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Updated: 10 min 31 sec ago

Nucita to fly the Abarth flag highest in the ERC

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 06:00

Italy’s Andrea Nucita starts his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship-based Abarth Rally Cup leading the standings after three action-packed races.

Nucita heads Dariusz Poloński by 11 points after winning the last two rounds of the category for the Abarth 124 rally.

With Rally di Roma Capitale on his preferred asphalt, Nucita has hopes of further success as he chases the class title and the impressive prize money package on offer.

“I had an important result on the gravel in Poland and now I drive in Italy on the Tarmac and I am very happy about this,” said the Sicily-based driver. “It will be a very difficult race, but every race is difficult. I just try to do my best because it’s my home race and the home race for Abarth.”

To date, Nucita is €28,000 in prize money and will earn €30,000 if he wins the title.

Meanwhile, details of the Abarth Rally Cup’s latest recruit will be revealed soon.

The post Nucita to fly the Abarth flag highest in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Saintéloc holds the edge in battle to win ERC Teams’ title

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 18:00

The Saintéloc Junior Team will be in front when the ERC heads to Italy next week for Rally di Roma Capitale.

Based in France and managed by Vincent Ducher, the squad is 21 points ahead of Latvian outfit Sports Racing Technologies in the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams following Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov's victory on last month's PZM 76th Rally Poland.

Toksport WRT from Germany in third position, 26 behind SRT. Rallye Team Spain is fourth, Estonian Autosport Junior Team fifth and ACCR Czech Rally Team I sixth.

Saintéloc finished second to the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in 2018. With four rounds run, the German squad is ninth in the table.

Click here to view the full standings.

The post Saintéloc holds the edge in battle to win ERC Teams’ title appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Avcioglu goes back to go forward in ERC

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:00

Turkish talent Orhan Avcioglu will be taking a step back to go forward when he makes his long-awaited return to the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally di Roma Capitale next week.

Avcioglu was an ever-present in the 2018 ERC as he made his full-time step up to international level in a Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

He had planned a second season-long ERC campaign at R5 level in 2019 only for funding issues to dictate otherwise. But as part of ongoing efforts to return to the championship’s top tier for 2020, Avcioglu will contest the all-asphalt event in Italy from 19-21 July, although he will step down from ERC1 to the more accessible ERC3 category in a Peugeot 208 R2.

“We are back, albeit we are missing a rear diff and a turbo, but it's okay,” the Istanbul resident said. “We are super-happy and very grateful to Toksport WRT for providing this opportunity. The plan is to do the remaining four rounds of the championship in the ERC3 class. This will give us the best opportunity to be prepared for a full-time return in 2020.

“The 2018 season was a good learning curve for us to get to know all the rallies in the ERC. The plan was to build on that experience this year. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to find financial partners to fund our R5 project so we are happy to announce that we will start Rally di Roma Capitale, one of my favourite events, with a Peugeot 208 R2 in the ERC3 class.”

A multiple 2WD class title winner in Turkey and the 2017 FIA Balkan Rally Trophy champion, the 33-year-old rallied two-wheel-drive machinery up until 2013 and in fact started his career with Peugeot power in 2005. He scored overall FIA European Rally Championship points on five out of eight starts in 2018, including a season-best fifth place on the Cyprus Rally.

Avcioglu also has previous experience of Rally di Roma Capitale, finishing P12 overall and P10 in ERC1 on the event last season.

Orhan Avcioglu’s planned ERC3 schedule
Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 19-21 July, asphalt
Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 16-18 August, asphalt
Cyprus Rally, 27-29 September, gravel
Rally Hungary, 8-10 November, asphalt

The post Avcioglu goes back to go forward in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

All roads lead to Rome (including from Estonia) for ERC Juniors Jeets and Torn

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 06:00

Estonian Autosport Junior Team drivers Gregor Jeets and Ken Torn are set for more FIA European Rally Championship action in Italy next week – once they’ve contested their headlining home event, Shell Helix Rally Estonia from 12-14 July.

Jeets (pictured) and Torn are two events into their maiden ERC3 Junior campaign in their Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2Ts. Rally di Roma Capitale is next up on their schedule from 19-21 July following the gravel-based Shell Helix Rally Estonia.

Torn, winner of the last two ERC3 Junior rounds, said: “Our goal is to bring the car safely home and collect as many [Estonian Junior Challenge] points as possible.”

The post All roads lead to Rome (including from Estonia) for ERC Juniors Jeets and Torn appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Kresta praises his number one fan ahead of ERC Roma run

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 18:00

Roman Kresta has praised Filip Mareš for his “progression” in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Driving legend turned team boss Kresta runs the ACCR Czech Rally Team ŠKODA Fabia R5 campaigned by Mareš and Jan Hloušek in ERC1 Junior.

Mareš grew up watching Kresta on events in their native Czech Republic and has spoken of his admiration for his now team boss on several occasions. He won the category for young stars in R5 cars on PZM 76th Rally Poland and is in title contention with two events remaining.

“The Qualifying Stage was of the highest importance on Rally Poland, therefore we prepared ourselves very precisely for this initial test,” said Kresta. “However, none of us expected Filip to win. This is a great progress in his performance. Everything worked hand in hand – strategy, car set-up and Filip's driving. During the entire rally he was achieving consistent stage times, and even though the puncture eventually put him in fourth place, he finished well beyond expectations. Now we will work even harder for the best possible result in Rome.”

Before the ERC-counting Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July, Mareš will aim to defend his Czech championship lead on Rally Bohemia, which takes place in his home city of Mladá Boleslav from 12-14 July.

The post Kresta praises his number one fan ahead of ERC Roma run appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

No place like ‘home’ for ERC’s von Thurn und Taxis

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 12:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis will be heading ‘home’ for his latest FIA European Rally Championship fix, next week’s Rally di Roma Capitale.

The German has lived in Rome for more than 10 years and will look forward to some home comforts when the asphalt-only event hosts the fifth round of the all-action 2019 ERC season from 19-21 July.

And it will be a homecoming in more ways than one with von Thurn und Taxis at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the 31sttime on a competitive event having rallied a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 on the last two ERC rounds in Latvia and Poland.

Von Thurn and Taxis will join Austrian co-driver Bernhard Ettel for a test in Italy next Tuesday when they will focus to reacclimatising to the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run Fabia on asphalt.

The post No place like ‘home’ for ERC’s von Thurn und Taxis appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC ace Griebel eyes Luxembourg treble

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 06:00

Marijan Griebel will bid for a third consecutive Rallye Luxembourg victory when he tackles the asphalt event this weekend (12-13 July).

The double FIA ERC Junior champion is taking part in his third different type of car in as many seasons, this time lining up in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

But while the car is different – he drove a Hyundai i20 R5 in 2017 and a Citroën DS3 WRC last season – there’s no change to Griebel’s co-driver for his visit to Luxembourg with local Johny Blom navigating the German, who will compete with the official support of Volkswagen Luxembourg.

“I am already looking forward to the start in Luxembourg,” said Griebel. “A huge thank you goes to my co-driver Johny Blom, who invested a lot of time and effort in the run-up to the event to realise the mission."

While Griebel has experience of the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 from the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye (pictured), this will be the first time he’s driven one of the German machines for top Belgian outfit BMA.

Rallye Luxembourg features 10 stages over a competitive distance of 130.74 kilometres. Griebel’s younger brother Felix will also be competing, albeit in a Renault Clio R3T.

FIA ERC3 Junior Championship contenders Grégoire Munster and Roman Schwedt are other notable names on the entry list. The outing will provide an opportunity to reacclimatise to asphalt ahead of next week’s ERC-counting Rally di Roma following the all-gravel PZM 76th Rally Poland last month.

The post ERC ace Griebel eyes Luxembourg treble appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

World star Mikkelsen inspires ERC3 competitor Johnston

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 06:00

Sean Johnston used last month’s PZM 76th Rally Poland to try out a new pacenote system inspired by former ERC competitor and world championship event winner Andreas Mikkelsen.

American Johnston, who forms part of the Saintéloc Junior Team line-up in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 division, had been working with co-driver Alex Kuhurani to improve the accuracy of his pacenotes.

Then a chance meeting with Mikkelsen – a factory driver for Hyundai – while on a flight to Sardinia for Italy’s world championship counter in mid-June accelerated the switch to the new system, as Johnston explained.

“Alex and I have been talking for several weekends about how we need to get a little more resolution, more accuracy with our pacenotes. Flying to Sardinia we were sat across the aisle from Andreas Mikkelsen and I asked him if he had one piece of information he could give to his past self what would it be and he said he wished he had more resolution in his pacenotes. After that experience and after realising Alex was having trouble sometimes if [a corner] was a five-left minus, minus, that’s six syllables for just one corner and it’s just too much. To get away from that, instead of using 1-6 we’re using 1-10 and the change has been positive.”

Johnston, who eventually placed eighth in ERC3 in Poland following a puncture on the final day, said he very much appreciated Mikkelsen’s advice.

“We’d never met before, but we had a wonderful conversation. He’s a great guy and I really appreciated his openness and generosity of his wisdom and perspective. It was a nice encounter.”

The post World star Mikkelsen inspires ERC3 competitor Johnston appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Poloński up for asphalt adventure in ERC Abarth Rally Trophy

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 06:00

Dariusz Poloński is up for an asphalt adventure in the FIA European Rally Championship’s Abarth Rally Trophy.

The Pole has more experience of sealed-surface competition compared to gravel and is hoping to prove that fact on Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July.

“I have even more Tarmac experience than gravel, not with my Abarth 124 rally, but we know it can be very fast on Tarmac so we have to prove that,” said Poloński. “For sure it will be much harder because we expect more Italian drivers with the Abarth. They will be very fast.”

Poloński suffered a frustrating home round of the Abarth Rally Trophy on his home event, last month’s PZM 76th Rally Poland. But although a mechanical issue cost him a shot at the class victory, his return to the action on leg two resulted in a solid drive.

“We had a good day,” he said. “We were trying to improve our own times on the stages and we managed this. I saw progress, no mistakes, a clean run.”

The post Poloński up for asphalt adventure in ERC Abarth Rally Trophy appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Remennik vows: I’ll be back (in the ERC)

Sun, 07/07/2019 - 18:00

Sergei Remennik hopes to return to the FIA European Rally Championship later this season after work commitments prevented him from contesting last month’s PZM 76th Rally Poland.

ERC2 contender Remennik had planned an entry on the all-gravel event, only for his increasingly busy schedule to prevent him from doing so.

“I’m overloaded with my business now; I’ve put it aside as long as I could to participate in the rallies this year,” said Russian Remennik. “I planned to start working projects after the season finish, but life has the upper hand, and I have to plunge deeper into these projects today. They require my immediate participation – the market situation dictates its own conditions and the process will not move anywhere without my intervention.”

Remennik, who is planning a training programme in London in September, said: “Work and training give us a full load, we also need time for our families, so we had to optimize our schedules and sacrifice rally. We don’t say goodbye to the European Rally Championship, I think that I’ll be able to drive a few more races this year.”

The post Remennik vows: I’ll be back (in the ERC) appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Close finish excites ERC’s Herczig

Sun, 07/07/2019 - 12:00

Norbert Herczig came within 0.1s of finishing in the top seven on PZM 76th Rally Poland following a final-stage battle with Mattias Adielsson.

The MOL Racing Team driver took eighth place on the high-speed gravel event, round four of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

Afterwards, the four-time Hungarian champion, who competes in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, said: “I absolutely enjoyed the whole rally, we have learned a lot of things again about these gravel stages. We are at the finish and we are happy.”

The post Close finish excites ERC’s Herczig appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Fifth place provides salvation for Antunes in ERC

Sun, 07/07/2019 - 06:00

Pedro Antunes said his fifth place in FIA ERC3 Junior on PZM 76th Rally Poland helped to make up for a tough event for the FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver.

National federation-backed Antunes was back in his more familiar Peugeot after trying Fiesta power for size in Latvia. But it was a tough Poland debut with a heavy practice crash and a sensor issue masking his true pace at the wheel of his Pirelli-equipped entry.

“It was not the best rally for me because of all the problems, but I liked the rally a lot and enjoyed the gravel stages,” said Antunes. “We were happy to be in the end of the rally and fifth place is not bad for everything that happened.”

The post Fifth place provides salvation for Antunes in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mission accomplished for ERC3 gravel novice Bernardi

Sat, 07/06/2019 - 18:00

Florian Bernardi bagged experience – and points – on his first proper gravel start when he placed ninth in ERC3 on PZM 76th Rally Poland.

Bernardi included the event as part of his ERC3 title bid and finished ninth in class in his Renault Clio R3T alongside co-driver Victor Bellotto.

“I very satisfied because I was at the finish, I am learning, I am making progress,” said Frenchman Bernardi. “We were working on the set-up, getting the feeling. Sometimes we were, sometimes not so good but the car was working good and we are happy.”

Bernardi is set to continue his FIA European Rally Championship challenge on Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July.

The post Mission accomplished for ERC3 gravel novice Bernardi appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Late drama denies Griebel in ERC

Sat, 07/06/2019 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel lost out on a seemingly certain sixth place finish on PZM 76th Rally Poland after a rare accident put him out on the final stage.

Griebel, who was reunited with former co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer for the gravel-based FIA European Rally Championship counter, explained what went wrong.

"My first accident after more than three years,” said the 30-year-old double ERC Junior champion. “It was a little fast corner, third gear and I was maybe a little too fast. I went on the outside and there was a tree and a ground wall and we rolled three times. The car stopped on its roof and there was quite big damage unfortunately.

“After three titles in the last three years, we will get over this and emerge stronger.”

The post Late drama denies Griebel in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Zbroja looks to the future after fighting fourth in ERC3

Sat, 07/06/2019 - 06:00

Tomasz Zbroja made a strong impression on his FIA European Rally Championship when he placed fourth in the highly competitive ERC3 category on PZM 76th Rally Poland.

Zbroja, the Polish championship 2WD frontrunner, was heading for third in class in his GO+Cars GO+Eauto Rally Team Citroën DS3 R3T when a puncture on the penultimate stage dropped him to fourth in the final classification.

Despite the setback, Zbroja was satisfied with his pace against the ERC category regulars alongside co-driver Jakub Wróbel.

“It was a great opportunity for us to compare our pace with the top European front-wheel-drivers,” said Zbroja. “We do believe there will be time for us to fight for podiums in the ERC, we do not have any complexes to what we showed during this rally. We hope to participate in another ERC rounds in the future.”

The post Zbroja looks to the future after fighting fourth in ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munster makes ERC gravel gains

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 18:00

Grégoire Munster belied his lack of gravel experience by running in fifth place in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship section of PZM 76th Rally Poland. But there was to be no end result for the Belgian.

Munster was heading for a top-five finish when his Opel ADAM R2 suffered the same fate as that of team-mate Elias Lundberg on the same unlucky stage 13.

The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver explained what went wrong. “There were three more stages remaining and so our only goal was to finish the rally holding this good position. Unfortunately, our front-right driveshaft gave up on us during a braking. It’s a shame as we would have taken some good points for the championship.”

Prior to his exit, Munster had been making good progress alongside co-driver Louis Louka.

“For the first time, this rally is not easy with the pacenotes because I don’t have so much experience on gravel. But everything was really positive and the rally was going really well for us. We were seventh [on Saturday] evening and had a plan to push on Sunday trying to grab a position. Pushing we did, and after the morning loop we managed to climb up to fifth position.”

The post Munster makes ERC gravel gains appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Baran ready for more ERC action

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 12:00

Jarek Baran is ready for more ERC action following his return on PZM 76th Rally Poland.

Baran co-drove Kajetan Kajetanowicz to three FIA European Rally Championship titles in succession but hadn’t competed in the ERC since the 2017 season-closing Rally Liepāja.

Following his fifth-place finish on his comeback with Aron Domżała, Baran said: “I feel like I’ve never gone. The ERC is a big family, it was a fantastic race and congratulations for the winners. I was really happy to be here, we had a good race. I think Aron will go back to his cross-country rallies, but I am ready to come back [to the ERC].”

Of Domżała’s performance in a TGS Worldwide ŠKODA Fabia R5, Baran said: “He’s driving smooth, naturally and only needed to make good pacenotes. That was my job for the last few days. Gravel events are a good place for him.”

The post Baran ready for more ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Grzyb hoping ERC absence not permanent

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 06:00

Grzegorz Grzyb doesn’t want his absence from the FIA European Rally Championship to be permanent.

Grzyb placed eighth in the 2018 ERC standings but was unable to put together a programme to continue in the championship, focusing mainly on events in Slovakia instead.

Speaking during last week’s PZM 76th Rally Poland, where he was present to provide guidance to compatriot Łukasz Kotarba, who placed P11 overall, Grzyb said: “I don’t have the budget for the ERC this season, but I am working very hard for the next season. I hope I will come back here.”

Grzyb has three ERC podiums to his name, including a third-place finish on last year’s Rally di Roma Capitale.

The post Grzyb hoping ERC absence not permanent appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Cais hits back from double ERC crash with sixth-place finish

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 18:00

Erik Cais hit back from his double Rally Liepāja crash with a top-six finish FIA ERC3 Junior Championship finish on PZM 76th Rally Poland last month.

Cais, part of the national federation-backed ACCR Czech Rally Team and a former downhill mountain bike racer, completed his debut on the Mikołajki event – his third start on gravel – in sixth position alongside co-driver Jindřiška Žáková.

“It was difficult at the start because it was surprising me how the guys can go so fast,” said the rally rookie. “The car was working pretty well but I didn’t have the confidence to go faster. In stage six after the middle of the stage we get a puncture, so it was horrible. Then on the third stage of [leg two] I heard a lot of people had crashed or made mistakes and my memory from Latvia, where I had two big crashes, came back. I had zero concentration, only the memories of Liepāja and it was horrible for me, I had a bad feeling in the car and I didn’t trust the pacenotes.”

With his confidence returning on the final afternoon, Cais made a bit for fifth place only to settle for sixth. “I really wanted to beat Pedro [Antunes] but in the last two stages I was too fast and missed two corners in two stages pushing too hard.”

The post Cais hits back from double ERC crash with sixth-place finish appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Habaj wary of Lukyanuk threat in ERC title battle

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 12:00

Łukasz Habaj underlined his FIA European Rally Championship title credentials with his third 2019 podium visit in four starts on his home event last weekend.

Finishing third on PZM 76th Rally Poland, local hero Habaj extended his advantage at the top of the standings to 11 points with the second half of the season to come.

After a rare mistake on the Qualifying Stage left him fourth on the road for leg one, Habaj had to battle a less favourable running order. However, in another attacking display, the Pole overcame his early setback to finish third in a Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.

But having topped Chris Ingram by a point before the start in Mikołajki, Habaj is facing a new threat from the resurgent defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk, who won the high-speed gravel event to leapfrog Ingram in the title table.

“Our advantage before was over Chris, now the advantage is actually bigger over Chris but smaller against Alexey Lukyanuk, whose speed is indisputable,” said Habaj. “If he doesn't have any problems then we're having a huge problem keeping up with his pace.”

Habaj plans to prepare for Rally di Roma Capitale, which takes place from 19-21 July, with a handful of test sessions.

The post Habaj wary of Lukyanuk threat in ERC title battle appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

PZM 76. Rajd Polski - Etap 2

Kalendarz 2019

21-23.03.2019:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

02-04.05.2019

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

24-26 05.2019

Rally Liepāja (Łotwa)

28-30.06.2019

Rajd Polski

19-21.07.2019

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

16-18.08.2019

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

27-29.09.2019:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

08-10.11.2019:

Rally Hungary (Węgry)