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European Rally Championship
Updated: 43 min 13 sec ago

Furuseth plots ERC Junior U27 campaign

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 18:00

Sindre Furuseth will embark on an FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign from July’s Rally di Roma Capitale onwards.

The talented Norwegian and Swedish co-driver Jim Hjerpe will compete in a privately-run Opel ADAM R2 in what is hoped will be a four-event programme.

“We have been working hard for many years now and driven different rallies around northern Europe,” said Furuseth. “Together with our coach Olav Bodilsen it has been all about gaining experience and develop as driver and co-driver. Now we are ready to show where we are, and I am sure ERC Junior U27 is the right place.”

Furuseth, a member of the Norwegian national team, has secured additional support from IRM Norway, Nordby Maskin, Nordbohus Modum, Alt i Asfalt, Thrane-Steen Nord, Mipa Billakk, Printing and Ruterknekt.

In addition to Rally di Roma Capitale, Furuseth will also contest the ERC rounds in Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.

Photo: Lars Rangnes

Hokkanen makes Saintéloc ERC Junior move

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 06:00

Miika Hokkanen will complete his maiden FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign with the Saintéloc Junior Team.

The Finnish R2 champion began the season with Oktan Sport but will make his asphalt debut on next month’s Rally Islas Canarias in a PEUGEOT 208 R2 run under the guidance of Saintéloc Team Manager Vincent Ducher.

“We are glad to welcome Miika and Jukka [Pasenius] in the team,” said Ducher. “Miika has spent most of his time on gravel n Finland but never drove on Tarmac. We made two days of testing in France before one more test in Canarias. We are happy to help him grow his rally-driving career.”

Rally Islas Canarias takes place from 3-5 May. Hokkanen, who retired from last month's Azores Airlines Rallye, will partner Briton Catie Munnings and Austrian Simon Wagner in the three-strong Saintéloc Junior Team line-up.

Quality and quantity: strong ERC Rally Islas Canarias entry list published

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 18:00

Sixty crews, headed by last year’s winners Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov, have entered the international section of Rally Islas Canarias – the second consecutive FIA European Rally Championship event to have attracted such a high number of registrations.

Twenty-three drivers will chase success in R5 cars with a further five top-of-the-range machines in action in the national event.

The FIA ERC Junior Championship has 20 entrants with nine in ERC Junior Under 28 for young stars in R5 cars and 11 in the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 division.

Forty-one drivers are eligible for ERC points on Rally Islas Canarias, which takes place from 3-5 May, while a total of six drivers will compete for Beca Junior R2 honours and follow in the wheel tracks of Efrén Llarena. The promising Spaniard is embarking on an ERC Junior U27 campaign as his prize for winning the #BkR2 crown in 2017.

Click here to view the entry list and visit soon for more on some of the Rally Islas Canarias participants.

Former ERC champion Kopecký relishing Lukyanuk’s Czech threat

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:00

Jan Kopecký is relishing the prospect of taking on Alexey Lukyanuk in this season’s Czech championship.

Speaking ahead of his victory over the Russian on last weekend’s Rallye Šumava Klatovy, factory ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver Kopecký said Lukyanuk would make a tough rival.

"It's good to have Alexey in the Czech championship," said Kopecký, who won on home soil ahead of Lukyanuk with former FIA ERC Junior frontrunner Filip Mareš in fourth. "We can compare our pace again and will be fighting not only with the local guys. I'm looking for the competition and although we are opponent, if he will need, I'll be glad to help him by some advices about Czech event.”

ERC drivers on form during weekend events

Sun, 04/22/2018 - 22:00

It proved a successful weekend for several FIA European Rally Championship drivers with notable results in Azores, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia.

In Poland, Grzegorz Grzyb triumphed on the opening event of the national championship season, Rajd Świdnicki KRAUSE, with ERC Junior Under 28 regular Tomasz Kasperczyk fifth and Albert von Thurn und Taxis and experience-building P15.

Play/AutoAçoreana Racing’s Bernardo Sousa, an ERC event winner in the past, won the Tarmac-based Azores championship-counting Rali Sical. He finished one place ahead of Luis Rego, who took an ERC Junior U28 finish on last month’s Azores Airlines Rallye.

In Slovenia, Andrea Nucita took his 124 Abarth to third overall on Rally Vipavska Dolina in Slovenia. The Italian will tackle the ERC counters in Italy and Czech Republic later this season.

The 2013 ERC champion Jan Kopecký’s Czech championship dominance continued with top spot on Rallye Šumava Klatovy. Former ERC Junior U27 title contender Filip Mareš took fourth as Alexey Lukyanuk began his Czech campaign in a strong second (see separate story).

Why ERC star Lukyanuk’s Czech adventure won’t be a one-off

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk’s participation on this weekend’s Czech championship Rallye Šumava Klatovy won’t be a one-off as first reported.

Instead, the rapid Russian will contest five rounds of the highly competitive national series alongside his ERC campaign, which began with victory on the Azores Airlines Rallye last month.

“We are opening a new page, a new experience,” said Lukyanuk. “We are quite positive, maybe we will not be able to fight straight away, but we have to find our pace, get the feeling and hope the speed will be there.”

Due to clashes with his ERC campaign, Lukyanuk will miss the Valašská Rally ValMez and Agrotec Rally Hustopeče. But he’s relishing the challenge of taking on Czech champions like Jan Kopecký and Václav Pech, plus top ERC Junior Jan Černý.

“It's good to be on the roads they know, almost each corner,” said Lukyanuk. “I will learn a lot from them and it's great because we have to adapt quickly and find proper pace, lines and so on. It will be big experience for us."

As well as the opportunity to chase Czech championship honours, Lukyanuk believes his outings in the country can boost his ERC bid, particularly on August’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which counts for both championships.

“It's good preparation for our ERC Tarmac events,” he said. “But here we also want to show ourselves in the best way and say thanks to our sponsor ROKO airplanes as they giving us this chance to drive here. We want to show potential of our team. On the other hand, we will have more mileage behind the steering wheel of our Fiesta R5. It's good for me, because we have not so many test kilometres and each rally and stage is important for me. Knowing the car and myself better, learning new skills, it's amazing.”

Lukyanuk’s navigator Alexey Arnautov will co-drive their H-Racing Fiesta, which is entered under the Russian Performance Motorsport banner on ERC events.

With thanks to Jan Vaskovic. Photo: Jan Vaskovic

New sponsor, Acropolis start for Greek ERC round

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 18:00

The Greek round of the FIA European Rally Championship will get a new title sponsor and start under the ancient Acropolis of Athens citadel as part of exciting plans for 2018.

Counting as the third event of the all-action ERC season from 1-3 June, the legendary gravel contest will be known as the EKO Acropolis Rally in deference to support from the petrol station network.

During a press conference at Greece’s National Library located within the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Kallithéa, organisers confirmed the rally will be based in the university city of Lamia for a third year running, while route details would be announced in due course.

Stengg embarks on ERC Junior learning mission

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 14:00

Roland Stengg has chosen the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship for the “competition and coverage” it delivers as he embarks on a two-year European campaign.

Stengg, a 24-year-old from Austria, will make his category debut on next month’s Rally Islas Canarias (3-5 May) before contesting the remaining four rounds of the Pirelli-supported series in Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.

Germany’s Tobias Braun will co-drive Stengg’s Opel ADAM R2 for the bulk of the season but Claudia Dorfbauer (Rally Islas Canarias) and Jürgen Heigl (Barum Czech Rally Zlín) will also support Stengg, whose first experience of rallying came while co-driving his father in 2013.

“From a learning standpoint it’s the best series a junior can drive,” said Stengg, who hails from the Austrian city of Graz. “It has the biggest competition, amazing rallies and very good coverage. I want to gain as much experience as possible and my main goal should be to score points and learn about the different rallies. I want to have two good years in the ERC.”

Stengg is the son of Wilhelm Stengg, the 1995 Austrian champion, while several other family members, including his great grandfather, have rallied over the years. “My father tries to give me tips on my driving style and the set-up, while everybody else tries to help me on the mental side,” said Roland Stengg. “I am very glad for their advice as there is always something to learn from the vast amount of experience.”

By entering ERC Junior U27, Stengg will automatically be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience training programme and will also be in line to win a 100,000 euros grant to be put towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019, the prize for winning the ERC Junior U27 crown this season.

To date, 26 drivers have registered for ERC Junior action with 13 entering the ERC Junior U27 section and 13 in ERC Junior U28 for young stars in R5 cars.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome another young talent from national level to the European championship and we wish him well in making this transition. With 26 registrations received so far and the prospect of more to come, ERC Junior is clearly proving popular for drivers aiming to progress up the rallying pyramid.”

Stengg is the second Austrian mounting an ERC Junior U27 bid with Simon Wagner also in action in a Saintéloc Junior Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.

Yates to use ERC skills on Scottish practice run

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:00

Rhys Yates will put the experience he gained on his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship debut to good use when he contests a rally in Scotland this weekend.

Brettex-backed Yates placed an impressive third in the class for young stars in R5 cars on the Azores Airlines Rallye last month and will now focus on his British title campaign, starting with a practice run on the Scottish championship-counting Speyside Stages on 21 April.

“I wanted to test before the Carlisle Rally and it made sense to get some mileage under our belt,” said the 25-year-old Briton. “I don’t have any prior knowledge of the stages so I will be a little green and not being able to use our own pacenotes will be tough, but we will certainly still be doing our best.”

Driving a CA1 Sport-run ŠKODA Fabia R5, Yates is contemplating July’s Rally di Roma Capitale for his next ERC adventure, although his British championship programme remains his priority in 2018.

Photo: Josef Petru

Big interest as ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2018 is launched

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 12:00

Round two of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship is officially underway following yesterday’s launch in Las Palmas.

Some 100 dignitaries, officials, sponsors and media assembled at the Salón Gran Fórum in the AC Hotel Gran Canaria to learn more about May’s all-asphalt event and gain a further understanding of the rally’s importance to the local community and beyond.

Antonio Morales, President of Cabildo de Gran Canaria, said: “This rally contributes to the fact that this brand of Gran Canaria as a European sports island transcends our borders and becomes a benchmark for physical activity and social cohesion through sports. It also means an extraordinary projection of the island, of our climate and our landscapes. It generates productive economy and, to finish, it is an example of how public and private initiative can join forces to carry out an event of these characteristics. You can not build the future of a territory without everyone's participation and this rally makes this collaboration visible.”

Manuel Aviñó, President of the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA), explained that last year’s Rally Islas Canarias was the most valued of all Spanish championship rounds. Wishing “all the luck to the organising committee for an even better event than last year, Aviñó highlighted the participation of Efrén Llarena in ERC Junior Under 27 as part of the Rally Team Spain initiative, his prize for winning the Beca Junior R2 crown in Spain last season.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator, commented on the huge popularity of the championship and some of the recent innovations, including the introduction of a two-tier ERC Junior Championship and a move to an eight-event calendar as part of cost-cutting efforts.

This year’s Rally Islas Canarias takes place from 3-5 May. Entries closed yesterday evening and the draft list is due to be published at 14h00 local time on 23 April.

Russian squad on top in ERC battle of the teams

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 06:00

Russian Performance Motorsport will lead the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams by two points when battle resumes on Rally Islas Canarias next month.

It heads Rally Team Spain with Toksport WRT and ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team seven points further back.

MOL Racing Tam and ACCR Czech Team are equal fifth with 12 points apiece.

Registered teams can nominate a maximum of three cars from ERC-registered drivers, in either four- or two-wheel drive configuration or a combination of both, to score points on each event.

The results of the two highest-placed cars from a team count, with teams tallying their best six scores from a possible eight. And with points distributed according to the four- and two-wheel-drive classifications of the rally, a team could score a maximum of 50 points per event with 25 on offer in 4WD and 25 also up for grabs in 2WD.

There’s a prestigious FIA title up for grabs for the winning team.

ERC drivers set for early Czech adventure

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:00

Alexey Lukyanuk and Albert von Thurn und Taxis are set for an early Czech adventure when they contest Rallye Šumava Klatovy this weekend (20-21 April).

The national championship event will provide useful Tarmac running for the duo ahead of next month’s ERC-counting Rally Islas Canarias, as well as aiding their preparations for the FIA European Rally Championship’s visit to the Czech Republic for Barum Czech Rally Zlín in August.

Other drivers in action include defending Czech champion and former ERC title winner Jan Kopecký, ERC Junior Under 28 contender Jan Černý and ERC Junior U27 graduate Filip Mareš, who is embarking on his first season in R5 machinery with support from the Autoklub of Czech Republic.

Pellier tames Spanish Tarmac ahead of ERC Junior outing

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 12:00

Laurent Pellier warmed up for his next FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship appearance with a fine second place on Rallye Sierra Morena in Spain yesterday (14 April).

Pellier was using the Córdoba-based event to prepare for the upcoming Rally Islas Canarias. As well as building his experience of his PEUGEOT 208 T16 on asphalt, the Frenchman impressed by beating a host of Spanish championship regulars, including 2017 title winner Iván Ares.

PEUGEOT Rally Academy-run Pellier is tackling the six-event ERC Junior U28 season alongside co-driver and fellow Frenchman Geoffrey Combe. Rally Islas Canarias is up next from 3-5 May.

ERC Junior Koči makes strong start at home

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 18:00

Slovakia’s Martin Koči made a strong start to his national title bid with second place on Rallye Prešov earlier today.

He finished runner-up to ERC podium finisher, former Polish champion and four-time Slovak title holder Grzegorz Grzyb in a similar ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Polish prospect and domestic Group N champion Mikołaj Marczyk completed an all-Fabia podium.

Koči is mounting a combined ERC Junior Under 28 and Slovak championship campaign in a Fabia R5 backed by his country’s ŠKODA importer.

Birdman achieves new heights in ERC

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 06:00

Hubert Ptaszek, the driver known as Birdman based on a rough English translation of his surname, achieved new heights on his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship debut last month.

Although his challenge was undone by an administrative issue that kept him out of Friday’s action, the Pole responded by scoring his first outright stage win courtesy of his quickest time through the Grupo Marques spectator stage on the Azores Airlines Rallye’s final leg.

“We were setting some good times and it was nice to win my first overall stage for the first time in my life because it was not easy to catch the World Rally Cars when I was in WRC2,” said Ptaszek, who is competing in a Tagai Racing Technology ŠKODA Fabia R5. “That stage was for my dad because I know he’s sitting in the company thinking ‘what’s happened, what’s happened’ but now we win.”

Munnings on top in ERC Ladies’ Trophy

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 06:00

Catie Munnings will top the ERC Ladies’ Trophy when battle resumes on Rally Islas Canarias next month.

Munnings heads Tamara Molinaro under a new scoring system for 2018 introduced by FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events, which is committed to encouraging the participation of women in motorsport and has revamped the ERC Ladies’ Trophy accordingly.

Rather than recognise the achievements of women when competing against other women drivers, to promote gender equality, drivers will score points based on where they appear in the final four- or two-wheel-drive order.

Munnings was ninth of the 2WD finishers and scores 50 points. Molinaro, P14 in 4WD, scores 37 points. Emma Falcón failed to finish.

All rounds of the ERC are included in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy with all classes (ERC1, ERC2 and ERC3) eligible. Drivers count their best four scores.

Avcioğlu up for full ERC bid

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 06:00

Orhan Avcioğlu is planning to contest the remaining rounds of this season’s FIA European Rally Championship after graduating to the series for 2018.

Last year’s FIA Balkan Rally Trophy winner was in the top 20 on the recent Azores Airlines Rallye when a crash put him out on the final morning.

Undeterred, he is set to compete in his ŠKODA Fabia R5 for only the third time when he contests Rally Islas Canarias from 3-5 May.

“We plan to do the full season,” said Avcioğlu. “If we are consistent the plan is to be in the top five by the end of the season.”

Avcioğlu forms part of Germany-based Toksport WRT’s three-car ERC assault. Chris Ingram won the ERC Junior Under 28 category on the Azores Airlines Rallye. Menderes Okur finished fourth in ERC2.

Habaj happy with ERC points

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 06:00

This season’s FIA European Rally Championship is already proving to be better for Łukasz Habaj than last based on how the Pole has begun his 2018 campaign.

After a non-finish and non-start from the first two ERC events in 2017, Habaj finished the season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye in seventh place to register his first points of the year.

“I’m really happy to be in the finish because we had quite a lot of problems,” said the Rallytechnology-run driver. “The rally was much tougher for us and the competition was hard but we kept trying.”

Habaj’s issues included a powersteering glitch on the opening day, a puncture and a mistake on the second pass of Sete Cidades, which cost 20 seconds.

ERC NEWSLETTER 10-18

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 00:19

With Rally Islas Canarias starting in a litle more than 20 days, here's a recap on some of the latest developments in the FIA European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Loubet impresses on world run

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:00

FIA ERC Junior Under 28 contender Pierre-Louis Loubet impressed on his home round of the world championship in Corsica last weekend, twice setting the second fastest time in his category alongside co-driver Vincent Landais.

Although a mistake on stage eight prevented Loubet from completing the entire rally route, the Team OSCARO driver’s performance on the penultimate stage of Tour de Corse was particularly noteworthy with the stage covering a mammoth 55 kilometres.

"We are happy with the performance of the Hyundai i20 and our feeling with the car is improving," said Loubet. “I am sorry for the mistake, but I am sure we will have a lot of satisfaction starting from the next race valid for the ERC on the Canary Islands from 3-5 May.”

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ORLEN 74 Rally Poland / Rajd Polski

ORLEN 74 Rajd Polski

Kalendarz 2018

22-24 marca:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

03-05 maja:

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

01-03 czerwca:

Acropolis Rally (Grecja)

15-17 czerwca:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

20-22 lipca:

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

24-26 sierpnia:

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

21-23 września:

Rajd Polski

12-14 października:

Rally Liepaja (Łotwa)