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Klausz has that winning feeling ahead of Zlin ERC Junior outing

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 18:00

Kristóf Klausz starts this week’s ERC3 Junior decider on a high following a breakthrough victory in his native Hungary recently.

Klausz is dividing his time between his Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior campaign in a Peugeot 208 R2 and a programme of Mitropa events at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Last month he won the Int. Baranya Kupa PRO+ in Hungary alongside regular co-driver Botond Csány in a Klaus Motorsport Fabia.

He said: “I arrive on [Barum Czech Rally Zlín] with a really good feeling after my first outright win in the Mitropa Cup in Hungary. It was a good result in an R5 car.”

Klausz made his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut in 2013 and has five starts on the sealed-surface events to his name. He is targeting a podium following a strong showing in 2018.

“I have a lot of past experiences of this rally so I really would like to take this chance to fight for a podium,” he said. “This rally has many difficult stages, they are bumpy and it’s always difficult to always keep the car on the road. You also have to be careful with the cuts because some corners you can cut, in others there are stones and trees and other things like this.”

The post Klausz has that winning feeling ahead of Zlin ERC Junior outing appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Monteiro is first Portuguese to rally new Fabia

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 12:00

Aloísio Monteiro will become the first driver from Portugal to compete in ŠKODA’s new-for-2019 Fabia R5 Evo when he contests Barum Czech Rally Zlín this week.

The FIA European Rally Championship regular will continue his alliance with The Racing Factory under the FPAK Portugal Team ERC banner.

“It’s a pride for me and The Racing Factory to be one of the first client teams to receive the new ŠKODAFabia R5 Evo,” said Monteiro, who made his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut last season. “It shows all the confidence the brand has seen in our recent work. In competition terms, and of course, we will try our best at this event and demonstrate that we deserve this trust. More than thinking about a good result, which is nonetheless the objective, we have to find the best set-up for this car, a commitment that allows us to be fast and reliable throughout the event.”

Porto-based Monteiro will get support from ŠKODA Motorsport in making the transition to the new Fabia R5 Evo.“There is a very strong connection between The Racing Factory and ŠKODA Motorsport and that makes us feel more confident. We are sure this work will be rewarded at the end of the rally on Sunday.”

Monteiro is testing in the Czech Republic today (Tuesday). Meanwhile, with ERC3 Junior frontrunner Pedro Antunes not competing in Zlín, the FPAK Portugal Team ERC attack is down to one car on the 15-stage sealed-surface event.

The post ERC’s Monteiro is first Portuguese to rally new Fabia appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Franceschi prepared for “crazy” times in ERC

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 06:00

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi will be “perfectly prepared” for his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut this week – once he’s completed two days of testing in readiness for the closing round of the 2019 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

Franceschi won on his debut in the Pirelli-supported category on the all-asphalt Rally Islas Canarias in May and is expected to be among the contenders for top spot in class in his Orsák Rally Sport Ford Fiesta R2T, despite his absence of event knowledge.

“It’s another new rally for me but I’ve always loved to follow this rally because of its particularity and atmosphere,” said the Frenchman. “To be honest, I don’t know anything about this rally except that this rally is crazy!

“Thanks to M-Sport, we will have two day of tests to be perfectly prepared for this event as much as we can. My goal in these tests is to find confidence on this very special and fast Tarmac. Then my main objective for this rally is to give everything I can to make a strong performance in front of a big army of 39 R2 cars. And to do a beautiful result for all the team of course.”

The post Franceschi prepared for “crazy” times in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Blue not pictured but Adielsson is still an ERC Swede

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 18:00

Mattias Adielsson will continue to represent the Sweden National Team in the FIA European Rally Championship, even though he’s changed colours for this week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Adielsson has switched cars for the sealed-surface showcase, swapping his blue and yellow Saintéloc Junior Team-run Citroën C3 R5 for a Ford Fiesta R5, which is decked out in the colours of Czech squad Orsák Rally Sport, the outfit responsible for running Adielsson in Zlín.

The Sweden National Team is sixth in the ERC Nations’ Cup standings. Adielsson is testing in the Czech Republic tomorrow (Tuesday).

Photo: Facebook.com/mattias.adielsson.3

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I’m Batman! ERC Junior Gryazin reveals new look

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 12:00

This is the Batmobile-esque ŠKODA Fabia R5 Nikolay Gryazin will use when he takes up his second prize drive from Eurosport Events for winning the FIA ERC1 Junior crown in 2018.

The mainly black design is reminiscent of Bruce Wayne’s Batmobile from the Batman movies. It will appear on the stages of Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August when Russian Gryazin and co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov will be among the contenders for victory.

The post I’m Batman! ERC Junior Gryazin reveals new look appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Q&A: Jan Kopecký

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 09:00

ŠKODA-powered Jan Kopecký is preparing to win his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship for the fifth season running. This is what the 2013 ERC champion had to say ahead of this week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

You have an incredible record on this rally and could make it five wins in a row this year. What would that mean to you?
“I don’t care so much about statistics, but for sure I would like to win here again. But this year, the situation is different for me. Last year, I was already Czech champion and could nearly press on regardless, but this year, I need to secure my title by scoring points here. Barum Czech Rally Zlín counts with factor 1.5 for the national championship, so I need to finish with the best possible result avoiding unnecessary risks.”

What factors do you put your success in Zlín down to?
“For sure it is my experience on these challenging special stages and especially last year, with the mixed weather conditions and occasional rain, I had a lucky hand with the tyre choice. On top of that, I can drive the ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo, which is since its homologation in April this year, is so far undefeated.”

The Pindula stage is back this year. Why is this stage so special in your view?
“Pindula is really a true iconic stage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín, I love to drive there. This stage features different kind of surfaces, is fast and runs over open areas, has tricky passages through villages and through the forests, the road is always dirty due to the cuts and can be muddy and very slippery in case of rain. At Pindula, you need to know exactly where to cut or not. And mistakes could be punished by the log piles [on the side of the road].”

You are the driver everyone wants to beat in Zlín. What pressure does this bring and how do you plan to turn this into a positive?
“This doesn’t give me additional pressure, only an extra motivation. In the past, I had really epic battles with Alexey Lukyanuk and I expect the same for this Barum Czech Rally Zlín. On top of that, I have to face the [other] top drivers of the FIA European Rally Championship.”

We are seeing the emergence of some young Czech drivers like Mareš, Cais and Talaš. What do you think of these drivers and their potential?
“It’s good to see the next generation of young talented Czech drivers, all three have a great potential. Filip Mareš made this season a huge step forward, he proved to be quick on Tarmac and on gravel too and delivered excellent results in the European Rally Championship and the Czech Rally Championship where he’s proved to be my biggest rival.”

The post ERC Q&A: Jan Kopecký appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Fit-again Lundberg ready for ERC3 Junior season finale

Sun, 08/11/2019 - 06:00

Elias Lundberg will be back to full fitness when the Pirelli-supported 2019 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship reaches its climax in Czech Republic next week.

Lundberg was forced to withdraw from last month’s Rally Roma di Capitale after sustaining a trapped nerve in his left arm, which made it impossible to drive his Opel ADAM R2.

“I’m back in good health after Rally di Roma Capitale and both me and my co-driver David [Arhusiander]are focused on ending the ERC3 Junior season on a high,” said Swede Lundberg.

“It was a pinched nerve in my left arm that caused our retirement in Italy, but to be honest, it was a trouble-filled season so far. We are even more determined to leave it all behind and finish the year with a good result. Most of all I would like to bring home a good result for my awesome guys in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team to reward their hard work throughout the whole season.”

Lundberg has yet to sample Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s challenging sealed-surface stages but can’t wait for the event to begin on Friday (16 August).

“I’m really looking forward to Barum Czech Rally Zlin,” he said. “It’s a new type of rally for me and the competition in the ERC3 Junior will be as tough as usual. We’ll focus on increasing our pace on Tarmac and do our best.”

The post Fit-again Lundberg ready for ERC3 Junior season finale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Talas recruits Smid as deputy for Krajca

Sat, 08/10/2019 - 06:00

Jan Talaš will have a new co-driver when he bids for FIA ERC3 Junior Championship success on his home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

With his regular co-driver Ondřej Krajča committed to Martin Vlček on next week’s all-asphalt contest, the ACCR Czech Rally Team prospect has recruited Tomáš Šmíd to navigate his Peugeot 208 R2.

“We did Rally Bohemia together and we will make everything to work at 100 per cent in the car,” said Talaš. “We would like to fight for the highest places, but we know very well it is a very difficult task as there is lot of fast local drivers from the Zlín region and also fast drivers from abroad so it will be big fight. I am bursting for this highlight of the Czech rally scene.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes place from 16-18 August.

The post ERC Junior Talas recruits Smid as deputy for Krajca appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlin facts and stats

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 18:00

The FIA European Rally Championship heads to Czech Republic for more action-packed entertainment next week (16-18 August). Here's a selection of facts and stats.

Essentials
What: FIA European Rally Championship round 6 of 8*
When: 16-18 August 2019
Where: Zlín, Czech Republic
Starts: 16h00, 16 August, Náměstí Míru, Zlín
Finishes: 16h58, 18 August, Náměstí Míru, Zlín
Stages: 15
Distance: 219.63 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 15 (2004-2018)

*Also counting for: FIA ERC1 Junior Championship, FIA ERC3 Junior Championship, ERC2, ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams, ERC Nations’ Cup, ERC Ladies’ Trophy, Abarth Rally Cup

Recent winners:
2015-2018: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2014: Václav Pech Jr/Petr Uhel (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)

Five facts:
1: Zlín’s rise from small town to big city is credited to Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894. His old office – located in a moving elevator – is preserved in the Regional Authority Building 21.
2: Now established as a bustling university city, Zlín’s south-eastern Moravia setting is 300 kilometres from the Czech capital Prague and 220 kilometres from the Austrian capital Vienna.
3: Zlín became Gottwaldov from 1949-1990 after the first Czech communist president, Klement Gottwald.
4: Barum Czech Rally Zlín ran for the first time in 1971 and turns 48 this year. Jan Halmažna took the inaugural honours in a ŠKODA 1100 MB.
5: Event sponsor Continental Barum’s giant tyre factory and distribution centre in nearby Otrokovice hosts the rally’s permanent service park.

Key timings:
Autograph session: 19h00, Tuesday 13 August, Zlaté Jablko Shopping Centre, Náměstí Míru, Zlín
Free Practice (for priority drivers): 08h00-09h30, 16 August, Pohořelice (4.40 kilometres)
Qualifying Stage (for priority drivers): 09h35-10h20, 16 August, Pohořelice (4.40 kilometres)
Shakedown (for non-priority drivers): 10h25-13h00, 16 August, Pohořelice (4.40 kilometres)
Ceremonial start: 16h00, 16 August, Náměstí Míru, Zlín
Finishing podium: 16h58, 18 August, Náměstí Míru, Zlín

More information/resources, including event itinerary, entry list and maps:
https://www.fiaerc.com/event/barum-czech-rally-zlin-2019/

The post ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlin facts and stats appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC event preview: Barum Czech Rally Zlin

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 18:00

While the battle for the overall FIA European Rally Championship is still wide open with three events left, next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes on huge importance for five young hopefuls aiming to prove they have the talent to take title glory in the fiercely competitive ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior categories.

The sealed-surface event based in Zlín, the South Moravian university city, from 16-18 August marks the deciding rounds of the ERC’s two young driver divisions when two prize packages, each worth 100,000 euros, will be up for grabs.

Briton Chris Ingram and Czech Filip Mareš will face-off for the ERC1 Junior crown – the class for drivers in R5 cars aged 28 and under. As well as a prestigious FIA title, the winner will get 100,000 euros to contest the season closing ERC events in Cyprus and Hungary where they will bid for overall honours. ERC3 Junior, meanwhile, is a three-way fight for glory between Estonia’s Ken Thorn, Spaniard Efrén Llarena and Norwegian Sindre Furuseth. Drivers aged 27 and under compete in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres.

Ever-present in the ERC since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a sealed-surface test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the roads. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests. Intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. Taking place two weeks earlier than normal, Barum Czech Rally Zlín will also host the Czech championship decider.

Of the major route tweaks, the return of the legendary Pindula after a one-year absence leads the changes, which also include the Qualifying Stage running in reverse direction and the revival of the Kostelany test.

Once again Barum Czech Rally Zlín organisers have attracted a packed entry featuring some of the best drivers in the host country, across Europe and beyond. Fifty-seven crews with priority status appear on the list of registrations, which total 137 entries across all events.

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

What’s new for 2019?
Taking place two weeks earlier than normal, Barum Czech Rally Zlín will host the final ERC Junior rounds of the season as well as the Czech championship decider. Of the major route tweaks, the return of the legendary Pindula after a one-year absence leads changes, which also include the Qualifying Stage running in reverse direction and the revival of the Kostelany stage.

Changes to the ERC for 2019 include the renaming of the ERC Junior categories: ERC Junior Under 28 becomes ERC1 Junior, ERC Junior U27 becomes ERC3 Junior with continued support from Pirelli. R4-K and RGT cars are eligible for ERC2 points, the Abarth Rally Cup will be contested over six ERC rounds, while Rally Hungary joins the calendar for the first time as the deciding round in November.

Talking points
*Defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk starts Barum Czech Rally Zlín leading the ERC standings for the first time in 2019. The Saintéloc Junior Team driver’s advantage of six points over erstwhile pacesetter Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) follows a low-scoring Rally di Roma Capitale for the Polish star, and a fourth-place finish for the Russian.
*Jan Kopecký, winner of the 2013 ERC title, is bidding for a fifth consecutive Barum Czech Rally Zlín victory in his factory ŠKODA Fabia R5, plus a fifth straight domestic crown (he leads the standings ahead of the Zlín-based national season finale). Kopecký is one of six drivers armed with the new Evo version of the Fabia for his home round of the European championship.
*Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel also has a Fabia R5 Evo at his disposal, as do Tomáš Kostka, Simon Wagner, Albert von Thurn und Taxis and Aloísio Monteiro. See separate sections for more on Kostka’s road cycle racing exploits and Wagner’s step up in performance.
*The battle for the ERC1 Junior crown (and 100,000 euros to use for the final ERC rounds in Cyprus and Hungary) will be a straight fight between Chris Ingramand home hope Filip Mareš, who is backed by his country’s ASN, the Autoklub of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, it’s a three-way fight in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior Championship between Ken Torn, Efrén Llarena and Sindre Furuseth. The winner gets two rounds of next year’s ERC in an R5 car as his prize.
*Nikolay Gryazin is taking up his second of two prize drivers from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior Championship in 2018 with Sports Racing Technologies.
*Former ERC Junior regular Jan Černý returns to European action having finished third on the last two rounds of the Czech championship. He’s third in his domestic table, one place ahead of Václav Pech, the last driver to win in Zlín prior to Jan Kopecký starting his run of success in 2015.
*MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig, the winner of four Hungarian titles, will be hoping to make amends in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 after crashing out in Zlín in 2018. He does so after a strong run in Italy last month. Experienced Czech Vojtĕch Štajfis also reliant on Polo power.
*Mattias Adielsson is switching from a Citroën C3 R5 to a Ford Fiesta R5 run by Orsák Rally Sport, the Sweden National Team driver taking advantage of a more affordable financial package for his limited funds as he bids to finish in the top three of the final ERC1 Junior standings.
*Japan’s Hiroki Arai once sampled the Zlín stages in the back seat of his father Toshi’s recce car before he was old enough to hold a driving licence of his own. He competes in a Yokohama-equipped Citroën.
*Both Adielsson and Arai will come up against Zlín rookie Miko Marczyk, whose ŠKODA Polska Motorsport Fabia is run by Czech rallying legend and three-time Zlín winner Roman Kresta, who is also behind the participation of Filip Mareš.
*Brazil’s Paulo Nobre continues his season-long ERC campaign with Motorsport Italia, but it’s a rare ERC start for a Czech contingent including Miroslav Jakeš, Roman OdložilíkTomáš PospíšilíkJaromír Tarabus and Hyundai i20 R5 drivers Martin Vlček and Petr Trnovec. One-time ERC stalwart Antonín Tlusťák is also returning to European competition.
*Not one but two members of the Březík family will be competing in Zlín with Martin Březík’s son AdamBřezík also taking part. Like ERC3 Junior Erik Cais, the younger Březík is a former downhill mountain bike racer. Martin Březík runs a bakery on the outskirts of Zlín.
*Zelindo Melegari heads to the Czech Republic from his native Italy leading the ERC2 title race having switched to an Abarth 124 rally ahead of last month’s Rally di Roma Capitale. Andrea Nucita, also from Italy, and Pole Dariusz Poloński are first and second in the Abarth standings with all three eligible for ERC2 points in their Pirelli-shod machinery.
*Argentine Juan Carlos Alonsowon on his last ERC2 appearance in Poland, while Kuwait’s Mshari Althefiri makes only his second start on a sealed-surface event. Hungarian Mátyás Nagy is set for his category debut. Like Alonso and Althefiri, Nagy will compete in Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs.
*Aside from ERC3 Junior title contenders Torn, Llarena and Furuseth, a number of young talents will be chasing success in the Pirelli-supported category.
*Czechfederation-backed Erik Cais led his class on his Zlín debut last season and starts the event boosted by his breakthrough podium in Italy last month.
*With his regular co-driver Ondřej Krajča committed to Martin Vlček, ACCR Rally Team’s Jan Talaš has recruited Tomáš Šmíd to navigate his Peugeot 208 R2.
*Along with ERC1 contender Aloísio Monteiro, Pedro Antuneswill represent FPAK Portugal Team ERC during his first Zlín start, while Gregor Jeets partners Torn in the Estonian Autosport Junior Team line-up.
*Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who won on his ERC3 Junior debut on Rally Islas Canarias, returns in his now-familiar Ford Fiesta R2T.
*Having been forced to withdraw from Rally di Roma Capitale with a trapped nerve in his left arm, Elias Lundberg is back in action for his maiden Zlín appearance. The Swede’s fellow ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver, Grégoire Munster, made his ERC3 Junior debut in Zlín last season and demonstrated his strong sealed-surface pace on the last round in Rome. Since the Italian event, Belgian Munster finished an impressive eighth in class on the world championship-counting Neste Rally Finland, while he’s due to contest an ADAC Opel Rallye Cup round in Germany this weekend.
*Peugeot Rally Academy-entered Frenchman Yohan Rossel will battle Renault-powered compatriot Florian Bernardi in ERC3. However, Rossel’s team-mate Catie Munnings will no longer be including the Czech contest on her 2019 schedule.
*Turkey’s Orhan Avcioglu continues to acclimatise to ERC3 competition in a Toksport WRT Peugeot 208 R2 having rallied at R5 level in 2018. Belgian Amaury Molle partners Avcioglu at Toksport as he makes his first ERC3 Junior start since 2015.
*American Sean Johnston is a Zlín newcomer, as is talented Czech teen Petr Semerád, who gets an Opel ADAM R2 for his second ERC3 Junior start.
*ERC Ladies’ Trophy contender, Nabila Tejpar, is another driver with no previous Zlín knowledge, the Briton linking up with co-driver Hugo Magalhães for the first time.
*Hungarian Kristóf Klausz has previous Zlín experience to call on, as do compatriot Miklós Csomós and Bulgarian Ekaterina Stratieva, who is set for her 11th Zlín start.
*Czechs Adam Březík, René Dohnal and Jiří Navrátil are registered for ERC3 points for the first time.

Head to head: Kopecký v Lukyanuk
The former (Jan Kopecký) and reigning (Alexey Lukyanuk) FIA European champions are expected to engage in a thrilling battle for victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, even though both have their own title aspirations to consider. While Kopecký is going for a fifth win in Zlín, Lukyanuk has yet to triumph but finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018 to underline his pace and potential.

Form guide: Erik Cais
Backed by his country’s national ASN, the former downhill mountain bike racer scored his maiden ERC3 Junior podium on Rally di Roma Capitale following a strong display in his Ford Fiesta R2T. He was leading his class on his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut last season until a puncture struck. Cais, who turned 20 earlier this month, is the son of experienced driver – and Czech class title winner – Miroslav Cais.

Event essentials
What: FIA European Rally Championship round 6 of 8*
When: 16-18 August 2019
Where: Zlín, Czech Republic
Stages: 15
Distance: 219.63 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 15 (2004-2018)

How to follow?
On TV and online: Live coverage of selected stages on Facebook. Daily highlights on Eurosport, Eurosport Player. Videos on YouTube. ERC All Access on Eurosport on 20 August. Event highlights broadcast around the world.
Videos, news update and live timing: Available at FIAERC.com
ERC Radio: Live from the end of all stages and selected service park visits. Available at FIAERC.com or download the official ERC App
Social media:Follow the ERC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Daily news feed: Available on request by emailing media@fiaerc.com

The post ERC event preview: Barum Czech Rally Zlin appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

They said what? ERC Junior title contenders look ahead to Zlín decider

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 09:00

The battle for the ERC1 Junior crown on next week's Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be a straight fight between Chris Ingram and home hope Filip Mareš, while it’s a three-way fight in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior Championship between Ken Torn, Efrén Llarena and Sindre Furuseth.

As well as the prestigious FIA title, the ERC1 Junior winner receives 100,000 euros to use for the final ERC rounds in Cyprus and Hungary this season. For the ERC3 Junior champion, two rounds of next year's ERC in an R5 car are the reward.

Drivers count their best four scores from a possible six. Click here to view the provisional standings and see below for what the quintet have had to say prior to Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Chris Ingram (Great Britain, Toksport WRT), ERC1 Junior, first position (125 points)
“The Barum Rally will be very important as it will decide the ERC1 Junior Championship. I am disappointed I have not been able to drive to my potential on the last rounds of the championship and have taken a step back to see what has happened. In Barum last year we had a strong pace at the end of the rally, setting times faster than rally legends like Kopecký, Lukyanuk and Sordo. I know what we have to do – I need to do my job to the best of my ability in every area. Winning the title would be huge and give us the chance to continue our fight for the overall title but I need to step up the game now.”

Filip Mareš (Czech Republic, ACCR Czech Rally Team), ERC1 Junior, second position (95 points)
“First of all, I have to say we are glad that we even are in the title fight before the Barum, it underlines our good season so far. Now we are 100 per cent ready for the final round, to give everything into the fight for the title and try to make the season even better. Barum will be the highlight of the season in both the ERC and Czech championship. The fabulous stage Pindula is back on the itinerary, while other parts will be new for us. The competition will be very tough, and I am sure we will face many challenges during the rally. Our plan is to present ourselves with good speed, we want to be consistent in every stage and finish the rally with no big mistakes. I am sure, we are able to do it. From the beginning of the season, the motivation is really high as the budget for the last two ERC rounds is in the game. I trust, we can win the championship and I hope the Czech fans will help us to reach it!”

Ken Torn (Estonia, Estonian Autosport Junior Team), ERC3 Junior, first position (116 points)
“For sure it’s a very big thing. At the beginning of the season I didn’t expect to be taking part in the ERC, but every round has gone well, and we have been getting better and better. Now for the final round it’s possible to take the [championship] win. The prize is a very good opportunity because for a young driver to find the budget to compete in an R5 car is not easy, but the champion will get two rallies in an R5 car, which is very good. When I’ve watched the videos of the stages, they are different to what we had in Roma. You see some gravel on the road so maybe it will be one of the hardest rallies I have done.”

Efrén Llarena (Spain, Rallye Team Spain), ERC3 Junior, second position (110 points)
“My aim, obviously, it to win the rally and get the title. We know it's going to be really difficult because we depend on Ken Torn's result. Barum Czech Rally Zlín is always a big challenge for everybody. We have to attack and give the maximum of us from the beginning. Last year we were on the pace, we finished the first loop in third position, and we had planned to attack much more in the following stages, but, suddenly, we had to retire after a mechanical failure in our car. We could restart for the final leg, so we know all the route. It would be a dream to be ERC3 Junior champions, the best reward for the huge work made since last year by the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo(RFEDA) Rallye Team Spain project, the Mavisa Sport team, my co-driver Sara and me, and all the people behind us, supporting our programme.”

Sindre Furuseth (Norway, Saintéloc Junior Team), ERC3 Junior, third position (96 points)
“Barum is a really special and difficult event, with always a lot of unpredictability and things happening. We will attack the weekend as we have done all this year, try to be fast, but stay out of trouble. It would mean a lot to win the title because it really helps on making the step permanently to R5 and provides two great opportunities in 2020. After our mistake in Rome the title looks rather difficult for us, but we will definitely try to do our part of the job and win the rally.”

ERC1 Junior title contenders photos by Martin Husár with thanks.

The post They said what? ERC Junior title contenders look ahead to Zlín decider appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tarabus, Trunkat get new look for home ERC counter

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 18:00

This is how the ŠKODA Fabia R5 of Jaromír Tarabus and Daniel Trunkát will look on next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Podium finishers in the FIA European Rally Championship in the past, the Czech duo will be eligible for ERC points after securing priority status.

Tarabus and Trunkát finished seventh on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last season, while the third place they scored in 2013 represents their best finishing position on the event so far.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes place from 16-18 August.

The post Tarabus, Trunkat get new look for home ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Founding ERC Junior Pospisilik is R5 alive for Zlín

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 12:00

Tomáš Pospíšilík, one of the original FIA ERC Junior Championship intake from 2014, is returning to the category on his home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, only this time he’ll be at the wheel of an R5 car.

Pospíšilík, who made his ERC3 Junior debut on Rally Liepāja five years ago driving an R2-specification ŠKODA Fabia, is competing in the Czech firm’s R5 equivalent for what will be a rare start in 2019.

“I started on only a few races this year because I had two crashes, we had to repair the car and it cost a lot of money,” Pospíšilík explained. “This is my home race and to drive on it is like my dream. Last year we were on the 13th position. Now I want the top 10.”

Pospíšilík made three ERC3 Junior appearances in 2014. He’s pictured heading to P10 in class on Barum Czech Rally Zlín of that year.

The post Founding ERC Junior Pospisilik is R5 alive for Zlín appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tejpar calls on experience of co-driver Magalhaes for ERC Ladies’ Trophy push

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 06:00

Nabila Tejpar will continue to build her experience in the FIA European Rally Championship backed up by newly-recruited co-driver Hugo Magalhães.

The Portuguese, for whom next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín will mark ERC start number 30, replaces Max Freeman alongside Tejpar for the all-asphalt event.

“Having Hugo alongside will help as he can bring his experience of the event and European roads to the team. He is extremely knowledgeable,” said Tejpar.

For Tejpar, meanwhile, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is the third ERC outing of her career following her second run on PZM 76th Rally Poland in late June. However, she has kept busy by appearing at selected demonstration events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Eifel Rallye Festival.

“It feels like a very long time away from the championship but luckily I've not been out of the driver's seat for long since Poland,” said Briton Tejpar, who drove a Proton Iriz R5 at the German event. “The chance to drive the Proton was amazing, but I need to come back down to earth now and concentrate on the task ahead. Barum is certainly not going to be easy.”

Tejpar’s main focus in Czech Republic will be her pursuit of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy. With three events remaining, she trails compatriot Catie Munnings – the 2016 winner – by 11 points.

“I can't contest all the remaining rounds, so I need to score well to keep my ERC Ladies’ Trophy chances alive,” she said. “It’s not going to be easy, as I’m the most inexperienced of the contenders but that won't stop me trying for a win. I'm excited to see what happens.”

The post Tejpar calls on experience of co-driver Magalhaes for ERC Ladies’ Trophy push appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Abarth pair separated by one point ahead of Zlin battle

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 18:00

Andrea Nucita holds a slender one-point advantage over Dariusz Poloński in the battle to win the first Abarth Rally Cup to feature within the FIA European Rally Championship.

With two events remaining, Nucita’s narrow lead is the result of a late drop in position from second to third in class on Rally di Roma Capitale last month after a mechanical failure on the closing stage.

The battle for the tittle – and the €30,000 cash prize – resumes on Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August.

The post ERC Abarth pair separated by one point ahead of Zlin battle appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Wagner steps up for ERC Junior season decider

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 12:00

Simon Wagner will build on his potential at R5 level when he steps up to the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, a move he hopes will lead to more action in the category for young stars in R5 cars next season.

Wagner began 2019 chasing success in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior only for bad luck to strike on the opening two rallies, which triggered a change of focus.

After winning back-to-back events in his native Austria in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in May and June, Wagner entered the Czech championship Rally Bohemia last month and beat more experienced opposition to finish a fine fourth overall – and start the process of securing the funding to contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August as an ERC1 and ERC1 Junior contender.

“For me, Barum is the season highlight in ERC, it’s simply incredible to drive there,” said Wagner, 26. “The spectators, the roads, the unpredictable weather conditions, the different grip, this all makes the Barum one of the most beautiful but also the most difficult rallies in Europe. I really want to thank my sponsors, my co-driver Gerry [Gerald Winter], my family and of course my team Eurosol Racing for making this dream, driving here with an R5 car, come true. I hope I can pay them back with a strong result.”

Wagner is one of eight drivers on the packed Barum Czech Rally Zlín entry list chasing ERC1 Junior points, a prospect he’s relishing. “The competition in ERC1 and especially in ERC1 Junior is very high and everybody needs to go to the limit and give everything. It's very exciting to see where we will find ourselves in this fight and how far we will get. For sure fighting with the frontrunners is going to be lots of work, especially as we will start with the brand-new ŠKODAFabia R5 Evo and lack the experience.”

ERC is for the long term, Wagner hopes
Simon Wagner doesn’t want his return to the FIA European Rally Championship to be a one-off with a full-time campaign in 2020 a firm target. “It would be a lie to say that this is not the plan,” said Wagner. “For sure I am working to make that happen but it’s very hard to find the budget. For now, I will focus on Barum Czech Rally Zlín 100 per cent, try to enjoy it as much as possible and try to get faster every kilometre. Afterwards it will be a long winter with a lot of meetings and we'll see what we can do for next season.”

Wagner already alive in R5
While he’s yet to drive in R5 machinery at FIA European Rally Championship level, Simon Wagner’s record in the category is strong with five wins from eight starts.  “The first starts in the top category almost felt like a different world to be honest,” said Wagner. “It was great how fast we could adapt both my driving and our pacenotes. Five wins at eight rallies is not too bad. The great backing of our team, Eurosol Racing, was a big factor here and I want to say massive thanks to them for the great support they gave us for our first steps in the R5 world. The fourth place at Rally Bohemia, just behind Kalle [Rovanperä] and the two Jans [Kopecký and Černý], was the greatest highlight so far and would not have been possible without the experience of the team. But Barum will be a completely new story and we want to enjoy every kilometre and minute and keep improving!”

The post Wagner steps up for ERC Junior season decider appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pushing comes after experience for Gryazin in ERC

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 06:00

Nikolay Gryazin wants to avoid a “pushing race” when he takes up his second prize drive for winning the FIA ERC1 Junior title in 2018 on Barum Czech Rally Zlín next week.

After crashing out of the lead on Rally di Roma Capitale last month, Gryazin is back in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín eager to up his asphalt running and refine the set-up of his Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 for Germany’s world championship rally the following week.

“Because we are using this [second prize drive] to prepare for Germany, it will not be like a pushing race for us, but we will try to manage our set-up,” said the Russian, who has graduated to world level for this season following his success in the ERC. “In Rally di Roma Capitale we were trying to push but after our crash we were not able to set up the car so at the start in Barum I will be more cautious to gain some improvements.”

This will be Gryazin’s fourth start in Zlín and traditionally one of the toughest he encounters each season.

“For us it’s not easy, a really tricky and bumpy rally, and if it’s raining it’s especially not easy. You have a wide road sometimes then the narrow parts, which are in the forest and dirty – it almost feels like you are driving on gravel. You need to have a good set-up for this type of Tarmac because it’s not like any other rallies.”

He continued: “Barum is a really iconic race with lots of spectators and competitors who are not easy to beat. Hopefully we can be on the same level as the leaders but with guys like Alexey Lukyanuk and Jan Kopecký it’s not easy.”

The post Pushing comes after experience for Gryazin in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s former First Lady Stratieva set for 11th Zlin appearance

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 18:00

Ekaterina Stratieva, the winner of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2015, has secured the backing to make her 11th start on Barum Czech Rally Zlín – one year after she was handed the freedom of the host city.

Stratieva’s commitment to the event was recognised at a ceremony ahead of last season’s all-asphalt FIA European Rally Championship counter.

And after finishing fourth in class in P65 overall in 2018, Stratieva has secured the funding to pilot a Peugeot 208 R2 in Zlín.

“With pleasure I can say that I come back in the European championship,” said Stratieva. “I have hunger for adrenaline and to get in the car again. I am addicted to this race and this year I will start for the 11th time. Last year I take the key of Zlín and now is the time to try to open the door! This race will be for all my fans that support me!”

Of her car choice for the event from 16-18 August, Stratieva added: “The car is new for me and for sure it will be not easy but I go to enjoy, to make happy the people and to try to be in the top three of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy. If I am right there will be six women drivers in the entry.”

The post ERC’s former First Lady Stratieva set for 11th Zlin appearance appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Molle calls on friend and new team-mate Ingram for Zlin advice ahead of ERC Junior return

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:00

Amaury Molle has called on Chris Ingram for advice ahead of his return to the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on the season-deciding Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month (16-18 August).

Belgian Molle has one ERC3 Junior start to his name dating back to 2015 when he contested his home round of the championship, finishing sixth in class.

His return four years on will mark his debut on the asphalt-only Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which he’ll contest in a Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2 entered under the Toksport WRT banner in partnership with Molle’s regular team, Pevatec.

With no previous knowledge of the Czech roads, the 24-year-old Molle has enlisted advice from Toksport driver Ingram, who will be bidding for the ERC1 Junior title in Zlín and has started the rally five times.

“I only know this rally from watching videos and the stories that it’s fast and bumpy,” said Molle, who also has experience of world championship events and placed second in class on Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2018. “I know the competition in ERC Junior is really high and I know a lot of the drivers did the last edition of Barum. I will miss this experience, so I’ve been talking with Chris Ingram. He has experience there and we’re in the same team so he’s helping me with onboards from the past few years and telling me about the specifics of the rally.”

Molle, who is currently completing a Masters in Company Strategy, works as a race and rally driving instructor when he’s not competing and has joked that his experience from tutoring on ice-coated roads in Lapland could be of benefit in Zlín. “I am told the roads are very slippery [in Zlín], but you have to know where it’s slippery and where it’s not. For sure it’s better to discover a rally in dry conditions, but if it’s slippery maybe I will know a little more about what to expect, although from what Dani Sordo said when he discovered the rally last year, it’s not easy for the first time.”

Molle continued: “It’s a one-shot in ERC Junior but it’s a good opportunity to drive in the championship. If I can get some more visibility, as we don’t know about next year, maybe it will be interesting to know more [about this championship] and discover another rally.”

Frenchman Florian Barral will co-drive Molle, who has secured support from Servi-Mat, Servi-Pools, Neuronics, CRLS, IN- NERGY, Humi-Tech, Doneux and Beobank Marcinelle-Fleurus for his Zlín bid.

Photo supplied by Amaury Molle

The post Molle calls on friend and new team-mate Ingram for Zlin advice ahead of ERC Junior return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New car, same focus: Adielsson aims for the podium in ERC1 Junior

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 06:00

Mattias Adielsson remains focused on securing a top-three overall finish in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship, going as far as changing cars to try to make his dream a reality.

The Swedish National Team driver, who is co-driven by Andreas Johansson, has already tasted podium success in the category for young stars in R5 cars in Poland earlier this season, driving a Citroën C3 R5 run by the Vincent Ducher-managed Saintéloc Junior Team.

But with available funding in short supply to contest the upcoming Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Adielsson has accepted a “great” offer to drive for local team Orsák Rally Sport in a Ford Fiesta R5.

“For three weeks I was out of making the start in Zlín and was almost having to give up the chance of a top-three finish at the end of the ERC1 Junior season,” Adielsson said. “I couldn’t accept that, so thankfully Jaroslav Orsák gave me this great opportunity to do the rally.

“I want to thank Vincent and the Saintéloc team for a great understanding and for the previous races, the guys have been doing a great job.

“Now I start the process of working with a new team and, hopefully, getting the result we need in Zlín, which could be very important for our future plans.”

Adielsson’s last outing a Ford Fiesta R5 was in 2017, while he’s not competed on asphalt this season. He has two starts on Barum Czech Rally Zlín in R2 machinery, but has yet to register a finish after bad luck struck in 2015 and 2016.

“It will be fun to start this fantastic event for the first time in an R5 car,” said Adielsson. “I have been looking forward for that since I was there 2015 for first time with our R2. The rally is very demanding and difficult, but we have a good plan and I feel confident to follow that.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes place on asphalt-only stages from 16-18 August.

The post New car, same focus: Adielsson aims for the podium in ERC1 Junior 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)