Subscribe to WRC EN feed
European Rally Championship
Updated: 35 min 58 sec ago

ERC event preview: Rally Liepāja

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:00

One of the fastest and most spectacular rallies on the schedule awaits the FIA European Rally Championship crews when Rally Liepāja hosts the third round of the all-action 2019 ERC season and the second event to count for the all-new Abarth Rally Cup.

Essentials
What: FIA European Rally Championship round 3 of 8*
When: 24-26 May 2019
Where: Liepāja, Latvia
Stages: 13
Distance: 207.98 kilometres
Surface: Gravel
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 6 (2013-2018)

*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:
2018: Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2017: Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2016: Ralfs Sirmacis/Arturs Šimins (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2015: Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Peugeot 208 T16)
2014: Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)

Overview
One of the fastest and most spectacular rallies on the schedule awaits the FIA European Rally Championship crews when Rally Liepāja hosts the third round of the all-action 2019 ERC season and the second event to count for the all-new Abarth Rally Cup. Forty-five crews will chase ERC points on the high-speed Latvian event from 24-26 May, with a record 23 eligible for ERC Junior to underline the championship’s ongoing efforts to provide a platform of progression for young talents from national level aiming for the top of the sport. Early title pacesetter Łukasz Habaj heads the overall list for the Latvia-based Sports Racing Technologies operation, which expands to a two-car attack with the inclusion of teenage hope Oliver Solberg. Petter Solberg’s son is seeded number 10, one place ahead of hometown hero Mārtiņš Sesks, taking part in one of two prize drives as his reward for winning the ERC3 Junior title in 2018. Chris Ingram, the ERC1 Junior leader after two rounds, is the second seed followed by double ERC Junior title winner Marijan Griebel. Defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk is the fifth seed for what will be a wide-open battle for victory. ERC2 has a season-high eight entrants, including three drivers from the new-for-2019 Abarth Rally Cup, while Efrén Llarena, leader of the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category, tops a 19-strong ERC3 line-up. Aside from the exciting entry, Rally Liepāja has undergone significant changes for its seventh consecutive ERC appearance. Moving from October to May, Rally Liepāja’s opening leg on Saturday 25 May is based around Talsi, which has allowed organisers to include what are described as Latvia’s ‘golden fund’ of stages, before reverting to more traditional territory for the closing leg on Sunday 26 May. This year’s Rally Liepāja coincides with the annual FIA Volunteers Weekend and ERC drivers will be celebrating those who give up their time for free to help make motorsport events happen.

Rally Liepāja in 100 words
The brainchild of driver turned promoter Raimonds Strokšs and first run to great acclaim in 2013, Rally Liepāja was originally a winter event but switched to autumn for 2016 to ensure more guaranteed weather. The new date effectively made for an all-new rally as crews adjusted to gravel stages free of snow and ice. Although the time of year had changed, the high-speed stages in western Latvia continued to thrill drivers and spectators alike. For autumn read late spring in 2019 as this forward-thinking event moves to late May and an expanded route with stages in the Talsi region too.

What’s new for 2019?
While Liepāja remains the event’s hub, the stages will cover a much wider area than ever before with roads around Talsi to the north included for the first time. A move forwards from October to May is the other big change for 2019.

Changes to the ERC 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. Meanwhile, 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
*The top-three seeds – Łukasz Habaj, Chris Ingram and Marijan Griebel – all have Rally Liepāja podium pedigree to count, while Habaj’s team – Sports Racing Technologies – has won the last three editions.
*Alexey Lukyanuk signalled his arrival on the international stage with a giant-killing performance on the first Rally Liepāja in 2013. Now driving a Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 R5, the Russian is desperately searching for points in order to get his faltering ERC title defence back on track.
*Eyvind Brynildsen’s most recent Rally Liepāja last October ended in spectacular fashion when he crashed out of the podium fight on the final day. He joins Chris Ingram and Cypriot Rally Liepāja rookie Alexandros Tsouloftas in driving a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the expanded Toksport WRT squad.
*Unable to include Rally Liepāja on his 2018 ERC schedule, MOL Racing Team’s four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig is a newcomer to the Latvian stages in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
*Japanese promise Hiroki Arai begins his ERC campaign with Manfred Stohl’s STARD operation. He will drive a Citroën C3 R5, also the car of choice for Sweden’s Mattias Adielsson.
*Czech federation-backed hope Filip Mareš begins his 2019 ERC1 Junior bid in Latvia and is set to impress following a learning campaign last season.
*Brazil’s Paulo Nobre returns to European action following a hectic three weeks, which has included contesting the two South American rounds of the world championship either side of Rally Islas Canarias.
*Lithuanian Vaidotas Žala is new to the ERC in Latvia, as is Saudi promise Rakan Al-Rashed. Both will drive ŠKODA Fabia R5s.
*ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr (Hungarian) returns to the scene of his step up to R5 level, while Russian Artur Muradian makes his R5 debut having competed in ERC3 in the past. Albert von Thurn und Taxis will make his long-awaited debut in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
*Former ERC Junior star and Rally Liepāja winner Ralfs Sirmacis is back on European duty in the ERC2 division where his opposition includes Zelindo Melegari, Sergey Remennik, Vytautas Švedas and Kuwaiti newcomer Mshari Althefiril.
*World Rallycross ace Reinis Nitišs (Latvia) joins the Abarth Rally Cup ranks, which include Dariusz Poloński (Poland) and Andrea Nucita (Italy). Abarth Rally Cup drivers are eligible for ERC2 points.
*The popularity of ERC3 is once again proven with 19 entrants including Peugeot Rally Academy duo Yohan Rossel and Catie Munnings, plus American ex-sportscar racer Sean Johnston.
*Of those 19, 16 are eligible for the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category, which is led by Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena and FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Pedro Antunes, who joins Rally Islas Canarias class winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (France) in relying on Ford Fiesta R2T power. An ERC Junior preview will be issued separately.

Expert views
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (France) Ford Fiesta R2T: “It’s a very special event, especially for me because I’m really not used to the fast roads we will find. I know it won’t be easy to be in front of the other drivers but we will prepare as well as we can. Thanks to M-Sport I will do two days of testing, which will be perfect for me to help me learn. The objective is to be in the fight for the victory but let’s see.” 

Marijan Griebel (Germany), Baumschlager Rallye & Racing ŠKODA Fabia R5: “I have vivid memories from Rally Liepāja, having competed there three times. Unfortunately, my first two attempts, when this was a winter rally, resulted in two of my largest crashes. That is all in the past, though, and I have warm memories of the last time I competed in Liepāja. In 2016, I was fighting for the ERC Junior title, and I needed to win in order to become champion. At the end, that is what I did, winning by a few seconds. It all could have ended differently, but I had become champion! That is still one of the best days in my career, something that I will always remember.”

Łukasz Habaj (Poland) Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5: “I’m very happy to be leading the championship, the car, the team, the tyres have been working well and we have been improving all the time. We’ve had the consistency and the pace but the pace is high and the competition is tight. Being on top of the leaderboard makes me really happy and, to be honest, my confidence is good. We know Rally Liepāja quite well, I have been there three times and my performance is usually quite good. It was one of my first rallies with the ŠKODA last year and we were fighting for the podium on the first day. Also the team’s knowledge of the stages will help.”

Reinis Nitišs (Latvia) Milano Racing Abarth 124 rally: “I am anxiously awaiting Rally Liepāja, which promises to be fast, technical and filled with intrigue. I am ready for a completely new and unexpected challenge in a car that is a bit unusual and rarely seen in Latvia – the rear-wheel-drive Abarth 124 rally. It’s an Italian car serviced by a French team, and we plan to have one test day before the rally. My only experience competing with rear-wheel drive comes from karting, buggy and races in the LADA Cup, so testing will be very important. It will also be a chance to get up to speed with my new co-driver, the experienced Māris Kulšs.”

Mārtiņš Sesks (Latvia) LMT Autosporta Akadēmija ŠKODA Fabia R5: “Our season has started not very good so it will be a big pleasure and very nice to do my home rally in a top-spec car. For sure it’s a different car, but it’s a good opportunity to show our speed again. I hope to have good feelings with the car and with my self-confidence following the tests. They are the main goals. The result is not main thing – we need to get our confidence to drive a top-spec car on these very fast roads.”

Head to head: Sesks v Solberg
Teenage talents Mārtiņš Sesks and Oliver Solberg start Rally Liepāja with a clear shared objective in mind: to build experience in R5 machinery. For 19-year-old Sesks, his home event marks his debut in a top-of-the range car, one of two prize drives from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC3 Junior crown in 2018. Seventeen-year-old Solberg is tackling his first gravel event in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 having won the two snow rallies he’s tackled in the German machine. While both drivers insist results are secondary to gaining knowledge, Rally Liepāja nevertheless represents a gilt-edged opportunity for the exciting young pair to impress on an international stage.

Form guide: Efrén Llarena
The Rally Team Spain prospect is playing the title game. After winning ERC3 Junior in the Azores, Llarena settled for a podium on Rally Islas Canarias rather than risk all for a second win. And the approach is paying off as he prepares for his first Rally Liepāja, although he did complete the recce last October.

How to follow?
On TV and online: Live coverage of selected stages on Facebook. Daily highlights on Eurosport and YouTube. ERC All Access on Eurosport on 28 May. 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

Don’t miss! ERC Junior champion Sesks in home prize drive R5 debut
Mārtiņš Sesks will make his debut in an R5 car on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship as the first of two prize drives for winning the ERC3 Junior crown in 2018. Teen talent Sesks, 19, had been due to take up his first prize drive on Rally Islas Canarias, but submitted a request to ERC promoter Eurosport Events to switch the Spanish asphalt event to his home rally. The request also required the approval of partner team Motorsport Italia but was swiftly approved. The second prize drive, planned for July’s Rally di Roma Capitale, is unaffected by the change of events. Sesks, who is from Liepāja and is the son of the city’s mayor Uldis Sesks, an ex-rally driver, will pilot a Pirelli-equipped ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Abarth Rally Cup continues on Rally Liepāja
The Abarth Rally Cup, which began on Rally Islas Canarias, runs in conjunction with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019, bringing together the hugely exciting one-make series and the leading regional competition promoted by Eurosport Events under a long-term agreement with motorsport’s world governing body. Contested over six rounds of the eight-event ERC, the Abarth Rally Cup is open to competitors using the enhanced-for-2019 Abarth 124 rally, the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscar, which conforms to the FIA’s R-GT category technical regulations. And following the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s decision on 5 December to allow R-GT cars to take part in the revitalised ERC2 category, Abarth Rally Cup drivers are eligible for points in the popular showroom class, while also chasing an attractive round-by-round and end-of-season prize fund. On each round the following prize fund is offered: First position: €12,000; Second position: €10,000; Third position: €8,000; Fourth position: €4,000 plus four Pirelli tyres. At the end of the season the Abarth Rally Cup winner receives a final prize of €30,000. Reinis Nitišs, Dariusz Poloński and Andrea Nucita are in contention for Abarth Rally Cup honours on Rally Liepāja.

ERC drivers support FIA Volunteers Weekend
Drivers from the FIA European Rally Championship will support the 2019 FIA Volunteers Weekend on Rally Liepāja. Taking place from 24-26 May, the FIA Volunteers Weekend celebrates those who dedicate their time to make motorsport possible around the world. Capitalising on a busy weekend of FIA competition, 10 race events will raise awareness and give thanks to the volunteers who carry out the wide variety of essential roles without which motorsport would simply not happen. Throughout the weekend, the entire motorsport community – from volunteers and officials to fans, drivers and members of the media – are encouraged to join in and show their appreciation on social media. Using the hashtag #FIAVolunteersWeekend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people can share photos and stories of themselves in action over the two days, connecting motorsport volunteers at all levels from all around the world – from club events to world championships. FIA President, Jean Todt, said: “Volunteers are the unsung heroes of motorsport. Without them, quite simply, we would not be able to go racing. It is important for the FIA to recognise their vital contribution, and the occasion of the Volunteers Weekend shines the spotlight on their hard work and dedication to ensuring the safety and success of events the world over. This is also an opportunity to promote the positive benefits that volunteers gain from their involvement, and help attract new people to motorsport.”

Five facts:
1: Rally Liepāja ran for the first time in 2013 with Jari Ketomaa/Kaj Lindström taking victory in a Ford Fiesta RRC. It was the first and only year the really finished in Ventspils, up the Baltic coast.
2: In recent years, Rally Liepāja has formed part of the Festival of Speed Kurzeme, which brings speedboat racing to the city’s Tirdzniecības canal, plus other motorised attractions to the local area.
3: Two former Liepāja winners, Craig Breen and Esapekka Lappi, have both gone on to secure factory drives in the World Rally Championship.
4: Nikolay Gryazin is the event’s youngest winner, taking top spot in 2017 one day after turning 20.
5: Liepāja can claim to be the only Latvian city outside the capital Riga to offer air, land and sea transport options, while its city mayor, Uldis Sesks, is a former rally driver of note and father of Mārtiņš Sesks, the 2018 FIA ERC Junior U27 and ERC3 champion.

The post ERC event preview: Rally Liepāja appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Top talents enter Rally Liepaja for ERC speedfest

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:00

Some of Europe’s best drivers will be in action when Rally Liepāja hosts the third round of the all-action 2019 ERC season next week following confirmation of the official entry list by the event organisers.

Forty-five crews will chase FIA European Rally Championship points on the high-speed event in Latvia from 24-26 May, with a record 23 eligible for ERC Junior to underline the championship’s ongoing efforts to provide a platform of progression for young talents from national level aiming for the top of the sport.

Early title pacesetter Łukasz Habaj heads the overall list for the Latvia-based Sports Racing Technologies operation, which expands to a two-car attack with the inclusion of teenage hope Oliver Solberg, who is seeded number 10, one place ahead of hometown hero Mārtiņš Sesks.

Chris Ingram, the ERC1 Junior leader after two rounds, is the second seed followed by double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel and Norbert Herczig, who stepped up to the ERC in 2018 as a four-time winner of the Hungarian championship. Defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk is the fifth seed followed by Alexandros Tsouloftas, Mattias Adielsson, Eyvind Brynildsen and Lithuanian ERC rookie Vaidotas Žala.

ERC2 has a season-best eight entrants, including three drivers from the new-for-2019 Abarth Rally Cup, while Efrén Llarena, leader of the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category, tops a 19-strong ERC3 line-up. Click here to view the entry list.

The post Top talents enter Rally Liepaja for ERC speedfest appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rallycross star Nitišs makes ERC return in Abarth Rally Cup

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 12:00

Reinis Nitišs, one of the biggest motorsport stars in the Baltics, will contest the Abarth Rally Cup on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship next week.

The youngest driver to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, 23-year-old Nitišs has entered Rally Liepāja in Latvia from 24-26 May.

He will drive an Abarth 124 rally from French team Milano Racing and will also be eligible for ERC2 points under changes to the regulations for 2019 designed to widen participation in the showroom-based category. Compatriot Māris Kulšs has been recruited to co-drive.

“I am anxiously awaiting Rally Liepāja, which promises to be fast, technical and filled with intrigue,” said Nitišs. “With that, I am even more excited about the chance to compete and gain valuable experience. Rally Liepāja will be the final rally to take place in Latvia this year and the weather forecast is quite good.”

Nitišs is no stranger to the fast and flowing Latvian stages having tackled selected rallies in his homeland since 2015. He has three Rally Liepāja starts to his name and also has knowledge of the roads in the Talsi region, where the opening leg of this year’s Rally Rally Liepāja will be based. However, the Abarth 124 rally marks unchartered territory for the Latvian talent.

“I am ready for a completely new and unexpected challenge,” Nitišs said. “I will be competing in a car that is a bit unusual and rarely seen in Latvia – the rear-wheel-drive Abarth 124 rally. It’s an Italian car serviced by a French team, and we plan to have one test day before the rally. My only experience competing with rear-wheel drive comes from karting, buggy and races in the LADA Cup, so testing will be very important. It will also be a chance to get up to speed with my new co-driver, the experienced Māris Kulšs.”

Nitišs admitted he feared he would have to sit out his home round of the ERC to cover the costs of a crash in the Abu Dhabi FIA World RX event earlier this year. However, several key partners have stepped in to provide support. They are Circle K, Ginalas, Ošukalns, Citadele, Latvijas Valsts Meži, airBaltic, Vizionette, Rīgas Brīvosta, the city of Jēkabpils, Gefa Latvija, Auto 5, If apdrošināšana, RA Events and DELFI.

The Abarth Rally Cup, which began on Rally Islas Canarias at the start of May, runs in conjunction with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019. Contested over six rounds of the eight-event ERC, the Abarth Rally Cup is open to competitors using the enhanced-for-2019 Abarth 124 rally, the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscar, which conforms to the FIA’s R-GT category technical regulations.

Abarth Rally Cup competitors chase an attractive round-by-round and end-of-season prize fund. On each round the winner receives €12,000, the driver in second place gets €10,000, the third-place driver receives €8,000, fourth place gets €4,000 plus four Pirelli tyres. At the end of the season the Abarth Rally Cup winner receives a final prize of €30,000. Alberto Monarri won the opening round, while Pole Dariusz Poloński will be a contender for the Abarth Rally Cup win on Rally Liepāja due to his familiarity with driving on high-speed gravel events. Andrea Nucita from Italy will also be one to watch.

The post Rallycross star Nitišs makes ERC return in Abarth Rally Cup appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From warm-up to step up: Žala set for ERC debut

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 12:00

Lithuania’s Vaidotas Žala will step up to the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019 with next week’s Rally Liepāja first on his schedule.

Co-driven by Andris Mālnieks from Latvia, Žala is also planning an outing on next month’s Rally Poland in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 under the Agrorodeo banner.

“We did a good warm-up last year with our ŠKODA R5 in Lithuania,” Žala explained. “Now it’s time to move on to international waters. We will start in European Rally Championship races, Rally Liepāja and Rally Poland.”

While Žala, pictured right, is new to the ERC, Mālnieks (left) has tackled several rounds in the past.

Rally Liepāja takes place from 24-26 May.

Photo: Vaidotas Žala

The post From warm-up to step up: Žala set for ERC debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC3’s Munnings: my season starts in Liepāja

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 09:00

ERC3 contender Catie Munnings is desperate for Rally Liepāja to get underway on 24 May.

Munnings has endured a frustrating start to life as a member of the Peugeot Rally Academy with a non-finish on the Azores Rallye and a non-start on Rally Islas Canarias after she had to undergo emergency surgery to remove her wisdom teeth.

Fully fit, Briton Munnings considers the high-speed gravel event in Latvia as the real starting point of her FIA European Rally Championship campaign and is counting the days to take the start alongside her Norwegian co-driver Veronica Engan.

“I love gravel and I’m constantly learning and Veronica has got loads of experience of the Latvian championship, so she knows the roads better than I do and I’m excited to go out there,” said Munnings (pictured left with Engan).

Despite her partnership with Engan still being in its infancy, Munnings said they made considerable progress together ahead of their aborted Rally Islas Canarias entry.

“We have a system that’s definitely going to transfer to the next rallies [and our training together before Rally Islas Canarias] was good team building for us,” she explained. “It will be great to get some more experience on gravel, the season starts in Latvia for us and we need to focus on the positive vibes.”

The post ERC3’s Munnings: my season starts in Liepāja appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From bus driver to power driver: Melegari takes ERC2 podium on comeback

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 18:00

Zelindo Melegari overcame a power issue to finish second in the ERC2 category on his return to the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Islas Canarias earlier this month.

The Italian was hit by the fault on the opening leg and likened his performance to the “the driver of a bus”.

“I did not enjoy because I had no power, it was 50 per cent power, very difficult. It was like I was the driver of a bus.”

The post From bus driver to power driver: Melegari takes ERC2 podium on comeback appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Johnston learns plenty in ERC

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 15:00

Sean Johnston completed his first Tarmac round of the FIA European Rally Championship when he placed ninth in ERC3 on Rally Islas Canarias.

But the experience gained meant more to the ex-sportscar racer than his capture of championship points as he continues to build his knowledge of stage rallying.

“There is more room for improvement, which is great and that’s why we are here, to learn and improve,” said the American, part of the Peugeot-powered Saintéloc Junior Team line-up. “It’s a great opportunity for us to grow and develop and I’m feeling really good.

“I made some big steps with my driving and we know where the next steps are. I was also able to agree with my engineers the direction to go in and the changes we were making were yielding the effect I wanted to have.”

The post Johnston learns plenty in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mayr-Melnhof targets more ERC action

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 12:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof wants to continue his FIA European Rally Championship adventure after placing P10 on his full debut on Rally Islas Canarias.

The Austrian champion was unregistered when he took part on Rally Liepāja last October but was a contender for points on the Spanish Tarmac event earlier this month and made the most of the opportunity.

“It was a fantastic rally and it’s an amazing feeling to be at the finish,” said Mayr-Melnhof. “It was really tough for sure, the toughest rally I ever did with extremely tough competition. My co-driver, Poldi Welsersheimb, didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, I can make some improvements but we have a really good team.”

Of his future plans, Mayr-Melnhof said: “I would love to do the whole of the ERC because in the long term we really want to attack here so we need this first year to learn and finish every rally and then see what we can do next year.”

The post Mayr-Melnhof targets more ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Stengg turns a negative into a positive in ERC3 Junior

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 18:00

Roland Stengg was able to turn a negative into a positive on round two of the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship earlier this month.

Stengg made his first start of the season in a hired Opel ADAM R2 after a testing crash kept him out of the Azores opener.

Although a double retirement meant luck wasn’t on his side on Rally Islas Canarias either, he’s already looking ahead to his next event to “make it better”.

“It was a difficult start,” said the Austrian. “I was not driving clean, throwing the car into the corners. It’s a very demanding event on the tyres and I was losing a lot of time in the uphill sections so I have to change my driving.

“One kilometre before the finish of stage six we heard a loud bang and we couldn’t drive on. When we got out we saw the caster arm of the front-right wheel was completely broken. There was no more damage other than that. We didn’t hit anything before so it was bad luck. But I won’t have to wait too long to make it better.”

The Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship resumes on Rally Liepāja from 24-26 May.

The post Stengg turns a negative into a positive in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tejpar makes her point on ERC3 Junior debut

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 15:00

FIA ERC3 Junior Championship rookie Nabila Tejpar made her point on Rally Islas Canarias in more ways than one.

As well as finishing in the top 10 in the Pirelli-backed category, the Briton out-scored Emma Falcón in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy rankings as she built her experience of international competition.

“It was a tough event but I’m really, really happy because I’ve learned a lot, which was good and now I can take that forward,” said Tejpar, who was hampered by not being able to test on the island before the rally and being forced to run with a long-ratio gearbox in her Peugeot 208 R2. “With the long-ratio gearbox we were watching the time hemorrhage on Friday and it was frustrating. But I just had to deal with it, there was nothing I could do about it.

“I improved my times, learned where to push, where not to push, how much grip there is, things like that. It’s been a really good learning experience, I’m happy with the kilometres I got and I can’t complain.”

The post Tejpar makes her point on ERC3 Junior debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Griebel boosted despite ERC progress over podium

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel is remaining positive in the FIA European Rally Championship, despite late tyre damage ending his hopes of a Rally Islas Canarias podium.

Griebel was in a battle with fellow ERC3 Junior graduate Chris Ingram when misfortune struck on the penultimate stage, dropping the German talent from third to ninth at the finish in Las Palmas.

The Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run driver explained what had gone wrong. “In this very narrow part in the beginning of the penultimate stage I slightly touched some stone on the outside of a corner and immediately the tyre was flat. We drove between 12 and 13 kilometres with a puncture so all our chances went out. It would have been a podium.”

Reflecting on his performance at the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia R5 he shares with co-driver Stefan Kopczyk, Griebel said: “I’m quite pleased with my pace compared to P11 two years ago. It was just bad luck today.”

The post Griebel boosted despite ERC progress over podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Things can only get better for positive Poloński in ERC Abarth Rally Cup

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 18:00

Dariusz Poloński is predicting a bright future in the FIA European Rally Championship-based Abarth Rally Cup following Rally Islas Canarias.

Although Poloński was forced out of leg one with damaged suspension, his return on the second day allowed him to gain plenty of experience of his Abarth 124 rally.

“Actually we are really happy about the kilometres and the stages we managed to do,” said the multiple Polish championship class winner. “We did some progress on the second loop and for sure we know something more about the car, which is good.

“Gravel is next and I hear the car is even better on gravel, actually the stage was so slippery where we hit the front-left wheel that it was familiar to gravel!”

The post Things can only get better for positive Poloński in ERC Abarth Rally Cup appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Von Thurn und Taxis explains lucky and unlucky ERC return

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis returned to the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Islas Canarias and got lucky and unlucky.

Finishing P17 in his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing ŠKODA Fabia R5, the German should have finished higher up the order had it not been for a succession of mechanical issues on the final day. However, he admitted afterwards that he was lucky to finish at all.

“In the morning we had a problem with the driveshaft,” said the German driver. “Then we had a right-rear wheel bearing that was mobile and started creating all sorts of problems on the rear wheel and I wasn’t able to tighten it up properly. Our brakes went, we bled them twice, but they didn’t come back and then the brake disc burst. It’s really remarkable noting happened in such a situation with no brakes on the downhill part. We were really unlucky but it was not our fault.”

The post Von Thurn und Taxis explains lucky and unlucky ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig’s ERC season back on track

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig got his FIA European Rally Championship campaign firmly back on track with fourth place on Rally Islas Canarias last week.

MOL Racing’s four-time Hungarian champion, who retired on the season-opening Azores Rallye, got to within five seconds from the podium with two stages remaining only for a damaged tyre to rule out a top-three finish. He eventually finished fourth in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 following Pierre-Louis Loubet’s final-stage off.

“Unfortunately, we got a puncture some kilometres before the finish of stage 15,” Herczig explained. “We lost some places but was able to push in the last stage and we were quite successful, we could reach the fourth position, which was absolutely perfect for us.”

While a steering issue wrecked his Azores Rallye effort, there were no such problems on Rally Islas Canarias.

“The car was absolutely fantastic the whole weekend, we didn’t have a problem,” said Herczig. “We have learned many things about the car and the tyres as well. I hope we will be able to keep our speed for the next rallies.”

The post Herczig’s ERC season back on track appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Schwedt out of luck in ERC

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 18:00

Roman Schwedt suffered frustration when the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship resumed on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend.

Hampered by suspension issues in testing and a steering issue on the opening morning of the all-asphalt event, the German teenager was forced to retire on the final day with an overheating engine in his Team ROMO Peugeot 208 R2.

“We can only learn and the second loop was really good for me,” said Schwedt. “I had a good feeling with the car, I like the stages but I need more kilometres for the time to come. In the second loop my karting experience helped. But then our engine overheated on the final day and we must stop because the temperatures were over 110 degrees.”

The post Schwedt out of luck in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg in the points again in ERC3 Junior

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 12:00

Elias Lundberg scored more points in his maiden FIA ERC3 Junior Championship campaign with ninth place in class on Rally Islas Canarias.

With limited asphalt experience, the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver could have finished even higher up the order had it not been for a damaged tyre on the penultimate stage.

“It was really good experience for my first time here and we learned a lot through the weekend,” said the Swede, a podium finisher in the season-opening Azores Rallye. “Sadly, we had a front-right puncture on the stage before the end and dropped from seventh to ninth. Apart from that we had no real problems, not even a scratch on the car.”

The post Lundberg in the points again in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tsouloftas makes big strides on ERC Tarmac debut

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 06:00

Alexandrous Tsouloftas made his debut on a sealed-surface round of the FIA European Rally Championship, finishing fourth in the ERC1 Junior category on Rally Islas Canarias.

Despite the enormity of the challenge, the Cypriot was able to learn plenty and improve his pace considerably by the end of the event in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“Overall I’m really happy,” Tsouloftas said afterwards. “It was a great weekend of experience for us from the beginning to the end. We improved every stage, we had no accidents, no drama apart from a puncture. Once we got the confidence we could move further up. We started off with two seconds per kilometre off the pace but we got it down to one second. I’m really happy we could increase our performance.”

The post Tsouloftas makes big strides on ERC Tarmac debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Klausz scores after “horrible” ERC3 Junior start

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 21:00

Kristóf Klausz described the start to his first Rally Islas Canarias outing as “horrible”, before going on to score points in eighth place in FIA ERC3 Junior after overcoming a a fuel pump issue.

Partnered with new co-driver Ágnes Farnadi the Hungarian youngster admitted to early struggles behind the wheel of his Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2.

“The first loop was horrible,” said the Hungarian. “We couldn’t find a good rhythm and we were really slow compared to the others. It was easy to lose time at the start but it started to get better until we had a fuel pump problem on Friday afternoon. We fixed it and on leg two we got close to the fourth place. We learned a lot and have a lot of experiences from this rally and this type of Tarmac.”

The post Klausz scores after “horrible” ERC3 Junior start appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

No excuses as ERC Junior returnee Hokkanen suffers double blow

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 18:00

Miika Hokkanen praised his new team Mavisa Sport and new co-driver Rami Suorsa following Rally Islas Canarias – but then labelled his own performance on this return to FIA ERC3 Junior Championship action as “very bad”.

Forced to sit out the Azores Rallye season opener to recover from shoulder surgery, the former Finnish 2WD champion had high hopes of a strong start to his second season in the Pirelli-supported category.

While a double puncture caused his exit on day one, Hokkanen admitted that his restart on leg two wasn’t as good as it should have been.

“I’m just sad I was very bad this weekend,” said Hokkanen, a double ERC3 Junior podium finisher in 2018. “Sometimes it is what it is but I don’t see the fact I don’t have much experience on Tarmac as an excuse. I should have been much better this weekend but it didn’t work out this way. I’m sure it can’t go worse than this.”

Of his Friday exit, Hokkanen explained what had gone wrong: “In the second stage we clipped a bit the inside of some house and it broke the right rear tyre. We drive the whole stage with the puncture. After the stage we changed the tyre and then in the road section some metal piece got through the rubber and we lost another tyre. After that we needed to retire because we only had one spare. I have never got a puncture in a road section before so it’s very bad luck.”

The post No excuses as ERC Junior returnee Hokkanen suffers double blow appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Grigorov’s 4500 kilometres to paradise

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 15:00

Grigor Grigorov travelled 4500 kilometres from his native Bulgaria to make his FIA ERC3 Junior Championship debut – and said taking part on Rally Islas Canarias was “like being in paradise”.

Grigorov overcame a minor brake issue on leg one to finish an encouraging sixth in the Pirelli-supported category alongside former ERC stalwart co-driver and compatriot Yanaki Yanakiev.

Afterwards, Grigorov said: “It was a really difficult rally, my first time here and my first time in the ERC. But I loved the stages, they were narrow and twisty. It was like being in paradise and that’s what I told my father when I called him.”

“I live in Sofia which is around 4500 kilometres from here. It’s a tough logistic but I was happy to be here and happy with my performance. Big thanks to my mechanics, my team, my sponsors, which bring me here at the finish. I’m really glad and happy to be a part of this championship. We will continue to develop ourselves and push harder the next time.”

The post ERC Junior Grigorov’s 4500 kilometres to paradise appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pages





 



  •  


  •  

  •  


  •  

  •   
     

  •    
     




  •  


  •  


  •  

PZM 76th Rally Poland - OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER! 28-30/06/2019

PZM 76. Rajd Polski - Zapowiedź

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)