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European Rally Championship
Updated: 29 min 33 sec ago

Érdi Jr Zlín-bound eyeing second ERC2 title

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 06:00

Tibor Érdi Jr will head to Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month eyeing his second consecutive ERC2 title.

Érdi Jr has claimed three wins in the FIA European Rally Championship’s production class so far this season and one more victory would put him out of reach of his title rivals based on the new-for-2018 cost-cutting rule that allows drivers to count their best four scores only.

The Hungarian made it a hat-trick of ERC2 event wins on last month’s Rally di Roma Capitale although it emerged afterwards that his Italian adventure hadn’t gone quite to plan. A brake issued plagued Érdi Jr throughout the first morning and it needed the fitting of a replacement master brake cylinder at final service on Saturday to eradicate the fault.

“We try to defend our ERC2 title on the Barum Rally so we start to check the parts of the car and prepare for the Czech event,” said Érdi Jr. “We have a big chance.”

Érdi Jr will start Barum Czech Rally Zlín on 24 August four points ahead of Sergei Remmenik, who has claimed three seconds plus a third on Rally di Roma Capitale, which he contested in a replacement car after his own Mitsubishi Lancer was damaged beyond immediate repair in testing. Although the Russian was quick to praise the work of his Prospeed mechanics for getting him to the start in Rome, like Érdi Jr his rally wasn’t without problems.

“The fuel pump stopped working a few times and also the differential pump,” said Remennik at the finish in Ostia. “But it’s okay, it’s a finish and we collected some points. The team did a great job to turn a gravel car into a Tarmac car for the rally. It’s incredible.”

The post Érdi Jr Zlín-bound eyeing second ERC2 title appeared first on FIA ERC.

World Rally Car chance for ERC Junior champion Griebel

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel will get the chance of a lifetime when he contests his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship later this month – using part of his prize for winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 crown in 2017 to secure the opportunity.

Griebel, winner of the recent German championship ADAC Rallye Wartburg, was offered a one-off drive on a European round of the world championship in a previous-generation World Rally Car by ERC promoter Eurosport Events for winning the category for young stars in R5 cars last season.

At the time he opted to swap that opportunity for an expanded programme of rallies in a PEUGEOT 208 T16 with Eurosport Events’ full blessing. But with his 2018 schedule in the French car adjusted, Griebel has secured a home run on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in a Citroën DS3 WRC instead. It’s the same PH Sport machine he used to win the recent Rallye Lëtzebuerg alongside local co-driver Johny Blom.

“ADAC Rallye Deutschland is in the middle of my home area with everything around 20 kilometres of Hahnweiler where I live so it’s a special event for me,” said Griebel, who will link up with German co-driver Alexander Rath. “After my overall win in Luxemburg, I talked to PH Sport then talked to my sponsors about my idea of doing this special home rally in a very special car. They were all very interested and gave me some additional support. My main sponsor is Armin Kremer but a lot of other people and companies, including Eurosport Events, are involved, too, and this has made the project possible.”

Griebel, 29, won the ERC Junior crown in 2016 driving a Pirelli-equipped Opel ADAM R2, and was rewarded with a drive in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the season-closing Cyprus Rally as his prize. After finishing the event second overall on his debut in an R5 car, he secured an ERC Junior Under 28 bid in 2017 driving a Fabia for Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, taking the inaugural title with three wins.

He’s relishing the challenge of contesting ADAC Rallye Deutschland as the only German to do so in a World Rally Car. “It will be even faster and more impressive than an R5 car and, for sure, more fun as well. It’s a good opportunity to learn, to get some media coverage and promote myself for the future. Okay, I don’t have a chance against the drivers in the 2018-specification World Rally Cars but I can run in a really fast car in a WRC field, which is great for me. My aim for the weekend will be to stay on the road, beat all the R5 competitors and finish in the top 10 to get some real world championship points.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We’re very pleased Marijan has secured this opportunity and we’re happy to have played a part in helping him turn his plans into reality through the support we have given him for winning the ERC Junior Under 28 title in 2017. Marijan is a fantastic talent so it’s great he has this platform to showcase that to a big audience both nationally and internationally.”

Main image: www.sascha-smf.de

The post World Rally Car chance for ERC Junior champion Griebel appeared first on FIA ERC.

Habaj has ERC hope

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 09:00

Łukasz Habaj hopes his “tough experiences” on Rally di Roma Capitale will help him when he makes his next FIA European Rally Championship appearance.

The former Polish champion is expected to contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month on the back of a frustrating trip to Italy in mid-July.

“It was a tough rally,” said Habaj. “We got a puncture out of nowhere actually because we didn’t hit anything. But the puncture was not the biggest problem because later on we lost the powersteering in a really fast corner and nearly crashed the car.

“But [on the final day] we were trying different things and it’s nice to be [at the finish]. I will try on another rally, hopefully the pace and experience [from Rome] will help me.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes place from 24-26 August.

The post Habaj has ERC hope appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC 2018: the season ahead

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 06:00

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship is building up to an exciting climax with three all-action events in store: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (24-26 August)

The rally in 100 words: Ever-present in the ERC since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. The rally has a long-term contract with the ERC.

What’s new for 2018? Some 40 per cent of the route is different compared to 2017 as the organisers of the 48th Barum Czech Rally Zlín usher in the changes, including the new event-closing Kašava stage, the longest of the rally at 24.88 kilometres. The event will welcome world championship star Dani Sordo for the first time when the Spaniard takes on the demanding Czech stages in a Hyundai i20 R5 for what will be his ERC debut.

Rally Poland (21-23 September)

The rally in 100 words: One of the world’s oldest rallies is back on the ERC calendar in 2018 after a four-year break as Rally Poland replaces Rally Rzeszow as the country’s round of the European championship for its 75th edition. First run in 1921, Rally Poland’s home since 2005 has been Mikołajki in the picturesque Mazurian lake district, a three-hour drive north from the capital Warsaw, where high-speed all-gravel stages are commonplace. And it was in Mikołajki where Kajetan Kajetanowicz first emerged as a major force in the ERC, taking the win in 2013 prior to beginning his record-breaking title treble sequence in 2015.

What’s new for 2018? The Mikołajki MAX test starts on gravel roads around the rally’s host town and finishes in the purpose-built Mikołajki Arena – located adjacent to the fully-paved service park – after 9.13 kilometres of action. There’s also a renewed focus on spectator safety, while the majority of the stages have been altered with Talty selected as the new venue for Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage.

Rally Liepāja (12-14 October)

The rally in 100 words: The brainchild of rally driver turned promoter Raimonds Strokšs and first run to great acclaim in 2013, Rally Liepāja was originally a winter event but switched to the autumn for 2016. The new date effectively made for an all-new rally as crews adjusted to gravel stages free of snow and ice. Although the time of year had changed, the high-speed stages in western Latvia continued to thrill drivers and spectators alike. And with its new format now firmly established, this forward-thinking rally serves as a fitting season finale with Liepāja proving to be a popular destination for fans and competitors.

What’s new for 2018? Again forming part of the Festival of Speed Kurzeme, event organises are keeping details of the route under wraps for now but fans can already buy tickets at the discounted rate, which is valid until 8 October. More details are available here.

The post ERC 2018: the season ahead appeared first on FIA ERC.

Bernardi fast but out of luck in ERC3

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 06:00

Florian Bernardi showed plenty of speed on his return to FIA European Rally Championship duty on Rally di Roma Capitale earlier this month, winning stages and closing on the class lead when he was forced to retire nearing the end of the event.

After overcoming early technical issues, Bernardi was fastest in the ERC3 class on six stages. He had recovered to within 20 seconds of the category lead in the Renault Clio R3T he shares with co-driver Victor Bellotto when a pacenote issue led to contact with a rock and retirement on the penultimate stage.

“It is very encouraging for the future because we know that we are in the rhythm of the best European drivers whatever the type of stage,” said Bernardi, who won ERC3 on Rally Islas Canarias in May. “Our ERC adventure is over for this season but we hope to return soon.”

The post Bernardi fast but out of luck in ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC champion Griebel a winner in Germany

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 06:00

Marijan Griebel, the back-to-back ERC Junior title winner, took his first victory in this season’s Deutsche Rallye Meisterschaft with first place on the ADAC Rallye Wartburg on Saturday.

Driving a Team Romo PEUGEOT 208 T16, Griebel took three wins on the opening leg on Friday and then resisted increasing pressure from Christian Riedemann (ŠKODA Fabia R5) to take top spot by 20 seconds.

“We have just given everything and I am particularly pleased for the entire team that we were able to clinch the victory here after a long dry spell,” said Griebel. “I am satisfied with my performance, it was almost perfect.”

The post ERC champion Griebel a winner in Germany appeared first on FIA ERC.

Munnings reflects on awesome ERC weekend

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 18:00

Catie Munnings celebrated her third consecutive finish in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship by describing her Rally di Roma Capitale weekend as “awesome”.

Although the event got off to a challenging start when her pacenotes were stolen from a team-mate’s recce car – prompting co-driver Anne Katharina Stein to work through the night to ready a new set – the Briton said the experience she gained on the all-asphalt event was crucial to her ongoing development.

“It’s been an awesome weekend because I’ve learned so much,” said the Saintéloc Junior Team driver. “I’m still learning on Tarmac and there’s still lots to improve. But we are making great progress and I think we’re now 1.3s per kilometre off the top ERC Junior Under 27 drivers, which is great for me after not many rallies.

“It started off badly with the pacenotes being stolen and that meant Anna was up all night making new ones and I really take my hat off to her. But we just keep improving and work through the situations to improve for the next time.”

The post Munnings reflects on awesome ERC weekend appeared first on FIA ERC.

Why Flying Finn Nordgren’s ERC Roma strategy paid off

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:00

Juuso Nordgren said his error-free performance and the experience he gained made up for his lack of outright speed on Rally di Rally di Capitale, which he finished in seventh place.

It was the first time the Finn had gone the distance in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship, which he put down to his risk-free strategy at the wheel of his Wevers Sport-prepared ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“It was not so good from the side of speed but there was a lot of gaining and learning experience,” said the 21-year-old ŠKODA junior driver. “A lot of drivers had problems with punctures and other things but we had a clean and steady rally rather than pushing too much and going outside our comfort zone. It was only my third real Tarmac rally so I didn’t have much experience. But I used this rally to learn and I will take everything from it for the coming rallies.”

The post Why Flying Finn Nordgren’s ERC Roma strategy paid off appeared first on FIA ERC.

Kristensson picks laughing over crying in ERC Junior

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 06:00

Tom Kristensson picked laughing over crying after landing a season-best second in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship section of Rally di Roma Capitale.

Still playing catch-up in the title battle following his Azores Airlines Rallye exit in March the swift Swede delivered a thinking performance to complete an ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team one-two behind winning team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks.

“I am really happy,” Kristensson said at the finish in Ostia on Sunday evening. “The pace was good and we have done clever in every decision. Actually I don’t know if I should laugh or cry but I will laugh because we have done a great job. We did some small mistakes with the set-up but I am happy with my position, I am really surprised about it but I am happy.

“You need to think about the tyres and the brakes and of course to survive the long days so you have to think a lot. For the championship this helps a lot because I got zero in Azores and fourth place in Canarias so I really needed a podium and this is going in the right way. Now we just need to find the speed directly from the start in Barum but the pace is nearly there and I feel really comfortable.”

The post Kristensson picks laughing over crying in ERC Junior appeared first on FIA ERC.

Czech ERC Junior Brož focuses on home run after “bad” rally in Italy

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 18:00

Dominik Brož plans to hit back from his “bad” Rally di Roma Capitale with a strong result on his home round of the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Brož, part of the Czech Republic motorsport federation’s ACCR Czech Team, crashed out on stage two before restarting on day two and finishing sixth overall in the Pirelli-shod PEUGEOT 208 R2 he shares with co-driver Petr Těšínský.

“For us it was a bad rally because we had a crash for my stupid mistake and I had a bad sleep! And this was also bad because the stages [on day one] were very similar to what we have in Czech Republic and I wanted to drive on these roads. It only took maybe 10 minutes to fix the damage after the crash because we just had a broken rim on the front [because], apart from this, the car was okay.

“But we are in the finish and I am very happy for this so big thanks to the Czech federation, the partners, my parents and the guys from service. I am really looking forward now to Zlín.”

The post Czech ERC Junior Brož focuses on home run after “bad” rally in Italy appeared first on FIA ERC.

Åhlin continues ERC Junior U28 podium run

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:00

Fredrik Åhlin made it two FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship podiums in as many starts with a third place finish on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Despite not having competed on Tarmac for nine months and a day-one puncture, the Swede followed home class rivals Fabian Kreim and Chris Ingram to remain firmly in the title fight with two planned appearances remaining.

“We were improving step-by-step but after the puncture [on Saturday] we had no spare wheel so we had to be very careful for the stones in the cuts [for the rest of the day],” said the CA1 Sport driver. “We made some set-up changes [for Sunday] and used the day like a test day and in some places it was working better than in others.

“But the weekend has been disappointing pace-wise, I don’t really know why but it’s just not been there. Maybe I’m not used to this kind of Tarmac and it’s been nine months since my last Tarmac rally.”

The post Åhlin continues ERC Junior U28 podium run appeared first on FIA ERC.

It’s all too beautiful for Grzyb in the ERC

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 06:00

Grzegorz Grzyb enjoyed a “beautiful moment” when he claimed his first podium of the ERC season on Rally di Capitale last week.

The former Polish champion placed third on the FIA European Rally Championship counter, one week after winning the Slovak championship-counting Enipro Rally Lubeník.

Grzyb, who has climbed to sixth in the ERC1 rankings as a result, said: “For us it was a beautiful moment, a little surprise but a nice surprise. We have worked very hard, we find a good set-up and a good solution for this rally.

“We knew we can go close to the podium if we go from start to finish without any mistakes and any [bad] situations. We are really happy. We fight, we tried to push but we know the ERC drivers are very fast and the local drivers, the Italian guys are very fast so this result is unbelievable.”

The post It’s all too beautiful for Grzyb in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC.

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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)