The support of Eurosport Events makes this championship with very high media visibility for everyone, we receive important positive feedback from our sponsors, which is a real added value for every participant.”

The post Crash fears not pictured as Melegari gets ready for ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New season, new co-driver: the ERC drivers making a change for 2020

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 06:00

Several FIA European Rally Championship drivers are changing co-drivers for 2020. While it’s a new partnership for some, for others it’s the revival of a previous relationship. Here are four examples.

Eyvind Brynildsen
Ilka Minor’s only previous experience co-driving Brynildsen ended in a huge crash on Rally Liepāja in 2018. But the pair are reunited for 2020. “Ilka is one of the best co-drivers in the world. She’s really easy to be with inside the car, she’s not having any habits, she don’t have to eat in a nice restaurant every day, she can eat sausage one day and beef the next day.”

Emma Falcón
With previous co-driver Eduardo González no longer available, Falcón has recruited Cándido Carrera. He’s 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.

Alexey Lukyanuk
After Alexey Arnautov announced he’d be taking a break from competing, Lukyanuk needed a replacement. “Dmitriy is a strong choice,” said Lukyanuk. “We’ve had some pacenote training and we made quite good steps with our preparation. I am pretty confident we will come to the first event well prepared and ready to deliver good results from the first stages.”

Bruno Magalhães
With Hugo Magalhães forming a new partnership for 2020, Bruno Magalhães has called up former co-driver Carlos Magalhães for his ERC return. “Hugo didn’t know about this project when he decided to go with another driver. 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.”

Pictured from left to right are Carlos Magalhães and Bruno Magalhães

The post New season, new co-driver: the ERC drivers making a change for 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC “natural and best step”, says Marczyk

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 18:00

ORLEN Team’s Miko Marczyk has explained why stepping up to the FIA European Rally Championship for 2020 was the “natural and best step”.

After winning the prestigious RSMP (Rajdowe Samochodowe Mistrzostwa Polski) title in 2019 driving a ŠKODA Polska-supported Fabia, Marczyk identified the ERC as his number one choice for career progression.

“The ERC is the natural and best step for me after the Polish championship,” said Marczyk, who only began competing in 2016 with nothing more than limited experience in indoor karting to count on.

“The rallies in Poland are very good but the level of roads and the competition is bigger in the ERC than in the national championship. The ERC is therefore a good place to learn and develop and also to fight with other young drivers from European countries before I take the next step.

“I would like to develop fast in the ERC, it’s like a big adventure and I hope step by step to be a good part of the championship.”

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ERC1 Junior Cais: Hard to compare bike and car achievements

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 12:00

Erik Cais will chase success in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship this season driving a Ford Fiesta R5 MkII run by Orsák Rallysport under the Yacco ACCR Team.

Before taking up rallying, the Czech driver was a hugely successful downhill mountain bike racer, progressing to World Cup level as a factory rider having started out aged seven.

However, while training for the 2017 season, he crashed and broke a collarbone in four places. After a lengthy recovery period, he decided to call time on two-wheel competition and switch to four, following his father Miroslav into rallying in 2018.

It was an inspired move and only a late puncture denied Cais the 2WD category win on Barum Czech Rally Zlín that year against strong international opposition.

Asked if success in the ERC would top his achievements on the saddle, Cais said: “It’s really difficult to compare the mountain bike to the rally car because in mountain bike you only have one stage around three kilometres in length but with 400 people wanting to beat you. In rallying you have 20 or 30 people in your category wanting to beat you and you have to fight for two days, which is really difficult.

“I still need to learn about how much power I can do on the first stage compared to the end of the day, where you can go absolutely flat out and where you can only set the time. On the bicycle, you have only flat out and if you do a mistake you know it’s impossible to take it back. In rallying you can try to push and I really want to try and do my best to make our partners proud.”

Photo: Lukáš Navrátil Photography/Erik Cais

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Introducing… New ERC1 Junior recruit Dominik Dinkel

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 06:00

Germany’s Dominik Dinkel has chosen the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship for 2020 as he looks to “improve his skills” against “very high” competition at Rally2 level. Here’s what you need to know.

Look no further for a new car: When he’s not competing, Dinkel, who was runner-up in the German Rally Championship (DRM) in 2017 and 2018, sells cars for the family business.

It’s a family affair after all: Dinkel’s father Michael and brothers Patrick and Marcel have also tried rallying for size.

All go with ROMO: ROMO Motorsport, which has ample ERC experience, will run Dinkel’s Rally2-specificationŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.

To finish Fürst, first you need backing: Dinkel is linking up with long-term co-driver Christina Fürst and will enjoy backing from sponsor Brose and mentor Michael Stoschek, who have supported his rallying since 2012.

Preparation is everything: Dinkel has embarked on a rigorous fitness programme and has also changed his diet ahead of his planned six-event ERC1 Junior campaign.

Unchartered territory: Barum Czech Rally Zlín is the only ERC event of which he has previous experience, albeit in a Rally4 (formerly R2) car five years ago.

The post Introducing… New ERC1 Junior recruit Dominik Dinkel appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From two-wheel drive to four: five who’ve made the move in the ERC

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 18:00

At the end of every year its common for drivers to step up from two- to four-wheel drive in the FIA European Rally Championship. Here are five who have done just that.

Marijan Griebel
Griebel made the most of his first four-wheel-drive opportunity with second place on the Cyprus Rally in 2016, his prize outing for winning the two-wheel-drive-based ERC3 Junior earlier that season.

Nikolay Gryazin (pictured)
Gryazin’s ERC debut was actually in a Rally2-specification (formerly R5) ŠKODA Fabia R5 in 2015, but he then undertook an ERC3 Junior campaign the following season, taking seventh in the class standings. He was back in R5 machinery for the 2016 season-closing Cyprus Rally and was in the podium fight before he crashed.

Chris Ingram
Ingram claimed the ERC3 Junior title in 2017 – then took the ERC1 Junior category victory on his graduation to four-wheel drive on the Azores Rallye in 2018.

Filip Mareš
After challenging for the ERC3 Junior crown in 2017, Czech federation-backed Mareš clinched the ERC1 Junior version in 2019 to underline his continued emergence.

Simon Wagner
Austrian ace Wagner started the 2019 ERC season in a 2WD Peugeot before he stepped up to Rally2 level on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. And he didn’t disappoint with an ERC1 Junior podium.

Three more making the step in 2020
Rafael Botelho
Erik Cais
Efrén Llarena

The post From two-wheel drive to four: five who’ve made the move in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

The first ERC Rally Liepaja podium

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 12:00

Jari Ketomaa and Kaj Lindström were on top in the FIA European Rally Championship on 3 February 2013 after they won the inaugural Rally Liepāja.

The Finns are pictured celebrating their triumph in the city of Ventspils, which hosted the closing leg of the ERC counter that season.

Joining them on the podium in second place were Craig Breen and David Moynihan with François Delecour and Dominique Savignoni finishing third following a close battle with Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov.

The post The first ERC Rally Liepaja podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC3 Junior recruit Landa chooses Rally Liepāja for high-speed fix

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 06:00

Nikolai Landa has included Rally Liepāja on his 2020 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship schedule because it reminds him of the iconic Rally Finland, ranked as the world’s fastest event.

Austrian Landa has confirmed a three-rally campaign in Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior driving a DriftCompany Ford Fiesta R2T.

“My dream goal of a rally is Rally Finland and Liepāja is similar to this with really fast, wide roads,” said the 21-year-old Landa.

Landa, who is co-driven by his father Günter, continued: “I like to drive on gravel more than on Tarmac because I think I am a bit faster on gravel.”

As well as guidance from his father, a former driver, Landa can count on the experience of his team boss Beppo Harrach, a former Austrian champion with experience of World Rally Championship events. “It’s amazing to have him on our side and to help us,” said Landa of Harrach’s input.

Landa will also contest the ERC events in Poland and Czech Republic and may also add Italy to his schedule depending on budget.

This year’s Rally Liepāja is scheduled to take place from 29-31 May on high-speed gravel stages around the cities of Talsi and Liepāja.

The post ERC3 Junior recruit Landa chooses Rally Liepāja for high-speed fix appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Desk not steering wheel: Five drivers turned ERC team bosses

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 06:00

It’s common for drivers to turn team bosses when they call a halt to their full-time competition career. Here are five who’ve done just that in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Raimund Baumschlager: The Austrian’s BRR operation is responsible for running Albert von Thurn und Taxis, plus Norbert Herczig’s MOL Racing Team entry. Before team management took hold, Baumschlager’s driving career included the capture of 14 national titles plus myriad outings at world and European level. He’s also a highly-respected test and development pilot.

Toni Gardemeister: TGS Worldwide is supporting Emil Lindholm’s ERC1 Junior campaign under the Team MRF Tyres banner. A factory driver in the world championship, Gardemeister topped the leaderboard for a time early in the 2005 season.

Beppo Harrach: Harrach’s career included an Austrian title and 12 starts in the world championship. Through his DriftCompany organisation, Harrach will be guiding compatriots Niki Mayr-Melnhof and Nikolai Landa in the ERC in 2020.

Roman Kresta: Like Gardemeister, Kresta was a factory driver at world level. Through his Kresta Racing concern the Czech legend is guiding two of the sport’s bright young stars in 2020, Miko Marczyk and Filip Mareš (pictured with Kresta during the former’s ERC1 Junior title-winning season in 2019).

Jaroslav Orsák: Anything Kresta can do, his fellow Czech Orsák can also do. Still only 35, Orsák’s eponymous team is going from strength to strength with Erik Cais benefiting from its expertise and experience as he steps up to Rally2 level in the ERC.

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Pole position: the ERC champions from Poland

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 06:00

Polish success in the FIA European Rally Championship is widely known following Kajetan Kajetanowicz’s recent title treble.

But Kajetanowicz wasn’t the first Polish ERC champion as this visit to the archives attests.

First champion
Sobiesław Zasada took the crown in 1966 and 1967 before triumphing for a third time in 1971. He was also a runner-up three times and raced cars and bikes.

Ending a long wait
Krzysztof Hołowczyc brought more ERC silverware to Poland when he bagged the European title in 1997. Ten years later he became a member of the European Parliament.

Record-breaking treble
While drivers like Zasada and Italian Luca Rossetti have three ERC titles to their name, only Kajetan Kajetanowicz has won the crown three years in succession, a feat he achieved between 2015-2017 for the LOTOS Rally Team.

A class champion
Wojciech Chuchała is perhaps the forgotten Polish ERC champion – and that’s not to understate his achievement. Rather than claiming the overall crown, Chuchała took the ERC2 category by storm in 2016, taking top honours courtesy of five class wins.

A different kind of champion
Grand prix winner Robert Kubica tackled selected ERC events between 2013 and 2014 as he battled back from serious injury. He scored multiple stage bests and won the Internationale Jänner Rallye.

The vice champion
Dariusz Poloński battled for the inaugural Abarth Rally Cup, finishing runner-up to Andrea Nucita in the final order.

One who came close
Łukasz Habaj excelled throughout the 2019 season and narrowly lost out on the European crown in a final-round showdown in Hungary last November.

One for the future?
Miko Marczyk is the hot property of Polish rallying having taken his national title last season. Still only 24, ŠKODA-powered Marczyk graduates to the ERC for 2020 under the ORLEN Team banner.

The post Pole position: the ERC champions from Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Debut podium convinces Devine he “can mix it” in ERC

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:00

Callum Devine’s debut podium in the FIA European Rally Championship’s top tier in Hungary last November has convinced the Irishman that he has what the takes to be successful during his maiden ERC1 Junior campaign in 2020.

Devine will make a full-time step up to the ERC with backing from his national ASN, Motorsport Ireland with the ERC1 Junior category the main focus.

“Hungary opened our eyes last year, it was a strange kind of event but to set competitive times at that level in a new car, in horrendous conditions made us realise we can mix it at this level,” said Devine, who will drive a Hyundai Customer Racing-supported i20 R5 alongside co-driver Brian Hoy. “I’m under no illusions about how tough this year will be, but everything is coming together to give this a go.”

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The learning continues for von Thurn und Taxis in ERC 2020

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis is treating the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship season as another opportunity to build his experience of rallying following his circuit racing exploits.

German von Thurn und Taxis has been an ERC regular since 2017, scoring points and making progress – mainly behind the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 – each season.

For 2020 he plans to undertake a six-round campaign, again linking up with Austrian co-driver Bernhard Ettel and Raimund Baumschlager’s BRR outfit. He spoke to Motorsport Akutell’s Reiner Kuhn.

Rallying a big fascination
“After 10 years with the GT3 I was more or less on the limit time-wise and the costs were really exploding,” he said. “Rally driving was always my dream. Everybody told me it was too dangerous and too difficult and too much work, but the fascination is so much bigger.”

Pacenotes must be perfect
Von Thurn und Taxis admits pacenote preparation remains one of the biggest challenges he faces as a rally driver. “You just have two runs over the stage in the recce and your pacenotes must be really perfect, otherwise you are not able to be on the speed. You need a precise and functional pacenote system to compete with experienced drivers who invest so much time to prepare every rally.”

Fear not pictured
“Although I’m not easily scared, for sure I am not as crazy as some other guys, I try to be on the safe side of risk, adapted to my level of competence in pacenotes,” said the 36-year-old. “But driving-wise I have no problems to handle these types of cars on gravel or Tarmac.”

Two rallies, same tough challenge
Von Thurn und Taxis has 21 ERC starts to his name with a best finish of fourth overall on the Cyprus Rally in 2017. He considers the gravel-based island event and the all-asphalt Barum Czech Rally Zlín as the toughest on the calendar. “Even if the surfaces of the Barum Rally and Cyprus Rally are completely different, they both require the same tough approach. If you want to be in front, you have to go full attack. On the Barum Rally that’s on difficult Tarmac roads with changing grip levels. In Cyprus there is the sand and big stones.”

The post The learning continues for von Thurn und Taxis in ERC 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From hospital times to rapid stage times: Magalhaes plots ERC Rally Liepaja comeback

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:00

Bruno Magalhães ended up in hospital on his first and only visit to Liepāja for Latvia’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Battling for the ERC title in 2017, Magalhães suffered a back injury when he crashed on standing water during the Liepāja city stage.

He made a full recovery and returned to the ERC in 2018 when he scored a win and two podiums. And the multiple Portuguese champion is back on European championship duty in 2020, driving a Hyundai i20 R5 for Team Hyundai Portugal.

“The stages in Liepāja are incredible, giving us the chance to go flat out,” the 39-year-old told Rally Liepāja’s Roberts Graudiņš. “This event gave us valuable experience. I believe that Liepāja will not be my best event, as it is very different from Portugal, where we usually drive on mountain roads, and not wide open and fast stages like here. Anyhow, I will enjoy the event and try to do my best.”

Rally Liepāja is scheduled to open the 2020 ERC season from 29-31 May.

The post From hospital times to rapid stage times: Magalhaes plots ERC Rally Liepaja comeback appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

How ERC’s Griebel plans to learn from “one of the fastest on this planet”

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 18:00

Marijan Griebel has revealed how he plans to make the most of team-mate Alexey Lukyanuk’s pace and experience during the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

German Griebel, a double ERC Junior champion, and Russian Lukyanuk, the 2018 ERC title winner, are linking up to form a formidable two-car entry under the Saintéloc Juior Team banner in Citroën C3 R5s.

But while Lukyanuk is embarking on his second season driving one of the French machines, it will be Griebel’s first with C3 power.

“I’m sure, if you just assess [his] raw speed, Alexey is one of the fastest drivers on this planet,” said Griebel. “I guess especially on fast gravel roads I could learn a lot from him. I can watch some data of his driving and ask him some advice. Maybe I have to take place on the co-driver’s seat on one of the test sessions, but I’m not really sure if I’m that brave!”

Lukyanuk has already spoken of his plans to help Griebel adapt to the Citroën. “Marijan is consistent and experienced, an open guy and a nice guy I have known for many years,” said the Russian. “We can have a really strong year as team-mates and I am ready to share all my experience of the car to help him get to the speed he wants.”

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Huge prize fund up for grabs in ERC Abarth Rally Cup

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 12:00

The Abarth Rally Cup will once again be a key feature of the FIA European Rally Championship in 2020 with a prize fund totalling €210,000 up for grabs. 

Featuring four events on asphalt and two on gravel, the 2020 Abarth Rally Cup is exclusively for the Abarth 124 rally on Pirelli tyres.

On each round, the following prize money will be awarded:

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

The winning driver receives an additional €30,000.

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

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They came from Japan (to the ERC)

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 06:00

Several Japanese drivers have competed on FIA European Rally Championship events. Here are five.

Hiroki Arai
After a one-off outing on Rally Estonia in 2016, Arai returned to European championship action in 2019 for an ERC1 Junior campaign at the wheel of a STARD-entered Citroën C3 R5 as part of a development programme for Yokohama tyres. He impressed with his speed.

Toshi Arai
Hiroki’s legendary father Toshi is also no stranger to the ERC, winning the Tour de Luxembourg in 2000 driving a Subaru Impreza World Rally Car. An ERC Production Cup programme followed in 2013 when he landed a victory and two third place finishes, plus an overall podium on the Sibiu Rally in Romania.

Takamoto Katsuta
Firmly established as part of Toyota’s factory World Rally Championship line-up, Katsuta’s early career took him to the ERC-counting Rally Estonia in 2016. An opportunity to build his experience ended abruptly when he rolled into retirement on the opening stage of leg two.

Fumio Nutahara
Once a Production Car World Rally Championship title contender, Nutahara made two appearances on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, once in a Mitsubishi, once in a Subaru.

Ryo Seya
Like his compatriot Nutahara, Seya’s ERC experience comes from Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which he contested for the first time in 2019, placing P74 overall in a Peugeot 208 R2.

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There’s a Silva lining as ERC drivers #RACEATHOME by contesting Azores Virtual Rallye

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:00

There was a Silva lining when drivers from the FIA European Rally Championship contested the Azores Virtual Rallye – the online version of the spectacular ERC event – last weekend.

Pedro Silva, from Madeira, beat more than 1110 rivals to top honours in a virtual Ford Fiesta R5, with ERC drivers past and present featuring in the top 20.

They included Alexey Lukyanuk, who won the real Azores Rallye in 2018 on his way to claiming that season’s European title, and former ERC Junior Jon Armstrong. Eyvind Brynildsen and Chris Ingram, the reigning ERC champion, also took part but were not among the 350-plus finishers. Meanwhile, João Carreiro was the leading Azorean driver in seventh place.

Online contest encourages fans to stay safe at home
With the real-life Azores Rallye postponed until 17-19 September** due government restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, organiser Grupo Desportivo Comercial launched the 12-stage Azores Virtual Rallye to give fans their rallying fix and encourage them to stay safe at home.

Taking place from 23-29 March, the Azores Virtual Rallye was based on the Dirt Rally 2.0 game, available on the STEAM, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming platforms.

Because it was not possible to produce virtual versions of the spectacular stages that make the real Azores Rallye so appealing to fans and drivers, the Azores Virtual Rallye was based on special stages from New Zealand, due to their similarity with the layouts on offer on São Miguel island in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

For example, the Waimara Point stage in New Zealand doubled as the Graminhais stage from the Azores Rallye, while the world-famous Sete Cidades volcano stage in the Azores used the Ocean Beach stage.

Following in Sousa’s wheel tracks
After Madeira-born Bernardo Sousa won the real ERC-counting Azores Rallye in 2014, Pedro Silva gave good reason for Madeiran celebrations in the virtual Azores after he beat Northern Irishman Jon Armstrong and Turkey’s Ali Türkkan, who lost 30s with a puncture on his AVCISport Mitsubishi Spacestar R5. “I’m very happy to be the second Maderia islander to win the Azores Rallye,” said Silva. “I would like to congratulate the organisation for the event and affirm that you can count with me on future editions of this race as well as others that might be held.”

World champion Armstrong in Azores return
Jon Armstrong, who won the virtual World Rally Championship crown in 2018 and finished runner-up last season, contested the Azores Rallye proper as part of his ERC Junior campaign in 2015. Having driven a Peugeot 208 R2 back then, Armstrong selected a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for the Azores Virtual Rallye, which he tackled under the Official DiRT Rally Team banner.

Colin McRae Tribute squad wins Teams’ award
The Colin McRae Tribute outfit scored 964 points to head the Teams’ classification over MPM Motorsport Poland (924 points) and A-Sport 1 (906).

What’s next?
Grupo Desportivo Comercial’s SIM racing department is now working on a plan to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary with a virtual rally featuring the rear-wheel-drive cars that competed on São Miguel in the 1970s and 1980s.

Results
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sOj51WP8U9lz4fttIi9DQ18Q4GH5bVf-?usp=sharing

**Date subject to FIA ratification

Photo: Azores Virtual Rallye/DiRT Rally 2 screenshot

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ERC partner Pirelli backs efforts against COVID-19

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:00

Pirelli, Official Tyre Supplier of the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship, is playing its part in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic close to its base in Italy.

The company’s global headquarters in Milan is within one of the country’s most affected regions, Lombardy. Pirelli has been organising charity collections and the distribution of vital medical equipment, including ventilators, masks, and aprons in an attempt to combat the disease.

Pirelli has also halted the production and launch of its famous calendar (for only the second time in its history) and donated an additional €100,000 intended for the calendar to action against coronavirus, bringing the total value pledged by Pirelli and its staff to a figure in excess of one million euros.

Its employees have also been giving their time as volunteers in a variety of roles. One of them is Pirelli’s head of Formula One and car racing Mario Isola, who is a volunteer ambulance driver – but this is nothing new for Isola, who has been driving ambulances for more than 30 years (as well as driving rally cars for fun, whenever his schedule allows).

Now, however, his charitable work – along with that of everyone at Pirelli – takes on a whole new significance, as Europe aims to get on top of the pandemic.

“Motorsport may have stopped for now, but at Pirelli we are all working as hard as ever,” said Isola. “Not just in our ordinary jobs, but also to deal with the challenge that we are all facing together. From my point of view, I’ve been carrying on the same volunteer ambulance shifts as always and doing what I can to help. Just because we have the coronavirus, it doesn’t stop people becoming ill as usual, so people volunteering in any role becomes even more important, and I have been giving all the time I can to the ambulance.”

The post ERC partner Pirelli backs efforts against COVID-19 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram gets MG Metro 6R4 for new ERC Legends series

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 09:00

Chris Ingram will headline the new ERC Legends series, driving a famous MG Metro 6R4 in the FIA European Rally Championship’s spin-off category.

Ingram is the first ERC Legends driver announced in recognition of his ERC title triumph in 2019, while a number of other top talents will be unveiled soon.

“It’s an awesome idea and the car looks mega,” said Ingram, who will extend his title-winning partnership with co-driver Ross Whittock. “My father did a rally in the 1980s in a Nissan 240 RS with my mother co-driving, battling a Metro 6R4 eventually to finish second. These cars were unbelievably quick then and I’m sure they will still be just as quick now.”

Ingram, who is still working on an FIA World Rally Championship programme for 2020, has yet to test his MG Metro 6R4, but has first-hand experience of a Peugeot 205 T16, which rivalled the Metro for on-stage success in the 1980s.

“It’s obviously a different car but I’ve been lucky enough to drive Kevin Furber’s 205 T16 and that gave us an insight before we get to drive the Metro,” Ingram said. “I’m definitely going to go for it and won’t forget what day it is.”

The post Ingram gets MG Metro 6R4 for new ERC Legends series 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

29-31.05.

Rally Liepaja (Latvia)

26-28.06.

76th Rally Poland

24-26.07.

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

28-30.08.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

17-19.09.

Azores Rallye (Portugal)

09-11.10.

Cyprus Rally

06-08.11.

Rally Hungary

03-05.12.

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)