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European Rally Championship
Updated: 55 min 55 sec ago

Bútor honoured by ERC Hungary chance

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:00

Róbert Bútor has described his priority status for his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship as a big honour.

A multiple class winner in his homeland, Bútor officially retired from full-time driving at the end of the 2013 season but contests a handful of events each season, including Rally Hungary, which he’ll contest in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“I have already confirmed many times, since I retired, that I do not intend to live up to anyone’s expectation, I do not want to feel being stressed or prove anything. Now I put pressure on myself with this priority, because there is qualification here, choosing the starting number, and it is obviously no joke anymore. I do my best not to bring discredit upon anyone, nor the promoter or myself. I trust that we can live with the opportunity, even if we have less experience on Tarmac with the ŠKODA.

“We have only raced once on Tarmac with it, and it already happened two years ago. Last year’s race in Nyíregyháza was very tough, too, due to the conditions, there was fog, rain and darkness. This year we expect the same. Moreover, the race will last from 8am to 10pm for three days, so it will be very long and difficult. There are three new stages, and my goal is to improve and learn. This is surely the toughest race of the year.”

Bútor proved he’s lost none of his speed by winning the Veszprém Rally earlier in the year.

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ERC title chaser Habaj: Hungary crash happened so quickly

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:47

Łukasz Habaj has spoken about the crash that forced him to miss the Rally Hungary Qualifying Stage and leave him uncertain whether he will be able to continue his pursuit of the FIA European Rally Championship title this weekend.

Habaj went off the road 500 metres from the finish of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor test this morning with his Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 sustaining significant front-end damage, although both Habaj and co-driver Daniel Dymurski were uninjured.

Speaking to ERC Radio’s Julian Porter, Pole Habaj said: “It’s difficult to say what happened because it was happening so quickly. But basically we just lost control over the car on braking. It didn’t give any signs on any previous braking so I just decided to be a little bit more aggressive but it was just too aggressive and I just lost control and I really wasn’t able to do anything.

“The car went straight and there was a ditch, which I got into and the impact was quite hard with the front of the car. It’s now difficult to judge if we will be able to continue but there is a small chance because we have all the parts.

“The mechanics are now trying to take the car back to the road and see. They said if the bodyshell is not damaged and the rollcage is not damaged then there is a chance they will rebuild the car and we will be able to start. We are okay, just now waiting on information from our mechanics.”

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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Ingram on form with ERC Qualifying Stage best

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:19

Chris Ingram has got his Rally Hungary challenge off to the perfect start by outpacing defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk on the Qualifying Stage this morning, completing the 3.90-kilometre test in 2m13.048s.

With Łukasz Habaj non-starting following his free practice crash earlier, the battle for supremacy among the three title contenders turned into a straight fight between Ingram and Lukyanuk, with Ingram earning the right to select his starting position before his Russian rival at the selection ceremony in Nyíregyháza this afternoon.

“It’s going to be an incredible challenge, treacherous conditions but I think it will suit us and we can’t wait,” said Toksport WRT-run Ingram, who used an intermediate Michelin tyre on his ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo. “It was an incredibly slippery bit of road but good fun.”

Lukyanuk, who was 0.919s slower than Ingram, opted for a ‘racing’ tyre for his Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 R5. “It was not the optimum tyre, the conditions were different to everything we’ve seen before. We expected it to be much less slippery but it’s more muddy and we didn’t expect that.”

Czech federation-supported Filip Mareš, on his first of two prize drives from ERC promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior title, was third fastest and more than satisfied with his performance. “It’s good to be two-tenths behind Lucas [Lukyanuk], not bad for us. The stage was not so comparable but good to try how slippery it will be on the rally.”

Home hero and four-time national title winner Norbert Herczig was the top Hungarian in fourth with recently-crowned Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze fifth. American Sean Johnston impressed on his first competitive outing on his step up to R5 level with the sixth fastest time. “It was slippery in there and we managed to go a bit quicker, which wasn’t our intention because we were already happy with the pace and this weekend is all about learning," he said.

Motorsport Ireland-backed Callum Devine was seventh quickest on his ERC return at the wheel of a Hyundai Motorsport N-entered i20 R5. András Hadik, who won in Nyíregyháza 12 months ago, was eighth followed by double ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr and Frigyes Turán. Niki Mayr-Melnhof reported making a "little mistake" at a right-hander on his way to the 14th best time ahead of Brazilian Paulo Nobre and Germany's Albert von Thurn und Taxis.

Andrea Nucita was fastest in ERC2 and quickest of the two Abarth Rally Cup title chasers, 2.8s up on rival Dariusz Poloński. Erik Cais beat Marijan Griebel to the fastest time in ERC3, while an overshoot at the final corner cost Nabila Tejpar time in her bid to beat Ekaterina Stratieva to ERC Ladies' Trophy glory.

Click here to view the live timing.

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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ERC title contender Habaj hits trouble in Hungary

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:22

Łukasz Habaj’s bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship has suffered an early setback after he crashed during his first run in free practice for Rally Hungary this morning.

Pole Habaj went off the road on a right-hand corner 500 metres before the finish of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor test and is set to miss the Qualifying Stage from 09h45 due to the damage inflicted to his Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Both Habaj and co-driver were uninjured with Daniel Dymurski commenting: “I think the car is not good”.

The results of the Qualifying Stage are used to form part of the starting order for the opening leg of the event, meaning Habaj will face running far down the order, providing his car can be repaired. With wet and muddy conditions expected, Habaj will be braced for a tough challenge.

Habaj is second in the provisional ERC standings, 19 points behind leader Chris Ingram and nine in front of defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

Photo: With grateful thanks to István Peremicki/www.pirirc.hu/Peremicki

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Rally Hungary Qualifying Stage live on ERC Radio

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:00

ERC Radio will broadcast live coverage of the Qualifying Stage for Rally Hungary, the deciding round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

From 09h30 CET today, Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will provide their expert commentary and analysis live from the stop line of the 3.90-kilometre Napkor stage as the ERC crews battle it out to be fastest and earn the right to selecting their leg one starting position first.

Damp and foggy conditions are expected during the Qualifying Stage, which begins at 09h45 local time. The start order selection takes place in Nyíregyháza at 15h00 with the opening stage due to begin at 18h58 following the ceremonial start at 18h05.

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ERC legend Elford offers words of support to title-chasing Ingram

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 06:00

Vic Elford, the first and only British driver to win the FIA European Rally Championship, has sent a message of support to his compatriot Chris Ingram ahead of the season-deciding Rally Hungary.

Elford, who entered 13 Formula One world championship grands prix during a versatile and hugely successful career, took the ERC title in 1967 in a Porsche 911, one year before his victory on Rallye Monte-Carlo in the German machine (pictured).

In his message to Ingram, the ERC title leader starting the Nyíregyháza-based finale, Elford wrote: “There are two things that have amazed me over the last 50-plus years: that no Brit has yet won the ERC title again and no Brit has yet won the Monte Carlo Rally. I wish all the success in the world for Chris to achieve the first one. Get that done and then he can start seriously thinking about the second.”

Elford continued: “Over the years Chris, I drove some awesome cars and the best were usually those where I had a direct input on their set-up, but I also drove some that were not so good. But no matter what, whether it was rally or race, whenever I was asked before an event ‘How do you think you will do?’ My reply was always the same; ‘I am going to win, of course!’ – and on more than one occasion, even though I was driving an outclassed car I was able to force it beyond what it was capable of – and win – because I had already persuaded myself that I would! You do that for me in Hungary and I will be very proud of you!”

Elford, now 84, plans to follow Ingram’s progress during Rally Hungary from his home in the USA.

Photo: Porsche.de

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Mareš gets set for ERC1 Junior prize drive in Hungary

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 18:00

Filip Mareš is getting ever closer to his first of two prize drives for winning the 2019 FIA ERC1 Junior Championship*.

The Autoclub of the Czech Republic-backed star took the category honours after beating fellow young talent Chris Ingram in a Barum Czech Rally Zlín final-stage showdown by 0.3 seconds.

As well as the prestigious FIA title**, Mareš has been allocated 100,000 euros to support his ongoing participation in the ERC.

In addition to contesting Rally Hungary in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by Kresta Racing, Mareš will tackle the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.

His ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo, which he’s using in competition for the first timie, is pictured in the Rally Hungary service park in Nyíregyháza.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Double ERC3 champion Bessenyey is back

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 12:00

Zoltán Bessenyey will return to the FIA European Rally Championship a hero on Rally Hungary this week.

Bessenyey took back-to-back ERC3 titles in 2013 and 2014 but was seriously injured in a testing crash in 2016, the year of his last ERC appearance on the Acropolis Rally.

He’s fought a brave recovery since then but remains confined to a wheelchair due to the severity of his injuries.

While he’s not competing in anger on Rally Hungary this year, he will assist fellow Hungarian János Vida with zero car-driving duties, swapping the steering wheel for the event road book in what will be his first run through the stages of a competitive rally since his accident.

“I have never gone with a car like this, but it is quite pleasant,” said Bessenyey, who will co-drive a Peugeot 208 R2. “I felt great during the test [on Tuesday]. I already sat on the right side, and I think that next to a confident driver it is not a scary experience at all. Jani listens to me, he does what I tell him. I am a kind of leader in the car that fits me well. I really like that I can lead and manage the team.”

As well as the serious job of co-driving the zero car, Bessenyey has used his return to the ERC reacquaint himself with some of his former rivals, such as overall title contender Chris Ingram, who was a regular in ERC3 in 2014.

“I must admit that I support Ingram, so I told him to stay relaxed, because he has the best position in the standings, while the others must push hard,” said Bessenyey. “Then he said that it was easy to say it, but he had never driven at such a difficult Tarmac race and he was a bit scared, though he tries to go his own rhythm.”

Bessenyey isn’t ruling out further outings in a rally car in the future. “I expect that we will get out of the car feeling tired, but smiling after two days. If it happens, we might continue. I would love to do it.”

Photo: Rallyhungary.com

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Mayr-Melnhof in the Hungary ERC points hunt

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 06:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof starts Rally Hungary firmly in the frame to build on his impressive showings during this season’s FIA European Rally Championship.

The ex-GT racer and 2018 Austrian rally champion was fifth on the last round, the gravel-based Cyprus Rally, but will be hoping to show off his Tarmac-driving skills in the Ford Fiesta R5 he shares with co-driver Poldi Welsersheimb.

After placing P10 on Rally Islas Canarias in May, Mayr-Melnhof was fifth quickest on the Rally di Roma Capitale Qualifying Stage only to crash out of contention on the opening test. However, he returned on day two and pasted a handful of top 10 stage times for Beppo Harrach’s The Drift Company team.

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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The ERC champions

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 18:00

Łukasz Habaj, Chris Ingram or Alexey Lukyanuk will add their name to the FIA European Rally Championship Hall of Fame when the winner of the 2019 title is decided on Rally Hungary this weekend.

Here’s the list of the previous champions, which includes Lukyanuk following his triumph in 2018.

2018: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2017: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2016: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2015: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2014: Esapekka Lappi (Finland)
2013: Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic)
2012: Juho Hänninen (Finland)
2011: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2010: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2009: Giandomenico Basso (Italy)
2008: Luca Rossetti (Italy)
2007: Simon Jean-Joseph (France)
2006: Giandomenico Basso (Italy)
2005: Renato Travaglia (Italy)
2004: Simon Jean-Joseph (France)
2003: Bruno Thiry (Belgium)
2002: Renato Travaglia (Italy)
2001: Armin Kremer (Germany)
2000: Henrik Lundgaard (Denmark)
1999: Enrico Bertone (Italy)
1998: Andrea Navarra (Italy)
1997: Krzysztof Hołowczyc (Poland)
1996: Armin Schwarz (Germany)
1995: Enrico Bertone (Italy)
1994: Patrick Snijers (Belgium)
1993: Pierre-César Baroni (France)
1992: Erwin Weber (Germany)
1991: Piero Liatti (Italy)
1990: Robert Droogmans (Belgium)
1989: Yves Loubet (France)
1988: Fabrizio Tabaton (Italy)
1987: Dario Cerrato (Italy)
1986: Fabrizio Tabaton (Italy)
1985: Dario Cerrato (Italy)
1984: Carlo Capone (Italy)
1983: Miki Biasion (Italy)
1982: Antonio ‘Tony’ Fessina (Italy)
1981: Adartico Vudafieri (Italy)
1980: Antonio Zanini (Spain)
1979: Jochi Kleint (Germany)
1978: Antonio Carello (Italy)
1977: Bernard Darniche (France)
1976: Bernard Darniche (France)
1975: Maurizio Verini (Italy)
1974: Walter Röhrl (Germany)
1973: Sandro Munari (Italy)
1972: Raffaele Pinto (Italy)
1971: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1970: Jean-Claude Andruet (France)
1969: Harry Källström (Sweden)
1968: Pauli Toivonen (Finland)
1967: G1: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1967: G2: Bengt Söderström (Sweden)
1967: G3: Vic Elford (Great Britain)
1966: G1: Lillebror Nasenius (Sweden)
1966: G2: Sobiesław Zasada (Poland)
1966: G3: Günther Klass (Germany)
1965: Rauno Aaltonen (Finland)
1964: Tom Trana (Sweden)
1963: Gunnar Andersson (Sweden)
1962: Eugen Böhringer (Germany)
1961: Hans-Joachim Walter (Germany)
1960: Walter Schock (Germany)
1959: Paul Coltelloni (France)
1958: Gunnar Andersson (Sweden)
1957: Ruprecht Hopfen (Germany)
1956: Walter Schock (Germany)
1955: Werner Engel (Germany)
1954: Walter Schlüter (Germany)
1953: Helmut Polensky (Germany)

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Czech federation celebrates Nations’ Cup glory, highlights importance of ERC in growing young talent

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 12:00

The Autoclub of the Czech Republic (ACCR) has celebrated winning the ERC Nations’ Cup by highlighting the importance of the FIA European Rally Championship in helping ASNs to develop their young talents at international level.

Under the ACCR Czech Rally Team banner, the Czech federation secured the ERC Nations’ Cup following an impressive season-long display having finished runner-up to the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in 2018.

At the same time, the ACCR has showcased several talented drivers under the captaincy of Vojtěch Štajf, with Erik Cais, Filip Mareš, Petr Semerád and Jan Talaš among those to benefit from the federation’s financial backing and career-development guidance.

Tomas Kunc, the ACCR’s General Secretary for Automobile and Motorcycle Sport, said: "We really appreciate the victory in the ERC Nations’ Cup. We are very active in the ERC for many years and working with talents is very rewarding. I would like to thank promoter Eurosport Events for the excellent cooperation and all our ACCR Czech Rally Team crews for a great season. Our drivers need the experience from driving on different types of stages, including gravel, which they are unable to gain in the Czech Republic. The ERC provides this opportunity. And our federation is happy for the publicity. The ERC is well organised.”

The ERC Nations’ Cup was introduced by FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events for 2018 to reflect the increased involvement of national motorsport federations and automobile associations in the ERC. In 2018, ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, ACCR Czech Rally Team and Rallye Team Spain took part. They were joined for this season by FPAK Portugal Team ERC, Estonian Autosport Junior Team and the Sweden National Team.

As well as contributing to the ACCR’s ERC Nations’ Cup success, Filip Mareš won the ERC1 Junior Championship title**, while Erik Cais is in contention to finish runner-up in ERC3 at the end of his first season of international rallying when Rally Hungary hosts the season finale this week.

**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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Irish ASN chief: Hyundai ERC chance “priceless” for Devine’s career development

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 06:00

Leo Hassett, CEO of Motorsport Ireland, has described Callum Devine’s FIA European Rally Championship outing in Hungary this week as “priceless” for the development of his career.

Devine, part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, will contest the ERC season decider in a Philip Case Rally Sport-run Hyundai i20 R5 entered under the Hyundai Motorsport N banner.

Hassett said: “The opportunity for Callum and Brian [Hoy] to work with a professional team like Philip Case Rally Sport, who will be running the car, at a prestigious European Rally Championship event in Hungary is priceless for their career development. I know that they will be determined to showcase their talent on the international stage.”

Andrew Johns, Customer Racing, Hyundai Motorsport, added: “Having Callum in the car for Rally Hungary is a good opportunity for both him and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing. For Callum it’s an opportunity to show his capabilities in front of an international audience, but it’s also to chance to have an i20 R5 competing in the European championship – one of the most competitive series for in the R5 category.”

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One Cup and €30,000 up for grabs: Nucita and Polonski battle it out for Abarth ERC glory

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 18:00

The first Abarth Rally Cup held within the FIA European Rally Championship will go down to the wire on Rally Hungary this week with Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński just eight points apart in their battle for title glory and the €30,000 prize fund.

Italian Nucita has won the category for the Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally three times this season compared to Pole Poloński’s solitary triumph. But with Rally Hungary unchartered territory for both, a straight fight is expected for the coveted crown and the cash prize awarded to the inaugural champion.

Nucita’s experience of the Abarth 124 rally dates back to 2017 when he drove it on his home round of the ERC, Rally di Roma Capitale. He’s racked up considerable experience since then and arrives in Hungary eight points in front of Poloński for the winner-takes-all contest.

“Winning the title would mean reaching the goal we had set ourselves at the beginning of the year, moreover on an important stage such as the ERC,” said Loran Srl-run Nucita, who turned 30 last month. “I believe the chances are good although we must tackle the event with maximum concentration, without making mistakes. It will be a nice challenge to the end.”

Poloński was better known for his exploits in R2 and R5 machinery before he switched focus for 2019, signing up for the Abarth Rally Cup with the Polish Rallytechnology outfit. It created a sense of déjà vu for Poloński, who started his career with Fiat power back in the late 1990s.

Although he’s firmly in the title mix, the 43-year-old isn’t getting carried away. “We have only a mathematical chance to win,” Poloński insisted. “We are here to get another lesson how to compete with this car. It is a new rally for all of us so we can compare our stage times to Andrea, who is the top driver and shows us where the limit is. We are not really counting on [winning the title]. It would be rather a surprise but we hope to have a good rally.”

As well as their scrap for the Abarth Rally Cup, Nucita and Poloński will fight for the runner-up spot in the final ERC2 points table behind provisional champion Juan Carlos Alonso, as Abarth Rally Cup competitors are also eligible for the showroom category, which will include Hungarian Mátyás Nagy among its ranks this weekend. Nagy, who pilots a Mitsubishi Lancer, will make his long-awaited class debut in Hungary after car eligibility issues forced him to scrap his planned Barum Czech Rally Zlín run in the summer.

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Érdi Jr on stepping up, hopes of home ERC success and… witches!

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 12:00

Having twice won the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 title, Tibor Érdi Jr stepped up to R5 level in Latvia 13 months ago with expectations on a high. However, as he told respected journalist Anita Toth, the transition has been far from straightforward.

What has the transition been like?
“When we bought the ŠKODA a year ago, we were told that at least 2000 competitive kilometres were needed to get to know the car. I thought they were exaggerating, since I drove a lot of cars and I got used to them very quickly. Then I realised that they were right. In Cyprus, after 1500 competitive kilometres, finally I felt that it did not annoy me any more to start the stage. Previously, I did not feel the car at all, and probably it sounds a bit ridiculous, but I always stalled. Now the movements come easily.”

But you haven’t regretted the change?
“Certainly not. We fully exploited the ERC2 category, and although we could stay for another year and win another title, there was no point. I was aware that the top category was not easy, because the field was strong and some time was needed to adjust to the R5 car. But, honestly, I did not think it would be so difficult. Especially, if we see the mental part, because last year we were the one to beat, and now we are among the outsiders.”

When did you receive the first punch?
“Immediately on Rally Islas Canarias, where we had won twice before. I had to say at one point of the race that it was over and I gave up. It was very difficult to take the decision, but I felt I had to. We avoided two serious crashes and I did not want to wait for the third occasion. Probably I wanted to prove myself too much, and I thought that I could continue from where I had left off in the previous category. But life gave me a lesson to learn with a big punch, and it was very hard to get over.”

What helped you to recover?
“Rally Liepāja where I finished fifth in FP1. But at the start of the Qualifying Stage I had another lesson to learn with the ruts and I stalled. So we cleaned the roads on day one and the good results of day two only made up our performance. But we are full of good partial results.”

You’ve had a few punctures this year, too…
“Don’t tell me! I had as many punctures as I had had before with the Mitsubishi overall. And the worst part is that I do not know the reason. We are cursed, even if we have our own witch to help us.”

Are you kidding!?
“It might sound funny, but since we were struggling with the car in the first Mitsubishi year, a friend of my wife told me that she was an expert at this area. I told her that it was time to remove the curse from the car. She said yes, but I had to call her before all race weekends. I did it and we had wonderful two years. But now it does not help anymore, so I am eagerly waiting for the turning point, because I know that we are ready for a good result. I am trying and trying, but a piece of the puzzle is still missing.”

Maybe it will come on Rally Hungary?
“Maybe. It would be great. We have some advantage against the other competitors because we have already raced on some of the stages. I believe it will count a lot. If we repeat our last year’s performance in Nyíregyháza, I will be satisfied. It was our first race on Tarmac with the ŠKODA and we finished fifth overall.”

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Tempestini Hungary ERC-bound a four-time Romanian champion

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 06:00

Simone Tempestini returns to the FIA European Rally Championship in Hungary this week a four-time Romanian champion.

His latest title triumph follows his victory on last month’s TESS Rally Bresov, which marked his and co-driver Sergiu Itu’s fifth win out of six starts on home soil in 2019 in a Friulmotor-run Hyundai i20 R5.

Tempestini has made 15 starts at ERC level with his best result coming on Rally di Roma Capitale in 2017 when he placed fifth overall.

Photo: Hyundai Motorsport

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Lukyanuk helps the next generation ahead of ERC decider

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 18:00

ERC title contender Alexey Lukyanuk took time out of his preparations for Rally Hungary to guide his Saintéloc Racing team-mate Sean Johnston through his R5 initiation in France last month.

Johnston, who is 10 years Lukyanuk’s junior, will step up from ERC3 to ERC1 level on the Nyíregyháza-based event in a Citroën C3 R5, the same type of car Lukyanuk has used for his FIA European Rally Championship title defence this season.

Following the test, American Johnston explained how his Russian colleague – a renowned driver coach – had helped him to adapt and progress.

“The advice was more on braking and corner entry kind of things like downshifting,” said Johnston. “We also did some set-up development and it was good to know we were on the same path. Generally, he was happy, especially at the end of the day on the last few runs when we increased the pace and were committing, getting the car moving and rotating properly.

“He was really happy with my consistency and my pace. When he got behind the wheel, on his second pass of the stage, he matched my stage going up but was a tiny bit slower coming down. Obviously, I had done 16 runs over the stage and he had done two, so I’m not here to say I’m ‘faster than Lukyanuk’ by any means, but it was just good to know the foundation is there and the driving capability was in the ballpark. We just need to keep going and bring that kind of pace into an actual rally environment.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November. Lukyanuk is battling Chris Ingram and Łukasz Habaj for the coveted title.

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Cais aims for second in ERC3

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:00

Erik Cais can take the runner-up spoils in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category with a strong class result on Rally Hungary this week.

The ex-downhill mountain bike champion is in his first season of international competition – only his second in rallying – but has belied his limited experience at the wheel of an ACCR Czech Rally Team-entered Ford Fiesta R2T.

Cais, 20, will face strong opposition from Toksport WRT pair Orhan Avcioglu and double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel, who is stepping back to ERC3 level with the main goal of helping Toksport win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

Miklós Csomós is gearing up for his second ERC3 start of 2019 after placing eighth in class on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The Hungarian is the winner of his national 2WD and Peugeot 208 R2 Cup titles. Meanwhile, Rally Hungary represents Romanian Eugen Caragui’s first ERC start.

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Hungarian WTCR hero Michelisz backs local drivers to shine on home ERC counter

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 06:00

Hungarian hero Norbert Michelisz has issued a good luck message to his compatriots contesting this week’s FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Michelisz, currently second in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO having won more races than his rivals, expects “some surprises” on Rally Hungary, which is based in Nyíregyháza from 8-10 November.

“Stage knowledge is really important in rallying and it’s a very good opportunity for the Hungarian drivers to even win the race,” said Michelisz, who drives for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse in WTCR / OSCARO. “I know this rally is important to them, I know they are very good drivers and I expect some surprises. Best of luck.”

Michelisz was a standout online racer before he got his break in one-make racing, eventually stepping up to the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2010. He was runner-up in the 2017 WTCC title battle, while rallying has always held considerable interest to the 35-year-old to the extent he wouldn’t rule out trying the sport for size.

“I’ve managed to visit my home-town rally, the Mecsek Rallye and I always enjoyed it,” said Michelisz. “When I was young I was looking at becoming a rally driver because my uncle was doing rallycross and rallies but in the end life chose a different path. I am not planning to switch to rallying in the near future but, in the end, if an opportunity comes in a couple of years, why not?”

Like the ERC, WTCR / OSCARO is promoted by Eurosport Events. Click here for more information on WTCR / OSCARO.

The post Hungarian WTCR hero Michelisz backs local drivers to shine on home ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Algarve win not quite enough for ex-ERC ace Magalhães

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 18:00

Bruno Magalhães just fell short in his bid to win the Portuguese title for a fourth time, despite claiming victory on the season-closing Rallye Casinos do Algarve this weekend.

Runner-up in the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship standings and third in 2018, Magalhães was called up by Team Hyundai Portugal to challenge for domestic honours this season alongside long-term co-driver Hugo Magalhães.

“We fought to the last metre of the season and left the Algarve with a sense of accomplishment,” said Magalhães. “We won a very difficult rally that I had not contested in 10 years. It was a hotly contested championship where we had a fantastic second half of the season with two wins and two more podiums in the last four rallies.”

Ricardo Teodósio, who finished fifth on the ERC season-opening Azores Rallye, beat Magalhães to the Portuguese title after finishing second in the Algarve.

The post Algarve win not quite enough for ex-ERC ace Magalhães appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hadik’s back and ready for ERC threat

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 12:00

András Hadik will be hoping the adage ‘you’re only as good as your last rally’ holds true on next week’s FIA European Rally Championship season finale.

Hadik, a one-time ERC2 regular, won the Nyíregyháza Rally in 2018 when the event ran as the precursor to what will be the inaugural Rally Hungary from 8-10 November. He has fond memories.

“We secured the national title here, but I also remember that it was a very tough race, the toughest one in the Hungarian championship,” remembers Hadik, who will be armed with M-Sport’s latest take on the Ford Fiesta R5 for his home round of the ERC. “The stages are complex, they go through fast and tight forest roads so we must keep focusing all the way till the end.”

Of the ERC competition, Hadik is wary of the threat he will face. “The top ERC drivers are very fast, they have already proved it. On the Barum Rally they could keep up with Jan Kopecký, that was really something. So it means that they will be very fast here even if they have never raced in Nyíregyháza before.”

The post Hadik’s back and ready for ERC threat 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)