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Updated: 47 min 36 sec ago

Happy Wagner scores ERC Junior best

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:00

Simon Wagner scored his best finish to date in the Pirelli-backed FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship with second place on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

While second could have been first had it not been for a time-consuming puncture on leg one, Wagner was pleased to have taken the fight to Mārtiņš Sesks, the ERC Junior U27 title leader and winner of the last two events.

“Congratulations to Mārtiņš, he did a great job,” said Wagner. “We lost the rally on Saturday with our puncture when we hit nothing but it’s part of the game. Afterwards we had to drive with the hard compound at the front because we did not have enough soft tyres so we lost the rally there. But I think we can be happy. Mārtiņš is fast but we saw we are minimum the same fast, sometimes a bit faster and I’m quite happy with that.”

Wagner began Sunday’s closing loop of three stages 25.2s behind Sesks but quickly realised he would have to settle for second having contemplated a flat-out challenge for victory in his Saintéloc Junior Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.

“We started the [final] afternoon with the possibility to catch Mārtiņš but in the first stage after service I could feel immediately that our set-up was not perfect, it was too soft and we expected more wet Tarmac than what we found so it was a bit of saving the tyres.”

The post Happy Wagner scores ERC Junior best appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Pellier relishes “big discovery”

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 09:00

Laurent Pellier has described his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut as a “big discovery” after he placed fourth in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 category.

Pellier, part of the PEUGEOT Rally Academy, was one of several young stars contesting the demanding sealed-surface event for the first time, a task made much harder by persistent rain.

Despite the tough conditions and a minor off on Sunday morning, Pellier brought his PEUGEOT 208 T16 home in P10 overall.

“I am really happy to be at the finish because it was really, really difficult,” Pellier said. “It was a big discovery with the specific Tarmac here. I had never driven in these conditions before and when I hear [Dani] Sordo say only Rallye Monte-Carlo can be more difficult then you realise this rally is difficult for all drivers.

“You had to be strong in your mind in these tricky conditions. Okay there were some mistakes from my side but we had the chance to continue and when your car is okay sometimes you can push when the conditions are right. My engineer says I have learned more on this rally than five rallies put together because it has been so difficult with the tyre choice.”

The post ERC Junior Pellier relishes “big discovery” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Czech promise Mareš fast but out of luck on ERC Junior U28 debut

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 06:00

Filip Mareš was fast but out of luck on his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 debut, crashing out on the final stage but not before he claimed his first outright stage win in the European championship.

Autoklub of the Czech Republic-backed Mareš was heading for second place in the category for young stars only for his challenge to falter when he left the road on Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s closing Kašava test on Sunday afternoon.

“It was in a long, left corner on the final stage,” explained Mareš, an ERC Junior U27 graduate. “There was a lot of mud on the road and I lose control of the car. We went into a ditch, spin and hit a tree on the left side. The car was quite damaged, the suspension was broken and it was impossible to continue. It was a big disappointment because our performance was good and I really wanted to get to the finish for the experience, for the result.”

While the ACCR Czech Rally Team-entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Mareš shares with co-driver Jan Hloušek suffered extensive damage, the crew were unharmed.

Despite the disappointment, Mareš could take plenty of positives from his ERC Junior U28 debut.

“Winning our first stage outright [on Sunday morning] was a really nice moment in such a competitive field,” said the 27-year-old talent. “Sometimes the performance was less, sometimes it was more but overall it was good for my seventh rally in an R5 car in very difficult conditions, especially in the high-speed parts to understand how to use the grip under braking. But being six or seven seconds slower to Jan Kopecký when he is fighting for the victory is completely fine for us so I have to be happy from that side.”

The post Czech promise Mareš fast but out of luck on ERC Junior U28 debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

What might have been: Llarena impresses on ERC restart

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 18:00

Efrén Llarena underlined his promise with an impressive Sunday restart on Barum Czech Rally Zlín after an electrical glitch dropped him out of the battle for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship victory.

Rally Team Spain’s scholarship winner was forced to retire from third place midday through leg one. But following repairs to his PEUGEOT 208 R2 – some of which were carried out by the Spaniard – Llarena was able to return to action for Sunday’s closing leg, which he completed in third place in the Pirelli-supported category to land five bonus points.

“The stages were very good and we tried to be on the road and to be clean,” said RFEDA-backed Llarena. “Of course we were out of the fight for the victory so we didn’t push hard. But I am happy to be [at the finish] and with my times, winning our category in one stage. The rally was very difficult with a lot of water, a lot of mud.”

The post What might have been: Llarena impresses on ERC restart appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Kopecký praise for “amazing” world star Sordo on ERC debut

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:00

Record-extending Barum Czech Rally Zlín winner Jan Kopecký said Dani Sordo did an “amazing job” to finish third on his debut on the challenging sealed-surface ERC counter.

World championship event winner Sordo was on duty to demonstrate the Hyundai i20 R5 to potential customers and made it through the rain-hit stages with the final podium place, albeit by a slender 0.3s in a thrilling final-stage decider with Miroslav Jakeš.

Afterwards Kopecký, who claimed the FIA European Rally Championship title in 2013, praised Sordo for his performance.

“It was really good because for him it was his first experience of this rally,” said Kopecký, a seven-time winner in Zlín. I have done this rally and if I remember all good drivers when they are here for the first time, they were much worse than Dani. In these conditions he did a really amazing job.”

The post Kopecký praise for “amazing” world star Sordo on ERC debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Why it could be R5 alive for ERC2 champion Érdi Jr

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 06:00

Tibor Érdi Jr celebrated making it back-to-back ERC2 titles on Barum Czech Rally Zlín by revealing his hopes for an R5 future.

Subject to official confirmation, the Hungarian hero is the winner of the FIA European Rally Championship’s showroom category for a second year running after he claimed a season maximum four wins in class.

At the finish on Sunday evening, Érdi Jr said: “Maybe this is the last race for the ‘Evo 10’ this year and we try R5 car but I don’t know. I would like to drive [an R5 car]. I drove one time R5 and it’s not a problem – I learn a World Rally Car for many years. An R5 car opens a new feeling.”

Of his ERC2 title triumph achieved alongside co-driver György Papp, Érdi Jr praised the contribution of his team.

“They make a good job the whole year, 100 per cent,” said Érdi Jr. “This was the last moment we needed to be champion and we are very happy. We have a good car, a good team and thank you to my sponsors, family and the whole crew who helped me.

“Winning the second [title] is much easier but all year there has been a fight and it has been on my shoulders that I am the champion.”

The post Why it could be R5 alive for ERC2 champion Érdi Jr appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munster learns plenty on ERC debut

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 18:00

Grégoire Munster “learned a lot” when he made his FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship debut on Barum Czch Rally Zlín last weekend.

Teenager Munster placed eighth in the Pirelli-supported category after dropping out of leg one with a mechanical failure.

“We had two punctures but then we got the problem with the TCA so it was game over for us,” said the ERC Junior Experience pupil. “We tried to repair but it was impossible.

“Sunday was Rally2 for us so we were just taking a bit more experience on this difficult rally. It was really slippery stages, even worse than yesterday. We were really careful and were just trying to increase the pace but slowly.

“We learned a lot on many aspects, trying to find the grip level and also manage the tyres because it’s not easy. We were driving either with a hard compound or a wet compound and it was really difficult to make the right choice. But it’s a really difficult rally and you needed also to keep in mind it’s a long one. Really slippery asphalt is not easy but we got more confidence in the car so we can be satisfied.”

Munster is the son of European championship legend Bernard Munster. He’s also a frontrunner in the Belgian junior series.

The post Munster learns plenty on ERC debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Five questions to the ERC winner: Jan Kopecký

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00

Jan Kopecký continued his dominance of Czech rallying with a seventh victory on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship. This is what the ŠKODA Motorsport ace had to say after he extended his run of domestic wins to 23 with first place on Barum Czech Rally Zlín following a thrilling finale.

How much does that victory mean to you?
“It means a lot, especially after the problems with the punctures, it was unbelievable, like a nightmare.”

Did you believe you could catch Alexey when you woke up this morning?
“This morning, yes. After yesterday when we showed some good performance on the long stage I was really believing. And, as I said, we got huge support from the fans. It was really important.”

What did you think of Dani Sordo’s performance?
“It was really good because for him it was his first experience of this rally. I have done this rally and if I remember all good drivers when they are here for the first time, they were much worse than Dani. In these conditions he did a really amazing job.”

At the finish of the final stage you said on ERC Radio that you currently have no contract for next year and this year could be your last time on this rally?
Yeah, it’s like that. I don’t know what is going to be for next season. If I get some nice programme then I will continue, if not then I will stop. It’s like that, I am doing this sport for quite some time. We will see but I believe we will find something.”

And what do you say to all the fans who supported you this weekend?
“Thanks to the spectators because they made an amazing atmosphere on this rally, especially when we had lost a lot of time after we got the punctures. We had full support from everywhere, even from small villages so it was really great and thanks to them.”

The post Five questions to the ERC winner: Jan Kopecký appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lukyanuk grows ERC title lead

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk will take a 35-point FIA European Rally Championship lead into the penultimate event of the season, next month’s PZM 75th Rally Poland.

The Russian extended his advantage over Bruno Magalhães, his Portuguese rival, with second place on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which finished yesterday afternoon.

In the race for success in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship – the category for young stars in R5 cars – Fabian Kreim’s margin over second-placed Chris Ingram is 20 points with Nikolay Gryazin two points further back following his category win in Czech Republic.

Mārtiņš Sesks is 59 points to the good over his ADAC Opel team-mate Tom Kristensson in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship. However, with drivers counting their best four scores from a possible six, the Latvian teenager still has work to do to take the crown. Sesks also heads Kristensson in ERC3 by the same margin.

Tibor Érdi Jr cannot be caught in ERC2, while it’s advantage ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in both the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams and ERC Nations’ Cup.

PZM 75th Rally Poland takes place from 21-23 September. Click here to view the full provisional standings after six rounds.

The post Lukyanuk grows ERC title lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings scores Zlín ERC Ladies’ Trophy win

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 18:29

Saintéloc Junior Team’s Catie Munnings wrapped up a second consecutive ERC Ladies’ Trophy win on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, while title rival Emma Falcón crashed out on the final stage.

Munnings had started on the back foot, nursing a virus which stopped her from participating in free practice, the Qualifying Stage and shakedown on Friday.

Slowly recovering over the following two days, her quest for ERC Ladies’ Trophy victory was made easier by Falcón’s retirement late in leg one.

Having never experienced wet, slick asphalt roads which made up Zlín’s competitive kilometres, Munnings focussed on survival over speed, a strategy that paid dividends despite a final stage puncture.

Falcón had reached the final test too despite persistent gearbox gremlins and a broken turbo pipe before midday service. Unlike Munnings, she would not complete the rally, crashing out on SS15 in the same spot as recent FIA ERC Junior Under 27 graduate Filip Mareš.

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Sesks holds off Wagner for ERC Junior U27 Zlín win

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 18:13

Mārtiņš Sesks strengthened his challenge for a debut FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship title with victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, resisting a late challenge from Simon Wagner.

ADAC Opel Rallye Junior protégé Sesks had prioritised a safety-first approach yet held a 41.4s lead heading into leg two’s six stages.

Saintéloc Junior driver Wagner went on a charge during Sunday morning, winning SS11 and SS12 to slash his deficit to 25.2s from Sesks ahead.

Sesks had been fastest of all on Halenkovice’s morning pass and crucially gained 2.8s back on Wagner in its SS13 afternoon re-run. He conceded a further 11.3s to Wagner in the final two stages, though was already far enough ahead not to worry about potentially losing his victory.

Opel got both its Pirelli-shod cars on the podium, as Tom Kristensson scored a confidence-boosting third place. After a heavy crash on Rallye Deutschland a week earlier, the Swede succeeded in his primary aim of having a clean rally in spite of Zlín’s extremely slippery asphalt roads.

PEUGEOT 208 R2 pilot Mattia Vita equalled his career-best ERC Junior U27 result from the previous round on Rally di Roma Capitale, picking up fourth when Kristóf Klausz slid out of control in a muddy section of SS14 and crashed out.

Roland Stengg completed the top five positions, his car still carrying scars of a high-speed roll on Saturday.

Saintéloc’s second driver to finish suffered a late scare, as Catie Munnings picked up a puncture on the final stage. With Efrén Llarena one place behind in seventh returning until Rally2 rules from retirement on Saturday, Munnings had a time buffer and still secured sixth place in ERC Junior U27, along with ERC Ladies’ Trophy victory.

EBRT’s Grégoire Munster also returned under Rally2, bringing his Opel Adam R2 home behind Llarena in eighth. Sindre Furuseth’s comeback was halted as soon as it began, suspension failure ending his rally for a second time in leg two’s opening test.

Matěj Kamenec and Martin László began leg two sixth and seventh in ERC3, slotting in between Vita and Stengg, but neither would finish, Kamenec’s brakes failing and László out with a gearbox problem.

Emma Falcón had been set for P10 in ERC3 and a runners-up finish in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy even with ongoing gearbox troubles and a broken turbo pipe on Sunday morning. She had nursed her car all the way to SS15, only to crash out on the very last stage.

That late crash for Falcón handed the final ERC3 points to Credobus LPWM Sport’s Miklós Csomós, who had returned under Rally2 rules after his own crash late in leg one.

The post Sesks holds off Wagner for ERC Junior U27 Zlín win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Gryazin wins ERC Junior U28 amid late Zlín drama

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 17:42

Nikolay Gryazin secured a second successive FIA ERC Junior Under 28 victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, though the remaining podium spots were shaken up by late drama.

20 year old Russian hotshot Gryazin got his ERC Junior U28 title aspirations back on track, securing another win with a measured drive on Sunday.

Though his winning margin was steadily reduced over the course of Sunday’s six stages, his one minute lead after leg one was carefully managed, eventually securing victory by a winning margin of 45.0s.

Behind Gryazin it was all change during the afternoon loop. ACCR-backed Filip Mareš grew his 11.5s advantage over points leader Fabian Kreim to 27.5s by midday service but clever tyre strategy turned the tables.

Guided by his BRR Baumschlager crew, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland youngster Kreim took four slick and two wet tyres, using two of each for the damp SS13 before switching to slicks all round for SS14.

Mareš still had 17.9s in hand but conditions were especially unpredictable in SS15. Unfortunately for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 graduate, Mareš was the one caught out by the longest stage of the rally, crashing out on the 24.88 kilometre Kašava test.

Kreim was all set to inherit second place but was far from safe against Chris Ingram behind. After a confidence-sapping leg one, Ingram had unlocked the key to making his Fabia fast with a stiffer set-up, throwing caution to the wind in the final stage.

Toksport WRT driver Ingram went fastest on SS15 thanks to his late push, taking 5.6s out of Kreim but falling short of overhauling the current championship leader for second place, settling for third instead after Mareš’ late retirement.

Aside from running wide into a bank on SS10, PEUGEOT Rally Academy’s Laurent Pellier had a mostly drama-free day, though confidence was at a premium on roads which had become caked in mud from corner cutting.

Pellier wrapped up fourth place comfortably, well clear of the other ACCR-backed entry of Jan Černý. His hopes of a home ERC Junior U28 had been dashed on the rally’s opening stage by a broken wheel, treating Sunday’s stages as practice while picking up fifth place.

Rhys Yates did not return after his retirement on Saturday, his car sustaining too much accident damage from his off on SS4 to be repaired for a Rally2 comeback.

The post Gryazin wins ERC Junior U28 amid late Zlín drama appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sordo savours ERC debut, claims podium

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 16:46

Dani Sordo wouldn’t rule out further appearances in the FIA European Rally Championship after claiming the final podium spot on Barum Czech Rally Zlín this afternoon.

Sordo, part of Hyundai’s factory team in the world championship, was driving the Korean make’s i20 R5 on the sealed-surface event, round six of the all-action ERC.

Although changeable weather conditions and two punctures upped the challenge the Spaniard faced on one of international rally’s most demanding events, he held off local ace Miroslav Jakeš for third place by 0.3s in a dramatic finish.

“It’s really nice honestly with the atmosphere and the spectators, more than on some world rallies,” said Sordo. “If I need to come back I will come back. And I must congratulate the other drivers because the level was really good. But it’s one of the most difficult rallies I’ve done. Maybe some of the stages on Monte Carlo with the black top [are harder] but these stages are really hard in the conditions.

“I understood before [the rally] that when it’s dry it’s difficult but when you come here for the first time but with a new car, new stages, wet conditions when it’s slippery like this, you have everything.”

Jan Kopecký, ERC champion in 2013, won the event for a seventh time after overhauling current championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk on the final loop of stages. Nikolay Gryazin and Mārtiņš Sesks won the ERC Junior U28 and ERC Junior Under 27 categories respectively, while Tibor Érdi Jr claimed his second consecutive ERC2 title.

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Day report: Kopecký wins, Lukyanuk boosts ERC title hopes

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 16:11

Jan Kopecký scored a record-extending seventh Barum Czech Rally Zlín victory against a strong FIA European Rally Championship field, pushed to the very end by ERC title leader Alexey Lukyanuk.

Faced with mixed conditions in the rally's final loop of stages Kopecký made a bold choice, selecting slick tyres as those around him went for a mixture of standard and extreme wets, Lukyanuk on the former.

His boldness was rewarded, winning a mostly dry SS13 and SS14 to steal first place away from Lukyanuk. He wrapped up his victory on the final stage, edging out the Russian rocket by 1.7s in a tense finale.

Third place was decided in an even closer fight, with world rally star Dani Sordo clinging on to a podium finish by a mere 0.3s from local rally ace Miroslav Jakeš. Sordo had taken extreme wets for the final loop but without enough surface water on the stages, his Hyundai i20 was sliding around with a lack of grip.

Though Jakeš fell short of a shock late podium by the narrowest of margins he did jump from fifth to fourth, passing FIA ERC Junior U28 class winner Nikolay Gyrazin.

Sordo and Gryazin had initially been locked in a battle for the final podium position but showed experience beyond his young years by taking a measured approach, electing to focus on preserving a maximum points haul for his ERC Junior U28 title charge instead.

Second place in ERC Junior U28 looked appeared set to go Filip Mareš' way but a final stage crash ended his hopes at the very last moment. This handed runners-up honours to Fabian Kreim, who had been flying through the afternoon loop with clever tyre strategy by the BRR Baumschlanger team that runs his ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland entry.

Chris Ingram moved up to thrid in ERC Junior U28 after Mareš' last stage retirement. Pushing flat out to try and catch Kreim, Ingram had several moments during the final test, coming home 9.6s shy of Kreim. He did successfully pass Rufa Sport driver Jaromír Tarabus for seventh place overall, however.

SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães struggled with his conservative tyre choice, picking up only two points in his championship fight against Lukyanuk in ninth place. PEUGEOT Rally Academy talent Laurent Pellier finished fourth in ERC Junior U28 and also picked up the final ERC point, taking P10 due to Mareš' late retirement.

Lukyanuk's second place and leg bonuses compared to Magalhães small points haul has widened the gap between them to 35 points, with Lukyanuk now on 148 compared to Magalhães on 113. Despite crashing out on Sunday morning, Norbert Hercizg remains third in the championship on 62 points, with ERC Junior U28 championship leader Fabian Kreim now his nearest challenger on 54.

Tibor Érdi Jr wrapped up victory in the ERC2 production category, mathematically securing a second consecutive title with his fourth win this season.

Late drama also befell the lead RGT class battle. Simone Tempestini had established a strong lead over Raphaël Astier on Saturday afternoon, though lost some of his lead on Sunday morning. A hydraulic pump failure on Tempestini's car progressively lost him more time on each stage of the final loop, dropping behind eventual winner Astier and settling for second. Petr Nešetřil completed the RGT podium in a Porsche 997 GT3.

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Tibor Érdi Jr is ERC2 champion again in Zlín!

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 15:38

Hungarian hero Tibor Érdi Jr has won a second consecutive championship title in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category, with victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín securing his crown.

Despite a trip off-road on Saturday afternoon Érdi arrived at the finish line of SS15 without any issues, scoring a fourth ERC2 victory this season and with it the championship title.

His season started in dramatic fashion, his suspension failing in the very first superspecial stage of the season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye. Bouncing back with a victory on Rally Islas Canarias, Érdi went on a four-event winning streak, culminating with his win this weekend on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Though there are still two events remaining this season, only the four best results count towards a driver's points total in ERC2. With Érdi the only driver now able to score four wins this year, he is mathematically assured of a second ERC2 title, subject to official confirmation.

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Newsflash: Kopecký wins ERC in Zlín!

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 15:28

Jan Kopecký clinched a seventh FIA European Rally Championship win on home soil, securing victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín in a thrilling showdown with ERC title leader Alexey Lukyanuk.

Entering the final stage ŠKODA Motorsport driver Kopecký had a slim 5.8s lead over Lukyanuk. Slick tyres were fitted to Kopecký's Fabia but there was still plenty of surface water present on SS15, leading to a tense showdown.

The Czech ace held his nerve, beating Lukyanuk by 1.7s on SS15 to secure victory by 7.5s.

A battle over the final podium place also went down to the wire, Dani Sordo clinching third place by a whisker. Hyundai world rally star Sordo struggled on extreme wets, allowing Miroslav Jakeš to get within 0.3s of the Spaniard by the finish.

Jakeš won SS15 outright, enough to place him ahead of FIA ERC Junior Under 28 class winner Nikolay Gryazin for fourth place. Sports Racing Technologies-run Gryazin was untroubled by his last minute loss, laser-focused on wrapping up a crucial ERC Junior U28 win while settling for fifth.

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All change for ERC Zlín podium places!

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 14:04

The FIA European Rally Championship leading order on Barum Czech Rally Zlín has undergone a massive shake-up on SS13, with the top four all trading places.

Zlín crowd favourite Jan Kopecký has assumed first place on his home ERC round, fitting slicks to his ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia and moving 1.7s ahead of ERC championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk.

Third place has also changed hands, as Hyundai's factory world championship driver Dani Sordo overhauled FIA ERC Junior Under 28 class leader Nikolay Gryazin.

Sordo went 5.0s quicker through Halenkovice despite complaining his choice of extreme wet tyres had cost him a podium, enough to assume a 1.8s advantage over Gryazin.

Both need to be wary of Miroslav Jakeš in fifth place, who was tied for fastest time on SS13 with new leader Kopecký. He remains well within striking distance on standard wets, 8.3s behind Sordo and 6.5s away from Gryazin.

ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland's Fabian Kreim assumed seventh place overall, displacing Rufa Sport driver Jaromír Tarabus. Kreim's fourth-fastest stage time also trimmed his gap to second place in ERC Junior U28, currently occupied by FIA ERC Junior Under 27 graduate Filip Mareš. They are now separated by 20.1s with two stages remaining.

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Sesks unsure of ERC Junior rival Wagner’s next Zlín move

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 13:15

FIA ERC Junior Under 27 rally leader Mārtiņš Sesks is in two minds on how to defend his 25.3 advantage on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, with Saintéloc's Simon Wagner closing in.

Starting leg two aboard his Pirelli-shod Opel ADAM R2 with a healthy 41.5s advantage, ADAC Opel Rallye Junior star Sesks was outperformed by Simon Wagner, who scored a pair of stage wins on SS11 and SS12 in convincing fashion.

With a solid but not unassailable lead gap to Wagner behind, Sesks isn't sure what to expect next from the Saintéloc Junior Team man.

"I don't know what I'd do if I was him. It would be a real struggle and a real gamble," said Sesks. "When you push in this kind of conditions, for three corners it pays off and in the next it's wet and you're off the road."

Sesks was surprised by his time loss this morning and hopes the midday service break will help him regroup, with a second consecutive win on the cards should he fend off Wagner.

"I don't know what happened in the last two stages this morning. I think we lost confidence, something in our mind wasn't as it needed to be. But now we'll get good food at lunch and everything will be good!"

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Sordo and ERC Junior Gryazin locked in Zlín podium fight

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 12:51

Hyundai Motorsport's Dani Sordo and FIA ERC Junior Under 28 superstar Nikolay Gryazin remained locked in battle for the final European Rally Championship podium place on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, with neither sure they can take third.

Highly experienced world championship campaigner Sordo closed in on ERC Junior U28 rally leader Gryazin's third place in the overall classification, reducing a 17.2s gap down to only 3.1s during Sunday's morning loop.

With inclement weather persisting in Zlín, fourth placed Sordo is unsure what move to make next with tyre selection. A wrong choice could potentially send him into the clutches of an increasingly rapid Miroslav Jakeš in fifth place instead, the pair separated by 13.1s.

"We'll try to do our best and enjoy the car. We have to think about our tyre choice, as we don't have new tyres," said Sordo. "We don't know if we need to drive with these [wets] or the more slick, soft tyres."

"If we can take the podium it would be nice, if not, we can finish like this," he concluded.

Belying his 20 years, Gryazin is taking a mature approach to his podium fight with Sordo, with all eyes on maximum points for his ERC Junior U28 title challenge.

“For me it’s only about ERC Junior U28. We won't try to fight with Dani because he has more experience in these conditions. It would be too much risk for me so I'm focusing on ERC Junior U28, trying to keep my position. Sometimes when it's good grip I enjoy it but today is really difficult as there's too much mud."

The post Sordo and ERC Junior Gryazin locked in Zlín podium fight appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Wagner catching ERC Junior U27 rival Sesks in Zlín

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 12:11

The FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship battle on Barum Czech Rally Zlín is far from settled, with Simon Wagner closing in on rally leader Mārtiņš Sesks during Sunday's morning loop.

Saintéloc Junior driver Wagner had targeted SS11 and SS12 as his favoured stages where time could be made up to Sesks, the Austrian driver duly delivered by winning both.

Coming close to halving his deficit to Sesks, Wagner went from 41.6s behind after SS10 to 25.3s in arrears by midday service.

Sesks' ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Tom Kristensson is holding steady in third, focussed on reaching the finish line this afternoon without making any mistakes to wrap up a confidence-boosting podium finish.

40.8s behind Kristensson, Hungarian junior Kristóf Klausz is still fourth, recovering strongly from a setback on Saturday. A puncture on SS2 had dropped him to ninth but is now well clear of fifth placed Mattia Vita.

Vita dropped almost a minute in SS10, dropping a wheel onto the grass and spinning out at a junction but is otherwise securely in the top five. Roland Stengg is sixth, driving for his eponymous Stengg Motorsport outfit.

Catie Munnings is nearing a second consecutive ERC Ladies' Trophy victory, while also retaining seventh in ERC Junior U27.

Rally2 returnees Efrén Llarena and Grégoire Munster are eighth and ninth in their Rally Team Spain PEUGEOT 208 R2 and EBRT Opel ADAM R2s respectively.

Emma Falcón is still second in the ERC Ladies' Trophy and P10 in ERC3, carefully nursing her car to service with a gear selection issue. Miklós Csomós, who retired during leg one, is P11 in ERC3.

The post Wagner catching ERC Junior U27 rival Sesks in Zlín appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 75. Rajd Polski / PZM 75th Rally Poland

PZM 75. 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)