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European Rally Championship
Updated: 50 min 12 sec ago

Wagner tops ERC Junior U27 times in Zlín Qualifying

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 12:32

Saintéloc Junior Team prodigy Simon Wagner turned in the fastest Qualifying Stage time on Barum Czech Rally Zlín amongst his FIA European Rally Championship Junior Under 27 peers, a strong return to form after an early exit from the previous ERC round.

Wagner had crashed out from first place during Leg One of Rally di Roma Capitale but was immediately back on the pace during Zlín’s Qualifying Stage, going 0.256s faster than next-best ERC Junior U28 runner Sindre Furuseth in second.

Spaniard Efrén Llarena demonstrated his tarmac skills with third fastest time aboard his Rally Team Spain PEUGEOT 208 R2, only 0.535s off Wagner’s pace.

Behind Wagner’s fourth-placed Saintéloc team-mate Miika Hokkanen was ADAC Opel Rallye Junior talent Mārtiņš Sesks in fifth, who took a steady approach after pushing hard and almost crashing out during free practice.

Young Czech talent Matěj Kamenec topped ERC3 in only his second ERC outing, beating Simon Wagner by an incredible 1.436s margin. Julian Wagner – no relation to Simon Wagner – was less fortunate, losing nearly 14 seconds with his car down on power.

Catie Munnings skipped free practice and the Qualifying Stage, having felt unwell since Thursday. She elected to focus on recovering before Friday evening’s opening superspecial instead.

The post Wagner tops ERC Junior U27 times in Zlín Qualifying appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Co-driver knowledge key for ERC Junior Stengg

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 12:00

Roland Stengg is planning to call on co-driver Jürgen Heigl’s previous Barum Czech Rally Zlín experience when he continues his FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship challenge in their Pirelli-shod Opel ADAM R2.

While Stengg is a Zlín rookie, Heigl has two starts on the sealed-surface round to his name.

“This will be our toughest rally yet,” said Austrian Stengg. “We started a similar event earlier this year in this region to get comfortable with the conditions and the roads but we still have to be aware and cautious as the road changes with every car.

“The challenge in this event is to be brave enough to drive flat on the bumpy and sometimes unexpectedly dirty roads. My co-driver Jürgen Heigl has a lot of international experience and has also started in Zlín twice before, so I am confident that his knowledge can help me. All in all, we will give our best but the priority has to be to make no mistakes.”

The post Co-driver knowledge key for ERC Junior Stengg appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior U28 Gryazin wins Zlín Qualifying Stage

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:21

FIA European Rally Championship Junior Under 28 front-runner Nikolay Gryazin scored an emphatic second Qualifying Stage victory this season on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, edging out local legend Jan Kopecký by 0.047 seconds.

Sports Racing Technologies driver Gryazin continued his rapid pace from last month’s Rally di Roma Capitale through the 4.71 kilometre Komárov test, despite easing off during his Qualifying Stage run compared to his earlier Free Practice 2 time.

His Qualifying Stage victory is all the more impressive given second placed factory ŠKODA Motorsport driver Jan Kopecký has won the last three consecutive Barum Czech Rally Zlín events since 2015, along with winning a string of R5 class wins in the World Rally Championship.

Another ERC Junior U28 usurped their more experienced counterparts, as points leader Fabian Kreim went third quickest in his ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Fabia. Kreim was only 0.157s behind stage winner Gryazin but more importantly went 0.192s faster than ERC championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk in fourth.

Factory Hyundai WRC driver Dani Sordo went fifth quickest through the Qualifying Stage, 1.150s off Gryazin’s pace aboard his i20 R5. Norbert Herczig was one second further behind Sordo in sixth place.

The remaining ERC regulars found themselves swamped by local experts. Another ERC Junior U28 star made their mark as Chris Ingram went ninth fastest, 2.683s behind Gryazin in a similar Toksport WRT-prepared Fabia. He slotted in behind a pair of local experts, Miroslav Jakeš and Roman Odložilík, who were seventh and eighth respectively.

EuroOil - Invelt Team’s Václav Pech completed the top 10 in his Ford Fiesta R5.

Bruno Magalhães will be the last driver to choose during Friday afternoon’s road order selection, going 15th fastest through the Qualifying Stage. He was unhappy with his set-up, the floor of his Fabia skidding along the ground and causing him to lose grip.

ERC Junior U28 competitor Rhys Yates finished only one place ahead of Magalhães, switching to a Kresta Racing-prepared Fabia for this event.

Catie Munnings did not set a Qualifying Stage time due to feeling unwell. The ERC Junior Under 27 and ERC Ladies' Trophy regular elected not to leave service this morning, focussing on recovering in time for Friday night's first stage instead.

The post ERC Junior U28 Gryazin wins Zlín Qualifying Stage appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings, Sanchez reunite for Czech ERC Junior counter

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:00

Catie Munnings and Alba Sánchez will link up for a second time on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, only this time they will chase FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship points.

Munnings and Sánchez joined forces for the Cyprus Rally in June, which wasn’t an ERC Junior round. But with Anne Katharina Stein, who has co-driven Munnings for the bulk of her career, unavailable due to a clashing commitment to Julian Wagner, Sánchez will return to the Saintéloc Junior Team to co-drive Munnings in a Pirelli-equipped PEUGEOT 208 R2.

“Alba [Sánchez] co-drove me in Cyprus and we got on really well, we had no idea what to expect as with no pre-event test we literally met each other at the airport,” said Munnings. “We have a great relationship in the car and get on as friends as well so it will be a nice experience to get some more kilometres with her on Tarmac.

“I think we are definitely where we need to be going into this rally so I’m confident we can keep improving our stats against the rest of the ERC Junior U27s. That’s been my whole season plan.”

The post Munnings, Sanchez reunite for Czech ERC Junior counter appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín Qualifying Stage live on ERC Radio

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:00

ERC Radio will be broadcasting live from the Barum Czech Rally Zlín Qualifying Stage today.

Reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will be at the finish of the 4.84-kilometre Komárov run to provide instant reaction from the ERC drivers as they complete the stage.

The results of the Qualifying Stage will help to determine the starting order for leg one of the FIA European Rally Championship qualifier, which takes place from today until Sunday.

ERC Radio’s coverage of the Qualifying Stage begins at 09h20 local time with the Alexey Lukyanuk due to get his challenge underway from 09h32.

In total 51 drivers are set to tackle the stage with ERC Radio due to cover the exploits of all crews.

ERC Radio is available at FIAERC.com or via the ERC app.

The post Barum Czech Rally Zlín Qualifying Stage live on ERC Radio appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Zlín dream comes true for former ERC Ladies champion Stratieva

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 06:00

Ekaterina Stratieva’s dream will come true today when she makes start number 10 on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Bulgarian Stratieva made her debut on the FIA European Rally Championship round in 2009 and has been an ever-present since.

“I feel amazing, like a dream,” said the Bulgarian, who will take part in the national section of the event in an R2-based Hyundai i20. “I didn’t expect after 10 years I would again be here. This was my first international race in 2009. I was very surprised about the people, the emotion, the organisation, the stages. At this moment I say to myself I don’t care what I am doing after 10 years but I want to be back. Now I see it’s possible if you are strong and you follow your dreams, one day they come true.”

Georgi Avramov will co-drive Stratieva, a previous winner of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

The post Zlín dream comes true for former ERC Ladies champion Stratieva appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Neubauer makes ERC return a winner

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 21:00

Hermann Neubauer returns to the FIA European Rally Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín this week a double winner.

The Austrian won two rallies in his native Austria – including Rallye Weiz – since his last ERC appearance in Gran Canaria but makes his fourth start in Zlín still chasing a finish on the sealed-surface event following a trio of retirements due to mechanical issues.

“Several years have passed since my last start and most of the special stages are completely new,” said Neubauer, who tested for the event earlier this week. “So the experience of that time does not really help me.”

Neubauer, whose ZM Racing Ford Fiesta R5 is co-driven by compatriot Bernhard Ettel, continued: “The rally is unique, the very special asphalt and the fast passages are just great. And of course there are the Czech rally fans who are extremely enthusiastic, the mood at the Barum is always sensational.

“We are super-prepared, not least thanks to Max Zellhofer and his team. And we are not under pressure to deliver a certain result. I want to drive a clean rally, show my best side and be satisfied with my performance at the end.”

The post Neubauer makes ERC return a winner appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

LPWM Sport reveals big ERC ambitions

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 18:00

Top Hungarian team LPWM Sport will make its debut in the FIA European Rally Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín this week – and has big plans to expand its ERC involvement in 2019.

Budapest-based LPWM Sport will field a PEUGEOT 208 R2 for young Hungarian Miklós Csomós in ERC3 in Czech Republic with further appearances planned this year and next, albeit as an ever-present.

While LPWM Sport is a relatively new entity, it’s made up of a number of rally professionals with more than 20 years of experience in the sport.

“We are absolutely planning to be on more ERC rallies,” said Levente Kazinczky, Technical Manager of LPWM Sport Kft. “In the next few weeks we will start to design a programme for the next ERC season. I believe that if we want to become to a well-known team we must compete in the European championship and we must show that our team is working professionally and we are able to prepare rally cars to a high technical level. Of course a good driver with the potential to win is very important but the foundations need to be right in order to succeed. I have no doubt it will be a hard mission to build up a team that works well in all areas but we are already hard at work to achieve this.”

In addition to its PEUGEOT 208 R2, LPWM Sport’s fleet of rally cars includes a Hyundai i20 R5. “This is our flagship car at the moment and is currently available to hire for championship campaigns or single events,” Kazinczky explained. “For the next season we are planning to buy two new i20 R5 cars.”

Of Csomós, LPWM Sport’s first ERC signing, Kazinczky has high hopes. “In my opinion he is a very talented young driver. Until now he was competing mostly in the Hungarian championship and he won many rallies, sometimes with significant good stage times compared to the other drivers. In view of all this we are optimistic for a good result in Zlín, even if we know that this is a much harder task than winning a national championship event, chiefly because all the stages are new for him.”

LPWM Sports heads to Zlín on the back of a run of success. It won ISEUM Szombathely Rallye with Frigyes Turán and was leading the TAXI4 Székesfehérvár Rallye until a puncture dropped Turán to third. More recently, MSZ Racing’s Simon Vallentin – an ERC aspirant – drove LPWM’s Hyundai i20 R5 to second place on the Komo Rallysprint event in Denmark.

The post LPWM Sport reveals big ERC ambitions appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mareš all set for home run in ERC Junior Under 28

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 15:00

Filip Mareš will step up to R5 power in the FIA European Rally Championship when he makes his debut in the ERC Junior Under 28 category on his home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Mareš, who turned 27 on 22 August, challenged for last year’s Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 title with the backing of his country’s national federation, the Autoklub of the Czech Republic, eventually finishing third in the standings.

As his reward and to further his experience, the ACCR has supported his hugely promising campaign in the Czech Republic this season in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 run by Kresta Racing, which includes the combined ERC and Czech championship-counting Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 24-26 August.

“I am very pleased we are back in the ERC after several months, moreover in the highly competitive championship that ERC Junior U28 undoubtedly is,” said Mareš, who is also planning to contest Rally Poland (21-23 September) and Rally Liepāja (12-14 October). “Last year in ERC Junior U27 we fought for a podium in every race in which we competed and it would be great to repeat it also in ERC Junior U28. But I stay with my feet firmly on the ground. As it is still my first season with an R5, I'm going to take it step by step and try to get as much points for our ACCR Czech Team as possible. Anyway I really appreciate the opportunity to represent the national team and thank everyone who made it possible.”

Mareš, who continues to be co-driven by compatriot Jan Hloušek, has claimed two podiums in this season’s Czech championship and is second in the standings. He joins Jan Černý – who has emerged as his main adversary in 2018 – in the ACCR Czech Rally Team on this week’s sealed-surface event.

“Of course it is something very special for me to get a chance to compete at the Barum with a Fabia R5, covered by the national ACCR Czech Team,” said Mareš, who comes from the Czech city of Mladá Boleslav, which is also the home of ŠKODA. “It's obviously one of the greatest news of the summer for us.

“For sure, it means the best opportunity to show what we have learned with our Fabia R5 so far and the ideal way to compare our level with other European drivers. Some guys, who also competed in ERC Junior U27 last year are now on the starting line with an R5, which could be good for comparison. However, I do not dare to predict our competitiveness in ERC Junior U28. We are determined to put in our best but the main objective remains the same: to complete the rally and learn as much as possible.”

Mareš is one of several ERC Junior graduates with R5 experience. Others include Fabio Andolfi, Emil Bergkvist, Jan Černý, Marijan Griebel, Nikolay Gryazin, Jari Huttunen, Chris Ingram, Stéphane Lefebvre, Tamara Molinaro, Łukasz Pieniazek, Ralfs Sirmacis and Aleks Zawada.

The post Mareš all set for home run in ERC Junior Under 28 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munster to follow famous father with ERC adventure

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 12:00

Grégoire Munster will follow in the wheel tracks of his famous father Bernard Munster by entering the FIA European Rally Championship.

The 19-year-old from Luxembourg has identified the ERC as the perfect arena to build his experience of international competition on his step up from national level.

Following this week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín, he plans to contest Rally Poland (21-23 September) and Rally Liepāja (12-14 October) in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship.

“The competition is really high in the ERC Junior U27, the the best way to improve my driving,” said Belgium-born Munster. “Competing against the top ERC Junior drivers is a great challenge for me and Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a great opportunity to make our first ERC outing. Thanks to my new sponsor, Dumobil, we hope to be able to contest the three remaining rounds of ERC Junior.”

Munster, who drives an Opel ADAM R2 under the EBRT banner, has achieved success on events in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany in 2018, but has international ambitions. “The ERC is the best school before reaching the world championship. As my father would say: ‘rally is all about experience’. Too many drivers step too fast into the WRC and we don’t want to make the same mistake. Look at some of the best drivers, Breen, Meeke, Neuville, they all gathered ERC experience.”

In terms of his first ERC Junior U27 start in Czech Republic from 24-26 August, Munster’s objectives are clear. “Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a really demanding Tarmac rally,” he said. “My first goal is to grab as much experience as possible and therefore I first need to finish the rally. Of course we will try to follow the pace of the top drivers even though they have more experience.”

Munster has enrolled on the ERC Junior Experience training programme as part of his ERC Junior U27 participation and has spent the build-up to Barum Czech Rally Zlín in various workshops, including a coaching session with double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel.

Bernard Munster’s ERC career, meanwhile, spanned more than 20 years and included stints in Audis, Opels and Renaults. He took four wins and 15 podiums from 90 starts and was Belgian champion in 1995.

ERC Junior has been helping young drivers in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres to learn, shine and climb since 2014 with graduates including Fabio Andolfi, Emil Bergkvist, Jan Černý, Marijan Griebel, Nikolay Gryazin, Jari Huttunen, Chris Ingram, Stéphane Lefebvre, Łukasz Pieniazek and Julius Tannert.

The post Munster to follow famous father with ERC adventure 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)