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European Rally Championship
Updated: 58 min 59 sec ago

Kristensson fends off reinvigorated Sesks for ERC Junior U27 lead

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 12:58

Tom Kristensson edged further ahead of team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks in the pair’s battle for FIA ERC Junior Under 27 victory on Rally Liepāja, though Sesks remains on course to secure the ERC3 category title.

After two confidence-sapping crashes on PZM Rally Poland last month, Sesks had struggled to regain his speed on leg one but, come Sunday’s first stage, had regained his mojo, winning stage seven.

But his ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Kristensson replied immediately, winning stages eight and nine to extend his advantage to 22.3s.

Though ERC Junior U27 rally victory on home soil looks unlikely for Sesks with three stages remaining, he is on course to secure the ERC3 championship title, for which Kristensson is his main opponent.

Saintéloc Junior driver Miika Hokkanen continues to hold third place aboard his Pirelli-shod PEUGEOT 208 R2, albeit unable to keep pace with the rapid Opel pairing. Kristóf Klausz remains in a safe fourth position.

Roland Stengg and Mattia Vita’s close battle over fifth place ended on stage nine, with Vita pulling up three kilometres from the finish with a technical issue. His retirement elevates Stengg from sixth to fifth, a disappointing end for Vita given he had increased his advantage over Stengg by 7.2s on the previous two stages.

Catie Munnings is promoted to sixth in ERC Junior U27 after Vita’s retirement and continues to lead the ERC Ladies’ Trophy class. However, Emma Falcón’s title aspirations have been improved further by Vita’s retirement, moving to seventh in ERC3.

The post Kristensson fends off reinvigorated Sesks for ERC Junior U27 lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Gryazin extends ERC Liepāja lead as Ingram survives near miss

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 12:30

With only three stages remaining of the FIA European Rally Championship season, Nikolay Gryazin is edging closer to victory on Rally Liepāja, as chief rival Chris Ingram had a near miss on stage nine.

Gryazin continued his stage-winning streak with fastest time on all three of leg two’s stages before midday service, extending his gap over second placed Ingram to 36.8s.

With victory in Liepāja a must for Ingram to rival Gryazin for the ERC Junior Under 28 championship title, the Toksport WRT driver continued to push hard. But Ingram nearly pushed too far near the end of stage nine, dipping two wheels off and into a ditch and having to power out at full speed to avoid going off completely.

Fellow young star in an R5 car Fredrik Åhlin moved into third overall and in class on stage eight, demoting ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland’s young talent Fabian Kreim to fourth.

Kreim had an outside chance of beating both Gryazin and Ingram to ERC Junior U28 championship glory but, as it stands, will finish third in the title race.

Eyvind Brynildsen is on a charge through the field, picking off eSky Rally Team’s Łukasz Habaj for fifth on stage eight and only 9.3s behind Åhlin in third.

Stages eight and nine’s flat-out nature hurt Brynildsen’s pace, with his Ford Fiesta suffering in a straight line compared to his rivals’ ŠKODA Fabia R5. With the final three stages centred around the forests further north, he plans to pounce this afternoon.

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Filip Mareš remains seventh, 35.8s behind sixth placed Habaj. Rhys Yates is eighth overall in ERC and sixth in ERC Junior U28, while Orhan Avcioğlu swept the gravel roads clean as first car on the road, heading to midday service in ninth.

ERC Junior Under 27 class leader Tom Kristensson is also P10 overall, 22.3s ahead of ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks.

ERC2 production class leader Sergei Remennik suffered a late drama on stage nine, arriving at the finish line spewing power steering fluid from his Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

The post Gryazin extends ERC Liepāja lead as Ingram survives near miss appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Kreim’s ERC Junior title hopes fading as Åhlin retakes third

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 11:13

Fabian Kreim’s outside chances of beating his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 rivals for a maiden title took a hit on stage seven of Rally Liepāja, falling behind Fredrik Åhlin.

ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland’s young talent went into the ERC season finale eight points adrift of ERC Junior U28 championship leader Nikolay Gryazin but, with dropped scores taken into effect, needed to beat both Gryazin and Chris Ingram to have any hope of becoming champion.

Instead, Kreim has become locked in a battle for the final podium place on Rally Liepāja with Åhlin, having taken third place form the CA1 Sport driver on Saturday afternoon.

Lamenting a series of small mistakes that hurt his momentum, Kreim instead lost time to his rival young stars in R5 cars, with Åhlin taking 2.3s out of the German ace on stage seven to retake third.

Both drivers have now fallen away from the lead battle between ERC Junior U28 title protagonists Gryazin and Ingram, with Kreim now 54.7s behind Gryazin. Third place is still easily within reach, however, with only a 1.5s deficit to Åhlin.

Gryazin remains in pole position to secure the ERC Junior U28 title, winning both of leg two's opening stages to increase his lead over Ingram further.

The post Kreim’s ERC Junior title hopes fading as Åhlin retakes third appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pellier positive despite early ERC exit

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 09:00

Laurent Pellier is remaining positive despite a mechanical failure putting him out of Rally Liepāja nearing the finish of Saturday’s opening leg.

The PEUGEOT Rally Academy ace was sixth in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 category and on course for a top 10 overall finish when trouble hit on stage six of the high-speed gravel event in Latvia.

“It was maybe two kilometres before the end we had one alarm of water pressure,” Pellier explained. “Just after the end [of the stage] I stopped the engine but we can’t restart [it]. The stages are very fun and I took lots of pleasure, but if the engine is damaged it will be impossible [to restart].

“We would like to finish in another way but we did the best with the team. We regularly have a good rhythm with the PEUGEOT 208 T16 and we are often close to the best.”

Looking back on his first European Rally Championship campaign, the ERC Junior Experience graduate added: “This year in FIA ERC we progressed a lot and I hope to use this progress for next year.”

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Action-packed European championship season concludes live on ERC Radio

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 06:00

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship season draws to a close on Rally Liepāja today with ERC Radio broadcasting live from the stopline of all stages.

Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will provide their usual expert reporting as the season decider reaches its climax.

Coverage begins at 09h45 local time with the opening test getting underway at 10h00.

ERC Radio is available by clicking here or via the ERC app.

The post Action-packed European championship season concludes live on ERC Radio appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Avcioğlu leads field into final day of 2018 ERC action

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 21:56

Toksport WRT’s Orhan Avcioğlu will lead the FIA European Rally Championship field into the final day of competition in 2018, starting first on the road for leg two on Rally Liepāja.

Avcioğlu, who is currently in ninth place, will lead the ERC crews into stage seven on Sunday morning, followed by Niki Mayr-Melnhof, who is not registered for ERC points.

Two young stars in R5 cars depart after May-Melnhof, with Rhys Yates (Kresta Racing) and Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) third and fourth on the road respectively, followed by Eyvind Brynildsen and Łukasz Habaj (eSky Rally Team) starting fifth and sixth.

After Fredrik Åhlin starting seventh, the trio of ERC Junior Under 28 title contenders depart eighth, ninth and tenth respectively, with Fabian Kreim (ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland), Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) and Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) all battling for glory.

Laurent Pellier will not be joining his ERC Junior U28 cohorts on leg two, with PEUGEOT Rally Academy electing not to restart tomorrow. He had retired due to technical issues after stage six.

Also on the sidelines will be Sindre Furuseth, who dropped out of third place in ERC Junior Under 27 with an oil leak after stage five.

Avcioğlu will kick off 2018’s final day of ERC action at 10h00 local time, setting off into the Canon Biznesa Centrs – IB Serviss (Dinsdurbe).

The post Avcioğlu leads field into final day of 2018 ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Liepāja Q&A: Nikolay Gryazin

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 19:41

Nikolay Gryazin is less than 24 hours away from potentially becoming the next FIA ERC Junior Under 28 champion. We speak to the Sports Racing Technologies driver about a late scare on leg one of Rally Liepāja and his chances against title rivals Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim.

The last stage was a bit of a worry with the puncture but, apart from that, it seems OK today?
Yeah, it's OK. I don't know where we have a puncture, maybe some stone but I didn't feel it and didn't run wide. Everything was good. Maybe on the onboard, we will see something but honestly, I didn't make any big mistakes. Sometimes maybe not fast on this stage but the puncture was unexpected.

It was slow, we drove two kilometres flat out and I just started to feel that in right corners the car is slightly low, so it was a big slide and a 180 [degree spin]. But it was still safe. After, on a right corner –maybe two to three kilometres before the finish – it blew. I think all our time loss on this stage was from that part.

It's a very fast rally but how fast have you been driving in terms of a percentage? Is this flat out for you or is there more to come speed-wise tomorrow?
In some places, I'm trying to go flat out but, in other places using a little bit of sense. Maybe it will be faster, sure, but not everywhere. It's more about being sensible. Chris and Fabian have been really fast in the past. I really like it because when they are going fast, I go faster too, it trains me. It's not like driving slowly, slowly, and going to the finish. Here you need to be more strategic – know where to push and where not to push. It feels really good so, I think for tomorrow, we'll use the same strategy with not too much pushing and try to deserve our result.

With the lead you have tonight, can you relax now? Can you go to bed tonight and sleep well?
For sure I will sleep well and we will prepare for tomorrow. It's not easy. Tomorrow is half of the rally and everything can happen. But we made no big mistakes with the tyres. So, on tyres, we should be OK for tomorrow, compared to Poland where we had no tyres [left over].

The post ERC Rally Liepāja Q&A: Nikolay Gryazin appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings has ERC Liepāja Ladies’ Trophy lead but Falcón set for title

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 19:16

Emma Falcón is on course to score a maiden ERC Ladies’ Trophy title, despite running in second place behind Catie Munnings on Rally Liepāja.

Both drivers are taking very different approaches to the weekend. Munnings focussed on fighting for ERC Junior U27 points while Falcón adapted to a brand new car while trying to secure a first ERC Ladies’ Trophy success.

Saintéloc Junior Team driver Munnings went faster than Falcón on all six stages to establish an already unassailable lead but is only seventh in ERC Junior U27, which at present would mean her result in Liepāja will not count towards her total score in the Ladies’ Trophy.

Unless Munnings can score a top five result in the ERC Junior U27 class this weekend, Falcón can wrap up the title by finishing the rally in any position, leading her to take a cautious approach in unfamiliar equipment.

A pre-event car change from her usual Citroën DS3 RT to a GC Motorsport-run PEUGEOT 208 R2 meant unfamiliar surroundings but, aside from a small spin on stage six, Falcón completed leg one without incident.

The post Munnings has ERC Liepāja Ladies’ Trophy lead but Falcón set for title appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC2: Remennik takes on R5 rivals in Liepāja

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 18:58

Sergei Remennik’s leading turn in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category on Rally Liepāja has gone almost entirely to plan bar a late puncture, even battling rivals in more nimble R5 machinery.

With recently crowned two-time ERC2 champion* Tibor Érdi Jr switching to a non-points scoring ŠKODA Fabia R5 this weekend, Remennik’s focus instead was on beating the clock, finishing leg one after late drama befell the Russian Performance Motorsport driver.

Tree branches on the racing line of stage six caused a rear right puncture to his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, though his time loss was minimal.

Rather than battling another production car, Remennik’s chief competitor on leg one was Paulo Nobre, driving a faster R5 specification car.

Staying within a few seconds of the Palmeirinha Rally throughout, Remennik eventually made his move on stage five, taking 17.2s out of Nobre and finishing the day P17 overall.

*Subject to FIA confirmation

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ERC Junior U27: Home favourite Sesks usurped by team-mate Kristensson

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 18:37

Newly crowned FIA ERC Junior Under 27 champion* Mārtiņš Sesks was forced to take a back seat to his team-mate Tom Kristensson on the opening leg of Rally Liepāja, the Swede leading by 18.8s.

Latvian driver Sesks was down on confidence after his double retirement on PZM Rally Poland the previous month, in which he crashed on both Saturday and Sunday. Fellow ADAC Opel Rallye Junior prodigy Kristensson capitalised, winning all six stages.

There was a late scare for Kristensson, his car’s gearbox playing up in the final moments of stage six, but successfully drove his car to service for repairs after the day’s competitive action concluded.

Miika Hokkanen is third aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2, though the Saintéloc Junior Team driver inherited his current podium position from an incredibly unlucky Sindre Furuseth.

Having retired twice in as many rallies from promising positions, Furuseth once again pulled up and retired with a mechanical failure while locked in battle with Hokkanen. An oil leak began halfway through the penultimate stage, progressively getting worse and forcing his retirement at stage end.

Kristóf Klausz picked up fourth place after Furuseth’s retirement, showing metronomic consistency and a sensible approach to wrap up a drama-free day for the Hungarian driver.

Mattia Vita and Roland Stengg are locked in a close battle for fifth, the former sneaking ahead on stage five and finishing the day 5.6s ahead. Vita was recovering from a difficult start to the event, crashing into a tree on Free Practice 1 and damaging his car extensively enough to miss the Qualifying Stage on Friday.

Behind sixth placed Stengg, Catie Munnings drove the second Saintéloc car to seventh in ERC Junior U27, while also holding a comfortable lead in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy battle with Emma Falcón.

Despite being behind on the rally, Falcón has the upper hand in her title battle with Munnings, the seventh place she currently holds in ERC3 would be enough to secure a first ERC Ladies’ Trophy title.

*Subject to FIA confirmation

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ERC Junior U28: Gryazin edges ahead of title rivals on penultimate day

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 18:15

Nikolay Gryazin is one day away from clinching a maiden FIA ERC Junior Under 28 championship title and a world championship prize drive, outdriving rivals Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim with five stage wins on Rally Liepāja.

Entering this weekend in the strongest position for championship points, Gryazin was laser-focussed on beating his fellow young stars in R5 cars, ignoring the overall standings to concentrate on defeating Ingram and Kreim. Such was his pace on Saturday, he finished leg one leading both his class and the overall rally classification.

His lead remained secure despite a late drama, with Gryazin picking up a puncture on the final stage of the day and nursing a tyre that had come off its rim for several kilometres. It was the only stage on which he was bested, losing a mere 0.6s

Last year’s ERC Junior Under 27 champion Ingram still ran Gryazin close throughout, pushing as hard as he dared. At one point he pushed too far, spinning on a fast fifth gear corner and ending up on a bank.

Luckily for Ingram, he was able to continue and his time loss was also negligible, as Gryazin had a spin of his own on the same test. The pair are now separated by 19s.

Fabian Kreim is the last championship protagonist mathematically able to catch Gryazin, though was preoccupied by a close battle for third place with Fredrik Åhlin. The ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver briefly took third place away from Åhlin on stage two, then moved back into the podium places again on leg one’s penultimate test, demoting the CA1 Sport driver to fourth.

ACCR Czech Team’s Filip Mareš gradually improved his pace throughout the day, moving past PEUGEOT Rally Academy talent Laurent Pellier for fifth place just before midday service and building a 47.6s gap.

Pellier finished sixth on the road by the end of stage six but looks set to retire and restart under Rally2 rules tomorrow. He coasted to the finish line with his engine switched off, water temperatures having crept up aboard his car. An hour later, he was still parked next to the finish of stage six, making it unlikely he will reach service and be able to keep his position.

Should Pellier’s technical problems prove technical, seventh placed Rhys Yates will move up a position. Running a Kresta Racing-prepared Fabia, Yates was focussed on acclimatising to Liepāja’s fast roads. His only a drama was a suspected failure on the rear-left corner of his car with two kilometres remaining on the final stage, causing handling issues.

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Day report: Gryazin continues to hold off Ingram for Liepāja lead

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 17:34

Nikolay Gryazin continued his strong FIA European Rally Championship form to lead Rally Liepāja ahead of Junior rival Chris Ingram, despite late drama with a puncture on the final stage of leg one.

Sports Racing Technologies driver Gryazin won the first five stages, gradually increasing his lead over Ingram in their battle for ERC Junior U28 championship honours. His lead nearly came unstuck on stage six, picking up a rear-left puncture around halfway through the Škoda (Vilgāle) test.

Despite his puncture, Gryazin lost only 0.6s to stage winner Ingram, finishing the day with 19s in hand.

ERC Junior U28 title outsider Fabian Kreim completed the top three places, the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver taking a podium position away from CA1 Sport’s Fredrik Åhlin on the day’s penultimate stage.

Łukasz Habaj holds fifth, within striking distance of the podium battle. The eSky Rally Team pilot is 6.8s behind Åhlin and a further 2s off Kreim.

A lack of top-end speed hampered Eyvind Brynildsen through Rally Liepāja’s faster stages, much of which is high speed, fifth gear sections. With a 10kph top speed deficit compared to the dominant ŠKODA Fabia R5 in his Ford Fiesta, he ended leg one in sixth, a mere 0.3s behind Habaj.

ACCR Czech Team’s Filip Mareš gradually improved his pace throughout the day, moving from ninth to seventh overall and assuming control of fifth in ERC Junior U28. That position initially came at the expense of PEUGEOT Rally Academy’s Laurent Pellier, who fell behind Mareš before midday service.

Though Pellier finished eighth overall after leg one’s six special stages were completed, he arrived at the SS6 finish line with his engine switched off and with his car’s water temperature rising. He must reach the service park and check in to service to ensure he retains his overall position – and sixth in ERC Junior U28 – otherwise he faces retirement.

Rhys Yates continued the ERC Junior domination of Rally Liepāja, finishing the day ninth overall and the seventh ERC Junior U28 runner in the overall top 10, with only 13.5s in arrears to Pellier ahead. Orhan Avcioğlu completes the ERC top 10 aboard his Toksport WRT Fabia.

Leg one recap: Late drama fails to halt Gryazin’s progress
Gryazin set the pace from stage one, taking his first of X stage wins on leg one immediately. Ingram was surprised to slot straight into second, unhappy with his driving but still clear of his remaining rivals. Neste (Pērbone)’s first pass was the last stage for Simone Tempestini however, his RGT-spec car suffering a technical failure after the finish line after stopping mid-stage earlier. Unable to remedy the issue, he drove straight back to service and retired.

Another stage win beckoned for Gryazin on SS2 but Ingram was only 0.5s behind, even though both suffered high-speed spins. Ingram’s spin put him into a bank but the Brit escaped without incurring any damage to his Fabia. Kreim meanwhile made his first push to put himself in the podium fight, temporarily dispossessing Åhlin for third place before losing it again one stage later.

Autoklub of Czech Republic-backed Filip Mareš shook off a slow start on stage one to march up the leaderboard on stages two and three. Moving past Rhys Yates on SS2, he immediately picked off PEUGEOT Rally Academy prodigy Laurent Pellier on Ramirent (Upītes), moving up from ninth to seventh overall.

A similar theme continued into the afternoon for the leading contenders. Gryazin was fastest again on stage four with Ingram in tow, though losing nearly five seconds this time around. Both had big sideways moments but continued on unhindered once more. Spare a thought for Paulo Nobre down in P15, though – he had been sweeping away all the loose gravel as first car on the road, yet was going slower instead of faster on the afternoon loop despite the roads being cleaner. His tyre choice contributed to his time loss, picking a hard set of Pirellis while most elected for mediums.

Stage five brought the battle for third back to the fore, as Åhlin clocked a time 13.7s slower than Gryazin, who continued his stage-winning streak. He slipped behind Kreim once more, albeit with only 0.2s separating the pair.

The best was saved for last, as drama befell many of the top 10 drivers on leg one’s final stage. One by one, drivers arrived with stories of trials and tribulations. ERC2 production class leader Sergei Remennik picked up a puncture. Rhys Yates was wayward in the final kilometres, convinced something had broken on the rear left corner of his car after hitting a rock around two kilometres from the finish. Laurent Pellier arrived with a skyrocketing water temperature, coasting into the finishing time control with the engine switched off. Habaj arrived with a punctured front left tyre, like Yates pointing the blame at a rock on the road around two kilometres from the finish. Not even Gryazin, who had won every stage up to the final test, was impervious. He had nursed a punctured rear left from around the halfway mark to the finish, the tyre completely off the rim. And yet his time lost was almost zero, dropping only 0.6s to Ingram to go second fastest.

Amazingly, despite that plethora of issues befalling the top ERC drivers, none lost position. They finished as they started but with tighter time gaps, with 19s separating first and second and a mere 9.1s between Kreim in third and Brynildsen in sixth.

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Furuseth loses potential ERC Junior U27 podium with oil leak

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 16:17

Sindre Furuseth has lost a potential maiden FIA ERC Junior Under 27 podium finish on Rally Liepāja after being forced to retire with an oil leak.

Running in a strong third position behind the pair of ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team drivers, Furuseth slowed towards the end of stage five and then retired at stage end, with oil gushing from his engine.

“I got the low oil pressure warning lights just before the finish and in the middle of the stage I could feel it. It was not running as it should. Then we had oil smoke in the car,” explained Furuseth.

“I thought it was going to start to burn but I decided to keep going until I saw some lights and then, just around here, I saw the lights. We are out of engine oil so we cannot go any further.”

Furuseth had turned in similarly strong performances on Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín, only to suffer mechanical retirements on both rallies.

“It's different things every time. I can understand that it looks strange from the outside but we are really professional guys working full time for this, so I don't believe it. It's just bad luck. The engine is new, as are the parts.”

Miika Hokkanen now inherits third place in ERC Junior U27, driving a Saintéloc Junior Team-prepared PEUGEOT 208 R2.

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Avcioğlu back to full strength in ERC after painful Friday

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 14:49

FIA European Rally Championship pilot Orhan Avcioğlu is back to full strength on Rally Liepāja, having recovered from a painful Friday that affected his Qualifying Stage run.

Toksport WRT driver Avcioğlu is currently on course for another top 10 ERC finish but had to battle through the pain barrier on Friday – which hosted the Free Practice, Qualifying and Shakedown sessions – with a sore head.

“I just rested from yesterday and got much better afterwards. But it was killing me yesterday,” said Avcioğlu.

“I usually don't suffer from headaches but this one was just in my head. When I hit the helmet to the headrest it was like lightning flashing in my head. Today I'm OK.”

Starting third on the road during leg one, Avcioğlu had to cope with loose gravel slowing his ŠKODA Fabia R5 down yet still holds a secure top 10 position in ERC.

“[I’m losing] about 1.5s per kilometre to the guys in front and I was literally sweeping roads so, for that reason, I don't think it's bad actually.”

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Remennik searching for confidence in ERC pace battle

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 14:40

Sergei Remennik needs more confidence in his battle to be faster on Latvia’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Remennik is back on ERC duty on Rally Liepāja having not competed since mid-July or rallied on gravel since early June.

The Russian Performance Motorsport driver said: “It’s a bit slippery [second on the road] and I’m not confident with the car [because] it’s a big gap between the last gravel rally in Greece. They are really fast roads here and to be faster we need to keep training.”

Remennik is chasing ERC2 points alone on Rally Liepāja after Reinis Nitišs and Vytautas Švedas were prevented from starting due to fuel tank eligibility issues.

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ERC drivers laud flat-out Rally Liepāja stages

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 14:23

Rally Liepāja’s flat-out stages have been lauded by the FIA European Rally Championship field, with drivers revelling in the high speed gravel tests.

Referred to as the “Grand Prix of Liepāja” by Lithuanian driver Vytautas Švedas, Latvia’s rally stages are amongst the fastest on the ERC calendar – and the drivers are still itching to go even faster.

“We were always flat out for maybe 3 kilometres,” said ERC Junior Under 28 star Laurent Pellier of the rally’s third stage. “You never brake and, for sure, it's really fun. But sometimes I would like to be faster and the car can't do it!”

It’s not only the young stars in R5 cars in awe of the impressive speed. ERC Junior U27 drivers, who run Pirelli-shod front-wheel-drive R2 cars, were similarly impressed by Liepāja’s stages.

“It's just so extreme, how fast you can go in what seems like tight corners,” said Sindre Furuseth. “I think we need to push in our head and leave our brain in service, then go flat out on the second loop and see what we can do.”

Scandinavian drivers are currently occupying the top four positions in ERC Junior U27, something Stengg Motorsport owner-driver Roland Stengg believes is no coincidence.

“Going flat out seems like part of the culture here. All the Scandinavian guys are really fast. I think we have to keep it going and show some cojones!”

The post ERC drivers laud flat-out Rally Liepāja stages appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nobre: “I thought it would be worst to be first” in ERC

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 14:16

Paulo Nobre said he expected to lose more time running first on the road on the opening day of the FIA European Rally Championship finale in Latvia.

Nobre opted to go at the head of the pack on Rally Liepāja’s first leg in his Motorsport Italia ŠKODA Fabia R5, despite having the option to run slightly lower down the order.

“I thought it would be worst on the road, it was not that slippery,” said Brazilian Nobre. “The point is the rally is very, very fast, the fastest we do this year so it’s a lot of fun. I am used to be first on the road since 2012 and for me it’s an honour to open the rally, especially a rally like this here in the European championship.”

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Leader Gryazin chooses chicken and pasta after 150kph ERC moment

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 13:58

ERC Junior Under 28 title-chasing Nikolay Gryazin admitted he was “worried” but is now “calm” following his high-speed moment on stage two of Rally Liepāja this morning.

The 21-year-old Russian has been fastest on all three stages so far on the closing round of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship, despite his scare on the LDZ Cargo test in his Pirelli-equipped ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“I just lost the entry point going faster,” said the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship leader. “I was late on the corner, I go wide too much, lost the speed and the car started going inside in the ditch. We stopped, reversed and go again but after there was 700 metres of straight so it was a big [time] loss.

“I was worried but now I’m calm and it’s good,” said Gryazin at midday service in Liepāja where he’s been enjoying a bowl of chicken and pasta.

Gryazin will head out for this afternoon’s loop of three stages with a 10.6s advantage over ERC Junior U28 title rival Chris Ingram. “We are planning to get faster because we will correct some pacenotes,” he said. “But we will see what the guys can do, it’s important to be on the finish.”

The post Leader Gryazin chooses chicken and pasta after 150kph ERC moment appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sesks rebuilding ERC confidence on home event after Poland crash

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 13:51

Newly crowned FIA ERC Junior Under 27 champion* Mārtiņš Sesks is trying to rebuild his confidence on Rally Liepāja, after his double retirement set him back on PZM Rally Poland.

Despite wrapping up a maiden ERC Junior U27 title in Poland, Sesks crashed out on both leg one and leg two, his only non-finish in ERC to date.

Now back in his native Latvia for the season finale, Sesks’ path to a popular home victory is being challenged by ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Tom Kristensson, who leads the rally by 11.5s at midday service in an identical Pirelli-shod Opel ADAM R2.

“I'm still feeling my crash in Poland. I'm still without confidence in some places, so the next goal is to get back confidence through the rest of today. There's three stages left, so the aim is to go to the evening service with confidence to be in a good mood,” said Sesks.

Asked if he felt extra desire to cap his title-winning season with victory on home soil, Sesks admitted it was on his mind, though he would not be drawn into fighting Kristensson at any cost.

“If I don't feel confident for this whole rally, I will not try to push. Everything is how it needs to be and if we will do our job well, the result will come by itself.”

*Subject to FIA confirmation

The post Sesks rebuilding ERC confidence on home event after Poland crash appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Kristensson leads Liepāja home hero Sesks in ERC Junior U27

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 12:02

ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team talent Tom Kristensson usurped his home hero team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks to take an early FIA ERC Junior Under 27 lead on Rally Liepāja, winning all three stages on Saturday morning.

Liepāja native and recently crowned ERC Junior U27 champion* Sesks was an early favourite for victory but it was team-mate Kristensson who was fastest out of the blocks, establishing an 11.5s advantage across leg one’s first three tests.

Pirelli-shod Opel ADAM R2s locked out the podium places, with Sindre Furuseth showing his strong pace in third place. The Norwegian ace holds 9.2s in hand over Saintéloc Junior Team’s Miika Hokkanen in fourth. Kristóf Klausz completes the top five on his fifth Rally Liepāja appearance.

Roland Stengg’s attempts to push on stage two nearly went awry when the Austrian clipped a chicane and took a brief trip off-road. Unaffected by his momentary drama, Stengg is sixth, ahead of TRT Junior Rally Team’s Mattia Vita in seventh.

Catie Munnings leads ERC Ladies’ Trophy title rival Emma Falcón on the road while also running eighth in ERC Junior U27. However, even with Falcón being cautious as she acclimatises to her GC Motorsport-run PEUGEOT 208 R2 for the first time, the Spaniard is currently on course for a maiden ERC Ladies’ Trophy title with ninth in ERC3.

*Subject to FIA confirmation

The post Kristensson leads Liepāja home hero Sesks in ERC Junior U27 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)