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European Rally Championship
Updated: 46 min 46 sec ago

Griebel reveals hoped-for ERC schedule

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel has revealed his hoped-for FIA European Rally Championship campaign for 2018.

After winning back-to-back ERC Junior titles, Griebel is now preparing to mount a bid for outright ERC1 class honours.

He plans to contest the ERC-counting Azores Airlines Rallye, Acropolis Rally, Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín with Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja dependent on budget and results. Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally unfortunately clash with his eight-event German championship campaign, which he announced on Friday.

Griebel will pilot a ROMO-Motorsport PEUGEOT 208 T16 alongside co-driver Stefan Kopczyk. Alexander Rath will do likewise in the DRM, which begins with the Saaland-Pfalz Rallye from 2-3 March.

Full ERC Azores Airlines Rallye programme published

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 12:00

Organisers of the Azores Airlines Rallye, the opening round of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship season, have published the full event programme.

Taking place from 22-24 March, the event is one of the most spectacular on the international calendar. Click here for more information.

Big chance for ERC Junior Under 28 champion Griebel

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 14:00

One of the most successful young drivers in recent FIA European Rally Championship history has been handed a dream opportunity by PEUGEOT Deutschland for 2018.

Marijan Griebel, who won back-to-back ERC Junior titles in R2 and R5 machinery, will add a German championship challenge to his planned outright ERC campaign after being signed by his country’s PEUGEOT importer to contest the eight-round domestic series in a PEUGEOT 208 T16.

His programme in Germany, which will also include the world championship-counting ADAC Rallye Deutschland in August, is in addition to his ERC bid when he plans to contest up to six European championship rounds, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. Griebel stands to tackle upwards of 14 rallies in an R5 car in 2018 with an outright ERC win a firm target for the 28-year-old German talent, a protégé of former European champion Armin Kremer.

“I’m always trying to build my experience in R5 cars and I now have a link to a manufacturer, PEUGEOT, which is important,” said Griebel, who has elected to swap a one-off drive in a World Rally Car – his prize for winning the ERC Junior Under 28 title in 2017 – for an expanded programme of ERC events in 2018 with the full support and agreement of ERC promoter Eurosport Events. “The aim is to do six ERC rounds and, after finishing second and third last year, the goal is to win a European championship rally in 2018 and then target becoming European champion in the future. With six rounds in the ERC compared to the four I was able to do in 2017, I am in a much better position than last year.”

Griebel plans to contest the ERC-counting Azores Airlines Rallye, Acropolis Rally, Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín with Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja dependent on budget and results. Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally unfortunately clash with his German championship campaign.

“Last year it was really difficult for me to drive an R5 car on a complete private basis,” said Griebel. “Luckily it was just one year and now I have a great opportunity with PEUGEOT Deutschland with the same ROMO-Motorsport team I did the last round of the German championship with in 2017 when everything worked quite well. After that I worked hard to get the seat in the car for this year and now I am really looking forward to showing what I and the car can achieve together.”

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “To be handed this chance by a manufacturer such as PEUGEOT is an enormous opportunity for Marijan and a real recognition of his ability. He’s in a really good position to build his experience in R5 machinery and take another step as a driver.”

Stefan Kopczyk will co-drive Griebel in the ERC, when he will drive a ROMO-Motorsport 208 T16, with Alexander Rath doing likewise in the DRM, which begins with the Saaland-Pfalz Rallye from 2-3 March.

Wagner follows Huttunen, Lefebvre with ERC Junior bid

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:00

Simon Wagner will contest the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in 2018, as he follows in the wheel tracks of rising talents Jari Huttunen and Stéphane Lefebvre by contesting the young driver training series.

After impressing on two ERC Junior appearances in 2017, which included a podium finish on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the 24-year-old from Austria is preparing to bid for the coveted title – and the 100,000 euros career progression fund, offered by ERC promoter Eurosport Events to the eventual champion, to use towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019 when they step up from an R2 to an R5 car. Factory world rally drivers Huttunen and Lefebvre are among a number of notable ERC Junior graduates.

Driving a Peugeot 208 R2 for the Saintéloc Racing Junior Team in the six-event contest, Wagner will also be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience, a series of training workshops and seminars organised during the season. Topics covered include driving tuition, car set-up, vehicle extrication and first aid, social media dos and don’ts, interview techniques and sponsorship acquisition.

Wagner’s step up to ERC Junior full time for 2018 is in line with championship promoter Eurosport Events’ aim to provide a clear path of progression from national to international level. Having won the Austrian Junior crown in 2016 and challenged for Czech 2WD honours in 2017 alongside selected ERC Junior outings, Wagner will embark on a full-season ERC Junior bid alongside experienced co-driver Gerald Winter. They will contest three events on asphalt and three on gravel starting with the loose-surface Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

And Wagner underlined his potential when he came close to winning last month’s International Jänner Rallye in an ageing Mazda 323 GT-R – a reduced-budget effort aimed at showcasing his talent to a wider audience – only to retire from the lead on the road section heading to the finish.

“Even with the bitter retirement on the last road section, the Jänner Rallye was an absolute highlight,” said Wagner. “I am completely aware that the difficult and changing conditions of the rally contributed to the fact that we were able to end up being first after the last stage with an old car. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, I am proud of what we were able to show there. Now I'm looking forward to the challenge of FIA ERC Junior and I want to thank all supporters and sponsors for the unique opportunity to tackle this championship with the official Peugeot Sport team Saintéloc.”

Vincent Ducher, the Saintéloc Racing Team Manager, said: “We already had an eye on Simon before the Jänner Rallye and have been in contact with him regarding a potential cooperation in 2018. Saintéloc has successfully helped and developed talented young drivers already in the past and we really look forward to welcome Simon and Gerald to our junior team in 2018.”

Hungarian champion Herczig steps up to ERC for full-season campaign

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:00

Norbert Herczig has vowed not to waste his long-awaited chance to compete outside his native Hungary full time when he contests the FIA European Rally Championship in 2018.

Herczig will step up to the ERC as a four-time Hungarian champion after clinching his third consecutive national crown in 2017 and having landed support from oil company MOL Hungary.

The 42-year-old will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 under the MOL Racing Team banner and run by leading Austrian outfit Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, which guided him to domestic honours last season on the back of three wins and two podiums.

His programme is set to include all eight rounds of the ERC, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March and finishing in Latvia, venue of Rally Liepāja, from 12-14 October. Ramón Ferencz, also from Hungary, has signed up as Herczig’s new co-driver.

“We have been preparing for years to show internationally what we are able to achieve,” Herczig explained. “But without proper backing we did not have the opportunity for that. So I am proud that one of the biggest companies in Hungary and many more of our partners decided to support me to achieve our common goals. I ensure everyone that we will do everything to finish the championship with the best result.”

Herczig has been using MOL Racing Fuel RST (Rally Standard) since 2016. And what was initially a supply deal developed into a fully-fledged partnership when MOL became his title sponsor the following year.

“MOL is engaged to support sports since sport is a universal language that connects all of us,” said Kata Apáti-Tóth, MOL Hungary's Communication Director. “We are fully standing by Norbert, which is why we decided to support him in the ERC this year. We are excited about the season ahead. It’s a big achievement that we have a Hungarian driver who can take part in the entire European Rally Championship. His skills and results make him deserving of this opportunity.”

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “A key objective of the ERC is to provide a platform for drivers to step up from national to international level, and we’re delighted that Norbert Herczig is taking this step with a top team in Baumschlager Rallye & Racing and a high-level sponsor in MOL Hungary. Of course, Norbert has a lot to learn, but he’s got a strong package behind him and it’s clear from what he has achieved in his career so far that he has the ability required to shine in the European championship.”

D-50: Excitement builds ahead of ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:00

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship fires into life on one of the most spectacular events of them all in 50 days from now.

Based on the island of São Miguel from 22-24 March, the Azores Airlines Rallye is a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster of an event using mainly gravel roads.

Stages criss-cross breath-taking scenery and lush countryside and are characterised by their sandy surface and narrow and undulating nature.

And because the timed tests are often no wider than the width of a car, there is simply no margin for error, particularly on the Sete Cidades test along the rim of a volcanic crater lake.

Changeable weather is also a factor with conditions switching from sunshine to showers and fog patches.

Up for the double: Érdi Jr targets ERC title defence

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:00

Tibor Érdi Jr has no intention of winning the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 title just once after announcing plans to defend his crown in 2018.

Érdi Jr claimed the showroom category laurels in a thrilling final-round decider on Rally Liepāja last October when he pipped Zelindo Melegari to top honours. Now he wants to become back-to-back champion.

The Hungarian has targeted a five-event campaign in 2018 although he has yet to confirm whether he will contest the season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March or push back the start of his title defence to round two, Rally Islas Canarias, from 3-5 May.

“Our plan is to compete on five rallies but, right now, we’re not sure if we can participate in the Azores,” Érdi Jr explained. “We are waiting for the [new mandatory] safety fuel tank to be delivered and we’re not sure it will arrive in time to participate on that event. But anything can happen so our schedule is maybe Azores, Canarias, Greece, Italy and Czech Republic. These are the countries we would like to participate in and we will keep Latvia as the spare event.”

Érdi Jr is the second European championship regular to reveal his plans for an ERC2 campaign in 2018 following on from Sergei Remennik’s announcement last week confirming he will return for a second season after placing third in last year’s final standings.

And like Remennik, Érdi Jr intends to take advantage of a regulations tweak for 2018, which stipulates that ERC2 drivers count their best four scores rather than the previous six, a response to calls from competitors to lessen costs, reduce their time commitment and ultimately make ERC2 more accessible to more drivers.

While Érdi Jr’s precise ERC2 schedule is still to be finalised, the 35-year-old has already switched into competition mode in 2018 by contesting the Latvian championship-counting Rally Alūksne earlier this month. Driving a Vorobjovs Racing Mitsubishi Lancer, Érdi Jr placed P13 overall and fifth in class.

Co-driven by compatriot György Papp, Érdi Jr took the 2017 ERC2 crown courtesy of category victories on Rally Islas Canarias, Barum Czech Rally Zlín and Rally di Roma Capitale. He finished second on the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally in Greece and Rally Liepāja.

The Azores Airlines Rallye marks the opening round of the 2018 ERC season 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.

Former ERC champion Kopecký is a class act

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 18:00

Jan Kopecký, the winner of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, turned 36 in style today (Sunday) with a class win on Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Co-driven by fellow Czech Pavel Dresler, Kopecký was ŠKODA Motorsport’s sole official representative on the world championship counter but thrived under the pressure to deliver a standout victory in his Fabia R5.

Taking the class lead on the second day of the iconic Tarmac rally, Kopecký adopted a measured approach to win by almost eight and half minutes having claimed a number of fastest times in his category along the way.

Esapekka Lappi, who succeeded Kopecký as ERC champion in 2014, was on course for a fine fourth place on only his third Rallye Monte-Carlo start only to slide wide and off the road on the final stage and drop to seventh. The Finn finished ahead of ERC event winners Bryan Bouffier and Craig Breen, who were eighth and ninth respectively. Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke and Thierry Neuville – all drivers with ERC event experience – placed second, third, fourth and fifth.

The 2018 ERC season begins on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Photo: ŠKODA Motorsport

Late twist in store for ERC Rally Islas Canarias

Sat, 01/27/2018 - 12:00

This year’s Rally Islas Canarias, the Spanish round of the FIA European Rally Championship, is set to feature a potentially decisive late twist.

While the event itinerary has yet to be officially disclosed, organisers of the Las Palmas-based classic have revealed the rally will finish with the longest stage of the event, the 24.21-kilometre Gáldar test on the afternoon of Saturday 5 May.

Only the Acropolis Rally in Greece included a longer final stage in 2017 with the Elatia/Karya run measuring 33.86 kilometres in length.

Rally Islas Canarias hosts the second event of the 2018 ERC season from 3-5 May.

ERC Junior champion Ingram takes to the streets

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:00

Chris Ingram’s profile has been raised even further thanks to partner CarFinance247. The Manchester, UK-based company helped to mark Ingram’s achievement in winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship last season by promoting his standout success on a giant billboard in Ingram’s home city.

He said: “Proud to see this billboard up in my home city Manchester. Massive thanks to CarFinance247 for the support.”

Ingram’s prize for winning the ERC Junior Under 27 title is a grant of €100,000 for an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2018.

Leading ERC team gets three Polo GTI R5s

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 12:00

Austrian squad Baumschlager Rallye & Racing – the team behind Marijan Griebel’s FIA ERC Junior Under 28 success in 2017 – has completed orders for three all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5s.

Fifteen examples of the car are set to be delivered to customers in the second half of this year amid ongoing strong interest in the all-new machine.

“We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback on the Polo GTI R5,” said Sven Smeets, the Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “The customer demand is enormous. We are obviously pleased about this, and it is an additional motivation to provide the teams with the best possible rally car.”

Subject to homologation, the Polo GTI R5 could be eligible for competitive use in the ERC from Barum Czech Rally Zlín (24-26 August) onwards.

New rules leave Remennik wanting more ERC2 action

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:00

Sergei Remennik has signed up for a second season of FIA ERC2 action – and a change to the rules for 2018 was a deciding factor in his decision.

Responding to calls from drivers and teams, FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events worked with governing body the FIA to modify the regulations concerning scoring opportunities in the ERC2 category for showroom-based machinery.

Previously drivers could count their best six scores from a possible eight. But feedback from competitors concluded that by allowing drivers to include their best four scores only would lessen costs, reduce the time commitment and ultimately make ERC2 more accessible to more drivers.

“Last year was very difficult in terms of time away from home and work because it was eight events and you must not forget the additional training and testing,” Remennik explained. “So it’s great that the organisers have changed the scoring rules and we will choose the races we like the most, where we can get the best results.”

Remennik, whose Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will continue to be co-driven by compatriot Mark Rozin, is set to tackle the Azores Airlines Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias, the Acropolis Rally in Greece and Rally Liepāja in Latvia as a minimum commitment.

“Since the four best results count towards the standings, we need to have a couple of races in reserve,” said Remennik, who placed third in last season’s ERC2 standings, his first international campaign. “Where else we will go will depend on my job, budgets and how we start the season. Last year we started quite well – we saw that we were quite competitive and fast in the category. If there is an opportunity to compete for the title, it will be seen after the first half of the season. Then it will be already clear whether it is worth to push hard or not.”

Remennik will continue to work with driver coach and ERC event winner Alexey Lukyanuk in 2018, with the pair spending four days training in Rovaniemi, Finland recently where Remennik honed his skills driving on snow and ice. The trip to the Arctic Circle was in preparation for a planned outing on Rallijs Sarma in Latvia on 10 February, a round of the national and Estonian championships.

The Azores Airlines Rallye marks the opening round of the 2018 ERC season from 22-24 March.

ERC-bound GT86 drivers to chase new TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:00

Drivers contesting rounds of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship in Toyota’s GT86 CS-R3 can earn points towards the new TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy.

Launched by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH, the competition carries a significant prize package and is open to owners of TMG-produced GT86 models racing or rallying in Europe.

For maximum flexibility, cars can be entered in one or more and earn points for the Trophy based on their results, the size of the grid or entry and the level of competition.

With no specific technical regulations for the Trophy and no entry fee, GT86 owners have been offered a great opportunity to compete for a significant prize fund for no additional cost, according to TMG.

The final Trophy standings will be determined by the best 10 registered results from each competitor in 2018. The winning driver will earn €35,000 plus a Toyota C-HR road car, while second place will be rewarded with €25,000 and third takes home €20,000. Winners will be celebrated at an end-of-season awards ceremony.

Emanuele Battisti, TMG’s Customer Motorsport Project Leader: “The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy is an exciting project which brings together a large number of competitors from different disciplines to compete for the title. We have worked hard to create a Trophy which brings added value to our GT86 customers and reflects the values of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Combining race and rally cars in the same competition is a very interesting aspect and we believe this will create excitement for participants and fans. The Trophy has great potential and I believe we are at the start of a new era for customer motorsport with Toyota in Europe.”

The length of a race or rally and number of competitors taking part has a significant effect on the number of Trophy points available. The highest possible score per event is 75, which is available for victory in a class of five or more cars in a 24-hour race or rally with 200 kilometres or more of special stages.

Trophy prizes will be awarded to competitors who participate in a minimum of five events from 1 January 2018 to 30 November 2018. When competitors participate in more than 10 events, their best 10 results will be counted. Click here for more details.

Luca Bottarelli, Riccardo Canzian and Gianandrea Pisani tackled an ERC event apiece in 2017 in a Toyota GT86 CS-R3 run by Motorsport Italia under the ACI Team Italia banner. Luca Rossetti, the three-time ERC champion drove one of the Japanese machines on Rally Rzeszow and impressed before and accident forced his early exit.

Big prize, training and career progress opportunities in ERC Junior Under 27

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:00

The FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship will continue to offer one of the best prizes in international motorsport in 2018, while equipping young drivers with the skills – and funding – they need to climb the rallying pyramid.

A career progression fund of 100,000 euros, pledged by ERC promoter Eurosport Events, will be allocated to the ERC Junior U27 champion to use towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019 when they step up from an R2 to an R5 car.

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.

Chris Ingram became the first beneficiary of the 100,000 euros career progression fund after he beat Jari Huttunen to the ERC Junior Under 27 title in 2017. The Briton, 23, is guaranteed a minimum of two ERC Junior U28 outings in 2018 in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 run by Motorsport Italia, while efforts continue to secure a full ERC Junior U28 bid, which totals six events starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

He said: “For young drivers like me it’s so difficult to find the support to compete but Eurosport Events have put up probably the best prize in rallying. Winning the ERC Junior Under 27 title was absolutely amazing and one hell of a ride. Now I just can’t wait to go onwards and upwards.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Heading into its fifth year, ERC Junior continues to go from strength to strength with a comprehensive training programme delivered by industry experts now part of the package. This, plus the 100,000 euros of support, are big incentives for young drivers stepping up from national level with the aim of one day reaching the top of the sport.”

Drivers planning to contest the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship must first register with the FIA as an ERC3 driver at https://registrations.fia.com/registrationrly and pay a fee of €500, down 50 per cent from 2017. Drivers must then register with the ERC promoter Eurosport Events and pay the €1000 entry fee. More information can be found at: https://www.fiaerc.com/championship/.

Emil Bergkvist, Marijan Griebel, Jari Huttunen and Stéphane Lefebvre are all products of ERC Junior, while emerging talents Filip Mareš, Catie Munnings, Laurent Pellier and Roland Poom are among those to have graduated from the ERC Junior Experience.

Flying start for ERC ace Gryazin

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 12:00

FIA European Rally Championship event winner Nikolay Gryazin made a flying start to his 2018 season when he won the Sigdalsrally in Norway yesterday, Saturday.

Gryazin took advantage of the technical failure that forced Mads Østberg to retire while leading to win the winter spectacular ahead of Norwegian duo Anders Grøndal and Henning Solberg.

Russian Gryazin, who was driving a Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5 alongside co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov, was making his first appearance on the Sigdalsrally.

ERC 2018 begins with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Mavista retained for LLarena’s ERC Junior prize drive

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 12:00

Efrén LLarena’s preparations for FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship success have progressed with confirmation that Mavista Sport will run his Rally Team Spain entry during the upcoming season.

Llarena, 22, is stepping up from national to international level in 2018, his prize for winning the inaugural Spanish Beca Júnior R2 title.

Mavista was one of a number of firms to tender for the Rally Team Spain business and will bring a wealth of experience to ERC Junior having worked with drivers including Marc Blázquez, Dani Solá and Nil Solans, Dani Solá in the past.

It will run a Pirelli-shod Peugeot 208 R2 for Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández with a guarantee of four ERC Junior U27 appearances. Their programme could be expanded to include all six ERC Junior U27 events depending on results and resources.

ERC Azores Airlines Rallye key timings revealed

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 18:00

The start of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship season has moved a step closer with the publishing of the Azores Airlines Rallye key timings.

Running from 22-24 March as the ERC’s now-traditional curtain raiser, the event is ranked as one of the most spectacular on the international calendar.

The key timings are as follows:

12 February: Entries open, Rally Guide 1 and Supplementary Regulations published

23 February: Entries close (ERC first period)

1 March: Entries close

6 March: Entry list published, Rally Guide 2 issued

19 March: Test (on request)

20 March: Reconnaissance, administrative checks (FIA, ERC, FPAK priority drivers)

21 March: Reconnaissance, scrutineering and administrative checks (for all other drivers)

22 March: Qualifying Stage, start of Leg 1 (section 1)

23 March: Leg 1 (sections 2 and 3)

24 March: Leg 2 (sections 4 and 5)

This year’s Azores Airlines Rallye will feature 15 stages over a competitive distance of 207.44 kilometres. The bulk of the action will take place on gravel with some sections on asphalt. Click here to view the full rally programme.

Larsen targets Azores redemption ahead of ERC Junior Under 28 attack

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:00

Frank Tore Larsen hopes his Azores Airlines Rallye redemption mission will be the catalyst to an FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship attack in 2018.

Larsen tackled selected ERC events in 2016, including the mid-Atlantic Ocean archipelago showpiece. Despite the rally holding mixed emotions after he hit trouble on his Azores debut two years ago, going off the road on the opening leg in the Ford Fiesta R5 co-driven by fellow Norwegian Torstein Eriksen, the 27-year-old is raring to return for the European season opener from 22-24 March.

“It’s the attitude I have approaching everything,” Larsen explained. “If I need to improve in something I train more to become better. I had a bad rally at Azores in 2016 so I need to go back to redeem myself, to be better than before. It’s the most beautiful event in any championship in the world. But it’s extremely difficult, especially with the weather conditions changing all the time. It was a bit sad we weren’t able to do all the stages two years ago but we have the experience now of how the weather can change so quickly, meaning we will be a lot more prepared than in 2016.”

Larsen has yet to finalise his ERC schedule for the upcoming season but is determined to mount a title push in ERC Junior U28, the category for young stars in R5 cars. “I am working really hard every day to secure as many rallies as possible,” Larsen said. “This is the first time we are not doing any events in the Norwegian championship. Instead we are focusing all our budget and effort on the ERC. I am confident we will be able to do more rounds with support from Røhne Selmer Motorsport and my goal is to be able to do enough rounds to get a good result in the ERC Junior U28 Championship.”

By winning the ERC Junior U28 title, Larsen will be in line to receive a prize drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship in 2019. He admits it’s a “big motivation”, adding: “For us it will be a bit of a make or break season. We have been working really hard for the last 10 years, starting with a cheap national car and fighting through to drive the R5 we are in now. We don’t have to win the championship this season but at least we need to prove we have the potential to be a contender. Of course if we have a perfect season the prize would be a really good next step unless we follow what Marijan Griebel has done and take more ERC events instead.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator, said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome drivers with talent and ambition to the ERC and that’s certainly true for Frank Tore. We wish him every success as he looks to build his knowledge and experience and make his mark on a very competitive championship.”

Winter “blast” in store for ERC ace Gryazin

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:00

FIA European Rally Championship event winner Nikolay Gryazin is in for a great time when he makes his debut on the Sigdalsrally in Norway this weekend (20-21 January).

That’s the view of leading Norwegian driver Frank Tore Larsen, for whom the Sigdalsrally, which he won in 2014, is his home event.

“He’s going to have a blast there,” Larsen said. “The conditions in Norway are absolutely perfect and the snowbanks are really big. There’s one stage that you can compare to Rally Finland but on snow.”

Gryazin is taking part on the winter spectacular, the opening event of the Norwegian championship season, in his familiar Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5. Yaroslav Fedorov will co-drive his fellow Russian.

The first round of the ERC, the Azores Airlines Rallye, takes place from 22-24 March.

ERC Co-ordinator Ley attends FIA’s largest and most successful rally sporting and safety seminar

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:00

The FIA held its largest and most successful rally sporting and safety seminar to date with 173 participants from 38 countries attending the event in Dublin, Ireland, last Saturday.

Organised in association with the Royal Irish Automobile Club, the focus of the seminar was to raise safety standards while encouraging the sport at grassroots level.

One of the biggest common challenges remains how to keep the sport affordable and accessible without compromising safety, which remains the top priority at all levels.

The seminar brought together a wealth of experience across many facets of the sport with sessions focusing on the duties of the clerks of the course, promotion, safety and safety planning, marshal training and medical requirements. Technical scrutineering and safety equipment checks were also covered by the FIA Technical department, as was the importance of the interaction between the clerk of the course and the event stewards.

FIA European Rally Championship Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley was among the invited guests and joined M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Principal Malcolm Wilson, ERC event winner turned factory WRC driver Craig Breen and Rally Estonia organiser Silver Kütt in a question and answer session. Ley also made a presentation on the ERC for 2018.

Photo: FIA.com

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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)