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Updated: 57 min 10 sec ago

Devine secures Hungary Hyundai run ahead of possible 2020 ERC switch

Thu, 10/24/2019 - 09:00

Callum Devine will contest next month’s season-deciding Rally Hungary ahead of a possible FIA European Rally Championship bid in 2020.

Irishman Devine, 25, has linked up with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing to drive a Hyundai i20 R5 with the support of his country’s ASN, Motorsport Ireland.

Co-driven by Brian Hoy, Devine is part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and was a frontrunner in the 2019 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, scoring one win and two podiums. He has previous experience at world championship level and has three ERC starts to his name from earlier in his career.

“I’m planning an ERC campaign next year so, thanks to Andrew Johns at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, we managed to put a package together to do Hungary. It will be great experience for next year and will give us plenty to work on over the winter.”

Although Devine has completed a brief acclimatisation session in a Hyundai i20 R5, his first meaningful running will be during the Rally Hungary official test on Tuesday 5 November. “I’ve had a short test in a Hyundai thanks to the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy around a circuit which was some help but you can’t beat the real thing on closed roads,” said Devine. “We have to learn the event and the car but hopefully we can show some good pace also. I enjoy a challenge and this will be just that.”

Like the bulk of the ERC registered drivers competing on Rally Hungary, Devine has no experience of the asphalt stages around host city Nyíregyháza. “I’ve been watching some onboard videos and the event looks quite specialist with its rough roads and slippery conditions at that time of year,” said Devine, who works in the construction industry when he’s not. rallying. “I’m used to driving on wet Tarmac in Ireland but you seem to able to cut more on the continent and the type of Tarmac is different. We’ll know more after our test where we’ll try find a good set-up.”

Of his ERC aspirations, Devine said: “I have been following the ERC for a long time now, the competition is very high and the fact that the title is going down to the final round has created a lot of interest. If we can provide a surprise, all the better. I’d like to thank Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racine for giving myself and Brian this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank all my regular sponsors who have backed me to date, this opportunity wouldn’t have come about without them either.”

The post Devine secures Hungary Hyundai run ahead of possible 2020 ERC switch appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hungarian champion to take on ERC title chasers at home

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 06:00

Recently crowned Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze will contest his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship next month, coming up against the ERC’s elite.

But Vincze, who will compete in Nyíregyháza alongside co-driver Igor Bacigal in a ŠKODA Fabia R5, isn’t fazed by the prospect of taking on the ERC’s top three, Chris Ingram, Łukasz Habaj and defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

“I talked to my colleagues and many of them thought we do not have any chance against the top drivers,” said Vincze. “But I believe that we must try to fight. I have never been at such a race, although I have never raced without any pressure like now either. I would like to go fast and take some more risk that I took during the season. I trust in my good performance and that we can get to the top of the field.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November and counts as the deciding round of the eight-event ERC season.

Photo: Korda Racing

The post Hungarian champion to take on ERC title chasers at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title contender Habaj gets back into Tarmac mode

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj is stepping up his preparations for his FIA European Rally Championship title challenge in Hungary next month with an outing on Partr - Sev.en Commodities Rally Vsetín this weekend (25-26 October).

Forming part of the Czech Republic’s Rallysprint series, the country’s second-tier rally contest, the seven-stage event will allow Habaj to reacclimatise to asphalt competition follow the ERC’s gravel-based Cyprus Rally last month.

Pole Habaj, 19 points behind Chris Ingram in the ERC title chase, will compete in his usual Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 with Daniel Dymurski co-driving.

Opposition will come from a number of Barum Czech Rally Zlín regulars including Jaromír Tarabus and Miroslav Jakeš.

Meanwhile, Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November on asphalt-only stages around the city of Nyíregyháza.

The post ERC title contender Habaj gets back into Tarmac mode appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig tells ERC rivals to get ready for “very good stages”

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig has told his FIA European Rally Championship rivals to get ready for “very good stages” when his native Hungary hosts the ERC title decider next month.

Rally Hungary, which takes place from 8-10 November, is new to the European roster for this season and Herczig, the four-time national champion and double ERC podium finisher, reckons there’s a treat in store.

“They are very good stages,” said Herczig, who drives a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for the MOL Racing Team. “There’s a mixture of very fast and very narrow but quite good quality. Some stages a very tricky but it’s a very good rally and it will be a very good experience for everybody.”

The post Herczig tells ERC rivals to get ready for “very good stages” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2020 route to support areas ravaged by summer wildfires

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 12:00

Communities hit by the wildfires that raged on Gran Canaria in August can continue to count on the support of Rally Islas Canarias.

Organisers of the FIA European Rally Championship counter have confirmed the route of the all-asphalt event, which takes place from 7-9 May 2020, will visit the same municipalities included on this year’s route, including Artenara, Valleseco, Agaete, Moya, Gáldar, Tejeda and San Mateo.

According to data from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, 60 per cent of Artenara was affected by the fires, which devastated 10,000 hectares of land during the summer. Indeed, the test stage in Artenara used ahead of May’s 43rd Rally Islas Canarias is currently not accessible following the fires.

A statement from the event organisers read: “The organising committee, through its president, Germán Morales, has already communicated the decision to the main institutions such as the Government of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as the consistories of the rest of municipalities. From Eurosport Events, promoter of the ​​ERC, the measure has been applauded, as its leaders conveyed messages of concern and support during the days when the fire consumed part of the spectacular Gran Canaria summit.”

While the route of next May’s Rally Islas Canarias is largely set, the stage layouts are still being finalised with a number of changes planned.

The post ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2020 route to support areas ravaged by summer wildfires appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Half-century celebrations in the planning as ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlín bosses prepare to go big

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 12:00

The 50th Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be longer than in recent seasons, while there will be a return to “old and legendary stages” under plans currently being drawn up by bosses of the sealed-surface FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Scheduled to take place from 28-30 August as the sixth event of the 2020 ERC season, the milestone-running of Barum Czech Rally Zlín is set to offer crews a competitive distance in excess of 230 kilometres after special dispensation was received from the FIA, motorsport’s governing body. This year’s event covered a distance of less than 220 kilometres.

“With this anniversary we want to offer something special to the crews,” said Miloslav Regner, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín Clerk of the Course. “At least for this one special year we would like to return to some old and legendary stages. Of course, it requires many negotiations with villages and property owners at places where the rally has not been run for many years. But the approved exception gives us a room for arranging the route and we believe that its final shape will be extraordinary.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s half century will enforce its partnership with title sponsor Continental Barum, which opened its tyre factory in Otrokovice in 1971, the year of the first Barum Rally. For many years a stage was run around the factory’s grounds, which now accommodate the event’s service park.

As well as the association with Continental Barum, confirmation that the event will continue to form part of the ERC schedule extends a relationship that began in 1983 when the Zlín-based event hosted the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time.

“The FIA European Rally Championship has enjoyed a long and very successful relationship with the organisers of Barum Czech Rally Zlín,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the FIA ERC Coordinator. “As one of the highlights of our calendar, the month of August is always eagerly anticipated and every year we look forward to and enjoy a great welcome and plenty of on-stage action. In addition to being well organised, the event is extremely popular among our registered drivers and teams, who take part in great number each season. We extend our congratulations to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín organising team for reaching this impressive milestone.”

The post Half-century celebrations in the planning as ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlín bosses prepare to go big appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Q&A: Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:15

Following the publishing the FIA European Rally Championship calendar for 2020, Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, highlights some of the key points.

Q: The ERC will again be decided over eight rounds in 2020. But why not add more events, especially when Corsica and Catalunya have dropped out of the world championship schedule?

A: “We consult our drivers and teams every season and the underlying wish is to respect budgetary and time concerns. Eight remains the preferred number of rallies and we are very happy with the events we work with. There was no reason to change a winning formula.”

Q: What does the calendar offer drivers, particularly those who are stepping up from national to international level?

A: “First and foremost we offer eight well organised events all with their own unique appeal and challenge. There is an equal split of asphalt and gravel rallies, which is perfect for building experience of different surfaces. By scheduling the events from March to November, costs can be spread throughout the year.”

Q: Will teams benefit from travel support to attend the island rallies next season?

A: “Arrangements are being made with the organisers of the Azores Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally to provide logistical support once again. More details will be announced in due course.”

Q: There will again be a focus on young talent through the two ERC Junior championships. What’s the plan for 2020?

A: “ERC1 Junior will continue to cater for young stars in R5 cars with ERC3 Junior for rising talents in R2 machinery on Pirelli tyres. Soon we’ll announce details of the prize packages on offer in 2020.”

Q: Not wishing to single out one event but Barum Czech Rally Zlín turns 50 in 2020. What do you think of this achievement?

A: “The ERC has enjoyed a long and very successful relationship with the organisers of Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The month of August is always eagerly anticipated and every year we look forward to and enjoy a great welcome and plenty of on-stage action. In addition to being well managed, the event is extremely popular among our registered drivers and teams, who take part in great number each season. We extend our congratulations to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín organising team for reaching this impressive milestone.”

The post Q&A: Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior decided over six events in 2020

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:10

As in previous seasons, the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship and FIA ERC3 Championship will take place over six rounds in 2020 with three events on asphalt and three on gravel.

The calendar appears below:

Round 1: Azores Rallye (gravel), 26-28 March
Round 2: Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt), 7-9 May
Round 3: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel), 29-31 May**
Round 4: 77th Rally Poland (gravel), 26-28 June
Round 5: Rally di Roma Capitale (asphalt), 24-26 July
Round 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt), 28-30 August

**Subject to the signing of the event promoter agreement

The post ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior decided over six events in 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC calendar 2020: what’s in store?

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:05

The 2020 FIA European Rally Championship will be decided over eight great events. Here's a reminder of what's in store next season.

Atlantic adventure up first for ERC aces
Two Atlantic Ocean island rallies will open the 2020 ERC schedule starting with the gravel-based Azores Rallye in late March followed by the asphalt-only Rally Islas Canarias in May.

High-speed Baltic blast on gravel
It’s all-gravel and all-speed for the third and fourth rounds of the new season. Following Rally Liepāja** in western Latvia, the Masuria lake district hosts the 77th Rally Poland with both flat-out events again running in late May and late June respectively.

Tarmac titans to shine through in Italy
Italy’s capital will play a key role in the ERC for the fourth time with the Tarmac-based Rally di Roma Capitale occupying its now familiar July date.

Big celebrations as Barum Czech Rally Zlín turns 50
Barum Czech Rally Zlín will return to its traditional late August slot for the 50th running of this asphalt classic, one of many highlights of the 2020 ERC season.

The heat is on in Cyprus
ERC drivers get to battle demanding gravel stages and the searing Mediterranean heat when the Cyprus Rally forms the penultimate event of the title chase.

Hungary for asphalt
Rally Hungary, which joins the ERC roster for the first time next month (8-10 November), will continue as the season-closing round in 2020 using Tarmac stages in the north-eastern city of Nyíregyháza.

**Subject to the signing of the event promoter agreement

The post ERC calendar 2020: what’s in store? appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Eight is great again for ERC in 2020

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:00

The FIA European Rally Championship will continue to follow its successful format in 2020 with confirmation of an eight-event schedule including four rounds on asphalt and four on gravel.

Made up of the same eight rallies that formed the 2019 calendar, the list of dates for next season has been approved by the FIA Rally Commission and was ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council during an electronic vote.

The 2020 ERC calendar is confirmed as follows:

Round 1: Azores Rallye (gravel), 26-28 March
Round 2: Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt), 7-9 May
Round 3: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel), 29-31 May**
Round 4: 77th Rally Poland (gravel), 26-28 June
Round 5: Rally di Roma Capitale (asphalt), 24-26 July
Round 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt), 28-30 August
Round 7: Cyprus Rally (gravel), 9-11 October
Round 8: Rally Hungary (asphalt), 6-8 November

**Subject to the signing of the event promoter agreement

The post Eight is great again for ERC in 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC co-driver Whittock: Ingram full of confidence

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 06:00

Co-driver Ross Whittock reckons Chris Ingram is “full of confidence” approaching the FIA European Rally Championship season-deciding Rally Hungary next month.

Ingram is 19 points to the good in the title battle after delivering a fine strategic drive on last month’s Cyprus Rally, where he was classified in second position behind Nasser Al-Attiyah. It was a performance that Whittock believes could hand he and his fellow Briton the edge in their championship bid with Toksport WRT.

Following the Cyprus performance, Whittock said: “It was probably one of the best rallies he’s driven this year, he’s full of confidence now. We knew the plan was to let Nasser and [Alexey] Lukyanuk fight it out, we just wanted to be there to pick up the scraps and it was tough seeing us drop so far behind them. But in the end it obviously paid off. We just have to believe in ourselves a little bit more, that we are doing the right thing.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November.

The post ERC co-driver Whittock: Ingram full of confidence appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Erdi Jr’s ERC wait goes on

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 06:00

Tibor Érdi Jr’s wait for a top 10 finish in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship will continue to his home round next month.

The double ERC2 champion from Hungary has been out of luck in his four 2019 appearances at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

He came close to ending his frustrating sequence on the Cyprus Rally last month only for a puncture and overheating issue to cost him valuable time and leave him in P11 at the finish in Larnaca.

“We learned many, many things and we tried to make a good race,” said Érdi Jr.

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November.

The post Erdi Jr’s ERC wait goes on appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

How Avcioglu’s sauna visit earned Toksport crucial ERC points

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 06:00

Orhan Avcioglu’s perseverance on the Cyprus Rally could go a long way towards helping Toksport WRT win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

The Turkish driver’s third place in ERC3 combined with Chris Ingram’s second position overall helped earn Toksport WRT an event-best 40 points to trim the Saintéloc Junior Team’s margin to two points with just next month’s Rally Hungary remaining.

“We came here for a podium and I’m really glad to get it,” said Avcioglu. “We had some difficulties on the first day but we did what we could, I tried to survive and it was a good strategy. I was really glad to be at the finish of such a long and really, really demanding rally. Outside the car was hot but inside it was like a sauna.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November on all-asphalt stages in the north east of the country.

The post How Avcioglu’s sauna visit earned Toksport crucial ERC points appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi thanks sponsors after keeping it five alive ERC3

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 06:00

Florian Bernardi has thanked his sponsors after he all but assured himself a top-five finish in the final FIA European Rally Championship ERC3 standings.

By finishing last month’s Cyprus Rally in fourth place in class, the Renault Clio R3T driver made it five points finishes from five ERC starts in 2019, including two on his alien gravel surface. It’s unlikely he will be overtaken in the standings with one event left.

“It is already very positive to finish this demanding rally and finish our fifth rally in as many starts,” said the Frenchman. “A big thank you to my sponsors who allow me to live unforgettable moments on mythical rallies, thank you to all my team and my fans.”

A decision on whether Bernardi contests the season-closing Rally Hungary next month has yet to be taken.

The post Bernardi thanks sponsors after keeping it five alive ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC helps Fernández build “massive experience”

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 06:00

Emilo Fernández says his debut in the FIA European Rally Championship gave him “massive experience”.

Chilean Fernández finished seventh overall on last month’s Cyprus Rally in a Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Afterwards, he said: “Massive experience on impressive roads with twisty corners. It was good for me and I learned a lot.”

Fernández was also able to gain experience of running first on the road on all-gravel stages when he went first on the final day in Cyprus.

The post ERC helps Fernández build “massive experience” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Cais at the treble in ERC

Sat, 10/12/2019 - 06:00

Ex-downhill mountain bike racer Erik Cais underlined his huge potential as a rally driver by making it three second-place finishes in succession in ERC3 on last month’s Cyprus Rally.

Cais, in his second season of rallying and his first at international level, also claimed the runner-up spot in class on the FIA European Rally Championship rounds in Italy and his native Czech Republic alongside co-driver Jindřiška Žáková

“It is awesome to be in the second place in ERC3 three times in a row in the last three rallies,” said the 20-year-old ACCR Czech Rally Team driver. “The Cyprus Rally was a big challenge for me, Jindřiška, our Fiesta and the whole team. The most experience came on the three last stages because on the first we broke the gearbox and I can only put first and second gear. The engine was also overheating but the Ford was really strong.”

Cais has used a Ford Fiesta R2T run by Jaroslav Orsák’s team, which also oversaw Tomáš Kurka’s run to P12 overall on the Cyprus Rally in a Ford Fiesta R5.

The post Cais at the treble in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Two ERC Abarth rivals, one trophy and €30,000 up for grabs

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:00

Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński will bring their season-long Abarth Rally Cup rivalry to a conclusion in Hungary next month.

Nucita and Poloński are eight points apart after five rounds of the one-make series with Nucita holding the edge having claimed three wins to the single success notched up by this category rival.

As well as the honour of winning the first Abarth Rally Cup title to be contested entirely within the FIA European Rally Championship, Nucita and Poloński are fighting it out over the €30,000 handed to the eventual champion.

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November.

The post Two ERC Abarth rivals, one trophy and €30,000 up for grabs appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title contender Habaj philosophical despite points drop

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj was in philosophical mood after dropping 19 points behind Chris Ingram in the race to win this season’s FIA European Rally Championship.

Habaj placed fourth on his Cyprus Rally debut last month, despite a throttle issue robbing him of vital speed on the deciding leg.

Nevertheless, the Sports Racing Technologies driver actually gained a position in the title fight after he demoted 2018 ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk for the runner-up spot following the Russian’s retirement with a mechanical issue.

“I was happy to finish with only 20 or 30 per cent of throttle,” said Habaj. “My only goal was to keep my position and we managed to do this. We did a good job over the whole weekend for the first time on this rally with no experience. In fact, the whole team did a great job but this rally is very demanding on machinery and it was just bad luck for us that for the first time since we start driving the ŠKODA something happened. But in the range of possibilities, we have to statistically assume it will break down eventually at some point.”

Rally Hungary will host the three-way ERC title decider from 8-10 November.

The post ERC title contender Habaj philosophical despite points drop appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mayr-Melnhof Hungary to show more ERC pace after strong Cyprus comeback

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 06:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof’s ERC career-best fifth shows he’s on the “right path” in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Ex-GT racer Mayr-Melnhof hit back from a trouble-hit Cyprus Rally opening leg to charge from P11 to the top five on the second day, picking up six bonus points for finishing leg two in the runner-up spot in the process.

“The first day was a really a tough test on all of us, the whole team, to keep the focus with everything going on,” said the 2018 Austrian champion of his early mechanical woes. “But the team was really great to put the car like it was [on day two] and we could push more and more. At least we’ve shown we’re really on the right path and we pushed to the maximum on the last stage, to the last metre because it was so much fun.”

Mayr-Melnhof, who completed the Cyprus Rally with back-to-back third-place stage finishes, is set to contest the inaugural Rally Hungary from 8-10 November in a Ford Fiesta R5 run by The Drift Company. Based in the city of Nyíregyháza, the all-asphalt event forms the deciding round of the 2019 ERC season.

The post Mayr-Melnhof Hungary to show more ERC pace after strong Cyprus comeback appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Teams’ title tussle tightly poised in ERC

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 06:00

The battle to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams is set to go down to the wire when Rally Hungary brings the 2019 season to a close from 8-10 November.

After seven rounds, the Saintéloc Junior Team from France and Germany-based TOKSPORT WRT are level on 145 points with the ACCR Czech Rally Team I firmly in contention, just nine points behind.

Click here to view the provisional ERC standings.

The post Teams’ title tussle tightly poised in ERC 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)