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Updated: 58 min 57 sec ago

I couldn’t see, says ERC title leader Ingram following SS1 drama

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 06:00

Chris Ingram relied solely on co-driver Ross Whittock’s pacenotes to complete the opening stage of Rally Hungary last night after the lights on his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5 failed prior to starting the Rabócsiring superspecial.

While sections of the stage were well lit, Ingram admitted there were parts of the course where he simply could not see where he was going.

“The lights didn’t come on but it was okay, we didn’t lose too much time,” said the FIA European Rally Championship leader, who was sixth quickest, 1.5s adrift of top spot. “At the far end I couldn’t see anything, I was just listening to Ross hoping we were going the right way.”

Some 8000 fans flocked to the rallycross venue to follow the action unfold. “There were so many people in there, it was a great start to the rally,” Ingram added.

The post I couldn’t see, says ERC title leader Ingram following SS1 drama appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Habaj praises SRT for keeping his ERC title dream alive

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 23:17

Łukasz Habaj has credited his Sports Racing Technologies for keeping him in the fight to win the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

Habaj feared his ERC title hopes were over when he crashed in free practice this morning, which left his ŠKODA Fabia R5 badly damaged.

But frantic repair work by his mechanics ensured he made the start of the rallying’s opening test, albeit with only minutes to spare.

“Massive thanks to the team, they did an absolutely great job,” said Habaj, who was ninth fastest during this evening’s superspecial. “We left the service park at the very last minute. Ten minutes before our team was not even sure if we would be able to start or not. But they did it so it’s great.”

Of his SS1 performance, Habaj added: “This one was quite difficult getting the feeling back but the car is working and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully it will be fine from this moment.”

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Champions attack: Lukyanuk, Vincze level after thrilling 8000 fans on ERC opener

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 20:49

Alexey Lukyanuk has begun the deciding round of the FIA European Rally Championship by setting the joint-fastest time with Ferenc Vincze following the opening superspecial stage of Rally Hungary in front of 8000 fans.

Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team), the defending ERC champion, and Korda Racing Team’s Vincze, who claimed his first Hungarian title last month, set exactly the same time of 1m53.1s on the 2.40km Rabócsiring test and enter Saturday’s loop of stages tied for the rally lead, just two-tenths of a second ahead of the ACCR Czech Rally Team ŠKODA Fabia of ERC1 Junior champion Filip Mareš.

Overall ERC points leader Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) lies in sixth, tied with four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig, while Łukasz Habaj is P10 after his Sports Racing Technologies team heroically completed the repair of his Fabia R5 with just moments to spare.

Qualifying Stage pace-setter Ingram survived a slight drama on his run, after the headlamps failed to switch on, leaving the British driver literally in the dark.

Despite ending the opening stage on top of the times, it was far from an easy start for Lukyanuk who struggled to switch his wipers back on following the water splash which resulted in him “sliding sideways for 50 metres.”

Behind Mareš came American Sean Johnston, who was fourth quickest on his first competitive outing in an R5 car, just seven-tenths off the pace of Lukyanuk. Fellow R5 debutant Callum Devine (Hyudai Motorsport N) failed to receive a time however after he and Brazilian Paolo Nobre (Palmerinha Rally) had their runs red flagged.

Hungarian locals Kristóf Klausz and Ádám Velenczei posted solid top 10 times, ahead of Habaj, with the latter ending up tied with József Róbert Trencsényi.

Marijan Griebel marked his return to the championship in fine style by topping the ERC3 class on the opening stage. The German, who has been a regular in the ERC1 category, beat Erik Cais, whose ACCR Czech Rally Team Fiesta developed a gearbox issue during the run.

The battle for the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title got off to a somewhat anti-climatic start as Nabila Tejpar and Ekaterina Stratieva’s head-to-head was red flagged, leaving both on the same time heading into Saturday’s stages.

Abarth Rally Cup title contenders Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Polónski began their weekend with contrasting fortunes as Nucita headed his Polish rival by nearly 10 seconds despite falling ill earlier.

More to follow…

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Rally Hungary live on ERC Radio

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 18:00

ERC Radio’s live coverage of Rally Hungary will continue this evening with all the action from the opening stage at the Rabócsiring rallycross track.

Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will be live at the finish of the 2.4-kilometre spectator special, which features FIA European Rally Championship drivers competing against each other in pairs.

The stage is due to get underway at 18h58 with ERC crews running in partially-reversed seeded order.

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Nucita focused on finishing, not winning ERC Abarth decider

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 16:00

Andrea Nucita has no plans to push for the category win on the deciding round of the Abarth Rally Cup, which has run within the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time in 2019.

Nucita is eight points ahead of Dariusz Poloński in the Abarth Rally Cup, which rewards 30,000 euros to the winner.

With 25 points awarded to the category winner and 18 points to the second-place finisher, Nucita knows the title will be his providing he reaches the finish in Nyíregyháza on Sunday evening, regardless of Poloński’s result.

“The conditions are difficult but the car set-up is okay,” said Italian Nucita. “I hope to arrive in second position to win the championship.”

Poloński said: "We have to take it carefully, there is a lot of mud on the road."

The post Nucita focused on finishing, not winning ERC Abarth decider appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram chooses second, Lukyanuk first on the road for ERC Rally Hungary

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:36

Chris Ingram will follow his FIA European Rally Championship title rival Alexey Lukyanuk through the stages on leg one of Rally Hungary.

Ingram earned the right to pick his starting position first after setting the pace on the Qualifying Stage this morning.

He opted to run second with Lukyanuk making the bold decision to start at the front of the field after jokingly accusing Ingram of being a ‘chicken’ by not picking first.

“I think it’s going to be an incredibly difficult rally to open the road on a brand-new rally, I don’t need to take the risk,” said Ingram. “It will be okay to follow Alexey and check his times at the end of the stages.”

Filip Mareš selected position three, Norbert Herczig fourth and recently-crowned Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze fifth with Sean Johnston choosing to start sixth on his debut in the ERC1 category.

Following the start selection ceremony, the top 15 drivers on the Qualifying Session took part in a photocall to promote the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign.

The opening stage of Rally Hungary is due to get underway at 18h58 local time.

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Griebel ready for “really, really difficult” ERC finale

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 14:00

Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel reckons Rally Hungary will be “really, really difficult” following two days of reconnaissance of the sealed-surface stages.

Griebel, the 2018 German champion, is switching back to ERC3 for the deciding round of the 2019 season after being recruited by Toksport WRT to bolster its bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

“It’s really, really difficult,” Griebel said. “For sure the weather is one thing but there are a lot of stages in the dark, at least for the R2 cars, and the muddy conditions are really a lot. It will be difficult, slippery, but exciting.”

Griebel explained that the challenging conditions have prompted a slight revision to his pacenotes. “I marked more braking points than before because if you miss the braking points here one time it’s already too late. In dry conditions you can handle [it] but here it is really important you are early enough on the brakes. Also, you cannot drive with 100 per cent of pushing here and because there are a lot of gravel parts, you need to try to avoid punctures. It’s going to be a difficult story and the driver with the less problems will be in the best position.”

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Bútor honoured by ERC Hungary chance

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:00

Róbert Bútor has described his priority status for his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship as a big honour.

A multiple class winner in his homeland, Bútor officially retired from full-time driving at the end of the 2013 season but contests a handful of events each season, including Rally Hungary, which he’ll contest in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“I have already confirmed many times, since I retired, that I do not intend to live up to anyone’s expectation, I do not want to feel being stressed or prove anything. Now I put pressure on myself with this priority, because there is qualification here, choosing the starting number, and it is obviously no joke anymore. I do my best not to bring discredit upon anyone, nor the promoter or myself. I trust that we can live with the opportunity, even if we have less experience on Tarmac with the ŠKODA.

“We have only raced once on Tarmac with it, and it already happened two years ago. Last year’s race in Nyíregyháza was very tough, too, due to the conditions, there was fog, rain and darkness. This year we expect the same. Moreover, the race will last from 8am to 10pm for three days, so it will be very long and difficult. There are three new stages, and my goal is to improve and learn. This is surely the toughest race of the year.”

Bútor proved he’s lost none of his speed by winning the Veszprém Rally earlier in the year.

The post Bútor honoured by ERC Hungary chance appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title chaser Habaj: Hungary crash happened so quickly

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:47

Łukasz Habaj has spoken about the crash that forced him to miss the Rally Hungary Qualifying Stage and leave him uncertain whether he will be able to continue his pursuit of the FIA European Rally Championship title this weekend.

Habaj went off the road 500 metres from the finish of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor test this morning with his Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 sustaining significant front-end damage, although both Habaj and co-driver Daniel Dymurski were uninjured.

Speaking to ERC Radio’s Julian Porter, Pole Habaj said: “It’s difficult to say what happened because it was happening so quickly. But basically we just lost control over the car on braking. It didn’t give any signs on any previous braking so I just decided to be a little bit more aggressive but it was just too aggressive and I just lost control and I really wasn’t able to do anything.

“The car went straight and there was a ditch, which I got into and the impact was quite hard with the front of the car. It’s now difficult to judge if we will be able to continue but there is a small chance because we have all the parts.

“The mechanics are now trying to take the car back to the road and see. They said if the bodyshell is not damaged and the rollcage is not damaged then there is a chance they will rebuild the car and we will be able to start. We are okay, just now waiting on information from our mechanics.”

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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Ingram on form with ERC Qualifying Stage best

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:19

Chris Ingram has got his Rally Hungary challenge off to the perfect start by outpacing defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk on the Qualifying Stage this morning, completing the 3.90-kilometre test in 2m13.048s.

With Łukasz Habaj non-starting following his free practice crash earlier, the battle for supremacy among the three title contenders turned into a straight fight between Ingram and Lukyanuk, with Ingram earning the right to select his starting position before his Russian rival at the selection ceremony in Nyíregyháza this afternoon.

“It’s going to be an incredible challenge, treacherous conditions but I think it will suit us and we can’t wait,” said Toksport WRT-run Ingram, who used an intermediate Michelin tyre on his ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo. “It was an incredibly slippery bit of road but good fun.”

Lukyanuk, who was 0.919s slower than Ingram, opted for a ‘racing’ tyre for his Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 R5. “It was not the optimum tyre, the conditions were different to everything we’ve seen before. We expected it to be much less slippery but it’s more muddy and we didn’t expect that.”

Czech federation-supported Filip Mareš, on his first of two prize drives from ERC promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior title, was third fastest and more than satisfied with his performance. “It’s good to be two-tenths behind Lucas [Lukyanuk], not bad for us. The stage was not so comparable but good to try how slippery it will be on the rally.”

Home hero and four-time national title winner Norbert Herczig was the top Hungarian in fourth with recently-crowned Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze fifth. American Sean Johnston impressed on his first competitive outing on his step up to R5 level with the sixth fastest time. “It was slippery in there and we managed to go a bit quicker, which wasn’t our intention because we were already happy with the pace and this weekend is all about learning," he said.

Motorsport Ireland-backed Callum Devine was seventh quickest on his ERC return at the wheel of a Hyundai Motorsport N-entered i20 R5. András Hadik, who won in Nyíregyháza 12 months ago, was eighth followed by double ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr and Frigyes Turán. Niki Mayr-Melnhof reported making a "little mistake" at a right-hander on his way to the 14th best time ahead of Brazilian Paulo Nobre and Germany's Albert von Thurn und Taxis.

Andrea Nucita was fastest in ERC2 and quickest of the two Abarth Rally Cup title chasers, 2.8s up on rival Dariusz Poloński. Erik Cais beat Marijan Griebel to the fastest time in ERC3, while an overshoot at the final corner cost Nabila Tejpar time in her bid to beat Ekaterina Stratieva to ERC Ladies' Trophy glory.

Click here to view the live timing.

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

The post Ingram on form with ERC Qualifying Stage best appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title contender Habaj hits trouble in Hungary

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:22

Łukasz Habaj’s bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship has suffered an early setback after he crashed during his first run in free practice for Rally Hungary this morning.

Pole Habaj went off the road on a right-hand corner 500 metres before the finish of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor test and is set to miss the Qualifying Stage from 09h45 due to the damage inflicted to his Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Both Habaj and co-driver were uninjured with Daniel Dymurski commenting: “I think the car is not good”.

The results of the Qualifying Stage are used to form part of the starting order for the opening leg of the event, meaning Habaj will face running far down the order, providing his car can be repaired. With wet and muddy conditions expected, Habaj will be braced for a tough challenge.

Habaj is second in the provisional ERC standings, 19 points behind leader Chris Ingram and nine in front of defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

Photo: With grateful thanks to István Peremicki/www.pirirc.hu/Peremicki

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Rally Hungary Qualifying Stage live on ERC Radio

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:00

ERC Radio will broadcast live coverage of the Qualifying Stage for Rally Hungary, the deciding round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

From 09h30 CET today, Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will provide their expert commentary and analysis live from the stop line of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor stage as the ERC crews battle it out to be fastest and earn the right to selecting their leg one starting position first.

Damp and foggy conditions are expected during the Qualifying Stage, which begins at 09h45 local time. The start order selection takes place in Nyíregyháza at 15h00 with the opening stage due to begin at 18h58 following the ceremonial start at 18h05.

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ERC legend Elford offers words of support to title-chasing Ingram

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 06:00

Vic Elford, the first and only British driver to win the FIA European Rally Championship, has sent a message of support to his compatriot Chris Ingram ahead of the season-deciding Rally Hungary.

Elford, who entered 13 Formula One world championship grands prix during a versatile and hugely successful career, took the ERC title in 1967 in a Porsche 911, one year before his victory on Rallye Monte-Carlo in the German machine (pictured).

In his message to Ingram, the ERC title leader starting the Nyíregyháza-based finale, Elford wrote: “There are two things that have amazed me over the last 50-plus years: that no Brit has yet won the ERC title again and no Brit has yet won the Monte Carlo Rally. I wish all the success in the world for Chris to achieve the first one. Get that done and then he can start seriously thinking about the second.”

Elford continued: “Over the years Chris, I drove some awesome cars and the best were usually those where I had a direct input on their set-up, but I also drove some that were not so good. But no matter what, whether it was rally or race, whenever I was asked before an event ‘How do you think you will do?’ My reply was always the same; ‘I am going to win, of course!’ – and on more than one occasion, even though I was driving an outclassed car I was able to force it beyond what it was capable of – and win – because I had already persuaded myself that I would! You do that for me in Hungary and I will be very proud of you!”

Elford, now 84, plans to follow Ingram’s progress during Rally Hungary from his home in the USA.

Photo: Porsche.de

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Mareš gets set for ERC1 Junior prize drive in Hungary

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 18:00

Filip Mareš is getting ever closer to his first of two prize drives for winning the 2019 FIA ERC1 Junior Championship*.

The Autoclub of the Czech Republic-backed star took the category honours after beating fellow young talent Chris Ingram in a Barum Czech Rally Zlín final-stage showdown by 0.3 seconds.

As well as the prestigious FIA title**, Mareš has been allocated 100,000 euros to support his ongoing participation in the ERC.

In addition to contesting Rally Hungary in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by Kresta Racing, Mareš will tackle the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.

His ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo, which he’s using in competition for the first timie, is pictured in the Rally Hungary service park in Nyíregyháza.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Double ERC3 champion Bessenyey is back

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 12:00

Zoltán Bessenyey will return to the FIA European Rally Championship a hero on Rally Hungary this week.

Bessenyey took back-to-back ERC3 titles in 2013 and 2014 but was seriously injured in a testing crash in 2016, the year of his last ERC appearance on the Acropolis Rally.

He’s fought a brave recovery since then but remains confined to a wheelchair due to the severity of his injuries.

While he’s not competing in anger on Rally Hungary this year, he will assist fellow Hungarian János Vida with zero car-driving duties, swapping the steering wheel for the event road book in what will be his first run through the stages of a competitive rally since his accident.

“I have never gone with a car like this, but it is quite pleasant,” said Bessenyey, who will co-drive a Peugeot 208 R2. “I felt great during the test [on Tuesday]. I already sat on the right side, and I think that next to a confident driver it is not a scary experience at all. Jani listens to me, he does what I tell him. I am a kind of leader in the car that fits me well. I really like that I can lead and manage the team.”

As well as the serious job of co-driving the zero car, Bessenyey has used his return to the ERC reacquaint himself with some of his former rivals, such as overall title contender Chris Ingram, who was a regular in ERC3 in 2014.

“I must admit that I support Ingram, so I told him to stay relaxed, because he has the best position in the standings, while the others must push hard,” said Bessenyey. “Then he said that it was easy to say it, but he had never driven at such a difficult Tarmac race and he was a bit scared, though he tries to go his own rhythm.”

Bessenyey isn’t ruling out further outings in a rally car in the future. “I expect that we will get out of the car feeling tired, but smiling after two days. If it happens, we might continue. I would love to do it.”

Photo: Rallyhungary.com

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Mayr-Melnhof in the Hungary ERC points hunt

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 06:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof starts Rally Hungary firmly in the frame to build on his impressive showings during this season’s FIA European Rally Championship.

The ex-GT racer and 2018 Austrian rally champion was fifth on the last round, the gravel-based Cyprus Rally, but will be hoping to show off his Tarmac-driving skills in the Ford Fiesta R5 he shares with co-driver Poldi Welsersheimb.

After placing P10 on Rally Islas Canarias in May, Mayr-Melnhof was fifth quickest on the Rally di Roma Capitale Qualifying Stage only to crash out of contention on the opening test. However, he returned on day two and pasted a handful of top 10 stage times for Beppo Harrach’s The Drift Company team.

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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The ERC champions

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 18:00

Łukasz Habaj, Chris Ingram or Alexey Lukyanuk will add their name to the FIA European Rally Championship Hall of Fame when the winner of the 2019 title is decided on Rally Hungary this weekend.

Here’s the list of the previous champions, which includes Lukyanuk following his triumph in 2018.

2018: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2017: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2016: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2015: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2014: Esapekka Lappi (Finland)
2013: Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic)
2012: Juho Hänninen (Finland)
2011: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2010: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2009: Giandomenico Basso (Italy)
2008: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2007: Simon Jean-Joseph (France)
2006: Giandomenico Basso (Italy)
2005: Renato Travaglia (Italy)
2004: Simon Jean-Joseph (France)
2003: Bruno Thiry (Belgium)
2002: Renato Travaglia (Italy)
2001: Armin Kremer (Germany)
2000: Henrik Lundgaard (Denmark)
1999: Enrico Bertone (Italy)
1998: Andrea Navarra (Italy)
1997: Krzysztof Hołowczyc (Poland)
1996: Armin Schwarz (Germany)
1995: Enrico Bertone (Italy)
1994: Patrick Snijers (Belgium)
1993: Pierre-César Baroni (France)
1992: Erwin Weber (Germany)
1991: Piero Liatti (Italy)
1990: Robert Droogmans (Belgium)
1989: Yves Loubet (France)
1988: Fabrizio Tabaton (Italy)
1987: Dario Cerrato (Italy)
1986: Fabrizio Tabaton (Italy)
1985: Dario Cerrato (Italy)
1984: Carlo Capone (Italy)
1983: Miki Biasion (Italy)
1982: Antonio ‘Tony’ Fessina (Italy)
1981: Adartico Vudafieri (Italy)
1980: Antonio Zanini (Spain)
1979: Jochi Kleint (Germany)
1978: Antonio Carello (Italy)
1977: Bernard Darniche (France)
1976: Bernard Darniche (France)
1975: Maurizio Verini (Italy)
1974: Walter Röhrl (Germany)
1973: Sandro Munari (Italy)
1972: Raffaele Pinto (Italy)
1971: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1970: Jean-Claude Andruet (France)
1969: Harry Källström (Sweden)
1968: Pauli Toivonen (Finland)
1967: G1: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1967: G2: Bengt Söderström (Sweden)
1967: G3: Vic Elford (Great Britain)
1966: G1: Lillebror Nasenius (Sweden)
1966: G2: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1966: G3: Günther Klass (Germany)
1965: Rauno Aaltonen (Finland)
1964: Tom Trana (Sweden)
1963: Gunnar Andersson (Sweden)
1962: Eugen Böhringer (Germany)
1961: Hans-Joachim Walter (Germany)
1960: Walter Schock (Germany)
1959: Paul Coltelloni (France)
1958: Gunnar Andersson (Sweden)
1957: Ruprecht Hopfen (Germany)
1956: Walter Schock (Germany)
1955: Werner Engel (Germany)
1954: Walter Schlüter (Germany)
1953: Helmut Polensky (Germany)

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Czech federation celebrates Nations’ Cup glory, highlights importance of ERC in growing young talent

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 12:00

The Autoclub of the Czech Republic (ACCR) has celebrated winning the ERC Nations’ Cup by highlighting the importance of the FIA European Rally Championship in helping ASNs to develop their young talents at international level.

Under the ACCR Czech Rally Team banner, the Czech federation secured the ERC Nations’ Cup following an impressive season-long display having finished runner-up to the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in 2018.

At the same time, the ACCR has showcased several talented drivers under the captaincy of Vojtěch Štajf, with Erik Cais, Filip Mareš, Petr Semerád and Jan Talaš among those to benefit from the federation’s financial backing and career-development guidance.

Tomas Kunc, the ACCR’s General Secretary for Automobile and Motorcycle Sport, said: "We really appreciate the victory in the ERC Nations’ Cup. We are very active in the ERC for many years and working with talents is very rewarding. I would like to thank promoter Eurosport Events for the excellent cooperation and all our ACCR Czech Rally Team crews for a great season. Our drivers need the experience from driving on different types of stages, including gravel, which they are unable to gain in the Czech Republic. The ERC provides this opportunity. And our federation is happy for the publicity. The ERC is well organised.”

The ERC Nations’ Cup was introduced by FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events for 2018 to reflect the increased involvement of national motorsport federations and automobile associations in the ERC. In 2018, ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, ACCR Czech Rally Team and Rallye Team Spain took part. They were joined for this season by FPAK Portugal Team ERC, Estonian Autosport Junior Team and the Sweden National Team.

As well as contributing to the ACCR’s ERC Nations’ Cup success, Filip Mareš won the ERC1 Junior Championship title**, while Erik Cais is in contention to finish runner-up in ERC3 at the end of his first season of international rallying when Rally Hungary hosts the season finale this week.

**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Irish ASN chief: Hyundai ERC chance “priceless” for Devine’s career development

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 06:00

Leo Hassett, CEO of Motorsport Ireland, has described Callum Devine’s FIA European Rally Championship outing in Hungary this week as “priceless” for the development of his career.

Devine, part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, will contest the ERC season decider in a Philip Case Rally Sport-run Hyundai i20 R5 entered under the Hyundai Motorsport N banner.

Hassett said: “The opportunity for Callum and Brian [Hoy] to work with a professional team like Philip Case Rally Sport, who will be running the car, at a prestigious European Rally Championship event in Hungary is priceless for their career development. I know that they will be determined to showcase their talent on the international stage.”

Andrew Johns, Customer Racing, Hyundai Motorsport, added: “Having Callum in the car for Rally Hungary is a good opportunity for both him and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing. For Callum it’s an opportunity to show his capabilities in front of an international audience, but it’s also to chance to have an i20 R5 competing in the European championship – one of the most competitive series for in the R5 category.”

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One Cup and €30,000 up for grabs: Nucita and Polonski battle it out for Abarth ERC glory

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 18:00

The first Abarth Rally Cup held within the FIA European Rally Championship will go down to the wire on Rally Hungary this week with Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński just eight points apart in their battle for title glory and the €30,000 prize fund.

Italian Nucita has won the category for the Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally three times this season compared to Pole Poloński’s solitary triumph. But with Rally Hungary unchartered territory for both, a straight fight is expected for the coveted crown and the cash prize awarded to the inaugural champion.

Nucita’s experience of the Abarth 124 rally dates back to 2017 when he drove it on his home round of the ERC, Rally di Roma Capitale. He’s racked up considerable experience since then and arrives in Hungary eight points in front of Poloński for the winner-takes-all contest.

“Winning the title would mean reaching the goal we had set ourselves at the beginning of the year, moreover on an important stage such as the ERC,” said Loran Srl-run Nucita, who turned 30 last month. “I believe the chances are good although we must tackle the event with maximum concentration, without making mistakes. It will be a nice challenge to the end.”

Poloński was better known for his exploits in R2 and R5 machinery before he switched focus for 2019, signing up for the Abarth Rally Cup with the Polish Rallytechnology outfit. It created a sense of déjà vu for Poloński, who started his career with Fiat power back in the late 1990s.

Although he’s firmly in the title mix, the 43-year-old isn’t getting carried away. “We have only a mathematical chance to win,” Poloński insisted. “We are here to get another lesson how to compete with this car. It is a new rally for all of us so we can compare our stage times to Andrea, who is the top driver and shows us where the limit is. We are not really counting on [winning the title]. It would be rather a surprise but we hope to have a good rally.”

As well as their scrap for the Abarth Rally Cup, Nucita and Poloński will fight for the runner-up spot in the final ERC2 points table behind provisional champion Juan Carlos Alonso, as Abarth Rally Cup competitors are also eligible for the showroom category, which will include Hungarian Mátyás Nagy among its ranks this weekend. Nagy, who pilots a Mitsubishi Lancer, will make his long-awaited class debut in Hungary after car eligibility issues forced him to scrap his planned Barum Czech Rally Zlín run in the summer.

The post One Cup and €30,000 up for grabs: Nucita and Polonski battle it out for Abarth ERC glory 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)