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No pressure as Russian Rocket Lukyanuk prepares for second Saintéloc ERC season

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 09:00

Alexey Lukyanuk has vowed to continue his ‘pressure-free’ approach to the FIA European Rally Championship after re-signing with the Saintéloc Junior Team for 2020 to drive a Citroën C3 R5.

The 2018 ERC champion narrowly missed out on back-to-back titles in a thrilling final-stage showdown with Chris Ingram on Rally Hungary last November. With Dmitriy Eremeev recruited in place of Alexey Arnautov – who is taking a break from co-driving after more than 10 years as Lukyanuk’s wingman – Lukyanuk will bid for more ERC success in 2020, albeit with the overall title not at the forefront of his mind.

I’m fast but I need to continue working
Described by a rival as “one of the fastest drivers on the planet”, Lukyanuk’s ERC career hasn’t been without its share of excitement and incident. That’s why the 39-year-old Russian has made becoming an even better driver a main goal this season, even if that’s at the expense of the championship. “I know I am fast but I am a bit sad that it’s not always transforming into really good results. I still have a lot of passion inside and energy to push, to fight and to deliver good results, good speed. I just need to continue working on my driving, on the car and that’s it.”

Driving is the focus for nine-time ERC event winner
“Rallying really matters to me. Modern cars are so exciting to drive, so easy to control and go really fast in and get a lot of joy. This sensation is the most important. Of course, it would be nice to support these feelings with good results. The championship is important, I cannot deny it, but if you want to win it you put so much pressure on yourself. My idea is to focus on my driving. Each year it looks like we’re getting more experience, getting stronger. Sometimes it holds you back because the experience is a heavy weight on your shoulders, so it’s important not to overhang yourself with all the knowledge, stay easy and relax and get fun from driving. It’s probably the main strategy thing for me. To achieve that we have a lot of sub-goals and sub-measures, which I am not ready to share. But I don’t really think about reclaiming our title because winning once is already an achievement.”

Why second Saintéloc season makes sense
“We started last year from a blank sheet of paper and now we know much more about the car and the team, so definitely it will be much easier for everyone. I believe we can improve the car even more and extract a bit more speed and reliability. It’s interesting to continue our work because all last year we were searching for the balance, for the set-up, for solutions to get more grip, especially on Tarmac. But the car is very solid and powerful, easy to control. It’s interesting to see where we can get to with the C3.”

Eight is just fine again in 2020
“Eight events is a good balance with the locations, there are some fantastic sights for each rally. I have very good memories on some of them, some events were not so fantastic but eight events, almost one rally per month, is a good schedule and not so bad for the budget. The rallies are challenging, there are local drivers who are very fast so it should be an exciting year.” 

Lukyanuk thanks Arnautov, welcomes Eremeev
“I will go with a new co-driver this year, Dmitriy Eremeev, but first I would like to say how I enjoyed the years spent with Alexey. He was my co-driver since 2009 and we won a lot of rallies and championships together. He’s the strongest guy I know mentally, he’s so calm and responsible. He was taking care of many things around me, supporting me and giving me freedom to focus on my driving. With Alexey it was so natural and easy, so calm within the car together. I massively respect these years and our passion, our results, our friendship. Dmitriy was a co-driver to some really fast drivers and he has some good experience. Okay, he was not intensively rallying for the past five years but I really like his attitude. It was not easy to find a person to match my expectations because I had a high benchmark with Alexey. But Dmitriy is a strong choice. We’ve had some pacenote training and we made quite good steps with our preparation. I am pretty confident we will come to the first event well prepared and ready to deliver good results from the first stages.” A Q&A with Alexey Arnauov is available by clicking here.

Lukyanuk on new team-mate Griebel: Here to help and be helped
“Marijan is consistent and experienced, an open guy and a nice guy I have known for many years. We can have a really strong year as team-mates and I am ready to share all my experience of the car to help him get to the speed he wants. I am ready to share with any of my team-mates. But the Azores is getting closer and closer. I miss the ERC because it’s been a long time at home. I am happy it will all start soon.”

Saintéloc’s Ducher delighted to keep his man with support from Pirelli and Citroën Racing
Saintéloc Junior Team’s Vincent Ducher, who has welcomed support from Pirelli and Citroën Racing, said: “There was no reason not to try to keep Alexey in the team. Alexey won more stages than any other driver last year and came very close to the title. We always learn from defeat and have analysed the past season in great detail and what we need to do to be even more successful this year.”

Where to watch Alexey Lukyanuk in 2020
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August; Cyprus Rally, 9-11 October; Rally Hungary, 6-8 November.

The post No pressure as Russian Rocket Lukyanuk prepares for second Saintéloc ERC season appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Huge interest as ERC Azores Rallye entry deadline day approaches

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 22:00

Entries for the FIA European Rally Championship-counting Azores Rallye are due to close at 24h00 on Tuesday 10 March.

And with registrations continuing to roll in, demand for entries for the island-based gravel spectacular has been huge.

Click here for more information.

The post Huge interest as ERC Azores Rallye entry deadline day approaches appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Spectacular ERC Azores Rallye promo video published

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 21:46

Azores Rallye organisers Grupo Desportivo Comercial have published a spectacular promotional video ahead of the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship season opener.

Produced in association with ERC promoter Eurosport Events, the video can be viewed here.

The post Spectacular ERC Azores Rallye promo video published appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Live TV coverage for ERC Azores Rallye

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 21:00

The first stage of the Azores Rallye, the opening round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, will be shown live on RTP Açores and Eurosport on Thursday 26 March.

At the official event launch in Ponta Delgada this evening, ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley also confirmed that four stages will be shown live on Facebook, while daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport.

“We’re really happy to announce live coverage of the Azores Rallye in collaboration with our strong partner, RTP,” said Ley. “RTP and Eurosport will work hand in hand to broadcast live coverage of the PDL city stage on Thursday evening.

“We will also keep our 23-minute highlights programme on Friday and Saturday night, plus the 23-minute magazine programme after the event and continue with our live online coverage from four stages.”

The all-asphalt PDL Stage on the streets of the capital Ponta Delgada measures 1.20 kilometres in length and is due to begin at 19h30 local time on Thursday 26 March. Crews will tackle the stage in reverse-seeded order.

The post Live TV coverage for ERC Azores Rallye appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Azores Rallye update

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 19:44

FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events and 55th Azores Rallye organiser Grupo Desportivo Comercial remain in frequent dialogue regarding the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

In parallel, Grupo Desportivo Comercial remains in frequent dialogue with the relevant authorities within the Portuguese government.

Although this is a constantly evolving situation, as of 9 March there has been no order issued to postpone the 55th Azores Rallye. Similarly, no quarantine process has been put in place for any foreign nationals arriving in mainland Portugal or the islands of the Azores. Therefore, the event is due to take place, as scheduled, from 26-28 March.

Should this situation change, and a postponement ordered, only at this time would work begin to agree a new date for the rally.

Finally, the Azorean government has contingency plans for anyone experiencing symptons of the COVID-19 virus upon their arrival on São Miguel island.

Any updates will be issued as necessary. There will be no further comment at this time.

The post ERC Azores Rallye update appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Champion Alonso on ERC1 move: When you have passion you never retire

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 12:00

ERC2 champion Juan Carlos Alonso has ended all talk of retirement by announcing a three-event campaign in the FIA European Rally Championship’s top division.

Alonso, from Argentina, celebrated winning the ERC2 title on the Cyprus Rally last September by stating he was in the “last stages” of his career and could hang up his helmet following his success. But he will return to the ERC, which he’s described as his “home for life”, joining The Racing Factory from Portugal to pilot a ŠKODA Fabia R5. Juan Pablo Monasterolo will co-drive.

Exciting ERC1 move like a dream
“We are very excited with this challenge for 2020, it’s a real dream for me and my co-driver to be in ERC1,” said Alonso, who commutes from his native South America for his European championship campaign.

Ready to fight with the big boys
While Alonso is synonymous with Mitsubishi Lancers, he does have some experience in Rally2 machinery. In 2017 he made five starts in the top-level category, landing a class podium on his country’s round of the world championship. “The last time I drove R5 machinery was in 2017, too long time, but that is a challenge I want and like. It will be fun to be with the big boys in a fight.”

Farewell tour begins
Although Alonso is adamant that he won’t retire, he concedes that the 2020 season is likely to be his last in the European championship. “This will be my last season in the ERC and I want to have fun and have more memories. But when you have passion with motorsport, real passion like me, you never retire. I need to look to new challenges and objectives. Maybe I retire from this level because it is too demanding, but I think I will still be rallying in my country with my beloved Evo X.”

Tarmac test essential as 2020 goals are set
Alonso plans to contest the Azores Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and 77th Rally Poland in 2020. “These are rallies that I love and I want to get at least one experience with an R5 on Tarmac. By winning the championship in 2019, all our dreams came true. We did things with passion and commitment and for sure you will have more achievements. But for 2020 my only goal is to have fun and maybe a top 10 in ERC1 will be the cherry on top of the pie!”

Where to watch Juan Carlos Alonso in 2020
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June.

The post Champion Alonso on ERC1 move: When you have passion you never retire appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Class victory boosts Bassas ahead of ERC Junior debut

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 06:00

Pep Bassas signalled his intent for FIA ERC3 Junior Championship success by winning his class on Rallye Tierras Altas de Lorca on Saturday.

The Rallye Team Spain scholarship driver was using the Spanish championship round to prepare for the Azores Rallye from 26-28 March, where he will begin his Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior campaign with the full backing of his national federation, RFEDA.

"We are so happy with the result of this rally because that was our opportunity to carry out some kilometers before the Azores Rallye,” said Bassas, who was competing in a Mavisa Sport-prepared Peugeot 208 R2 alongside co-driver Axel Coronado. “Our times were quite good and we think we are ready to try to fight for the European rallies. With some test before the rally we think we could be competitive. We can’t wait to go to Azores to start the championship.”

While Bassas was taking a class victory in Spain, ERC Junior podium finisher Austrian Simon Wagner was in action in Croatia where he and co-driver Gerald Winter took victory on INA Rally Kumrovec in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.

The post Class victory boosts Bassas ahead of ERC Junior debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Revealed: Stratieva’s new ERC look

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 21:00

This is how Ekaterina Stratieva’s Peugeot 208 R2 is set to look in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship.

Stratieva marked International Women’s Day earlier by announcing her entry on the ERC season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.

The Bulgarian is linking up with the Saintéloc Junior Team once again. The French squad guided her to the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title in 2019, while the points Stratieva scored in Cyprus and Hungary last season helped Saintéloc win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

The post Revealed: Stratieva’s new ERC look appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Jindriska Zakova co-drives ERC Junior Cais to Spanish podium

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 18:00

Jindřiška Žáková woke up on International Women’s Day a podium finisher after co-driving Erik Cais to third overall on the previous day’s Rallye Tierras Altas de Lorca in Spain.

Cais was using the gravel event to prepare for his ERC1 Junior campaign, which starts on the Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.

The Yacco ACCR driver set top-three stage time on six out of eight stages in his Ford Fiesta R5 MkII.

Afterwards, the Czech talent said: “This event was a really great test before Azores. We have tried different set-ups and third place overall in quite a strong starting field is really positive. It is giving us lot of pleasure and motivation for the future. For us, it was really great race."

Pepe López, who won last season’s ERC-counting Rally Islas Canarias, finished second overall to fellow Spaniard Nil Solans.

Photo: Vandraq Studio / Javier Jimenez

The post Jindriska Zakova co-drives ERC Junior Cais to Spanish podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rachele Somaschini to promote cystic fibrosis awareness during first ERC campaign

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 09:02

Rachele Somaschini will combine her first FIA European Rally Championship campaign with building her experience at international level and promoting the #CorrerePerUnRespiro (Race for a Breath) initiative, which aims to raise aware of cystic fibrosis, a condition the Italian has struggled with since birth.

The Milan driver is set to contest all eight rounds of the ERC, including her home event, Rally di Roma Capitale in July. She will pilot a Citroën DS3 R3T with Tuscan Chiara Lombardi co-driving to extend a partnership that began in 2018.

ERC dream a great growth opportunity for Somaschini
“Taking part in the European championship is a great growth opportunity for me,” said the 26-year-old. “First of all, I have to thank my sponsors who have made this dream a reality. Our goal is to give our best and we are aware that it will not be easy. The organisers of the races and of the championship itself welcomed us with open arms and assured us of their support during our European debut. It will certainly be a year full of news and among these there may also be a change of car during the season.”

Somaschini remaining positive during challenging times
“I’m remaining positive although the situation is rather difficult, above all owing to the occurrence of the coronavirus emergency in Italy and as a consequence the need to cancel most of my commitments. However, we are looking for ways to do everything we can, whilst trying to preserve and maintain a good standard of health that, for people like me, who have a disease that already compromises the respiratory tract, remains a top priority.”

Rallying for a very good cause
Somaschini competes with a simple message at the forefront of her mind: illness will not win if research is supported. It prompted her to create an awareness campaign, #CorrerePerUnRespiro (Race for a Breath), which combines her passion for motorsport with increasing knowledge and understanding of cystic fibrosis and supporting its vital research.

As well as promoting #CorrerePerUnRespiro, Somaschini will raise awareness of the work of the Italian Fondazione Ricerca Fibrosi Cistica ONLUS FFC, (Foundation for Research on Cystic Fibrosis Onlus). This promotes, selects and finances advanced research projects to improve the duration and quality of life of patients and to definitively defeat cystic fibrosis. Recognised by MIUR (Italy’s research and education ministry) as a promoter of scientific research on the disease, it makes use of a network of 900 researchers and the work of more than 140 delegations and support groups.

Those wishing to make a donation can do so by bank transfer: Fondazione Ricerca Fibrosi Cistica ONLUS, IBAN IT 27E0 2008 1171 8000 1021 34939, Reference: #CorrerePerUnRespiro

The post Rachele Somaschini to promote cystic fibrosis awareness during first ERC campaign appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Team player Ekaterina Stratieva prepares for ERC magic

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 09:01

A little over four months since she helped the Saintéloc Junior Team win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams, Ekaterina Stratieva is returning to the French squad for an ERC3 campaign.

Winner of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2019, Bulgarian Stratieva will start her season on the Azores Rallye at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 R2 but hopes to switch to the new-for-2020 208 Rally4, once the car becomes more readily available later in the year.

How return after long lay-off got Stratieva’s ERC career back on track
Stratieva hadn’t competed for almost a year when she landed a late entry to contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín last August. After finishing second in class to Nabila Tejpar, Stratieva secured the funds to contest the subsequent Cyprus Rally, where a category win set up an unexpected title challenge on Rally Hungary. When Tejpar crashed out of the event in treacherous conditions, Stratieva kept going to not only clinch the ERC Ladies’ Trophy but take third in ERC3, a result that helped Saintéloc Junior Team win the ERC Teams’ title alongside Alexey Lukyanuk and Sean Johnston.

“To drive again with Saintéloc means more experience in a professional team knowing I can be relaxed in my mind because everything will be done properly,” said Stratieva. “It is a pleasure to be part of a big international team like Saintéloc. And after this long brеаk from racing that I had, Vincent [Ducher] and the team helped me to wake up fast. We had a very good car and good set-up in Hungary and for sure this helped me a lot to win the ERC Ladies’ Trophy and take the points for Saintéloc.”

Car swap planned for later in the year
Stratieva and co-driver Georgi Avramov will start their ERC3 bid in a Peugeot 208 R2 but hope to switch to the new-generation 208 Rally4 later in the year. “My goal, together with Vincent, Saintéloc and Peugeot Sport, is to try the new Peugeot 208 Rally4 at the end of the year on some race in the ERC or maybe a rally in Bulgaria,” Stratieva said. “But for now, my focus is on the Azores and the first race of the season.”

Why there’s magic in store for Stratieva
Stratieva made her Azores Rallye debut in 2013 and returned in 2014. This year’s 55th edition of the Ponta Delgada event will mark a long-awaited return. “The Azores was my first big international gravel rally. The island is like magic, a really nice place and completely different than other rallies,” she said.

Ducher happy Stratieva is returning
Saintéloc Racing Rally Manager, Vincent Ducher, is hoping to count on Stratieva’s ‘reliability’ as the Saint-Etienne squad bids to win back-to-back FIA European Rally Championship titles. “For sure Ekaterina helped us win the Teams’ title last year so it’s important to have reliable drivers. We have worked together to get more sponsorship for her and she will also be able to learn from her team-mates.”

Did you know?
Stratieva, who began competing in 2006, was given the keys to the city of Zlín when she made her 10th start on the Czech Republic’s ERC qualifier in 2018.

The post Team player Ekaterina Stratieva prepares for ERC magic appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Adrienn Vogel goes for it with ERC bid

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 09:00

Hungarian Adrienn Vogel is using International Women’s Day (Sunday 8 March) to announce her FIA European Rally Championship programme for 2020 when she will form an all-female alliance with co-driver and compatriot Ivett Notheisz.

After making her first ERC appearance on her home round of the championship last November, Vogel has secured a four-event campaign, starting on 77th Rally Poland and concluding on Rally Hungary. She will also contest Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Kilometres matter for Vogel
With her 2020 European campaign marking a first foray at international level, Vogel is mindful of the need to gain as much experience as possible. “I would like to do as much race kilometres as I can, and I would like to know the stages in all the countries we've chosen,” said Vogel. “To get experience on gravel stages and to be faster and stronger on each round are my goals.”

ERC event selection key
“The countries we’ve chosen are important for our main sponsor. But all these rallies are technical and challenging. Rally Poland has the fastest and most difficult gravel stages on the calendar. Rally di Roma Capitale is complicated because of the heat and the long stages. We expect tight, bumpy stages and changeable conditions on the Barum Rally, while Rally Hungary is tricky because of the difficult weather like we had last year.”

A perfect opportunity
Vogel, who finished eighth among the 2WD contingent on Rally Hungary last season, has described her upcoming campaign in the European championship’s ERC3 category as a “perfect opportunity to improve and to have more and more experience.”

Key partners highlighted
Platinum Oil, Orlen Team, Bau92, Inoxvilág, H1System, Pilis Autóüveg, Beflex, Pirelli, Q-service and Mercarius will support Vogel’s maiden ERC season, which she’ll contest in a Ford Fiesta R2T run by Orsák Rallysport and Roger Racing Team.

Where to watch Adrienn Vogel in 2020
77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August; Rally Hungary, 6-8 November

The post Adrienn Vogel goes for it with ERC bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC to celebrate International Women’s Day with triple driver announcement

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 06:00

The FIA European Rally Championship will celebrate International Women’s Day today (Sunday 8 March) by announcing the programmes of three female drivers for the upcoming ERC season.

They will be made from 09h00 CET with the trio joining Emma Falcón in this year’s championship after the Canary Islander revealed her ERC campaign last month. Keep visiting FIAERC.com for all the news.

The post ERC to celebrate International Women’s Day with triple driver announcement appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nevermind the testing, ERC Junior Cais goes for the real thing

Sat, 03/07/2020 - 06:00

Erik Cais is stepping up his preparations for the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship with an outing on Rallye Tierras Altas de Lorca in Spain this weekend.

After testing in Austria recently, Cais and his Yacco ACCR Team had planned to conduct more out-of-competition running. Instead, the Czech talent and his co-driver Jindřiška Žáková are contesting the opening round of the Spanish Gravel and Supercopa championships in their Ford Fiesta R5 MkII.

While, building his experience of M-Sport’s latest Rally2 offering is objective number one for Cais ahead of the ERC season-opening Azores Rallye later this month, the ERC3 Junior graduate has been impressive form so far by going second fastest on the qualifying stage yesterday.

Rallye Tierras Altas de Lorca features eight stages throughout today (Saturday) over a competitive distance of 103.08 kilometres.

Photo: Vandraq Studio / Javier Jimenez

The post Nevermind the testing, ERC Junior Cais goes for the real thing appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Azores Grupo Marques superspecial doubles up after all

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 18:00

The fan-friendly Grupo Marques superspecial will be used twice on the Azores Rallye, which is scheduled for 26-28 March, after all.

Initially, organisers of the FIA European Rally Championship counter had been unable to fit in a second visit due to the compact nature of the itinerary for 2020. However, there the quarry-based stage west of Ponta Delgada will be used on both legs of the spectacular island rally.

The first visit to Grupo Marques is scheduled for 16h13 local time on 27 March with the second visit due at 12h04 on 28 March. Grupo Marques measures 4.10 kilometres in the length and the layout allows two drivers to go head to head.

Click here to view the updated itinerary.

The post ERC Azores Grupo Marques superspecial doubles up after all appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Turn up the Bassas! Rallye Team Spain scholarship winner graduates to ERC3 Junior

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 12:00

Pep Bassas will get the opportunity to follow in countryman Efrén Llarena’s wheel tracks by stepping up from national to international level with the full backing of his national federation, RFEDA (Real Federación Española de Automovilismo).

Twenty-six-year-old Bassas is joining Rallye Team Spain for an FIA ERC3 Junior Championship bid alongside co-driver Axel Coronado. They will compete in a Mavisa Sport-run, Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2, and begin their campaign with a practice event, Rallye Tierras Altas de Lorca, this weekend.

Bassas gets set to follow Llarena to ERC
For Bassas, the career progression chance is his reward for winning the Beca Júnior R2 title in Spain last year. As part of an alliance between RFEDA and ERC promoter Eurosport Events, the Beca Júnior R2 winner is offered a season in ERC3 Junior, an opportunity given to Llarena and Sara Fernández in 2018.

"In 2019 we fulfilled our goal of winning the Beca Júnior R2 scholarship to ensure a prize as good as the one offered by the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo, through the Rallye Team Spain programme,” explained Bassas.

Keen to prove talent but braced for tough competition
Pep Bassas, who has never competed outside of the Iberia region, will make his ERC debut on the Azores Rallye from 26-28 March with his national event, Rally Islas Canarias, up next from 7-9 May.

“We are very happy and proud to be part of this great project,” said Bassas, whose late and legendary father Josep won two ERC rallies. “We start out in ERC3 Junior with the ambition of being ahead and trying to win, we will have rivals that will make it difficult for us, but we will try to give our best. Both my team, Mavisa Sport, and my co-driver, Axel Coronado, and I think we can do a good job.”

Mavisa Sport the perfect platform
Having overseen Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández’s ERC3 Junior programme for the last two seasons, Mavisa Sport is considered the perfect platform for Pep Bassas and Axel Coronado as they build their experience of international competition. Barcelona-based Mavisa Sport, which guided Llarena and Fernández to the 2019 ERC3 crown and Llarena to the ERC3 Junior title last season, won a tendering process organised by RFEDA earlier this year.

Key partners on board
Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD), Reale Seguros, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA), Peugeot España, RACC, Pirelli, Federación Catalana de Automovilismo (FCA) and Total are supporting Bassas in his bid for ERC3 Junior success.

Where to watch Pep Bassas in 2020
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 24-26 July; Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 28-30 August.

The post Turn up the Bassas! Rallye Team Spain scholarship winner graduates to ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

If in doubt, call on former ERC Azores winner Lukyanuk!

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 06:00

Dmitry Feofanov is calling on expert advice from 2018 Azores Rallye winner Alexey Lukyanuk ahead of his debut on the spectacular island event.

Feofanov has included the Ponta Delgada-based round on his 2020 FIA European Rally Championship schedule and called on his fellow Russian for some driving tips.

“I have asked Alexey Lukyanuk to help me this year and I am happy that he agreed,” said Feofanov. “He shares some tips about particular rallies as well and helps me to improve my driving skills. It looks like I will get a priceless experience.”

The post If in doubt, call on former ERC Azores winner Lukyanuk! appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

BBC documentary recounts Ingram’s ERC title triumph

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 18:00

A mini documentary charting Chris Ingram’s capture of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship has been released by British national broadcaster the BBC.

Too Skint to Win? from BBC Sport hears from Ingram as he walks the streets of his native Manchester one week before the ERC finale in Hungary last year, and then follows him during the event.

In the documentary the Toksport WRT driver reveals to BBC Sport’s Matt Warwick the impact the loss of his main sponsor on the eve of the 2019 season had, and how his financial struggles took their toll.

“Going to a rally was living the dream,” Ingram said, “whereas at home I was stressed, a bit down, especially when I didn’t know if I could do the next rally and carry on everything I’ve sacrificed my life for. It actually made me pretty depressed. “At times I’ve lost connection from my family and everyone from my whole life because I’ve dedicated everything to this sport.”

Ingram, who was co-driven to the FIA European Rally Championship by Ross Whittock, relied on a crowdfunding campaign launched by his mother Jo to help secure the budget to compete in Hungary. He has yet to announce his plans for 2020, although he remains determined to make a full-time step up to the FIA World Rally Championship.

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Flying Finn Emil Lindholm recruited as Team MRF Tyres expands ERC development programme

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 10:00

Promising Finn Emil Lindholm will become the latest young driver to prove their talent in the FIA European Rally Championship after Team MRF Tyres announced an expansion to its ERC-based development programme.

The Indian tyre company has chosen the ERC for its return to international competition in 2020, with the combination of asphalt and gravel events ideal for MRF Tyres’ ongoing data gathering and product testing.

Lindholm, 23, has been recruited to join Irishman Craig Breen under the Team MRF Tyres umbrella. While Breen will compete in a Hyundai i20 R5, Lindholm will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo. His fellow Finn, Mikael Korhonen, will co-drive.

With its products being tested by two different teams using two different types of car, MRF Tyres’ learning mission in the ERC will be accelerated.

Lindholm ready to get to work with Breen a “yardstick”
“MRF Tyres is really serious and already has a great product for winter rallies,” said Lindholm, who finished second in class on Rally Sweden last month. “I’m in no doubt they’ll deliver in the ERC and keep on pushing with the development. Personally, I hope I can support MRF Tyres with knowledge [and] serve them in the development of their complete tyre range. Craig will be there and he will be quite a yardstick for us.”

Why it’s not just about tyre development
“Sure, the development part is important, but as we’ve seen from Craig on the [recent Finnish championship] SM Itäralli, he was fast on a tyre that had never seen snow before,” said Lindholm. “That means the product will be good and that’s why I’m expecting some good stages times from myself. That’s what I should strive for in my career and I think MRF Tyres hope for some good times too.”

ERC chance a career boost for Lindholm
“Progression is the main thing for us, but the level in the ERC is high, the rallies are completely new for me so there will be lots and lots of learning. I still want to do the world championship and this is a good step forward. It means a lot that MRF Tyres chose me for these rallies. I think Rally Finland last year was one of the deciding factors. Okay, we had some issues, but the speed was there and I think they thought that this is a young guy who has potential and they thought to give me a chance. I am happy about that.”

Like father, like son
Emil Lindholm will be an Azores Rallye rookie when the event takes place from 26-28 March. However, his father Sebastian, once a factory driver in the world championship, has started the spectacular gravel event three times, in 1995, 1996 and 2002, albeit without registering a finish. “So far, I’ve looked at a few onboards from previous years and that can help give you an idea of the stage profile and the conditions,” said the younger Lindholm. “Okay, my father has been to the Azores back in the day so I will have a chat with him as well. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much else I can do to prepare.”

Extensive tyre development programme continues in the ERC
MRF Tyres’ ERC campaign follows a year of testing and development with Craig Breen and Emil Lindholm selected to continue that process, albeit in highly competitive conditions.

MRF Tyres Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Arun Mammen, said: “We are excited to enter the European Rally Championship in 2020 after winning nine titles in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. We have a frontrunner with Craig Breen, and we are excited to support the career of another fast and young driver in Emil Lindholm. It will be a great relationship as he will help develop and prove the pace of MRF Tyres and we look forward to helping him achieve his potential in the European Rally Championship.”

Where to watch Emil Lindholm in 2020
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June; plus one additional event to be confirmed.

The post Flying Finn Emil Lindholm recruited as Team MRF Tyres expands ERC development programme appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC returnee Magalhaes up and running with home top two

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 06:00

ERC comeback king Bruno Magalhães marked himself out as a driver to beat on the Azores Rallye later this month after he finished in second place on Rallye Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras, the opening round of the Portuguese championship, last weekend.

The multiple ERC event winner, who is contesting a dual national and European championship campaign in 2020, beat national champion Ricardo Teodósio to the runner-up spoils in his Team Hyundai Portugal i20 R5.

Five-time Portuguese champion Armindo Araújo won the gravel event on his debut in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by FIA European Rally Championship entrant The Racing Factory.

The Azores Rallye takes place from 26-28 March.

Photo: Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing

The post ERC returnee Magalhaes up and running with home top two 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 2020

24-26.07.

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

14-16.08.

Rally Liepaja (Łotwa)

28-30.08.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

17-19.09.

Azores Rallye (Portugalia)

16-18.10.

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

06-08.11.

Rally Hungary (Węgry)

03-05.12.

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)