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European Rally Championship
Updated: 47 min 58 sec ago

ERC Rally Hungary gathers momentum following ‘anniversary’ meeting

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:00

Tamás Őry, Promoter of Rally Hungary, and Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, used last week’s Rally Islas Canarias to meet and discuss the ongoing preparations taking place for the newest addition to the FIA European Rally Championship calendar.

One year on from a first meeting in Gran Canaria that set in motion the Nyíregyháza-based Rally Hungary joining the ERC roster from 2019, Őry and Ley met as firm friends to discuss some of the finer details for the season showdown from 8-10 November.

“We met Tamás and his colleagues a year ago, and work went well from the very first moment between us,” said Ley. “They are very professional and their approach is similar to ours. They organised a high-standard rally last year, and honestly I was surprised by the strength of the Hungarian field, so I am very glad that Rally Hungary has become part of the ERC.

“Fortunately, there are several good Hungarian drivers in the ERC, Tibor Érdi Jr and Kristóf Klausz are great friends of ours for a long time now, and we are happy that Norbert Herczig joined last year. I expect a big show in Nyíregyháza and not just because of them. It is always interesting to introduce a new rally into the championship and the ERC drivers are very excited to fight against the local heroes at a new venue. They have already started to ask about the rally and the availability of onboard camera footage. They are eagerly awaiting the season finale.”

Őry said: “It all started a year ago on the Canary Islands, where we first sat down to talk to Jean-Baptiste. At that time we could only hope that our co-operation would be so successful within such a short period of time. Our race was much appreciated by the international promoter last year. And he confirms it whenever we meet. He did so on the Canary Islands, too, where we already discussed some details, however, these small things could determine the success of an event.

“The organising committee of the rally was already set up in February. Last year’s rally was put together by a very professional team and we would like to strengthen it even more. The stages are 85 per cent the same as last year, but some modifications will take place. As of the field, it is a great pleasure to see that there are three permanent Hungarian participants in the ERC, since they help the whole ERC to be in the spotlight. Many foreign competitors have already informed us that they plan to enter our rally. They would represent a huge challenge for the drivers of the Hungarian championship.”

The post ERC Rally Hungary gathers momentum following ‘anniversary’ meeting appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Falcón happy on ERC return

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 09:00

Emma Falcón said she was “happy” after finishing a record-breaking fifth in class on Rally Islas Canarias.

The ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner from 2018 beat Tamara Molinaro’s previous best result of sixth in ERC1 Junior – the category for young stars in R5 cars – to mark her return to FIA European Rally Championship action.

“We are happy because we are learning and improving with this car all the time,” said the Canary Islander, who was competing in a Escuderia Fuertwagen Motorsport Citroën C3 R5. “It was only my third rally with this car so we need to have more kilometres to have more feeling. But I am happy with result. The car felt better than at the beginning and I hope now we can go to Roma di Roma Capitale.”

Apart from a puncture minor gearbox issue, which Falcón admitted was self-inflicted, she experienced a trouble-free outing.

The post Falcón happy on ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

FPAK-supported Antunes scores ERC3 Junior podium

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 06:00

FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Pedro Antunes scored his best ERC3 Junior finish so far with third on an event he admitted had proved more of a challenge than he first expected.

However, by adopting a mature approach, the Portuguese promise kept calm and kept improving throughout the 16-stage Rally Islas Canarias.

“We can take some positives from this event, it was a big rally and a difficult one but we got some good points for the third position and we managed to climb a little bit in the championship,” said Antunes, who is competing in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship with the support his national federation.

“We took a lot of learning about how we should drive and how we shouldn’t and that’s also the point of why we are here in the European championship.

“We expected to have some difficulties but there were many more than we expected. It’s a difficult rally with stages that are really particular. We could not find the right speed and the right way to drive at first. But then I changed some things in my driving, I approached it a little more slowly, more relaxed and my times got better.”

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High-grip Tarmac no problem for ERC Junior Munster

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 18:00

Grégoire Munster tried high-grip Tarmac for the first time on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend – and passed the test with flying colours in a fine fourth position in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship category.

On only his second start since suffering concussion in sizeable crash on the Belgian championship TAC Rally, Munster adapted well to the Gran Canaria roads in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2 he shares with co-driver and fellow Belgian Louis Louka.

Despite his lack of experience, Munster capitalised on his effective pacenotes to improve his speed and car set-up throughout the event, setting several top-three times on the last loop.

“It went well,” he said afterwards. “We still need to learn to drive on high-grip Tarmac because it was the first time. But we increased a bit the pace and on the final loop we were always in the top three so we improved a lot from the first to the second day.”

The post High-grip Tarmac no problem for ERC Junior Munster appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram convinced outright ERC success can be his

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:00

Chris Ingram is convinced he can win outright in the FIA European Rally Championship following his second consecutive overall podium finish on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend.

After claiming third-place spoils on the Azores Rallye in March, Ingram finished second on the Spanish Tarmac event despite early confidence struggles.

“I started the rally with no confidence,” the Toksport WRT driver admitted. “I was down in ninth after stage one having been P16 on the Qualifying Stage. But when we’ve got the seat time we’re on the pace with everyone. I just need to find the budget to get more seat time because we can win these rallies.”

He continued: “I just need the seat time and the confidence. I’ve got a lot of pressure on me but I need to get rid of that because we’ve got the potential I believe.

“It was really intense at the end with all the battles going on but two fastest times on those two stages out of service was a really good confidence boost. We couldn’t take any risks, we had to say focused. I have to say a massive thanks to the team for the perfect car, to my co-driver Ross Whittock, to Michelin for the tyres, just everything has been perfect.

“We’re in a good position at the moment but we need to keep thinking about the championship. I’m confident so bring on the next one.”

Ingram will be featured on the ERC All Access magazine programme on Eurosport tonight. Check local listings for details.

The post Ingram convinced outright ERC success can be his appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Semerád, 17, proves talent on ERC debut

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 06:00

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Petr Semerád, 17, proved his talent in no uncertain terms with a hugely impressive FIA ERC3 Junior Championship debut on Rally Islas Canarias.

The Czech federation-supported promise, starting his first international rally, battled back from a roll on stage two to finish seventh out of 15 starters in the Pirelli-backed category.

Due to the late nature of his deal, his locally hired Peugeot 208 R2 only arrived in Gran Canaria on Thursday morning, which was too late for scrutineering and resulted in the teenager being forced to miss Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage.

But he shrugged off that setback – and his rollover – to reach the finish alongside co-driver Jiří Hlávka, who completed the road sections because Semerád is still too young to hold a driving licence and had to obtain special permission to tackle the event’s 16 all-asphalt stages.

“The roll was my fault,” said Semerád. “In the second stage in the first two kilometres there was a left hairpin and there were two layers of asphalt. I used the handbrake and the left-front wheel clipped the second layer of the asphalt and we just rolled. We lost 25s, it was so quick! Everybody ran to the car, put it back up, we start and go. The geometry was fine, it was braking, and turning.”

Semerád, who reported being slowed by a down-on-power engine later in the rally, continued: “It’s amazing to finish my first international event. I’m really pleased with the result. On the last two stages we’ve shown that if we want to and if we try we can push because when it’s going downhill there is no restriction of the engine so we can be fast.”

Semerád’s fellow ACCR Czech Rally Team driver Jan Talaš, the reigning Czech 2WD and Junior champion, completed leg one in eighth position but was excluded when it was found his car was underweight, the result of a miscalculation due to the fact both driver and co-driver are extremely light. Meanwhile, ACCR Czech Rally Team captain Vojtĕch Štajf finished P11 overall.

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Nucita fast but out of luck in ERC Abarth Rally Cup

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 18:00

Andrea Nucita’s succession of fastest stage times on the opening round of the Abarth Rally Cup didn’t bring the ultimate reward the Italian had hoped for.

Co-driven by Michele Ferrara for the first time, Nucita was fastest in all but one of leg two’s eight stages as the Abarth Rally Cup joined the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time on Rally Islas Canarias.

However, a mechanical failure on leg one meant the Sicily-based driver had to settle for fourth in class. Nevertheless, he came away with €4000 in prize money and four Pirelli tyres thanks to the lucrative reward package offered by the Abarth Rally Cup organisers.

“I’m not happy for the result but I am more happy for the times on the stages,” said Nucita. “The feeling with the car was quite good and I hope I have a better result in the next race.”

The post Nucita fast but out of luck in ERC Abarth Rally Cup appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Loubet impresses with fighting third in ERC1 Junior

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 12:00

Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet claimed his first FIA ERC1 Junior Championship podium following a fighting performance on Rally Islas Canarias.

After a badly worn tyre on stage three caused significant delay, the Corsican battled back into overall podium contention before a time penalty and final-stage off dropped him to fifth overall. Nevertheless, he still did enough to take third in ERC1 Junior, the category for young stars in R5 cars.

“Unfortunately, in the third stage we completely destroyed the front tyre and I don’t know why,” Loubet explained. “At the beginning I was thinking it was mechanical but it wasn’t and it was difficult to recover the time. I then lost a lot of time in the second pass of the long stage on Friday because I was thinking I would destroy the tyre again.”

The 2C Compétition ŠKODA Fabia R5 continued: “I came back to three seconds from the overall podium, then I lost 10 seconds with the jump-start penalty. But I came back to two seconds behind the podium. Unfortunately, in the last stage I took a big push and went out of the road and lost a lot of time. It was a slow-left corner in the middle of the stage, I locked the front tyre and go into a ditch. We tried a lot, we pushed a lot. The podium was the objective and we can be happy with our speed.”

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How Franceschi went from despair to ERC victory thanks to a rival’s intervention

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 06:00

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi won on his FIA ERC3 Junior Championship debut on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend – but only after a rival team came to his aid.

Franceshi was beating Saintéloc Junior Team driver Sindre Furuseth when he arrived a remote refuel zone on the opening morning of the Tarmac event.

Unfortunately, a team member got lost on route leaving Franceschi seemingly high and dry until the Saintéloc team stepped in by refuelling the Frenchman’s Ford Fiesta R2T.

Although he dropped out of the lead due to a penalty incurred for his delay in reaching stage three, Franceschi was able to make up the lost time in the afternoon and remained in front until the finish, narrowly missing out on the overall ERC3 category win on his first Rally Islas Canarias start.

“I have to say thanks to the Saintéloc team,” said Franceschi. “We were waiting for the refuelling but the guy from our team was lost and nobody came. But we were lucky because Saintéloc helped us to put some fuel in the car. If not, we would have stopped so I want to say thanks to them.”

Of his victory in the Pirelli-supported category, Franceschi said: “To win is amazing, it was a good opportunity from M-Sport and I want to thank them for this. The car worked very well and I enjoyed a lot the stages.

“I hope we can do some more ERC rallies. We will talk about it later with Maciej Woda from M-Sport and we will see, why not? I love the ERC, the atmosphere is very nice and I hope it can continue. The competition was really close, we had a penalty and we can have some regret, but that’s rally and everything can happen anywhere and in any moment. I have always loved Tarmac, I am from France! At the end the result is very nice.”

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Llarena takes important ERC3 Junior points at home

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 18:00

Efrén Llarena underlined his potential as one of Spain’s best young rally drivers with second place in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on Rally Islas Canarias.

Co-driven by Sara Fernández, the Rally Team Spain driver was able to extend his lead at the top of the standings after Sindre Furuseth retired his similar Peugeot 208 R2 with a mechanical failure.

Llarena’s second place behind class winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi follows on from his victory on the Azores Rallye.

“We did our best, we tried to be fast and clean and we have a lot of points for the championship, which is the most important thing,” said the Spanish federation-backed driver.

The post Llarena takes important ERC3 Junior points at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rossel on form in ERC3

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 12:00

Yohan Rossel showed his speed on his Rally Islas Canarias debut, completing the ERC3 category top-three.

Rossel is in his first season in the FIA European Rally Championship with the Peugeot Rally Academy and was quick from the outset on the all-asphalt event.

“It was a good job, a very hard push for all the rally,” said the Frenchman. “I am very happy for the team and for Peugeot Sport. It’s a great performance from me and from my co-driver.

“We were on the limit all the rally and I could not do more. Of course I wanted a better result but against the guys with the turbo it’s not realistic.”

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Habaj holds firm in ERC title battle

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj achieved his objective of finishing Rally Islas Canarias with the lead of the FIA European Rally Championship still intact.

Habaj produced another fine drive to finish third alongside co-driver Daniel Dymurski having won the season-opening Azores Rallye in March.

It was only the Pole’s second outing on asphalt in his Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5 and his capture of a podium place came after a dramatic final afternoon of position changes among the top 10.

“We’re leaving the Canary Islands on top of the leaderboard, which makes me really happy because we’re looking at the championship,” said Habaj, who won leg two helped by a brace of outright stage wins. “Second rally, second podium but the most important thing is that we're still leading the championship and we scored some good points, although today was very difficult.”

After two rounds, Habaj holds an eight-point championship lead over Chris Ingram.

The post Habaj holds firm in ERC title battle appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi fends off Junior winner Franceschi for ERC3 victory

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 20:11

A down-to-the-wire battle in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category went Florian Bernardi’s way by a mere five seconds, with ERC3 Junior winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi only just falling short.

Franceschi was a man on a mission, racking up six ERC3 stage wins out of eight on Saturday as the Ford Fiesta R2T driver sought to catch overnight leader Bernardi’s Renault Clio.

A 28.5s gap after SS8 was quickly whittled down to only 6.3s heading to the final stage, setting up a tense finale. But one final push from Bernardi was enough, limiting his losses to only 1.3s and securing an ERC3 victory.

There was one final twist to the story too: Bernardi had been nursing a broken front anti-roll bar for the final three stages without telling anyone.

Yohan Rossel made it an all-French podium, bringing his Peugeot Rally Academy 208 R2 home 21s behind ERC3 Junior winner Franceschi.

Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena strengthened his championship lead with second place in ERC3 Junior, though was aided by Sindre Furuseth’s retirement with rear brake issues.

Pedro Antunes scored his first podium of the season for FPAK Portugal Team ERC, bringing his Peugeot 208 R2 home in third.

Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) won a day-long battle with Simon Wagner (Stengg Motorsport) over fourth place, the pair having traded places several times throughout the rally. Wagner had made the better start and closed the gap to 1.1s after SS9 but progressively fell back thereafter, finishing 20.1s behind by the end.

In addition to finishing sixth in ERC3 Junior, Grigor Grigorov was deep in a battle over eighth in the overall ERC3 category, battling Junior WRC regular Sean Johnston (Saintéloc Junior Team).

The American driver had made significant inroads on the morning loop and passed Grigorov on SS13 but the Bulgarian driver responded, retaking sixth one stage later and fending off Johnston in a battle over tenths of a second.

Petr Semerád had a bold introduction to ERC3 Junior on Friday by rolling over on SS2 but improved as the rally went on. He passed Kristóf Klausz for eighth in the morning and then moved into seventh when Elias Lundberg suffered a puncture on the penultimate stage.

Klausz also gained a place from Lundberg’s late drama, going on secure eighth place for his family Klausz Motorsport Kft team. Lundberg brought the second ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team car to the finish in ninth.

Nabila Tejpar completed the top 10 in ERC3 Junior on her category debut, finishing ahead of Miika Hokkanen. The Finn had been an early top five contender until a double puncture on Friday morning forced him to retire through a lack of spare tyres, returning under Rally2 to finish P11.

Galdar proved to be one of the toughest stages of the rally, catching out experienced and rookie drivers alike. Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO) had been in the hunt for a seventh place finish in ERC3 Junior until his engine died, while Roland Stengg (Stengg Motorsport) was forced to stop and retire again with a rear suspension bearing failure on the road section between Galdar and Vallesco.

The post Bernardi fends off Junior winner Franceschi for ERC3 victory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Monarri takes Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 spoils on Rally Islas Canarias

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 19:15

Alberto Monarri became the maiden winner of an Abarth Rally Cup event with his class victory on Rally Islas Canarias, also winning the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category for good measure.

Monarri (Abarth Spain – SMC Junior Motorsport) sparred with both Carlos David García (Overcame Competición) and Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) for victory on leg one but had a quieter Saturday.

Both of Monarri’s rivals had retired on Friday: Poloński with a broken wheel after hitting a rock on SS3 and García with a fuel pump issue between runs of the Las Palmas superspecial.

Monarri completed all eight stages of leg two with his Pirelli-equipped Fiat Abarth 124 Rally without issue.

“I am very happy for all my team. It has been a perfect weekend, an amazing weekend. The car has been working perfectly for all the days,” said an elated Monarri.

“It was a very good performance and I’m so happy for the team and Abarth Spain for being the first winner in the Abarth 124 Rally Cup.”

Zelindo Melegari (Neiksans Rallysport) had endured a difficult first leg with a broken exhaust on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X but pressed on, finishing second in ERC2.

Juan Carlos Alonso had looked set to finish second earlier on but a gearbox failure on the road section heading to SS13 ended his rally prematurely.

That led to García scoring not only second place in the Abarth Rally Cup but also a podium in ERC2, with Poloński finishing third in the Abarth classification.

The fastest driver of leg two though was Andrea Nucita. A driveshaft issue had ruled him out of Friday’s action but Nucita showed his rivals he would be a driver to watch in rounds to come, winning seven of the eight stages on Saturday on his way to fifth in ERC2 and fourth amongst the Abarths.

The post Monarri takes Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 spoils on Rally Islas Canarias appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

López takes maiden ERC win as Juniors steal the show

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 18:50

Pepe López scored a maiden FIA European Rally Championship victory on his home round and showed the quality of the ERC1 Junior stars in R5 cars, with Chris Ingram taking second overall.

A battle royale was expected between López and overnight leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who had won four stages apiece on Friday. But their battle would end on the first stage of the second leg, as while López took his fifth stage win, Lukyanuk clipped the inside of a corner and broke his front-left wheel and suspension.

From there López managed his lead diligently, becoming the first Spanish winner of an ERC round since Joan Vinyes in 2012. López’s decision to back off allowed Toksport WRT’s top driver Ingram to close up slightly, as a frenetic battle for the final podium position unfolded.

Ingram and 2017 ERC1 Junior champion Marijan Griebel had begun the final loop of Rally Islas Canarias locked in battle over second place but the German driver fell into the clutches of Iván Ares and Norbert Herczig behind, entering SS14 only 0.8s up on the former.

Griebel’s podium hopes evaporated when he picked up a puncture on the Galdar stage, driving to the finish and dropping nearly two minutes, which demoted him from third to ninth. His Baumschlager Rallye & Racing stablemate Norbert Herczig also suffered a puncture on the same stage though fared much better, dropping only 20s.

Ares had suffered a similar fate to Griebel and Herczig one stage earlier though lost less time, dropping from fourth to seventh.

That opened the door for Łukasz Habaj, who won the final two stages of the rally  and shot up to the final podium place. Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet had also been on a charge since being set back by a delaminated tyre on Friday and was right behind Habaj throughout leg two, entering SS16 only 3.1s off a podium place.

Ultimately Loubet pushed slightly too hard on the final stage, sliding wide into a ditch and losing around five to seven seconds and allowing Herczig to retake fourth place for MOL Racing Team.

Loubet still secured a top five finish and an all-important third place finish in ERC1 Junior, finishing 1.7s behind Herczig and clear of Ares in sixth place.

ERC1 Junior graduate José Suárez appeared set to finish seventh on his ERC return with Rally Team Spain but engine problems cost him several minutes on the final loop, ultimately dropping him to P15.

Instead it was Ares’ Hyundai Motor España team-mate Surhayen Pernía that would finish in seventh, edging a very close duel with Canary Islands rally legend Luis Monzón. The Auto-Laca Competición finished 2.2s behind Pernía in eighth, with Griebel half a minute behind in ninth.

Niki Mayr-Melnhof, who was once team-mates with Albert von Thurn und Taxis in GT racing, scored a top 10 finish on his ERC debut. Had it not been for a spin on the very first stage of leg two, an even better finish was possible, given he had been ahead of Pernía and Monzón. Meanwhile, his former team-mate from GT racing finished P16.

Alexandros Tsouloftas banked valuable points for his ERC1 Junior championship campaign by finishing fourth in his class, turning in a mistake-free performance on his asphalt debut to accrue valuable mileage on sealed surfaces.

Reigning ERC Ladies champion Emma Falcón completed the top five in ERC1 Junior, the Fuerteventura native having moved up from ERC3 to four-wheel drive R5 machinery with Escudería Fuertwagen Motorsport this year.

Alberto Monarri (Abarth Spain – SMC Junior Motorsport) scooped Abarth Rally Cup honours and a €12,000 prize to go with his winner’s trophy, also topping the ERC2 production category. Fellow Spaniard Carlos David García (Overcame Competición) finished second, with Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) completing the podium.

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BREAKING NEWS: ERC Junior star López takes maiden European win in Canarias

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 18:01

Pepe López has scored the first FIA European Rally Championship victory of his career on Rally Islas Canarias, leading a 1-2 result for ERC1 Junior stars in R5 cars in the overall classification.

Citroën Rally Team’s Spanish team leader secured a 28.4s margin of victory over Chris Ingram’s Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5, who scores his second podium of the season after his third place on the Azores Rallye.


A dramatic late shakeup in the podium battle gave third place to ERC championship leader Łukasz Habaj, who leapt up three places in the final loop of the rally.


Norbert Herczig survived a puncture on the penultimate stage of the rally to secure fourth place for MOL Racing Team, with Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet completing the top five.

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Furuseth “encouraged” despite losing Canarias podium

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 15:33

Sindre Furuseth has found the positives in his Rally Islas Canarias performance despite losing a likely podium in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship category due to a brake issue.

Saintéloc Racing's contender for ERC3 Junior honours this year had started the 2019 season with a second place on the Azores Rallye and looked set to repeat the feat, running in second again ahead of title rival Efrén Llarena.


However, his rally came to an end when the rear brakes on his car seized at the end of SS9 this morning, forcing him to retire. Despite the setback, he was encouraged for the rallies ahead.


“Of course I am gutted. But it's still encouraging to see that we can keep that good speed we had and still go safely,” said Furuseth.


“I think that we had everything under control really. It's sad but I'm also happy with the performance we showed.”


“We'll definitely come back stronger.”

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“Podium is the objective” for Team OSCARO’s Loubet

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 15:06

A hard-charging Pierre-Louis Loubet is fired up and chasing an FIA European Rally Championship podium finish on Rally Islas Canarias, as the ERC1 Junior frontrunner makes up for an earlier delay.

Team OSCARO athlete Loubet had been immediately on the pace from the first stages, briefly holding second place before a delaminated tyre on SS3 cost him over 40 seconds and dropped him to eighth.

But since that setback Loubet has won three stages outright and is up to sixth place, and believes he can make it all the way to the podium in the last four stages of the rally.

"The podium is the objective. We took 12 seconds this morning and we have nine to take now," he said.

Loubet is 9.6s behind 2017 ERC1 Junior champion Marijan Griebel, who holds third place aboard his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.

He'll also need to catch and pass Iván Ares (Hyundai Motor España) and Norberg Herczig (MOL Racing Team) in fourth and fifth.

"It was a good morning for us. We take more than 10s from the podium, so we have to continue to push and fight to go on," Loubet continued.

"On the first pass I wasn't at 100% as every time it's difficult to be sure about your pace notes. But I think for this afternoon, it's possible to try and push it a bit more."

The post “Podium is the objective” for Team OSCARO’s Loubet appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Franceschi overhauls Rossel in tight ERC3 podium battle

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 14:43

Florian Bernardi remains out front in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category but the battle over second has intensified, with Jean-Baptiste Franceschi overhauling Yohan Rossel for second.

Bernardi, driving a Renault Clio R3T, had won the most stages on Friday but had to take something of a back seat to Franceschi, who was on a mission to catch Peugeot Rally Academy pilot Rossel for second place in ERC3.

Three stage wins for Franceschi erased the deficit to his compatriot and moved ahead on SS12, the last stage of the morning loop, establishing a 5.7s gap over Rossel.

A showdown for the lead in ERC3 isn’t out of the question either as Franceschi carved 12.5s out of Bernardi’s lead, with 16s now separating the pair with four stages to go and Bernardi not happy with his pace.

“The feeling is not good. I don’t know why as I didn’t change anything this morning. Maybe it’s me!” said Bernardi.

Francheschi’s lead in the ERC3 Junior class is more secure than ever as nearest rival Sindre Furuseth hit trouble, with the rear brakes on his car locked on throughout SS9. Unable to implement roadside repairs, the perennially unlucky Saintéloc Racing driver was forced to retire from another potential podium finish.

That promoted ERC3 Junior points leader Efrén Llarena to second in class, strengthening his title bid further. The Rally Team Spain junior talent has 26.8s in hand over fellow federation-backed driver Pedro Antunes, who is flying the flag for FPAK Portugal Team ERC with the final podium position in ERC3 Junior.

Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) and Simon Wagner (Stengg Motorsport) resumed their close battle from yesterday in ERC3 Junior. Wagner took time out of Munster on both SS9 and SS10 to take fourth position, only to fall back again on SS10 for a very strange reason; he had no pacenotes for the final 10 kilometres of the Galdar test.

Wagner fell back to fifth, 4.7s behind Munster, which became 5.7s after the last stage of the loop this morning.

Grigor Grigorov continues to fare well on his ERC3 Junior debut with sixth in class, though as a newcomer to the rally and the championship was understandably struggling with his pacenotes. He dropped behind Saintéloc’s Sean Johnston in the combined ERC3 standings by 0.4s, with the American driver moving up to eighth.

Roman Schwedt had performed well on Friday afternoon to move up to seventh in ERC3 Junior but retired on the tricky SS11, which handed the place back to Elias Lundberg in the second ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team-run ADAM R2.

Petr Semerád was the ACCR Czech Rally Team’s last remaining car in the ERC3 Junior field and started positively by taking eighth place from fellow Peugeot 208 R2 runner Kristóf Klausz. Nabila Tejpar completes the top 10 in ERC3 Junior, followed by Rally2 returnee Miika Hokkanen.

The post Franceschi overhauls Rossel in tight ERC3 podium battle appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Monarri set for Abarth Rally Cup win as Nucita sets the pace

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 14:27

Alberto Monarri looks set to score the first Abarth Rally Cup victory of 2019 on Rally Islas Canarias, but it was Rally2 returnee Andrea Nucita who set the pace in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 production class this morning.

Driving a spec Pirelli-shod Fiat Abarth 124 Rally RGT machine, Monarri had been locked in a close battle with Carlos David García yesterday for Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 spoils, until a fuel pump issue for García forced him to skip the last superspecial of leg one.

That led to a penalty which cost García any hope of victory, though he retains second place in the Abarth Rally Cup order.

“We are leading with a big difference to the second car in ERC2 and Abarth Rally Cup. We have to continue in this way with no mistakes and the same rhythm to finish the rally in this position,” said a focused Monarri.

However, it was Andrea Nucita that starred on Saturday, winning all four stages this morning to show what might have been, had he not been delayed and then forced to retire on Friday.

Juan Carlos Alonso, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, is second in ERC2, slotting in between Abarth Rally Cup runners Monarri and García.

Zelindo Melegari had to nurse his Lancer Evo X through most of Friday’s stages with a broken turbo but was back to full strength today. He is all set to cap his return to ERC2 with a podium finish.

Rallytechnology’s Dariusz Poloński was another Abarth Rally Cup runner to return under Rally2 rules and is set for a podium finish in the Abarth-only class, in addition to running fifth in ERC2 behind García.

Nucita will still earn valuable prize money from the Abarth Rally Cup’s generous prize pot in fourth place, and is also set to pick up sixth in ERC2.

The post Monarri set for Abarth Rally Cup win as Nucita sets the pace appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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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)