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European Rally Championship
Updated: 11 min 19 sec ago

Nucita pushing “very hard” to grab last-gasp second place in ERC2

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 17:50

Andrea Nucita is on the verge of a miracle comeback to score second place in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category on Rally di Roma Capitale, having retired from the lead on Saturday.

Nucita faces a head-to-head battle with his Loran SRL team-mate Zelindo Melegari, who is only 1.1s ahead as the ERC crews head to Ostia for a pair of rally-ending 1.1 kilometre superspecials.

Using home advantage to great effect, Nucita was the runaway leader on the first leg before mechanical trouble forced him to retire, and has won every stage since.

“I’m really pushing hard, very very hard,” said Nucita.

“I’m doing my best because Melegari [was] 30 seconds in front and so, very very fast, this is my best. No mistake, it’s all OK.”

The outcome of their duel will have title implications: they are second and third in the ERC2 championship, only seven points apart, while an extra €2,000 of prize money in the Abarth Rally Cup is also at stake for whichever driver wins the battle for second.

The post Nucita pushing “very hard” to grab last-gasp second place in ERC2 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Crugnola and Lukyanuk face Ostia showdown for ERC podium

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 17:30

Alexey Lukyanuk and Andrea Crugnola are separated by just one second heading to the closing superspecials of Rally di Roma Capitale, with the pair competing to pick up the final FIA European Rally Championship podium position.

With just 2.2 kilometres of competitive stages remaining on the rally, made up of two runs of a superspecial in Rome's seaside district of Ostia, a nerve-wracking final showdown for third place is on the cards.

Both drivers are keen to score maximum points – Lukyanuk to strengthen his ERC title defense and Crugnola his Italian championship aspirations, for which points scored are influenced by their finishing position in the overall ERC classification.

“Honestly, we were maximum attack," said 2014 ERC3 Junior runner-up Crugnola after stage 14, in which he cut the gap from 5.5s to 1s.

“The tyres, Pirelli did a very good job because in this loop, and the previous loop, we didn’t swap the tyres, so it means the tyres are working very well. I improve my time on this stage [compared to this morning]. I went flat out everywhere.

“We will see, we have two more stages to go and our target is to finish on the podium. It will be a big challenge in Ostia for the last two stages.”

The finale of Rally di Roma Capitale, which takes place at the Ostia - Super Stage Arena ACI Roma, will be livestreamed on ERC's Facebook page, starting at 19h15 CET.

The post Crugnola and Lukyanuk face Ostia showdown for ERC podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Home hero Basso edges closer to first ERC win in six years

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 15:26

Giandomenico Basso is just two short superspecial stages away from a first FIA European Rally Championship win in six year, the two-time ERC champion leading Rally di Roma Capitale by 20.8s.

After a one minute penalty for Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) demoted the Russian to third place, Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team) became Basso’s primary challenger.

What seemed a comfortable lead was suddenly transformed into a tense afternoon loop when Basso missed a junction on Rocca Santo Stefano and lost around 24 seconds.

“In the previous test I made a mistake at a crossroads. I lost the reference, I must have closed my eyes from sweat, I lost [a few] seconds and I couldn't turn,” explained Basso.

“Everything's OK. I'm usually used to attacking than defending myself. It is more difficult to defend.”

Campedelli is on course to score a debut podium for the brand new M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5, and has a comfortable 42.8s advantage over Lukyanuk in third.

But Lukyanuk’s potential podium is under threat, with a rapidly recovering Andrea Crugnola only one second behind in fourth, with just two runs of the 1.1 kilometre Ostia superspecial to go.

2014 ERC3 Junior vice-champion Crugnola was held up by a puncture he was forced to stop and change on stage four but has been dominant otherwise, winning 11 out of 14 stages so far.

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) is on course for a second consecutive ERC1 Junior victory in fifth place, unable to keep Crugnola at bay but with a comfortable 19.1s advantage over Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) behind.

ERC1 Junior points leader Ingram leads Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) by 3.7s in their battle for sixth place, with Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija) seventh overall and completing the ERC1 Junior podium.

Umberto Scandola (Hyundai Motorsport N) and Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) complete the top 10.

Ken Torn is two stages away from a third ERC3 win in a row in only his second event on asphalt, while Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) is all set for ERC2 and Abarth Rally Cup victory, leading after SS13.

The post Home hero Basso edges closer to first ERC win in six years appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lukyanuk drops to third in ERC Rome battle after time penalty

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 14:36

FIA European champion Alexey Lukyanuk has dropped from second to third on Rally di Roma Capitale after a time penalty.

Lukyanuk was 27.8s behind rally leader Giandomenico Basso after Affile-Bellegra 2, but a one minute penalty was added to his total rally time after the wheelbase dimensions of his Citroën C3 R5 were found to be non-compliant with the technical regulations.

“We have a one-minute penalty. It’s a team responsibility but the engineers are not agreeing. It’s a pity, it’s not a mistake by the driver who has made an excellent rally,” explained Vincent Ducher, Rally Manager at Saintéloc Racing.

“Lucas and the team did a good job to prepare the car and make the Michelin tyres work. This issue is my responsibility, that’s it.

“It was not the meaning to finish third or fourth if that’s what happens. Legally we can appeal but we are still waiting the process of how the measurement has been made.”

Despite the time penalty, Lukyanuk dropped only one place, slotting in ahead of ERC1 Junior leader Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) in fourth place.

Emma Falcón (Rallye Team Spain) was also given a 30s penalty for a similar issue, dropping her from P11 to P12 behind Mareš’s ACCR team-mate Vojtěch Štajf.

The post Lukyanuk drops to third in ERC Rome battle after time penalty appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi aims to continue his ERC3 Rome stage-winning streak

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 12:50

Florian Bernardi is hoping to continue his rapid pace on the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category on Rally di Roma Capitale’s final loop, having won all four stages on Sunday morning.

Driving his usual Renault Clio R3T, Bernardi was on a mission after losing two minutes on the first stage of the rally with tyre trouble.

Starting leg two in fifth, Bernardi had his sights fixed on taking third by midday service, pulling off his ambitious target by passing both Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) and Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO) on Guarcino.

“Four stage for best time in ERC3, I take the third place, it’s good for first loop,” said Bernard afterwards.

“I hope the second loop is the same. The Clio is perfect for this road.”

Progression beyond third looks tricky, however, with Erik Cais in second place 39.1s ahead and only four full-length stages, plus two runs of the Ostia superspecial, remaining.

The post Bernardi aims to continue his ERC3 Rome stage-winning streak appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Campedelli gives new M-Sport Fiesta its first ERC stage win

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 12:42

Simone Campedelli, who is giving the brand new M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 its FIA European Rally Championship debut on Rally di Roma Capitale this weekend, says his car is “getting better and better” after taking its first ERC stage win.

Italian championship frontrunner Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team) clocked the fastest time on Sunday’s first stage, Affile-Bellegra, making him the only driver to break Andrea Crugnola’s stage-winning streak on leg two.

He put the stage win down to the continued hard work by his M-Sport team to improve the car’s set-up during the weekend.

“We tried to make some changes to the car, getting better and better and now we are much closer to our competitors,” said Campedelli after the morning loop.

“We still aren’t where we want to be but as a team we are putting the effort needed to develop the car as much as we can this weekend.”

Campedelli is in a comfortable third place overall, having pulled away from ERC1 Junior leader Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) this morning and is catching Alexey Lukyanuk, who is now only 17.1s ahead in second place.

The post Campedelli gives new M-Sport Fiesta its first ERC stage win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polonski set for ERC2 & Abarth wins in Rome

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 12:29

Dariusz Poloński is on course to win both the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category and Abarth Rally Cup class on Rally di Roma Capitale, as his nearest rival hit trouble.

Leg one had been dominated by Andrea Nucita until a mechanical issue forced him to retire after stage five, leaving Poloński (Rallytechnology) and Zelindo Melegari (Loran SRL) to fight for victory.

Poloński’s advantage crept past the minute mark on Affile-Bellegra but his lead became assured on Guarcino, the last stage of the morning loop, when Melegari lost two minutes with a driveshaft problem.

Despite the delay Melegari retains second, with Nucita completing the podium places and lighting up the timing boards with four stage wins in a row this morning.

Mshari Althefiri is also on course to pick up a fourth place in ERC2, making his third appearance of the season in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

The post Polonski set for ERC2 & Abarth wins in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Torn survives crash scare to stay top of ERC3

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 12:13

Ken Torn continues to lead the FIA ERC3 Championship order on Rally di Roma Capitale despite running wide and hitting a wall, which damaged his left-rear wheel.

Estonian Autosport Junior Team’s young talent, who has won the last two ERC3 events in a row, came under pressure from Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) on Sunday morning, his lead being cut from 22.1s to 15.9 on the first two stages.

Torn recouped all the time he’d lost to Cais on Rocca Santo Stefano but disaster nearly struck on the final stage of the loop, Guarcino.

Outbraking himself at a corner late on the 11.75 kilometre test, Torn ran wide and hit a wall, breaking his left-rear suspension.

But thanks to being so close to the finish, Torn’s time loss was minimal, dropping only 1.9s to Cais, with the Czech driver slowing momentarily for yellow flags.

Neither were setting the pace however, as a determined Florian Bernardi pulled off a clean sweep of stage wins to charge from fifth to third in ERC3.

Bernardi had started leg two 25s behind third-placed Rally Team Spain pilot Efrén Llarena and was in unstoppable form, going 8.9s faster than anyone on Guarcino alone.

Llarena finished the loop 1.8s behind Bernardi in fourth but spent the morning with one eye on Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO), who is chasing his maiden ERC3 Junior podium finish.

With Bernardi ineligible for the ERC3 Junior title, Llarena and Schwedt are still battling for third in the Junior class, with Schwedt closing the gap to a mere 0.2s by stage nine.

A quick recovery on Guarcino increased Llarena’s advantage to 3.9s, with the ERC3 podium battle covered by 5.7s.

Jan Talaš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Orhan Avcioğlu (Toksport WRT) remain secure in sixth and seventh place in ERC3, with Talaš also completing the top five in ERC3 Junior.

Gregor Jeets, Torn’s team-mate at Estonian Autosport Junior Team, retired from eighth place only two kilometres into the day-opening Affile-Bellegra stage with broken suspension.

With Sindre Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) not restarting after his crash from the lead on Saturday, Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) picked up eighth place, restarting after retiring from second place on stage five yesterday.

With Emma Falcón dropping down to P11 in ERC1, ninth-placed ERC3 debutant Cristiana Oprea has now taken the ERC Ladies’ Trophy lead ahead of Catie Munnings (Peugeot Rally Academy), who also completes the top 10 in ERC3.

Pedro Antunes returned after his stage one retirement on Saturday and is P11. Elias Lundberg (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) and James Williams did not restart after their leg one retirements.

The post Torn survives crash scare to stay top of ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Basso holds Rome lead over ERC champion Lukyanuk

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 11:38

Giandomenico Basso has maintained his lead on Rally di Roma Capitale over last year’s FIA European Rally Championship winner Alexey Lukyanuk during Sunday morning's four stages.

Feeling uncomfortable with his set-up, Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) was slow off the mark on Affile-Bellegra, which allowed Basso to increase the lead gap to 40.1s.

But the gap decreased thereafter, firstly with Basso (Loran SRL) stalling at a hairpin on Rocca di Cave and then Lukyanuk picking up a few more seconds on both Rocca Santo Stefano and Guarcino, having got on top of some early set-up woes.

Lukyanuk’s deficit to two-time ERC champion Basso is now 30.3s, with the same four stages from Sunday morning plus two runs of the Ostia superspecial remaining.

Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team) took a first stage win for the brand new 2019 Ford Fiesta R5 on Affile-Bellegra, rapidly pulling away from young star in an R5 car Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) to cement his third place.

Leading the ERC1 Junior category, fourth-placed Mareš was focused only on maintaining his gap to fellow ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT), with a victory and bonus leg points enough to keep his ERC1 Junior title hopes alive for next month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Andrea Crugnola, who had led for much of the first leg until a puncture demoted him to P10, was the pacesetter on Sunday morning, winning three stages in a row.

The 2014 ERC3 Junior championship runner-up caught and passed both Ingram and Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) on Rocca Santo Stefano, and already has Mareš in his sights, with 14.8s to make up in the last six stages.

Herczig and Ingram, swapped positions twice, with Ingram initially taking fifth from Herczig before spinning twice on Rocca Santo Stefano and dropping to seventh. But Herczig’s sixth place is still under threat, with Ingram, who is also second in ERC1 Junior, only 4.2s behind.

Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija) is on track for his second consecutive ERC1 Junior podium finish on his second prize drive for winning last year’s ERC3 Junior title. His eighth place overall is also a comfortable one, with two minutes in hand over Hyundai Motorsport N’s Umberto Scandola.

Hirokai Arai (STARD) moved up to fourth in ERC1 Junior and P10 overall at the expense of Emma Falcón (Rally Team Spain), who was nursing a clutch issue throughout the morning loop.

They both have Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) close behind, with all three drivers covered by just 14.8s.

Ken Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) has a 20.4s lead over Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) in the battle for ERC3 and ERC3 Junior victory, while Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) continues to lead the Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 classifications after stage nine.

The post Basso holds Rome lead over ERC champion Lukyanuk appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title leader Habaj explains Saturday exit

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 09:07

FIA European Rally Championship leader Łukasz Habaj has explained the reasons behind the crash that cost him a potential podium finish on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Habaj was running in third place after stage five on Saturday, one position behind his main rival for the ERC title, Alexey Lukyanuk.

But the Sports Racing Technologies driver’s day ended at the side of the road, crashing his ŠKODA Fabia R5 for an unusual reason.

“You wouldn’t believe it but during the service break, I made some corrections of my pace notes from the camera and I actually corrected the wrong corner!  A stupid mistake but painful,” explained Habaj.

He has returned from retirement for the second leg – which awards points to the seven fastest drivers on Sunday's stages – and went fifth-fastest on the opening Affile-Bellegra test.

The post ERC title leader Habaj explains Saturday exit appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rally di Roma Capitale live on Facebook, ERC Radio

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 06:00

Rally di Roma Capitale is live on Facebook and ERC Radio today as Italy’s FIA European Rally Championship counter reaches its climax.

ERC Radio reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will report live from the end of the special stages, while there will be live coverage on Facebook of stages 9, 14 and 16 featuring spectacular helicam footage.

ERC Radio’s coverage begins at 08h15 CET with Sunday’s opening stage getting underway at 08h28. ERC Radio is available at FIAERC.com or by downloading the ERC app. Click here for the Facebook Live coverage.

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Hyundai’s Roman gladiator Scandola leads ERC leg two road order

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 22:36

Umberto Scandola, a two-time winner of Rally di Roma Capitale, will lead the FIA European Rally Championship field into battle on Sunday for Hyundai Motorsport N.

Scandola is ninth overall in ERC, having dropped from sixth place on leg one’s final stage on Saturday.

That late fall puts him first on the road, with a local entrant between him and the next ERC entrant to depart on Sunday morning, ERC3 Junior champion Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija).

Starting behind the Latvian driver, who is using his second of two prize drives awarded by promoter Eurosport Events for his 2018 success, the rest of the top 10 will begin in reverse order.

Erstwhile leader Andrea Crugnola heads off fourth on the road, all the way down to rally leader and two-time ERC champion Giandomenico Basso.

Two drivers who retired on Saturday are confirmed to miss leg two on Sunday: Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies), who crashed out of the overall lead on stage two and damaged his rollcage, and Sindre Furuseth, who led ERC3 and ERC3 Junior until skidding off the road on the final stage of leg one.

Luca Rossetti, who crashed on stage four, and ERC3 Junior debutant James Williams, who rolled on stage two, are also absent from the restart list.

Sunday's action begins at 08h28 CET with the 7.34 kilometre Affile-Bellegra test, featuring ten stages and finishing in Rome's seaside neighbourhood of Ostia, with the final pair of superspecials followed by the podium ceremony at 20h30 CET.

The post Hyundai’s Roman gladiator Scandola leads ERC leg two road order appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Furuseth says sorry for losing “comfortable” ERC3 lead

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 21:59

After crashing out of a “comfortable” FIA ERC3 Championship lead on Rally di Roma Capitale, Sindre Furuseth has said sorry to his team for losing a potential first win.

Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) had built a strong lead by winning three of the first five stages, with his lead gap more than doubling when nearest rival Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) made a mistake and broke his steering on stage five.

But his lead disappeared in an instant when he skated wide close to the end of Saturday’s final stage.

“3km from the finish on the last stage today we got caught out by one corner completely covered in gravel, and we slid off the road in walking speed, and could not go any further,” explained Furuseth on social media.

“I feel sorry for the team, sponsors, family and friends that support us. We had the perfect opportunity to win this time.”

Furuseth leads both the ERC3 and ERC3 Junior championships after four rounds.

In the all-important ERC3 Junior standings, which provides the winner a pair of prizes drives in the ERC1 Junior championship in 2020, Furuseth has only a two point lead over Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) and 13 points over Ken Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team).

The post Furuseth says sorry for losing “comfortable” ERC3 lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Furuseth crashes out of ERC3 lead, Torn turns around Rome fortunes

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 19:58

A final stage crash for Sindre Furuseth on leg one of Rally di Roma Capitale handed Ken Torn the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship class lead, capping a remarkable comeback from sixth place.

Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) had a lead of nearly 30s at midday service on Saturday after taking two stage wins out of three, though was nearly 10s off the pace on the re-run of Pico-Greci.

Any challenge from second-placed Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team) disappeared on stage five when the Belgian had an off at slow speed, retiring with broken steering.

That promoted Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team), who had been set back by a stage one puncture, to second place, having already picked his way past Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO) and ACCR Czech Rally Team pair Jan Talaš and Erik Cais.

But an unexpected final twist came on the final stage, when Furuseth slid off around two kilometres from the finish line and retired, handing Torn an unexpected 22.1s lead over Cais.

A potentially disastrous rally for Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) had also been turned around over the course of leg one, his day starting out with a puncture on Pico-Greci that cost him 1m42s and demoted him to ninth.

Over the remaining seven stages he gained six places, completing the podium places albeit 46.1s off Cais ahead.

At the beginning my day was bad but now I am happy because I am driving better, no mistakes. We will see,” said Llarena, who is currently second in the ERC3 Junior standings behind Furuseth.

Schwedt was for a brief moment set to inherit third place but was passed by Llarena on the final stage, finishing the day 3.4s behind the Spaniard in fourth.

Florian Bernardi was also picking up the pieces after a first stage delay of over two minutes, taking two stage wins to climb from P11 to fifth, 1m33.2s behind Torn and 21.6s behind Schwedt.

Talaš had run as high as fourth place but fell back as he struggled with a clutch problem, finishing the day in sixth as he lost further time with a puncture on stage five.

Orhan Avcioğlu (Toksport WRT), who competed in the top category for R5 cars last season, is seventh, also struggling along with clutch issues in similar equipment to Talaš.

Torn’s team-mate Gregor Jeets is eighth, with ERC3 debutant Cristiana Oprea ninth in his first ever rally in R2 machinery.

Elias Lundberg was forced to withdraw at midday service due to a suspected trapped nerve in his left arm but hopes to return on Sunday.

Pedro Antunes (FPAK Portugal Team ERC) crashed out on the morning pass of Pico-Greci, while James Williams rolled his Ford Fiesta R2 into retirement at a hairpin on stage two.

Catie Munnings (Peugeot Rally Academy) also retired after stage one, a brake fire on the road section ending her day.

The post Furuseth crashes out of ERC3 lead, Torn turns around Rome fortunes appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polonski snatches Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 advantage late on

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 19:26

Dariusz Poloński took a shock late lead in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category and the Abarth Rally Cup on Rally di Roma Capitale after title rival Andrea Nucita retired.

Nucita (Loran SRL) used his home advantage to good effect, winning the first five stages of the day aboard his Abarth 124 Rally to build a 3m49s lead in both classes.

His quest for victory was helped by turbocharger and fuel pressure issues for Poloński (Rallytechnology) throughout the day, although the podium order was turned on its head late in the day.

A technical problem halted Nucita and forced him to retire, adding another dramatic twist to the title battle for the Abarth Rally Cup.

“It looks like he has a technical problem with the engine because he stops. It’s a big shame for him,” said Poloński.

Nucita’s team-mate Zelindo Melegari, who has competed in ERC2 with four-wheel drive Group N machinery since 2016, switched to the Abarth Rally Cup for this weekend and is second in both classes, 55.1s behind Poloński.

“It’s good we are at the end of the first leg,” said Melegari. “We are very tired but the car is so much easy to drive compared to the Group N but I have to learn the car and some set-up.”

Mshari Althefiri completes the podium places in his Group N-specification Mitsubishi Lancer. The Kuwait driver is making his asphalt debut and lost time struggling with overheating brakes on the morning loop.

The post Polonski snatches Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 advantage late on appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nobre’s open-boot policy in the ERC

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 18:59

Paulo Nobre completed stage five of Rally di Roma Capitale with his car boot open.

The FIA European Rally Championship regular from Brazilian explained that he forgot to close it properly prior to the run.

“I took out the [safety] helmets and forgot to close the boot so I make one special stage with the boot open so it was the opposite to Poland [when it was the bonnet that was open].”

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Sesks on course for ERC1 Junior podium on second prize drive

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 18:57

Mārtiņš Sesks completed his first day on Tarmac in an R5 car eighth overall and third in ERC1 Junior on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Sesks is on his second prize drive from FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events for winning the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior title in 2018.

After a puncture slowed him this morning, Sesks has set a succession of top-three stage times in the category for young stars in R5 cars.

“We are through the day and that's already cool in this rally,” said Sesks.  “At the end of the last stage I had trouble [with the intercom] but still I heard every note. I’ve done one gravel rally and one Tarmac rally in this car, which is unbelievable and a great prize for winning ERC3.”

The post Sesks on course for ERC1 Junior podium on second prize drive appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Two-time ERC champion Basso back on top in Rome

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 18:55

Giandomenico Basso showed his FIA European Rally Championship rivals why he is a two-time champion by leading Rally di Roma Capitale by 36.3s after leg one.

Basso (Loran SRL), who took the 2006 and 2009 ERC championship titles, was back on form, taking the lead when early leader and compatriot Andrea Crugnola picked up a puncture on the afternoon pass of Pico-Greci.

“Everything is okay, we are very happy and the car is okay. Now we will go in service and prepare the car for tomorrow," said Basso.

His Italian championship rival and fellow ERC champion alumni Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL) was also in the mix for victory but a broken rim sent him straight on a right-hander, crashing out from third place.

That promoted reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) to second after a “quite bad” start on Saturday morning, hanging on to second place despite a puncture on stage five and overheating brakes on stage six.

His title battle with Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) took a dramatic twist on leg one’s final stage, with the Pole hitting a concrete object that forced him to pull over and retire from third place.

Despite losing around 40s on stage two with a puncture, Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team) was able to climb from ninth to third aboard the brand new 2019 Ford Fiesta R5, which is making its ERC debut this weekend.

ERC1 Junior Championship category leader Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) is now up to fourth place overall. He took a steady approach after a rally-ending crash in the Czech national championship a week earlier and it paid dividends, as attrition shook up the midfield order throughout the day.

Nobert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) climbed from P10 to fifth by the end of the day, but has Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) closing in quickly, only 1.7s behind after leg one.

ERC1 Junior points leader Ingram had a difficult morning, with no rear brakes on his ŠKODA Fabia R5 stranding him at the foot of the top 10. But repairs at service improved his pace, climbing to sixth place overall and cementing second in ERC1 Junior.

Crugnola had initially dropped to P10 after his puncture but has now climbed to seventh, aided by Rossetti and Habaj’s respective retirements.

Last year’s ERC3 Junior champion Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija) – who is competing thanks to a pair of prize drives awarded for his title success – was also climbing the overall classification, moving up to eighth after losing nearly a minute on the first stage of the rally with tyre trouble.

Hyundai Motorsport N’s two-time Rally di Roma Capitale winner Umberto Scandola lost three minutes on the final stage with a puncture and fell to ninth, though still has nearly a minute in hand over Emma Falcón (Rally Team Spain), who leads the ERC Ladies’ category and completes the top 10 overall.

Hirokai Arai (STARD) is only 9.7s behind Falcón in P11 and retains fourth place in ERC1 Junior.

Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) took a last-minute lead in ERC2 and Abarth Rally Cup after chief rival Andrea Nucita (Loran SRL) retired on the road section between stages five and six, while Sindre Furuseth leads ERC3 and ERC3 Junior after stage five.

The post Two-time ERC champion Basso back on top in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munster out of second place in ERC3 Junior

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 18:22

Grégoire Munster's hopes of a first FIA ERC3 Junior Championship podium have ended after the Belgian retired from Rally di Roma Capitale's opening leg with damaged steering.

Munster, who was the sole remaining ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver after team-mate Elias Lundberg was forced to retire at midday service, retired just before the halfway point of Roccasecca-Colle San Magno while running in second in the Pirelli-supported category.

A slow speed impact damaged the front-end of his car, forcing him to pull over and retire.

Second place would have been Munster’s first podium finish in ERC3 Junior, bettering his career-best sixth place – and fourth in ERC3 Junior – on the sealed-surface Rally Islas Canarias in May this year.

The post Munster out of second place in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg aims for Sunday ERC restart

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 18:09

FIA ERC3 Junior Championship driver Elias Lundberg’s first day on Rally di Roma Capitale has come to an early end, the Swede retiring at midday service due health reasons.

The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver picked up the issue on Friday’s Qualifying Stage when making an adjustment to his Opel ADAM R2.

Lundberg spent much of the Saturday morning loop driving one-handed due to the discomfort he was in, but elected to withdraw for the day following advice from his team and focus on treating the issue with the help of a physio, with a plan to return to the stages on Sunday.

He is sixth in the ERC3 Junior Championship standings after PZM 76th Rally Poland, and had been running P11 on Rally di Roma Capitale before his retirement.

The post Lundberg aims for Sunday ERC restart appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

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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)