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Updated: 40 min 36 sec ago

ERC Junior Jeets learns plenty on Tarmac debut

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 18:00

Gregor Jeets made his asphalt debut on Rally di Roma Capitale last week, holding sixth position in ERC3 Junior before he was forced out with suspension damage.

Part of the Estonian Autosport Junior Team line-up, Jeets had recovered from earlier brake issues to clock two top-six stage times despite his absence of Tarmac experience. Although hopes of a points finish evaporated on Sunday’s opening run, Jeets was pleased with the experience gained.

“We had quite good progress,” said Jeets. “We know the places where we lose the time. It was bad that we stopped so early, but we can say it was a good learning experience.”

Of his exit, Jeets explained what happened in the Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2T he shares with co-driver Kuldar Sikk. “We had too much speed [for the corner]. The corner was too tight. We hit a bank and the suspension was broken but we also broke two wheels, so it was impossible to continue.”

The post ERC Junior Jeets learns plenty on Tarmac debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Monteiro gains more ERC R5 experience with Roma top 15

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 12:00

Aloísio Monteiro continued to grow his experience in R5 machinery with a top 15 finish on round five of the FIA European Rally Championship in Italy earlier this month.

With Rally di Roma Capitale marking the Portuguese driver’s seventh start in a top-of-the-range ERC machine, Monteiro used the asphalt event to improve his car knowledge and set-up.

“We did good homework, preparing the rally well but maybe we bet on the wrong horse,” the FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver explained. “In the last test before the rally I got the feeling that we had found the ideal set-up for the race. However, when we started the rally on Saturday morning, we quickly realised that something was not right. We suffered a lot [in] the slower corners, even though the car in the fast zones was okay.

“After the suspension [set-up] was fixed [for Sunday] and on a long day with many stages, we did some good times. Of course, we have to be more constant and improve our experience with the car by doing more kilometres in the car.”

Monteiro will get another opportunity to build his R5 experience when he contests Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August with his Fabia run by The Racing Factory.

The post Monteiro gains more ERC R5 experience with Roma top 15 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi charges back in ERC

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 06:00

Florian Bernardi returned to the ERC3 podium with a charging drive on Rally di Roma Capitale last month, recovering from an early puncture to finish third in class.

The lone Frenchman in the field, Bernardi went on full attack mode to make up the time lost in his Renault Clio R3T with 11 fastest stage times in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 division.

“We attacked very hard, we knew it was the only way to score essential points,” said Bernardi. “The stages suited our Clio and I felt particularly well on these roads with this set-up and the Michelin tires. The FA Compétitionteam and R.Tec Suspensions did a great job."

Bernardi will continue his ERC3 title challenge on Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August alongside co-driver Victor Bellotto.

The post Bernardi charges back in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Williams pleased with debut ERC3 Junior speed

Fri, 07/26/2019 - 18:00

James Williams was happy with the speed he showed on his debut in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship – but “devastated” that he wasn’t able to convert it into a top result on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Williams, a frontrunner in the British championship, was stepping up to international level for the first time and had high hopes of a strong result in his Ford Fiesta R2T.

Despite a promising start, the Welsh driver was soon out of luck alongside co-driver Tom Woodburn, as he explained.

“The first stage started great, getting off to a good pace and finding the rhythm with the notes from the word go. Unfortunately, about five kilometres from the end of the stage we picked up a front-right puncture and had to stop and change with driving on not an option.

“Stage two started well with the rhythm in the car returning but very unexpectedly we were sent on our roof on an open hairpin right. Absolutely devastated doesn’t touch how I was feeling for the team and sponsors. It was something which caught us by surprise and, in a flash, [we] were stopped wondering what had happened.

“The gutting thing is that we felt some very good speed in the car this week and we weren’t quite able to extract that as a stage result. It was definitely there, watch this space.”

The post Williams pleased with debut ERC3 Junior speed appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Talaš battles to fourth in ERC Junior

Fri, 07/26/2019 - 12:00

Jan Talaš showed his fighting spirit to score his best finish to date in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on last week’s Rally di Roma Capitale.

The ACCR Czech Rally Team talent, co-driven by Ondřej Krajča, placed fourth in the Pirelli-supported category on his first appearance on the Italian event.

Afterwards, the Czech Junior and 2WD champion from 2018, said: “On the first day we had a problem with the rear suspension in the morning, a front-right puncture, a problem with the intercom and a very big problem with the clutch.

“We had a good second day and the time was better than the first day, but we had a small problem in the superstage with the driveshaft. It was a very hard weekend, but we have new experiences from this rally.”

The post Talaš battles to fourth in ERC Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Good times for the first time as Herczig scores in ERC

Fri, 07/26/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig posted a succession of top 10 stage times as he finished his first Rally di Rome Capitale in seventh place.

Driving a MOL Racing Team Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, the quadruple Hungarian champion was on the pace from the start and finished the FIA European Rally Championship event just 5.6s behind Chris Ingram.

“Our speed was quite okay,” said Herczig. “It was a good performance from me, from us. We have learned many things about the tyres and the car and, very importantly, our pacenotes. We could change some things in the pacenotes and we could keep our speed with the leader of the rally and the fastest drivers.

“Our speed is more on Tarmac compared to gravel, we will keep going and start the next rally in Barum.”

The post Good times for the first time as Herczig scores in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Missing Tarmac miles hit Munnings’ ERC3 pace push

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 18:00

Catie Munnings reckoned her non-start on Rally Islas Canarias and opening-day retirement on Rally di Roma Capitale masked her true pace in the FIA European Rally Championship last weekend.

Munnings was returning to ERC3 action after missing last month’s PZM 76th Rally Poland due to budgetary issues but was out of luck early on in Italy when a brake issue forced her to stop her Peugeot Rally Academy-entered 208 R2.

Although she returned under Rally 2 rules on Sunday, Munnings admitted it hadn’t been easy.

“It’s the kind of first time I was properly on Tarmac since last August and it’s so difficult when you are not practicing just to jump on the pace,” she said. “I was happy to be at the end, it’s always the goal in a rally, and we took some good kilometres. But I don’t know when I will be back next.”

Co-driven by Norwegian Veronica Engan, Munnings finished ninth in ERC3 and third in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

The post Missing Tarmac miles hit Munnings’ ERC3 pace push appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New approach put Munster “directly in the game” in ERC3 Junior

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 12:00

Grégoire Munster explained how a new approach to the reconnaissance put him on the pace from the start of Rally di Roma Capitale.

Munster and co-driver Louis Louka were second quickest among the FIA ERC3 Junior contenders on the opening stage of Italy’s all-asphalt counter last week.

Although an error on stage five cost him a shot at his first podium in the young driver category, the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver had reason to be cheerful at the finish in Ostia on Sunday evening.

“We prepared a lot by watching a lot of onboard from the previous year,” said Munster. “We tried to make the perfect pacenotes just to be directly on the pace from the beginning because that was our main problem before. With the second fastest time [on the first stage], we were directly in the game and [that] was really good. But then I did a mistake on the fifth stage and unfortunately it cost us a good result.

“But we were fifth in ERC3 Junior, which is not bad, and we showed on the second day good pace. We did one fastest time [on stage 14] when everyone was fighting. Even in Rally 2 we were able to be quick and that’s a positive.

“It was a stupid mistake to be honest. I tried to be a bit wider [in a hairpin] because there was a kerb inside. Unfortunately for 30-40 centimetres I touched the kerb when I pulled the handbrake a little too early. Then it was game over because the driveshaft was broken. I’m really sorry for the team and all the people who supported us.”

The post New approach put Munster “directly in the game” in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Why second in ERC1 Junior is “not the end of the world” for Ingram

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 06:00

Chris Ingram is adamant that he remains in prime position to win the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship when the title battle reaches its conclusion on Barum Czech Rally Zlín next month.

Ingram’s advantage has been cut to 30 points with 39 up for grabs on the season decider after he finished second to Filip Mareš on Rally di Roma Capitale last weekend following time lost with a brake issue on the opening loop.

“The first day was unlucky, frustrating but promising,” said the Toksport WRT driver. “At the end we’ve come through and got some points when a lot of the ERC regulars struggled. It’s not the end of the world [to have finished second] but I need to get my head straight and come back stronger in Zlín because I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself and overdriving on every rally.”

The post Why second in ERC1 Junior is “not the end of the world” for Ingram appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Schwedt’s impressive pace goes unrewarded in ERC3 Junior

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 21:00

Roman Schwedt scored his first fastest stage time in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship only to retire from fourth position nearing the finish of Rally di Roma Capitale.

On his favoured asphalt and with returning co-driver Henry Wichura performing a supporting role in the Team ROMO Peugeot 208 R2, Schwedt was on course to finish fourth in the Pirelli-supported category only for engine failure to put him out on stage 13.

“It was a really big pleasure for me to win my first stage in ERC3 Junior,” said the German teenager afterwards. “I was happy with my driving – it was really good for me. I was disappointed with what happened but that’s it, heads up for the next rally when I will come back stronger. We showed good speed against the really quick drivers. It has given me new power.”

Schwedt continued: “It was a really difficult rally because the stages are crazy and difficult, bumpy and fast. We had some struggles with the clutch and the water temperature in the first run. Then after five kilometres [on SS13] we see something was not right and two corners later the engine broke and we are out with a technical failure. That was really sad, it happens, it’s rallying but we had some happy times and the feeling was good with the car and co-driver.”

The post Schwedt’s impressive pace goes unrewarded in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Antunes turns mechanic to finish ERC Rally di Roma Capitale

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 18:00

Pedro Antunes and Paulo Lopes needed all their technical know-how to finish Rally di Roma Capitale last weekend.

Part of the national federation-backed FPAK Portugal Team ERC squad, Antunes and Lopes were competing under Rally 2 rules following their stage one exit after striking a rock in the line and going off the road with suspension damage.

Having got over that setback, the Portuguese duo were pushing for an FIA ERC3 Junior stage win when a mechanical fault slowed their Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2, as Antunes explained.

“Because the drama was not enough on the first day, we had big problem on stage 14! The alternator belt and the water pump were broken. We had to stop because the temperature in the car was rising too much so we had to change the belt to get to the end. It was not a good moment, but the result would have been the same because of the time we lost on Saturday.”

Despite his myriad delays, Antunes once again marked himself out as a star performer with four top-three stage times including a fastest time on the final Ostia superspecial.

“This rally is more of what I am used to so I was thinking I would be fast here, in the top three. But with the unfortunate thing that happened in the first day I couldn’t be. It’s another experience, another rally and a great rally too.”

The post Antunes turns mechanic to finish ERC Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Positive Arai looks ahead in ERC following “most difficult rally”

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 15:00

Hiroki Arai experienced plenty of positives after completing Rally di Roma Capitale in fourth place in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship.

The Japanese, who described the event as the “most difficult rally” he’s done so far was competing on asphalt for the first time in his Citroën C3 R5. It was also the first event on sealed surfaces using Yokohama tyres and his first with stand-in co-driver Jürgen Heigl.

“It was thethe most difficult rally I have done,” said Arai, son of Japanese rallying legend Toshi Arai after finishing P11 in the overall ERC classification.

“We improved quite a lot during the rally and hopefully we can show a good pace on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the next rally for us in the ERC.

“We have built a great amount of data for our tyre partner and it’s good to have another Tarmac rally [next]. We hope we can be really good in the future, that’s for sure, but I have to focus on my driving style and keep improving with the package that we have.”

The post Positive Arai looks ahead in ERC following “most difficult rally” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polonski praises Nucita after first ERC Abarth Rally Cup win

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:00

Dariusz Poloński has praised his Abarth Rally Cup rival Andrea Nucita following his maiden victory in the one-make category and the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 division.

Poloński inherited Nucita’s comfortable lead when the Italian’s Abarth 124 rally developed a technical issue nearing the end of Rally di Roma Capitale’s opening leg, having overcome problems of his own during the day.

But after a trouble-free Sunday, the Pole was able to secure a double category win ahead of Zelindo Melegari and Nucita.

“I am happy, it’s always good to win but I know the guy who was the fastest should win,” said the Racingtechnology-run Poloński. “Andrea did a great job for all Abarth. He was pushing so hard, half of the R5 cars were behind him. He’s a great guy.”

Of his own performance, Poloński was naturally pleased. “It was a very tough rally. We had problems [on day one] but after the problems of the other guys our lead was quite safe, we safely managed and we did some progress so we are also happy about our times.”

The post Polonski praises Nucita after first ERC Abarth Rally Cup win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Falcon enjoys that top-10 feeling in Rome

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 09:00

Emma Falcón impressed on her second ERC start in an R5 car by running in the top 10 on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Although a clutch issue and a time penalty ultimately dropped her to P12 in the overall FIA European Rally Championship classification, it was still a strong display by the Canary Islander.

“This rally was difficult, I need more tests to improve the set-up and know the car,” Falcón said afterwards. “The second day was a long day for us but we have a good team, they changed the clutch in the service park and we are very happy for this day to be at the finish and to have made all the kilometres.”

As well as winning the ERC Ladies’ Trophy for the second time this season, Falcónbrought her Rallye Team Spain-entered Citroën C3 R5 home in fifth place in ERC1 Junior alongside co-driver Eduardo González.

The post ERC’s Falcon enjoys that top-10 feeling in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Fan favourite: 90,000 visit Rome’s ERC counter

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 06:00

An estimated 90,000 fans visited Rally di Roma Capitale with more than 35,000 flocking to Ostia where the FIA European Rally Championship counter was decided with two runs through a spectacular seaside superspecial on Sunday evening.

Based on data gathered by safety marshals working on the rally, event organiser Motorsport Italia estimated that 54,000 fans watched the stage action in the provinces of Rome and Frosinone.

Max Rendina, the driving force behind Rally di Roma Capitale, said: “Our event has been dedicated to the people and the territory. We are motorsport enthusiasts and we try to involve as much people as possible with our passion and we are addressing not only the people living in the territory, but also people coming to visit these unique places in the world due to their historic importance, but also natural beauties.

“Rally di Roma Capitale and its side initiatives involved a lot of people and numbers are growing constantly, as is the media attention towards this rally. The capital and the whole territory involved have responded well once again as a constructive collaboration between all the people involved is necessary to produce a successful event and to make it grow. It still has a lot to offer.”

Approximately 1000 people were involved in organisation of Rally di Roma Capitale, which joined the ERC roster in 2017. Meanwhile, the Ostia figure includes fans who visited the various attractions and displays on Saturday.

The post Fan favourite: 90,000 visit Rome’s ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg on early Rome ERC3 Junior exit

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 18:00

ERC3 Junior podium finisher Elias Lundberg has explained why he was forced to withdraw from Rally di Roma Capitale last weekend.

The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver complained of an issue with his left arm following Friday’s Qualifying Stage.

With the problem worsening during Saturday morning’s loop, Lundberg was instructed by his team to return to service ahead of schedule for treatment.

“It was not even the pain that hinders me so much while driving, but I can't grip properly with my left hand,” said the Swede. “I practically have to do everything with my right hand, which I also need to shift gears. So, driving fast on these demanding stages and at this high level like this was not possible.”

Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott said: “It’s really a shame. Elias was determined to go all out, and he could have achieved a lot here. But to drive with this handicap would not only have been futile from a sporting point of view, but also dangerous. And health always comes first for us.”

Lundberg’s team-mate Grégoire Munster added: “I hope he will get back really soon.”

The post Lundberg on early Rome ERC3 Junior exit appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sesks: ERC prize drive experience unbelievable

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 12:00

Mārtiņš Sesks says the experience gained during his two-event prize drive in the FIA European Rally Championship was “unbelievable” after his second outing in an R5 car on last week’s Rally di Roma Capitale.

Sesks was handed two ERC starts in a Motorsport Italia-run, Pirelli-equipped ŠKODA Fabia R5 as his prize for winning the FIA ERC3 Junior title in 2018 from promoter Eurosport Events.

After finishing third overall and second in ERC1 Junior on the all-gravel Rally Liepāja in late May, Sesks was third in ERC1 Junior and eighth overall in Italy, his second prize run and his first appearance in an R5 car on Tarmac.

“I’m quite happy to be at the finish because we found a lot of new things, how to drive the car and for sure it’s only our second rally in an R5,” said the Latvian teenager. “Everything is new but everything was right. For sure I want to do more of this and for sure I want to do a World Rally Car soon, but that’s the next step. The prize I had from Eurosport Events was unbelievable, the experience I now have in an R5 car.”

Sesks, who was co-driven by Uldis Briedis for the first time, could have finished higher up the order but for a front-right puncture three kilometres before the finish of the opening stage on Saturday.

The post Sesks: ERC prize drive experience unbelievable appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

After huge Poland crash, ERC Junior Llarena is “still in the fight”

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 06:00

Efrén Llarena bounced back from his huge crash on PZM 76th Rally Poland with a battling third place in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on Rally di Roma Capitale on Sunday.

Rallye Team Spain driver Llarena arrived in Italy with a replacement Peugeot 208 R2 after his original, self-built car was damaged beyond repair when he and co-driver Sara Fernández went off the road at high speed, thankfully without injury.

The result on the all-Tarmac event in Italy keeps them firmly in the hunt for the ERC3 Junior title and the two-rally prize drive in an R5 car in 2020.

“After the big crash in Poland we tried to be here in Rome and we worked very hard,” said Llarena. “The Spanish federation helped me a lot, we can rent a car for this rally and since the first stage, the qualifying, we were on the times, on the pace. But five kilometres before the finish of stage one we had a puncture on the front right and lost almost 1m48s. After that we tried to be fast to catch another position.

“To finish in third is not so bad, we are still in the fight and we go to the Barum Rally still with all the possibilities and the chance to win the title.”

The post After huge Poland crash, ERC Junior Llarena is “still in the fight” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New Abarth driver Melegari moves top in ERC2

Mon, 07/22/2019 - 18:00

Zelindo Melegari is the new leader of the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category following his second-place finish on his home event, Rally di Roma Capitale.

Having switched to an Abarth 124 rally for the all-asphalt counter, Melegari shrugged off his lack of experience in the rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscar to beat Andrea Nucita to the runner-up spot behind Dariusz Poloński, after a driveshaft failure slowed Nucita on the final run through the Ostia superspecial.

“I am happy because second position is important for the championship,” said Melegari, who has a 12-point title lead over Poloński. “Andrea is a very fast driver but we take points from him and it’s important. But it was a difficult rally, we knew this and it was a new experience for us with this car. But it was positive and we enjoy although there are some things to do with the set-up.”

Juan Carlos Alonso topped the ERC2 points prior to Rally di Roma Capitale but did not include the asphalt contest as one of his four scoring rounds.

The post New Abarth driver Melegari moves top in ERC2 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Cais produces best drive so far to make first ERC3 Junior podium

Mon, 07/22/2019 - 12:00

Erik Cais drove the rally of his life to claim his first podium in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship in Rome yesterday.

Cais, part of his national federation-supported ACCR Czech Rally Team, finished second to Ken Torn in a similar Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2.

With compatriot Jindřiška Žáková co-driving, the ex-downhill mountain bike racer delivered a hugely impressive display on Rally di Roma Capitale with six top three stage times in class.

“I am so satisfied, I am really happy,” said Cais, whose Fiesta is run by Orsák Rally Sport. “It was absolutely difficult, and you can see a lot of good drivers did a mistake. It’s my best result in rally so far and I hope we can keep this to the Barum Rally, maybe a little over as well!

“You can see how the guys are going fast on the bumpy sections and now we know that we can manage this on another rally.”

The post Cais produces best drive so far to make first ERC3 Junior podium 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)