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Updated: 26 min 52 sec ago

ERC progress pleases Munnings

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 18:00

Catie Munnings delivered another impressive performance in the FIA European Rally Championship, shrugging off her lack of gravel experience to finish fifth in ERC Junior Under 27 and first in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy section on Rally Liepāja.

Munnings, 20, made her gravel debut in Latvia in 2016 but her return marked only her third start on a high-speed loose-surface event.

“We made so much progress, it’s like reaching another level of confidence in what the car can do,” said the Saintéloc Junior Team driver, a PEUGEOT UK ambassador. “I now know I can push it so much further still. I loved the speed of this rally. It took a bit of getting used to, but we were flat in fourth or fifth gear petty much everywhere and being sideways at that speed is something else. I was disappointed when each stage ended – it was just the most awesome week.”

Briton Munnings recruited former ERC Junior frontrunner and Swedish 2WD champion Mattias Adielsson as her driver coach ahead of the event. She added: “The coaching I had with Mattias at the test made a real difference, the only sad thing is that my season has finished for this year.”

Despite finishing ahead of Emma Falcón on Rally Liepāja, Munnings had to settle for the runner-up spot in the final ERC Ladies’ Trophy standings behind her Spanish rival. “Emma did a great job to take the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title but I’m happy to be progressing all the time,” said Munnings.

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Fitness first in ERC Junior Experience

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 12:00

Four young rally crews were given the opportunity to build their knowledge and expertise during the latest ERC Junior Experience training sessions in Latvia last week.

The quartet took part in three workshops – physical training, partnership acquisition and retention and gravel driving technique – ahead of Rally Liepāja, the closing round of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship from 12-14 October.

Newcomer Petr Semerád joined existing ERC Junior Experience pupils Hugo Margaillan (France), Niels Reynvoet (Belgium) and Roland Stengg (Austria), who was also competing in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in Latvia, while Wojciech Chuchała, Evelien Deschuytter and Artis Lagzdiņš provided expert training and coaching.

Training week #3 curriculum: Liepāja, Latvia (9-12 October)
*Core stability training (physical health, concentration, stability, positioning and movement of the core) hosted by Artis Lagzdiņš at the Liepājas Olimpiskais Centrs
*Individual gravel-driving technique coaching from former ERC2 champion Wojciech Chuchała
*Pre-event test session on gravel
*Tyre-changing refresher
*Out-of-the-box training from Evelien Deschuytter in securing and maintaining partnerships
*Reconnaissance of all special stages

Coach Lagzdiņš: fitness can make drivers faster
Artis Lagzdiņš coaches MX2 rider Pauls Jonass and ERC Junior Under 27 champion* and ERC Junior Experience graduate Mārtiņš Sesks, making him ideally placed to assess the ERC Junior Experience intake’s physical fitness before equipping them with useful skills through several exercises. “It was a pleasure to see how the ERC Junior Experience drivers attended the core stability workshop with full commitment,” he said. “They realised core stability is important for a rally driver. I showed them different types of exercises what a rally driver must do, we practiced them and filmed it. This enables them to continue doing the exercises at home. It was great to see these young guys so motivated.”

Developing young drivers very important, says Chuchała
Former FIA ERC2 champion Wojciech Chuchała joined the coaching staff during the third week of ERC Junior Experience training. Providing one-to-one coaching on gravel, the talented Polish driver passed on his knowledge and expertise to the four student drivers and spoke highly of the ERC Junior Experience. “Development of young drivers is very important,” said Chuchała. “Making clever steps but keep a safe base is very important and the ERC Junior Experience is helping these young drivers to be prepared in every point. Technical knowledge, physical preparation and driving technique can improve drivers as fast as it is possible. It was a big opportunity for me to be a part of the programme and I really enjoyed the work and helping to improve these drivers and co-drivers.”

Semerád gains gravel skills
Newcomer Petr Semerád replaced Erik Cais during the ERC Junior Experience training week in Latvia. Cais joined the programme in his native Czech Republic in August, but a clashing event prevented him from attending the Liepāja sessions. Semerád – who like Cais is 17 years old and highly rated in his homeland – had never previously driven on gravel before. “I was here to learn as much as I could about driving on gravel and coping with the ruts because we only have Tarmac rallies in Czech Republic,” said Semerád. “The ERC Junior Experience crew taught me a lot and I was surprised how quickly I had everything under control when I got in the car. It was not easy but I really enjoyed it.” Semerád also took part in the core stability and partnership workshops and event reconnaissance. And following the training sessions, Semrad and co-driver Jiří Hlávka stayed on in Latvia to watch the conclusion to the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Liepāja, visiting several stages and the service park.

ERC Junior Experience refresher
Established in 2016 to provide drivers and co-drivers with the myriad skills required for their step up from national to international level, the ERC Junior Experience is open to competitors in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship, plus other drivers aiming for the top. Sébastien Bedoret, Filip Mareš, Catie Munnings, Laurent Pellier and Mārtiņš Sesks are among its graduates. For more information contact Evelien Deschuytter, All In Motion, +32 473990342, evelien@allinmotion.be.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Ingram credits Gryazin for ERC pace rise

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 06:00

Chris Ingram has praised Nikolay Gryazin – the man who beat him to the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship – for making him a faster driver.

Ingram pushed Gryazin for the ERC Junior U28 crown on the season-closing Rally Liepāja, despite 2018 marking his first campaign in an R5 car.

After finishing second to Gryazin on the Latvian event and final championship standings, Toksport WRT driver Ingram paid tribute to his Russian rival.

“I’m really happy how we’ve developed in our first season in an R5,” said Briton Ingram. “Nikolay has been an incredible benchmark with incredible pace on every rally, so thanks to him for pushing me and massive congratulations again for winning the championship.

“For us it's been a massive learning curve with lots of highs and lows. Ross [Whittock, co-driver] has done an amazing job, the whole team's done an incredible job and really helped me. Hopefully, we can carry on because it's been very difficult with the budget. This year has been about learning, next year we have to go and win.”

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No title but Kreim relishes ERC battle

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 06:00

Fabian Kreim might have missed out on the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship during the three-way showdown on Rally Liepāja last weekend, but he returned to his native Germany armed with an abundance of experience following his fine performance in Latvia.

With limited gravel running during his career, the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver suggested the odds would be stacked against him in the title battle. And while he missed out on the big prize he impressed throughout the high-speed gravel event alongside co-driver Frank Christian.

After finishing fourth overall and fourth in class on Rally Liepāja but third in the final ERC Junior U28 standings, Kreim said: “With fourth place I’m not sure if I should be happy or disappointed because I have lost the ERC Junior Under 28 title, I have lost the podium. But I have to be happy with the pace, I get a lot of experience so of course we’re really happy with this weekend. It was quite difficult for me but I did the best job I could.”

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Great Gryazin secures prize drive chance from ERC

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:00

The race to win one of the biggest prizes in rallying is over: Nikolay Gryazin is the winner of the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship for 2018* and the recipient of a prize drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship in 2019.

He fought off rivals Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim in a season-closing title showdown on Rally Liepāja, which concluded on Sunday afternoon after two days of intense action on high-speed gravel stages in Latvia.

Gryazin, 21, will now be offered a fully-funded drive in a 2016-specification World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship in 2019 by ERC promoter Eurosport Events and follow in the wheel tracks of Marijan Griebel. The German won the inaugural ERC Junior Under 28 title in 2017 and used part of his prize to score overall points on ADAC Rallye Deutschland last August driving a Citroën DS3 WRC.

However, in order to serve Gryazin’s best interests, as an alternative to the World Rally Car prize drive, Eurosport Events will cover the costs of two ERC events next season in an R5 car to a total value of €100,000. There is no restriction on team or car choice but the grant has to cover two ERC rallies in 2019.

“Congratulations to Nikolay on this fantastic achievement,” said ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley. “With three drivers starting Rally Liepāja in contention for this prestigious FIA title and incredible prize, it has been an exciting end to the championship. All three drivers have achieved great things this season and demonstrated true quality. However, there can only be one winner and Nikolay is certainly a deserving champion. We look forward to watching him take his career to the next level with this excellent opportunity.”

Russian Gryazin, whose Pirelli-shod ŠKODA Fabia was co-driven by Yaroslav Fedorov, wins ERC Junior Under 28* – the category for young stars in R5 cars – courtesy of victories on Rally Islas Canarias, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, PZM Rally Poland and now Rally Liepāja, with the latter two outright triumphs.

“It feels good and I’m really satisfied,” said the Sports Racing Technologies driver. “Our target wasn’t to push but to finish and now I can sleep well. I don’t show emotions too much but I’m really happy. We improved a lot this year, we had a good strategy and a good preparation for each event. Now I look to next year when I get two rounds of the ERC as my gift from Eurosport.”

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA.

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ERC champions of 2018*

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 23:07

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship drew to an action-packed close on Rally Liepāja earlier today. Here's a reminder of who won what this season*.

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ERC1:
Driver: ALEXEY LUKYANUK (RUSSIA, pictured)
Co-driver: ALEXEY ARNAUTOV (RUSSIA)

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ERC2:
Driver: TIBOR ÉRDI JR (HUNGARY)
Co-driver: GYÖRGY PAPP (HUNGARY)

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ERC3:
Driver: MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LATVIA)
Co-driver: RENĀRS FRANCIS (LATVIA)

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 28 CHAMPIONSHIP:
Driver: NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (RUSSIA)

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP:
Driver: MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LATVIA)

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR TEAMS:
ADAC OPEL RALLYE JUNIOR TEAM (GERMANY)

ERC NATIONS’ CUP:
ADAC OPEL RALLYE JUNIOR TEAM (GERMANY)

ERC LADIES’ TROPHY:
EMMA FALCÓN (SPAIN)

*Subject to confirmation of results by the FIA

 

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Falcón beats Munnings to ERC Ladies’ Trophy title

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 19:03

Emma Falcón secured the 2018 ERC Ladies’ Trophy title on the final stage of Rally Liepāja, though her main competitor Catie Munnings secured victory on the rally itself.

Munnings knew only a top five finish in ERC3 would improve her final championship position and, thanks to issues befalling fellow ERC Junior Under 27 competitors Mattia Vita and Kristóf Klausz, she progressed from seventh to fifth across the course of leg two.


However, the Saintéloc driver’s gains were not enough to tip the balance in her favour for the title, with Falcón’s seventh place in ERC3 was enough to seal the trophy.


“It has been a rally difficult year with many problems but I’m very happy to stay here and win the championship, said Falcón. “Thank you to Catie as well.”


Falcón had taken a cautious approach throughout, with an unfamiliar GC Motorsport-run PEUGEOT 208 R2 replacing her usual Citroën DS3 R3T in Liepāja.

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ERC2: Remennik caps season with Liepāja win

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 18:05

Sergei Remennik scored his first win in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category this year on Rally Liepāja, the season finale.

With recently crowned ERC2 champion* Tibor Érdi Jr stepping up to a top-spec ŠKODA Fabia R5 in a non-points scoring entry this weekend, Russian Performance Motorsport driver Remennik was able to push on for victory, though his day was not without its dramas.

A power steering failure on stage nine caused a late scare but was remedied at midday service, allowing him to cap his second position in the ERC2 championship* with a win.

Érdi finished P11 overall on his R5 debut, though was not part of the overall ERC classification this weekend.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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ERC Junior U27: Kristensson defeats Sesks on home turf

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 17:48

ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team secured a 1-2 finish in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior U27 category on Rally Liepāja but with Swede Tom Kristensson beating new champion* Mārtiņš Sesks to victory on his home event.

Kristensson had already laid the groundwork for his second consecutive win on Saturday, with 18.8s in hand going into Sunday’s stages.

Both scored an equal number of stage wins – three apiece – during leg two, Kristensson’s final margin of victory coming in at 20.7s after a very evenly matched day.

“I’m finding it really hard to find words,” said an ecstatic Kristensson. “I think we’re doing such a good job all weekend. I was really happy to do a successful end of this fantastic season with this fantastic team, Opel Motorsport.”

“I am so happy right now I don’t really know what do! But it feels really good. A double win at the end of the season is fantastic.”

Sesks had plenty to celebrate despite missing out on a victory on his home event. Kristensson’s late-season resurgence was not enough to stop the Latvian ace securing the ERC3 championship title*, his second place finish securing a second championship trophy this year.

Miika Hokkanen ended his challenging season on a high note, repeating his podium finish on the previous event in Poland with another third place finish aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2. His late success catapults him from eighth to sixth in the championship standings, leapfrogging fellow Saintéloc Junior Team drivers Simon Wagner – who was not present this weekend – and Catie Munnings.

Roland Stengg secured his best ever result in ERC Junior U27 with fourth place, although his path to success was made a little easier by problems for his competitors. Mattia Vita, with whom he was locked in a very close battle for fifth place, was forced to retire on stage nine with an engine problem, while Kristóf Klausz spun into a ditch on SS11 to hand Stengg fourth.

Munnings completed the top five in ERC Junior U27 and while she also scored ERC Ladies’ honours, the ERC Ladies’ Trophy went to Emma Falcón, who scored enough points with seventh in ERC3 to secure the title.

Thanks to help from spectators, Klausz’s car was eventually rescued from the ditch he had been stranded in for 20 minutes, finishing the rally sixth in both ERC Junior U27 and ERC3, still ahead of Falcón despite his mistake.

Sindre Furuseth had retired from third on Saturday and did not return for leg two due to a damaged engine.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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ERC Junior U28: Gryazin champion as Åhlin and Kreim go to the wire

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 17:24

Nikolay Gryazin scooped a maiden FIA ERC Junior Under 28 championship title* on Rally Liepāja, while a titanic scrap between Fredrik Åhlin and Fabian Kreim for third provided a fantastic sub-plot.

Starting the day with 19s in hand over nearest championship rival Chris Ingram in 2nd place, Gryazin won all three stages during leg two’s morning loop, creating an unassailable lead of over half a minute which he would not relinquish on the afternoon loop.

“It feels good and I’m really satisfied,” said the Sports Racing Technologies driver. “Our target wasn’t to push but to finish and now I can sleep well. I don’t show emotions too much but I’m really happy. We improved a lot this year, we had a good strategy and a good preparation for each event. Now I look to next year when I get two rounds of the ERC as my gift from Eurosport.”

As both Gryazin and Ingram switched to a safety-first mode to secure their first and second place finishes – and the same positions in the overall championship standings – an extremely close battle over third came to a dramatic climax on the championship’s final stage of the year.

Locked in battle since Saturday morning, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland’s Fabian Kreim and CA1 Sport driver Fredrik Åhlin entered the final stage – the longest of the rally at 24.99 kilometres – separated by only 0.1s. Each had set the fastest time of anyone on SS11 and SS10, respectively.

Such was the intensity of their battle both had closed up on Ingram, with Kreim only 13.7s behind in his own battle to take second in the championship from Ingram. However, after throwing his ŠKODA Fabia R5 off into a ditch at high speed and coming only centimetres from rolling over, he reigned in his pace, while Åhlin pushed on at full speed.

Åhlin’s margin of victory on the final stage was 8.1s over the new ERC Junior U28 champion* and 8.3s over Kreim, demoting the German driver to fourth place.

Autoklub of Czech Republic-backed Filip Mareš completed the top five young stars in R5 cars, steadily improving his pace across the weekend and improving from seventh to fifth by the rally’s end. It was the ERC Junior Under 27 graduate’s first career top five finish in the ERC Junior U28 category.

Kresta Racing driver Rhys Yates admitted he had underestimated the challenge of Liepāja’s lightning-fast roads but gained valuable experience in improving his pace notes and the positioning of his car, with sixth place his reward for successfully navigating a rally which had caught out many others.

Laurent Pellier had been sixth at the end of leg one but technical issues forced PEUGEOT Rally Academy to retire his car on Saturday evening, electing not to restart and take part in Sunday’s action.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Day report: Gryazin scores a treble on Rally Liepāja

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 16:58

Nikolay Gryazin completed a perfect FIA European Rally Championship weekend on Rally Liepāja, scoring overall victory, class victory and the ERC Junior U28 championship title*.

Gryazin extended his lead over nearest rival Chris Ingram with three stage wins on Sunday morning, bringing his Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5 carefully to the finish line on the final three stages of the season.

Try as he might, Toksport WRT’s Ingram could not quite match Gryazin’s searing pace but secured a strong second place finish, which also secured him second place in the ERC Junior U28 championship standings.

A titanic scrap over the final podium position went to the wire between Fredrik Åhlin and Fabian Kreim. Trading places multiple times across the weekend, Kreim had pulled in front by a mere 0.1s heading to the final stage but a monumental push by Åhlin won him third place back, also winning the final stage by 8.1s from Gryazin.

Though fourth place finisher Kreim missed out on a podium, the leading quartet still demonstrated the strength of the young stars in R5 cars by winning every stage combined, the first time in history that ERC Junior U28s have won every stage on an ERC event.

Łukasz Habaj (eSky Rally Team) completed the top five finishers, retaking the position after Eyvind Brynildsen crashed out on stage ten while chasing Åhlin and Kreim for third place.

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Rhys Yates (Kresta Racing) continued the ERC Junior U28 domination on Rally Liepāja, finishing sixth and seventh overall and fifth and sixth in class respectively. Both were aiming to build confidence on Liepāja’s high-speed stages, outlasting several more experienced R5 rivals to secure strong finishes.

Ingram’s Toksport WRT team-mate Orhan Avcioğlu lost three minutes on the final stage after being forced to stop and change a puncture but still managed to retain eighth place.

Tom Kristensson secured ERC Junior U27 honours while also finishing ninth overall, beating ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks for victory. The local favourite also wrapped up the ERC3 championship title*while also scoring a point in the overall ERC classification, completing the top 10 finishers.

ERC2 production class honours were secured by Sergei Remennik (Russian Performance Motorsport), recovering from a power steering failure just before midday service to finish P12 in ERC overall.

Emma Falcón was crowned this year’s ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner, scoring enough points to secure the title despite her main rival Catie Munnings (Saintéloc Junior Team) winning the event in their class.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Breaking news: Emma Falcón wins the 2018 ERC Ladies’ Trophy

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 16:38

Emma Falcón has won the ERC Ladies’ Trophy on Rally Liepāja, completing the event safely and securing enough points from finishing seventh in ERC3 to secure the title.

Chief rival Catie Munnings – who was ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner in 2016 – finished one place ahead in fifth but after dropped scores are accounted for, Falcón’s six best scores give her the title.

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Breaking news: Kristensson wins Junior U27 in Liepāja, Sesks is ERC3 champion*

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 16:17

Mārtiņš Sesks has added championship honours in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category to his ERC Junior Under 27 title* on his home event, Rally Liepāja, while team-mate Tom Kristensson took rally victory.

Though he finished behind rally winner Kristensson this weekend, Sesks' points lead going into the event was enough that finishing second secured the ERC3 title*.

Sesks had already wrapped up the ERC Junior U27 title on PZM Rally Poland, mathematically clinching the championship with one round to spare.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Breaking news: Nikolay Gryazin is ERC Junior U28 champion*!

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 16:13

Nikolay Gryazin has sealed a maiden ERC Junior Under 28 championship title with victory on Rally Liepāja, beating rivals Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim for glory.

Sports Racing Technologies young star Gryazin scored a near perfect score on his way to his championship success, scoring 154 out of a possible 156 points with class wins on Rally Islas Canarias and Barum Czech Rally Zlín followed by two outright ERC wins on PZM Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja.

Both Toksport WRT and ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland drivers Ingram and Kreim had an outside chance of beating Gryazin to the title but fell short on the final event, finishing second and fourth respectively.

Kreim was beaten to the final podium spot by CA1 Sport's Fredrik Åhlin. The Swede started the final stage 0.1s behind but won the final stage by 8.1s from Gryazin and 8.3s to Kreim, securing third place at the final moment. Łukasz Habaj completes the top five.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Gryazin one stage from ERC Junior U28 title, 0.1s separates P3 battle!

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 15:40

Nikolay Gryazin is one stage away from becoming FIA ERC Junior Under 28 champion on Rally Liepāja while fellow young stars in R5 cars Fabian Kreim and Fredrik Åhlin are separated by only 0.1s.

Sports Racing Technologies driver Gryazin has taken a back seat to an epic battle between fellow ERC Junior U28s Kreim and Åhlin, who have sparred for third place since Saturday morning.

A stage win on SS10 bolstered Åhlin’s third place, only to run wide on SS11 and concede 1.8s to Kreim.

Pushing at “a minimum of 110%”, Kreim went fastest through SS11, leapfrogging Åhlin and taking a razor-thin 0.1s advantage for third place into the final stage of the 2018 season.

Åhlin and Kreim’s fight has propelled both towards second placed Chris Ingram, whose advantage over Kreim has been cut to only 13.7s, with the longest stage of the rally still to come.

A late position change between the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland and Toksport WRT drivers would be crucial for both, with Kreim only one point behind Ingram for second place in the ERC Junior U28 standings.

SS11 was the most attrition-heavy stage yet, with Paulo Nobre going off the road. Non-points regietered Niki Mayr-Melnhof rolled his Ford Fiesta R5, while Oliver Solberg – son of 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg – suffered an engine failure after running neck-and-neck with ERC Junior Under 27 champion* Mārtiņš Sesks throughout the rally.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Åhlin back to ERC stage winning ways on Rally Liepāja

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 14:53

Fredrik Åhlin demonstrated the depth of talent in FIA ERC Junior Under 28 with his second career overall stage win, going fastest through stage 10 on Rally Liepāja.

Third placed CA1 Sport driver Åhlin is locked in a podium battle with fellow young star in an R5 car Fabian Kreim –who is in fourth place – and Eyvind Brynildsen, who crashed out of fifth early on stage 10.

ERC Junior U28 championship leader Nikolay Gryazin had won eight out of nine stages before Åhlin’s win and, with Chris Ingram the only other driver to beat Gryazin so far, ERC Junior U28 stars have won every stage so far.

Kreim was only 0.4s slower than Åhlin aboard his ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Fabia, with only 1.7s separating the pair with two stages remaining.

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Brynildsen crashes out of ERC podium fight

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 14:35

Eyvind Brynildsen’s quest for an FIA European Rally Championship podium finish has come to an end on Rally Liepāja, crashing out on stage 10.

The Norwegian driver had planned a big push during leg two’s afternoon loop, with only 9.3s seconds separating him from third placed CA1 Sport driver Fredrik Åhlin.

His push went awry only a few kilometres into the first stage after midday service, crashing out at high speed and running up a bank.

Both Brynildsen and co-driver Ilka Minor were OK after their crash but his Ford Fiesta could continue no further.

Brynildsen had been fifth before his crash, a position now occupied by eSky Rally Team’s Łukasz Habaj.

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Bad luck strikes Vita on ERC Junior finale

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 14:29

Mattia Vita’s run of points-scoring finishes in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship is over after engine failure put him out on Rally Liepāja’s ninth stage this morning.

Vita had finished fourth on the last three ERC events to underline his impressive progress in the Pirelli-supported category. But he’ll go no further on the high-speed Latvian event in his TRT Junior Rally Team-run PEUGEOT 208 R2.

“The engine broke three kilometres before the end of the stage,” said the Italian. “I’m quite sad because we were improving a lot and I was getting faster. Suddenly the engine stopped and we had to stop on the side of the road. The worst thing is we can’t get the experience of the other stages but this is part of the game. Tomorrow we start to work for the next year.”

The ex-Formula 3 racer was in a close battle for fifth in class with Roland Stengg when he was forced to stop. “I’m really sorry for him because it was a nice battle,” said Stengg.

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ERC2 leader Remennik presses on after dramatic powersteering failure

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 13:40

Sergei Remennik, who currently leads the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category on Rally Liepāja, suffered a dramatic finish on stage nine with a powersteering failure.

A leak developed in Remennik’s powersteering system during the closing moments of leg two’s last stage of the morning loop, with steam billowing from the engine bay of his car at the finish line.

The Russian Performance Motorsport driver quickly diagnosed the issue, which thankfully does not prevent him from continuing to the final three stages of the rally.

“We lost powersteering but the car can still move, so we will continue. Our team will try to fix this problem at service. Hopefully, we will continue with powersteering because, without it, I'm not really comfortable,” explained Remennik.

Driving a heavier production-spec Mistubishi Lancer Evolution X, Remennik will face a painful final loop should his powersteering not be remedied during service, as previous ERC experience has taught him.

“I had a bad experience on Rally Islas Canarias. For half of the first day, we ran without powersteering. But here it will be easier than over there because it's mountains and Tarmac serpentines [in Canarias]. I don't know what words can describe what I felt!”

Remennik is currently P15 in the overall classification, only 0.9s behind this year’s ERC2 champion* Tibor Érdi Jr, who has switched from the production category to a ŠKODA Fabia R5 this weekend. Érdi is not chasing ERC points in Liepāja.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

Photo: Julian Porter/ERC Radio

The post ERC2 leader Remennik presses on after dramatic powersteering failure appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Brynildsen targets late Liepāja ERC podium charge

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 13:18

Eyvind Brynildsen has pledged to charge after a podium finish in the FIA European Rally Championship classification on Rally Liepāja, with third placed Fredrik Åhlin now firmly in his sights.

Having gradually increased his pace this weekend after several months out of his Ford Fiesta, Brynildsen moved up to fifth on stage seven, passing Łukasz Habaj.

Now ERC Junior U28 young stars in R5 cars Fredrik Åhlin and Fabian Kreim in third and fourth are in his crosshairs, believing he has more than enough pace to beat them both to a podium finish.

“Eight seconds is realistic for sure,” said Brynildsen. “It's more up to the driver now because, while you need big balls to go on these flat-out corners [in the previous stages], at the same time it's not so blind, you can read the road more and see all the braking points from the car in front of you.”

With many of Liepāja’s earlier stages featuring long sections of flat-out fifth gear driving, Brynildsen suffered with lower straight-line speed compared to his rivals. The characteristics of leg two’s afternoon stages are much different, featuring more technical forest roads.

“Now we are going into narrower roads with more poles on the inside, some rails on the inside and outside, so now it's possible. If there is any drama, it will happen from now on until the finish. The decider will be the last stage.”

The post Brynildsen targets late Liepāja ERC podium charge 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)