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European Rally Championship
Updated: 47 min 11 sec ago

D-25: ERC Azores entry takes shape, Sete Cidades is on!

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:00

It’s 25 days until the Azores Airlines Rallye opens the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on 22 March. Here’s an update of what’s in store on the all-gravel spectacular in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

ERC Juniors on show: Fabian Kreim, Frank Tore Larsen, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Laurent Pellier are among the drivers set to go up against ERC Junior Under 27 champion Chris Ingram in the battle for ERC Junior U28 honours.

Champions battle in ERC Junior U27: Tom Kristensson and Efrén Llarena will take up their prize drives for winning the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup and Beca Júnior R2 title in Spain respectively. Catie Munnings and Simon Wagner will be among their competition.

Moura on top form: Home hero and multiple Azorean champion Ricardo Moura will be one of the drivers to beat following his victory on the recent Portuguese championship opener, Rali Serras de Fafe.

Hungary for success: Norbert Herczig (pictured) is tackling his maiden ERC campaign, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye. The Hungarian title holder his highly regarded in his homeland.

Super Sete Cidades: One of the world’s most iconic – and challenging – stages will once again play a starring on the Azores Airlines Rallye. A blast along the rim of a volcanic crater lake the undoubted highlight, Sete Cidades covers a distance of 23.87 kilometres and will be used twice during the event.

Monteiro calls on Magalhães to get ready for ŠKODA ERC action

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 16:00

Aloísio Monteiro will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship – and ERC ace Bruno Magalhães has been showing him the ropes.

Monteiro announced his ERC plans earlier this month but stopped short of revealing the identity of the car he and co-driver André Couceiro will be using in 2018.

With details of the car now public, Monteiro got to grips with the Czech machine – his first experience of all-wheel-drive machinery – at a venue in Nelas, Portugal over two days. Fellow Portuguese Magalhães was on hand to pass on his knowledge of the ARC Sport-run car, which he garnered during the 2017 season when he finished runner-up to Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

“The first few kilometers behind the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia R5 were extremely positive,” said Monteiro, a graduate of the Iberia section of the Clio R3T Trophy. “We have lots to learn and quite a few aspects to improve, but I’m very pleased with the behaviour of the car. We will compete for the first time in four-wheel drive, in a championship that is also new to us. It's all new.”

Of the set-up advice he received from Magalhães, last year’s Azores Airlines Rallye winner, Monteiro added: “This is a hard job where it is preferable to spend some time on the tests and get the car with the perfect set-up. The help of Bruno Magalhães in this moment of the season, who knows the competition and the car better than anyone else, is very important to me.”

Following next month’s ERC season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye and Rally Islas Canarias from 3-5 May, Monteiro plans to contest four more ERC events although he’s yet to announce his full schedule.

ERC Azores-bound Araújo fifth on return

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:00

Armindo Araújo, who will contest next month’s FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye, claimed a top-five finish on his return to competition following a lengthy absence.

The double production world champion and multiple national title-winner placed fifth on last weekend’s Rali Serras de Fafe in a Team Hyundai Portugal-entered i20 R5.

His team-mate Carlos Vieira, the reigning Portuguese champion, finished one place behind in another importer-backed Hyundai.

The Azores Airlines Rallye takes place from 22-24 March.

Munnings to build experience in ERC Junior

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:00

Catie Munnings is targeting yet more progress when she embarks on her second FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign in 2018.

Re-signing for the Saintéloc Junior Team, Munnings will pilot a Peugeot 208 R2 in the young driver training category, which takes place on six rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship and uses Pirelli tyres as standard.

Following a year of development in 2017, when she focused on building her limited experience in rallying, the 20-year-old Briton is relishing the chance to gain more knowledge both in an out of the car.

“I’m so looking forward to this year being in such a great team with my team-mates setting a really high benchmark,” said Munnings, who will partner Austrian Simon Wagner in the Saintéloc line-up. “We are all proud of the progression we made in 2017. Even though we lacked budget for any testing or practice, we were getting closer to the fastest guys. It’s like a dream to step into the car each time and I can’t wait to get started. We are still looking for some of our budget, I’m working at it every day, and we will get there.”

Munnings, who has been spending the winter working as an instructor at an ice driving school in northern Sweden, will start her combined ERC Junior Under 27/ERC Ladies’ Trophy campaign on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March during what will be an extremely busy year. “There’s also a project running alongside the rallying,” Munnings said. “I can’t give details just yet, but it’s very exciting and not something I ever thought I’d be able to do so watch this space!”

Vincent Ducher, the Saintéloc Racing Team Manager, said: “I remember when Catie came to Rallye Monte-Blanc in 2015 for her first rally mileage with our Peugeot 208 R2 during a customer test session. She had just got her driving licence without any experience. Since then she has improved a lot with only limited rallies and we are happy to help her in growing her rally career. We have already planned some test sessions and training as part of our programme for young drivers. This will begin with our first test on 28 February followed by a mechanical workshop and physical training in the south of France.”

As well as being in contention for ERC Junior Under 27 honours and the 100,000 euros career progression fund on offer to the champion, Munnings will be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience, a series of training workshops and seminars organised during the season, which is part of the ERC Junior U27 entry.

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “It’s really good news that Catie has again chosen ERC Junior Under 27 to build her experience. She’s made huge progress in a short space of time and we look forward to following her ongoing development in 2018.”

ERC Junior star Huttunen shines as he steps up in the snow with Hyundai

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:00

Jari Huttunen impressed on his first outing in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship, taking two class stage wins and finishing sixth in his division on Rally Sweden last weekend.

Huttunen, runner-up in last season’s FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship, is contesting a number of world championship events in 2018 as the recipient of the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program prize drive.

Co-driven by fellow Finn Antti Linnaketo in a Hyundai i20 R5, Huttunen could have finished higher up the order but for four and a half minutes spent stuck in a snowbank on day two.

“Our target for the weekend was to gather experience and build up time in the Hyundai i20 R5 on the stages,” said Huttunen, who scored an ERC Junior Under 27 win in Poland last season. “We were able to achieve our aims and also enjoy some positive moments.

“I was lacking rhythm and confidence early in the weekend, as I didn’t really trust my pacenotes fully. I drove quite well, and it was nice to get a stage win on Friday, and then again in the Power Stage.

“Saturday was the only really disappointing moment when we got stuck in a snow bank and lost four-and-a-half minutes. Overall, it was all part of the learning curve.

“The car itself has been fast and we have a better understanding of how we need to set it up for the future. We’ve shown some good speed and developed ourselves as a crew, so we can look to Mexico with optimism.”

Huttunen’s next event is Rally Mexico from 8-11 March. The 2018 ERC Junior Under 27 Championship begins on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Will Moura be the target man on ERC Azores Airlines Rallye?

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:00

Ricardo Moura has laid down the gauntlet to the FIA European Rally Championship title contenders by winning round one of the Portuguese national series yesterday (Sunday).

Moura triumphed on Rali Serras de Fafe, the opening event of the FPAK Campeonato Portugal Ralis, in a Ford Fiesta R5 co-driven by compatriot António Costa.

And the three-time Portuguese champion is set to use the same car when he bids to win the ERC season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March, which doubles as the second event of the CPR schedule.

Moura has won his home event on one occasion, taking an emotional triumph in 2016, but will be hungry for more success next month after beating pursuers Miguel Barbosa, José Pedro Fontes, Pedro Meireles and Team Hyundai Portugal drivers Armindo Araújo and Carlos Vieira, who placed fifth and sixth in Fafe respectively.

A winner of the Azorean championship 10 times, Moura is not expected to tackle additional ERC events this season, making a strong showing on home soil all the more important.

Elsewhere, new FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship recruit, Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena, impressed by finishing third in the RC4 category. Llarena is stepping up from national level to the ERC for 2018 alongside co-driver Sara Fernández after winning the Spanish Beca Júnior R2 title in 2017.

Photo: FPAK.pt

ERC graduates are ace on ice

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00

The top seven finishers on Rally Sweden, including winner Thierry Neuville, runner-up Craig Breen (pictured right with co-driver Scott Martin) and third-placed Andreas Mikkelsen, are all graduates of the FIA European Rally Championship.

In fact, only two drivers that reached today’s finish in the top 10 had no previous ERC event experience, such is the championship’s hugely successful role in helping to develop drivers from national competition to the world stage.

Esapekka Lappi, winner of the ERC title in 2014, registered his first stage wins of the season with the fastest time on the closing two tests on his way to a fine fourth place.

Jari Huttunen finished sixth in class as part of the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program.

The latest batch of ERC drivers will be proving their talent when the 2018 season gets underway on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Photo: Citroën Racing

It’s back! Awesome Sete Cidades on ERC Azores Airlines Rallye schedule

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 12:00

One of the world’s most iconic – and challenging – stages will once again play a starring role when the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship gets underway on the Azores Airlines Rallye next month.

A blast along the rim of a volcanic crater lake the undoubted highlight, Sete Cidades covers a distance of 23.87 kilometres and will be used twice on Friday 23 March.

The first visit will count as stage six at 11h42 local time with the return forming stage nine and the final test of leg one at 15h44. And here’s a reminder of the challenge in store.

ERC Azores Airlines Rallye itinerary out now

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 18:00

The itinerary for the opening event of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship, the Azores Airlines Rallye, has been published.

Available by clicking here, the itinerary features three days of thrilling action on the island of São Miguel in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

This year’s Azores Airlines Rallye is based once again in Ponta Delgada and runs from 22-24 March. The event also counts as the opening round of the ERC Junior Under 27 and ERC Junior Under 28 championships and the Portuguese national championship.

Exciting ERC Junior Under 28 takes shape

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 18:00

Some of the best young drivers in international rallying will battle for glory – and a significant prize drive – in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship this season.

Fabian Kreim (pictured), Pierre-Louis Loubet, Laurent Pellier and Frank Tore Larsen have all signed up for 2018 with several other rising talents – including ERC Junior Under 27 champion Chris Ingram – waiting to announce their programmes and prove their talent.

And to underline the competitive nature of ERC Junior U28 in 2018, Kreim, Loubet, Pellier and Larsen will represent four different car makes with Kriem ŠKODA Fabia R5-mounted, Loubet piloting a Hyundai i20 R5, Pellier competing in a Peugeot 208 T16 and Larsen at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5.

ERC Junior Under 28 is for young drivers in R5 cars and takes place over six events – three on asphalt and three on gravel – with the best four scores counting. The winner will receive a prize drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship in 2019.

Ingram, meanwhile, is guaranteed two ERC Junior U28 starts as his prize for winning the R2-based 2017 ERC Junior Under 27 crown. It is hoped he will be able to finalise a full-season campaign.

The Azores Airlines Rallye opens the ERC Junior Under 28 season from 22-24 March.

ERC Azores Airlines Rallye entries open

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:00

Crews planning to enter the Azores Airlines Rallye, the opening event of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship, can now do so following the opening of entries by the organisers.

Taking place on São Miguel – the largest island that makes up the Azores archipelago – from 22-24 March the rally is ranked as one of the most spectacular on the international calendar.

Competitors can enter by clicking here.

Loubet follows European title-winning father with ERC glory bid

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:00

Pierre-Louis Loubet will follow in the wheel tracks of father Yves when he chases FIA European Rally Championship success in 2018 – almost 30 years since Loubet Sr claimed the prestigious title.

Yves Loubet took ERC gold in 1989 driving a Lancia Delta Integrale. Loubet Jr, meanwhile, will have a BRC Racing Team Hyundai i20 R5 at his disposal for his European championship campaign, which begins on the gravel-based Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

*Pierre-Louis Loubet is ERC-bound nearly 30 years since father Yves won championship
*BRC Racing Team Hyundai i20 R5 awaits French federation-backed promise
*Team OSCARO behind Loubet’s push for European success


“I had a very good opportunity to do some races in the ERC so I took it,” said 20-year-old Loubet, who will be eligible for ERC Junior Under 28 honours. “The objective is to be as close to the top as possible and if it’s possible to win a rally we will try to do it. I do not know the rallies but I hope to adapt quickly. Gravel is my favourite surface because my first feeling in a rally car was on gravel. I just hope I can do my best.”

Competing under the Team OSCARO banner with support from the world's leading online retailer of original automotive spare parts, Loubet is part of the L’Equipe de France FFSA Rallye training initiative, which is playing a key role in honing his skills. Previous beneficiaries of the scheme’s support include Sébastiens Loeb and Ogier, Stéphane Lefebvre, Stéphane Sarrazin and Nicolas Vouilloz. “It’s really important for a French driver to be supported by his federation because we know how many good driver has had their support,” said Loubet. “They help me work on my pacenotes, my driving. It’s a plus for me.”

Nicolas Bernardi, the national coach, was also supported by the L’Equipe de France FFSA Rallye during his career, which included stints as a factory driver in the world championship. He has high hopes for Loubet. “He’s a really talented driver, really young, 20 years old, and he is still one of our best talents at the moment in France,” said Bernardi. “His target this year is to win a rally – he needs this for his confidence. At the moment the level in the world championship is so high for his experience. In the ERC it’s very competitive but the conditions are better for him to win. It’s definitely the best option.”

Bernardi continued: “I started to work with Pierre-Louis when he was 15. It was amazing because he never drove a car, he was go-kart driver. After one hour he was able to slide like a professional driver and it was amazing. I’ve seen some incredible performances from him.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC co-ordinator, said: “Having a driver of Pierre-Louis Loubet’s ability and potential in the ERC is great news. I have no doubt he will benefit enormously from an ERC campaign.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye hosts the 2018 ERC opener from 22-24 March. The ERC Junior U28 champion gets the option of a one-off prize drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the WRC in 2019.

Enhanced Hyundai i20 R5 for ERC action

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:00

Hyundai Motorsport’s i20 R5 should be even faster when it takes to the stages of the FIA European Rally Championship this season.

Work by engineers from the team’s Customer Racing department in Germany has resulted in an uprated powerplant, variable valve timing and new engine map, which Hyundai Motorsport reports will “gather more power from the 1.6-litre engine, as well as greater throttle response due to a reworked ALS strategy”.

The changes have been made possible by Hyundai Motorsport using its final ‘joker’, which permits certain changes to be made outside of the original homologation.

And the changes don’t end there. As well as upping the power, ongoing testing and engineering feedback has led to handling tweaks being implemented. There are also new specifications of dampers for both Tarmac and gravel settings, as well as a wider range of differential ramps, which Hyundai Motorsport hopes will allow its customers to “harness greater performance from the i20 R5 as they seek to be competitive in their respective championships”.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Department Manager Andrea Adamo said: “In our efforts with the i20 R5 and our customers we are always aiming to make sure they can compete at the very front of whatever championship they choose. The rapid pace of development within the R5 category means that we constantly have to be working in order to guarantee this. These latest improvement are the most important we have made since the car’s debut, and will allow our customers to again challenge for rally wins and championship titles around the world. This season our customers are competing in a wider range of championships, so we have to make sure we continue our work in order for them to be on the pace in all conditions.”

At least two Hyundai i20 R5s will be in action when the 2018 ERC season gets underway on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Papp’s back for Érdi Jr in the ERC

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 12:00

György Papp will continue to co-drive Tibor Érdi Jr in the FIA European Rally Championship, his team has confirmed.

Érdi Jr revealed last month that he plans to defend the ERC2 title he won alongside Papp in 2017.

An Érdi Rallye Team spokesperson has now confirmed the driver line-up will remain unchanged during the upcoming ERC season when the Hungarians are expected to tackle five rounds of the all-action series in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

Papp is pictured left with Érdi Jr on last September's Rally di Roma Capitale, where they scored a crucial ERC2 class win.

Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre promotion for ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 12:00

The largest shopping centre in the Azores, Parque Atlantico, has joined forces with the Azores Airlines Rallye to promote the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship spectacular.

From 14 February to 4 March, Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre, owned by Sonae Sierra, will feature a display based around the Azores Airlines Rallye zero car.

Several promotional events are also scheduled to allow shoppers to win Azores Airlines Rallye-themed merchandise.

“Successful events are built upon successful partnerships and the Azores Airlines Rallye is proud to announce this cooperation with Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre,” a statement from the event organisers read.

A ceremony to launch the promotion is scheduled for 16h30 on 14 February. All are welcome to attend. The Azores Airlines Rallye will open the 2018 ERC season when it takes place from 22-24 March.

FIA re-selects Pirelli as Official Tyre Supplier to ERC Junior Under 27 Championship

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:00

Pirelli will continue to equip some of rallying’s brightest young prospects after it was confirmed as the Official Tyre Supplier to the 2018 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship following an electronic vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

A founding partner of ERC Junior in 2014 and a staunch supporter of driver development, Pirelli will also continue as an Official Partner of the ERC as part of a long-standing agreement with championship promoter Eurosport Events.

*Decision extends alliance between young driver category and Pirelli for fifth season
*Italian tyre firm remains Official Partner of ERC through agreement with Eurosport Events
*Six-round series features equal split of asphalt and gravel rallies


Pirelli will supply its P Zero RK tyre for the three asphalt-based rounds of ERC Junior Under 27 and its Scorpion K tyre for the three gravel events. It will also provide an on-event support service including technical advice from experienced engineers.

Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli’s Rally Activity Manager, said: “Pirelli is delighted to have been selected as the Official Tyre Supplier of the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship as part of our company-wide philosophy of promoting young talent in rallying to ensure the future of the sport. With Pirelli also being sole supplier to the FIA Junior WRC, as well as being present on several national rally series throughout Europe, a ladder of talent is in place to develop drivers from the grass roots of the sport all the way to the top, which is perfectly in keeping with the ethos behind the ERC as well. We look forward to another exciting season of great rallies and with the aim of discovering more champions of the future.”

ERC Junior, a joint initiative from Eurosport Events and motorsport’s world governing body the FIA for young drivers in Pirelli-equipped R2 cars, lists Marijan Griebel, Jari Huttunen and Stéphane Lefebvre among its graduates. For 2018 it offers one of the best prizes in international motorsport: a career progression fund of 100,000 euros – pledged by the promoter and allocated to the champion to use towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019 when they will step up from an R2 to an R5 car. And for the first time, drivers registering for ERC Junior U27 will be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience training programme, which covers topics such as driving tuition, car set-up, vehicle extrication and first aid, social media dos and don’ts, interview techniques and sponsorship acquisition.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased Pirelli remains the Official Tyre Supplier to ERC Junior following the vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Pirelli continues to provide a high-quality product and service and its support of young drivers is in complete alignment with the ERC. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye hosts the ERC Junior U27 season opener from 22-24 March.

Costenaro wants more than three in the ERC

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 12:00

Giacomo Costenaro is hoping he can turn what will be an initial three-event FIA European Rally Championship campaign into a full ERC season.

Costenaro revealed on his Facebook page that he will contest the Azores Airlines Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and the Acropolis Rally in Greece.

But the Italian added that he doesn’t want his adventure to end there with a full-season bid the ultimate aim for the Italian.

Costenaro, whose last of seven ERC appearances came in 2016, said: “This year we will be back in the FIA ERC. For sure we will participate on the first three events with the hope to continue for the whole season. Stay tuned.”

He focused on an Italian Gravel championship effort in 2017, finishing third in the final standings with two podiums.

On the rise: 177 million watch ERC on TV in 2017

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 12:00

The FIA European Rally Championship achieved significant audience and broadcast hours increases in 2017, independent analysis undertaken by Nielsen Sports on behalf of ERC promoter Eurosport Events has revealed.

Coverage of the eight-event 2017 ERC season reached a cumulative 177.2 million viewers, which marked a 14.5 million (nine per cent) increase compared to 2016, when the ERC calendar was made up of 10 rallies and therefore offered more viewing opportunities.

Despite there being two events fewer in 2017, broadcast time increased by 11.7 per cent to 1081 hours and 12 minutes, a result of new agreements with additional broadcast partners around the world – which totalled 95 channels in 89 markets – plus the reintroduction of trailers on Eurosport and an overhaul of the coverage produced, particularly the ERC All Access magazine show, which was significantly revamped.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “For the viewer numbers and broadcast hours to have increased at the end of a season when we took the decision to reduce the calendar in response to competitor feedback speaks volumes about the popularity of the ERC, the improvements made to the high-quality product produced by Eurosport Events, and the hard work behind the scenes to grow the roster of broadcast partners. While it has been very satisfying to share the findings of Nielsen Sports with our rallies, partners and other stakeholders, the challenge is already underway to achieve further increases in 2018.”

Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Spain were among the countries to experience audience increases. Spain’s 9.6 million rise – on the back of a season-high 249 hours and 42 minutes of broadcast time – was attributed to coverage being achieved on three of the most popular channels, Antena, La1 and Telecinco.

Italy’s return to the ERC schedule through Rally di Roma Capitale resulted, in part, with a 2.5 million audience increase following news coverage on Italia 1 and highlights on Rai Sport.

An audience rise of 1.2 million in Portugal was the result of RTP’s decision to air more coverage on its main national channels in light of top Portuguese driver Bruno Magalhães challenging for the title up until the final round in Latvia, where increased programming on LTV 1 led to an audience rise of 0.5 million.

The 2018 ERC season begins with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. The calendar features eight events – five on gravel, three on asphalt – with the championship finale taking place in Latvia with the sixth running of Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October.

Hyundai pair set for ERC opener

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00

Armindo Araújo and Carlos Vieira are set to contest the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Hyundai i20 R5s backed by the make’s Portuguese importer.

Hyundai Portugal is supporting Araújo and Vieira in a national championship campaign this season. And with the CPR including the ERC season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye as its second round, Araújo and Vieira will go head-to-head with the ERC regulars.

Araújo and Vieira are formidable talents. Araújo is a double Production world champion and four-time Portuguese title winner, while Vieira is the defending national champion.

Having won on his last appearance in the Azores in 2006, Araújo is "very pleased to have Hyundai Portugal's support in this return to competition and very motivated to drive the Hyundai i20 R5. We have created an ambitious project and we will work towards winning."

Vieira, who placed ninth in the Azores last year, said: “It's a huge pride for me to represent Hyundai, it's something that I always dreamed of being able to participate in a project supported by a brand. I am very motivated and aware of the responsibility of defending Hyundai's colours in CPR.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye takes place from 22-24 March.

Araújo is pictured left with co-driver Miguel Ramalho (Photo: Hyundai.pt)

Monteiro aims for gains with big ERC push

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:00

Aloísio Monteiro hopes stepping up to the FIA European Rally Championship’s headlining ERC1 class in 2018 can make him an even better driver, while giving his sponsors a greater return on their investment.

Monteiro is targeting a six-event ERC campaign following a successful season in the Iberia section of the European Clio R3T Trophy, when he finished runner-up to Spaniard Fran Cima Artime.

He will continue his partnership with ARC Sport, which guided his fellow Portuguese Bruno Magalhães to the runner-up spot in the overall ERC standings last year and also oversaw Emma Falcón’s ERC Ladies’ Trophy campaign.

“The progress and evolution that we have seen from the Portuguese drivers who join the ERC is incredible and the recent successes of Diogo Gago and Bruno Magalhães is proof of this,” Monteiro said. “This learning fascinates me and my goal is always to improve as a rally driver.”

Welcoming Monteiro to the championship, ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “Having proved himself in one-make rallying, it’s great that Aloísio is stepping up to a higher level. But he does so with the support of a very strong team around him in ARC Sport. And by targeting a six-event campaign he’ll gain plenty of experience while avoiding putting too much pressure on himself.”

André Couceiro, Portuguese RC5 class champion navigator in 2017, will co-drive Monteiro while the identity of their car will be announced in due course.

In addition to the Azores Airlines Rallye, which takes place from 22-24 March, and Rally Islas Canarias, which follows from 3-5 May, Monteiro is planning to contest four more ERC rallies although his precise schedule is currently unconfirmed. He took part on both island events last year.

All rounds of the 2018 ERC will enjoy significant coverage on Eurosport plus other networks in Europe and around the world.

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ORLEN 74 Rally Poland / Rajd Polski

ORLEN 74 Rally Poland

2018 Calendar

22-24 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

3-5 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

1-3 June

Acropolis Rally (Greece)

15-17 June

Cyprus Rally (Cyprus)

0-22 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

24-26 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic)

21-23 September

Rally Poland

12-14 October

Rally Liepaja (Lativa)