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European Rally Championship
Updated: 33 min 50 sec ago

American Johnston plans full ERC campaign in 2019

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 06:00

American Sean Johnston tried out the FIA European Rally Championship for size on PZM Rally Poland last month – and revealed plans to mount a full campaign in the ERC3 category for R2 cars in 2019.

Johnston, a sportscar regular turned rally driver, used the event to build his experience on gravel and to get a feeling of all things ERC ahead of next season.

“It’s been great, my third gravel rally, third time ever in the R2 car so a lot to learn, a lot to process and a lot to integrate,” he said. “But I’m grateful to be here, it’s a great atmosphere and the stages are fun. Poland worked out with my calendar and I’m trying to build more experience on gravel.”

Of his plans for next year, Johnston added: “The ERC is certainly the intention, possibly the full championship. I’m too old for the ERC Junior [Under 27] Championship but it’s still the right place to be competing against these guys because they’re the fastest in R2 cars.”

Johnston’s career CV includes stints in the IMSA GT Cup in the USA, the German Carrera Cup, the Porsche Supercup and the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“This is my first season of rallying and I’m loving it,” said Johnston, who placed P18 and fourth in class in Poland in an Opel ADAM R2 co-driven by compatriot Alex Kihurani, previously a regular in ERC Junior alongside Alex Parpottas.

Meanwhile, highlights of the ERC are shown on RDS and Velocity in the USA.

The post American Johnston plans full ERC campaign in 2019 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Remennik gets a new look for ERC2 finale

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 06:00

This is how Sergei Remennik’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will look when he bids for ERC2 glory on next week’s Rally Liepāja.

The new livery keeps tradition with Remennik’s traditional black and green but is now more refined.

Rally Liepāja hosts the FIA European Rally Championship season finale from 12-14 October. Russian Performance Motorsport-entered Remennik and co-driver Mark Rozin will look to cement their second place in the title standings.

The post Remennik gets a new look for ERC2 finale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC2 champion Érdi Jr steps up with ŠKODA Fabia R5

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 09:00

Tibor Érdi Jr will step up to the FIA European Rally Championship’s big league when he contests the season-closing Rally Liepāja in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Hungarian Érdi Jr claimed the ERC2 title* for the second year running with his fourth victory of the campaign on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last month.

And with championship honours secured, the 35-year-old Érdi Jr will switch from Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to ŠKODA Fabia R5 power in Latvia as part of preparations for 2019 when a full season of R5 action is being targeted.

“We skipped Rally Poland to collect our ŠKODA Fabia R5 and we’re very excited to have this opportunity at the end of a great season for us,” said Érdi Jr. “We drove a ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the Mikulás Rally in Hungary two years ago and now we’re beginning our preparations for next year by doing as many kilometres as possible. I learn a World Rally Car for many years so it’s not a problem to drive this faster car, which opens a new feeling for me.”

Érdi Rallye Team collected its all-new Fabia R5 from ŠKODA’s Mladá Boleslav headquarters in Czech Republic last month. A period of testing – plus two two rallies – is now planned in readiness for next year.

“It’s really good news that Tibor and the Érdi Rallye Team will be graduating to R5 on the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator. “Tibor has established himself as a leading exponent of Group N production machines but it’s great he’s prepared to take on a new challenge and prove his talent in a faster and more advanced rally car.”

Following their outing on the all-gravel Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October, Érdi Jr and co-driver György Papp will switch to asphalt for Nyíregyháza Rally from 9-11 November.

Rally Liepāja features 12 mainly high-speed stages over a competitive distance of 204.41 kilometres and forms part of of the FIA European Rally Championship schedule for the sixth time. Érdi Jr and Papp have taken part on two previous occasions, including in 2017 when they secured the ERC2 title in a final-day showdown with Zelindo Melegari and Maurizio Barone.

*Subject to confirmation of results by the FIA

The post ERC2 champion Érdi Jr steps up with ŠKODA Fabia R5 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Brož jumps it like Tänak

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 18:00

While Dominik Brož’s PZM Rally Poland debut ended in retirement, he did at least get to jump like world championship star Ott Tänak on a section of the Goldap stage named after the Estonian.

Brož’s hopes of FIA ERC Junior Under 27 success on the event ended early after a technical failure forced him out on the opening superspecial, which incurred a 10-minute penalty for the luckless Czech federation-backed talent.

Out of contention for a strong points haul in the Pirelli-supported category, the ACCR Czech Rally Team focused on enjoying himself.

“The Goldap stage was very amazing with the [Ott] Tänak crest and we really enjoy,” said Brož, who crashed out in the closing stages, damaging the radiator of his PEUGEOT 208 R2 in the process.

The post ERC Junior Brož jumps it like Tänak appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tempestini tries 124 Abarth on ERC gravel

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 06:00

Simone Tempestini put his Fiat 124 Abarth RGT through its paces on gravel in Poland last weekend – and achieved his target in the process.

The talented Romania-domiciled Tempestini set out to finish PZM Rally Poland in the Italian machine, coming home P16 alongside Sergiu Itu.

“We finished the rally as it was our target and we enjoyed the last loop,” said Tempestini. “This car is quite difficult to drive because with the front-wheel drive you can do whatever you want. If for some reason you run a bit wide, you have the possibility to put back the nose of the car back on the correct line. With a rear-wheel-drive car it’s not so easy. It’s a different way of driving.”

The post Tempestini tries 124 Abarth on ERC gravel appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nobre’s ERC enjoyment factor high in Poland

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 06:00

Paulo Nobre enjoyed PZM Rally Poland, the penultimate round of the FIA European Rally Championship, so much that he’s planning to return in 2019.

Nobre, who placed P17 in his Motorsport Italia-run ŠKODA Fabia R5, described the all-gravel event as the most enjoyable round of the ERC so far.

“This rally was the most enjoyable from the ERC for us,” said the Brazilian. “Normally at some Tarmac events we play more defensively and then, when people start having problems we end up with a better result.

“Here we drove as much as we could and we were P17. That means that on really fast special stages we should improve a lot to be more competitive internationally.

“We had a lot of fun but the speed of the top drivers is just incredible because the stages are narrow, slippery and there are some jumps. One thing is for sure, I will do this rally again one day, hopefully next year.”

The post Nobre’s ERC enjoyment factor high in Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Error-free drive key to Kristensson’s first ERC Junior win

Sat, 09/29/2018 - 18:00

Tom Kristensson said his maiden victory in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship was down to an error-free performance in his ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2.

Kristensson and co-driver Henrik Appelskog came out on top in class on PZM Rally Poland. And while their capture of 38 points wasn’t enough to remain in title contention, they nevertheless returned to their native Sweden in buoyant mood following an impressive performance.

“It was difficult to keep going fast and don’t do any mistakes,” said Pirelli-equipped Kristensson. “But we stuck to our plan, we’ve shown our speed and I’m really happy we don’t do any mistakes. Everything was good and I felt comfortable.”

The post Error-free drive key to Kristensson’s first ERC Junior win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Poloński out of luck on ERC comeback

Sat, 09/29/2018 - 12:00

Dariusz Poloński’s FIA European Rally Championship comeback meant a step up in car performance but not the luck to go with it on PZM Rally Poland last weekend.

The ERC3 graduate, who has focused on competing in his native Poland this season while he adapts to life behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, was forced to retire on leg one with a mechanical failure but returned on day two.

“It was really hard to get into the right rhythm,” said Poloński, who placed P21 in the final standings. “The rally basically started for us [on Sunday]. Apart from that, it was all okay.”

The post Poloński out of luck on ERC comeback appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Double achievement time for ERC Junior Kasperczyk

Sat, 09/29/2018 - 06:00

Tomasz Kasperczyk was back on FIA ERC Junior Under 28 duty on PZM Rally Poland with category points and a top 10 finish among his achievements.

Driving a Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team Ford Fiesta, Kasperczyk was ninth overall and sixth in ERC Junior U28, the category for young stars in R5 cars.

“I know I’m capable of going faster, it wasn’t my best rally but I still had a lot of fun and managed to set a few good times,” said the Polish driver. “On Saturday I went out and hit a tree head on so I’m happy to be here at the finish.

“When we hit the tree I thought we were going to stay there and that will be the end of our adventure. Happily, we completed all the stages but we were second in the running order [on Sunday], so that affected us.”

The post Double achievement time for ERC Junior Kasperczyk appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Vita loving it, continues ERC Junior scoring run

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 18:00

Gravel rallying is Mattia Vita’s new love after he placed fourth in FIA ERC Junior Under 27 for the third consecutive event.

With one loose-surface start under his belt prior to PZM Rally Poland, Vita faced a steep learning curve on the high-speed gravel contest.

Despite car-bashing contact with a tree on day one, Vita adapted to the challenge in his TRT Junior Rally Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.

“It was an amazing rally, I loved it and to be fourth in ERC Junior Under 27 is a good result,” said Vita, whose Pirelli-equipped entry was co-driven by fellow Italian Pietro Ometto. “It was my second gravel rally after the Azores. It’s so fast and so narrow but the stages are beautiful, and so is the landscape.

“We improved during the second loop about 30s per stage, so it’s a lot but the front-running guys are the best on the continent, so to approach them it’s very difficult but it’s my target.

“It was a difficult rally and on Saturday I did a stupid mistake, it was a very narrow corner, a very slow one and I entered too fast and hit a tree right in the middle of the car. luckily I didn’t hit a wheel so I could continue.”

The post Vita loving it, continues ERC Junior scoring run appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hyundai’s Huttunen goes “maximum attack” on ERC return

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 12:00

Jari Huttunen went on maximum attack as he returned to the FIA European Rally Championship in style with second place on PZM Rally Poland last weekend.

Talent-spotted by Hyundai for its young driver scheme for 2018 on the back of strong results in last season’s Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship, Huttunen and co-driver Antti Linnaketo missed out on victory by 8.3s following a thrilling battle with winners and ERC Junior Under 28 contenders Nikolay Gryazin and Yaroslav Fedorov.

And the Finns could have won had they not picked up a 10-second penalty for arriving late a stage repairing damage incurred in a previous incident.

“I really enjoyed Rally Poland, and the speed that I showed in the Hyundai i20 R5,” said the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program member. “The roads were fast, but very different in how you had to drive them compared to any rally I’ve done this season so far. Obviously second place is a great result, and we can take the positives. The battle with Gryazin was really fun. For every stage I was on maximum attack, which is where I learn the most about the car and get the most out the weekend.”

The post Hyundai’s Huttunen goes “maximum attack” on ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Avcioglu builds ERC experience in Poland

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 06:00

Orhan Avcioglu achieved his goal of finishing PZM Rally Poland as he continues to build his event experience ahead of a concerted ERC campaign in 2019.

The 2017 FIA Balkan Trophy winner from Turkey is using the current season to learn the events that make up the FIA European Rally Championship roster.

While Avcioglu just missed out on scoring more ERC points in Poland in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5, he was nevertheless able to maximise his stage knowledge by getting to the finish.

“It was my first time in Poland and we went there to learn,” said Avcioglu, who sacrificed competing on his home round of the world championship to compete in Mikołajki. “They were very fast stages and we needed to be careful with the pacenotes and try to place the car in the right position before a crest or a corner. That’s very important and that’s what we were trying to do.

“I learned [since day one] it’s human nature that you want to go faster all the time but we focused on trying to get better and get the confidence. I made some progress… hopefully for next year.”

The post Avcioglu builds ERC experience in Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Habaj happy with ERC car switch

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 18:00

Łukasz Habaj relied on ŠKODA Fabia R5 power in the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time when he finished PZM Rally Poland in sixth overall last weekend.

The former Polish champion had previously driven a Ford Fiesta R5 in the ERC but, following a sequence of frustrating results, has switched machinery.

“Above all, we had no technical issues over the course of the rally,” said Habaj. “The car didn’t even have a single hiccup. Moreover, I have the feeling that this car suits my driving style better, I believe that I’ll be faster in this car. I have a better feeling for it.”

Habaj is due to drive his eSky Rally Team Fabia next on the ERC season-closing Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October.

The post Habaj happy with ERC car switch appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Maiden ERC Junior podium leaves Hokkanen on a high

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 15:00

Miika Hokkanen ended a run of non-finishes in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in style with his maiden podium in the Pirelli-supported category.

Hokkanen (pictured far right) and co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen placed third in class on PZM Rally Poland in their Saintéloc Junior Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.

The Finn had been out of the points since his first score on Rally Islas Canarias in May. But he hit back from recent frustrations on his favoured gravel surface.

“It has been okay for us,” said Hokkanen, the 2017 Finnish R2 champion. “Of course the Opels were going very fast but our car was performing very well. Overall it was quite positive but in the final afternoon loop we were driving carefully, trying to avoid any problems because we had a big gap to the front and a big gap to the back.”

The post Maiden ERC Junior podium leaves Hokkanen on a high appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Make that an ERC triple: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team scores big in Poland

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 06:00

As well as guiding Tom Kristensson to the class win on PZM Rally Poland and celebrating Mārtiņš Sesks’ FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship title triumph*, the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team cannot be caught in the race to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams*.

With just the Rally Liepāja season showdown remaining, the dropped scores rule means even a maximum score in Latvia won’t be enough for Saintéloc Junior Team to claim the top prize for entrants.

“The Opel team is fantastic and I’m very proud I am part of it,” said Sesks. “Everything works great and everybody is doing their job in the correct way. Without the team there is no result.”

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post Make that an ERC triple: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team scores big in Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Kreim overcomes lack of gravel runs to maintain ERC Junior U28 title bid

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 21:00

Fabian Kreim belied his lack of gravel-driving experience to keep in the fight for the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship crown with third place in class when PZM Rally Poland hosted the category for young stars in R5 cars last weekend.

Kreim, the double German champion, had topped the standings from Rally Islas Canarias in May, but slipped to third in the table after finishing behind title rivals Nikolay Gryazin and Chris Ingram in Mikołajki, the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver’s third start on gravel since 2016.

“It was a very, very tough rally, especially the speed, it was so high,” said Kreim, who is co-driven by compatriot Frank Christian. “It was a completely new experience for me but we improved from stage to stage. We were really satisfied with our speed, the car, and everything and we’re looking forward to the next rally now. I definitely didn’t expect that such a result is possible and we have to be satisfied with the progress.”

Kreim, who heads to the Rally Liepāja finale eight points behind Gryazin and one down on Ingram, continued: “Being ahead of Chris would have been important from a championship point of view but it was more important to see the end of the rally because we need every kilometre on gravel.”

The post Kreim overcomes lack of gravel runs to maintain ERC Junior U28 title bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pellier bounces back in the ERC

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 18:00

Laurent Pellier bounced back from his Saturday exit to finish seventh in class on Poland’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Pellier retired from leg one with radiator damage but returned on Sunday’s closing leg following repairs by his PEUGEOT Rally Academy mechanics and claimed seventh place in the ERC Junior Under 28 category for young stars in R5 cars.

The ERC Junior Experience graduate, whose PEUGEOT 208 T16 was co-driven by Geoffrey Combe, said: “Saturday was a shame but Sunday was much better, in particular in the afternoon. It was only my second gravel rally in a four-wheel-drive car and the car worked well. I was still searching for my set-up but we learned a lot, we set some good times and I’m happy. Usually, I like fast stages I liked the ones here.”

The post Pellier bounces back in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram thrilled with first outright ERC podium

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:00

Chris Ingram described his maiden podium in the FIA European Rally Championship as an “amazing feeling” after he completed PZM Rally Poland in third place overall and second in ERC Junior Under 28 in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Ingram, who won the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 category in 2017, is in his first season in R5 machinery and his Poland podium marked another impressive showing during his ongoing initiation alongside fellow Briton and co-driver Ross Whittock.

“If you said we’ll be on the podium in the end, I would have taken it, so I’m really happy,” Ingram said at the finish in Mikołajki last weekend. “It’s an amazing feeling to finally get my first international podium.

“I haven’t got any experience driving an R5 car on such fast stages so we’re really happy with the pace. Obviously, the top two guys were in a league of their own and I think we’ve done our best and we’re really pleased. I learned so much this weekend and we’ve improved all the time. Massive thanks to the team and all my sponsors.”

The post Ingram thrilled with first outright ERC podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Satisfied ERC Junior Mareš fifth on R5 gravel debut

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:00

Filip Mareš declared himself “satisfied” after he placed fifth in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship on PZM Rally Poland – his first start in an R5 car on gravel.

The ACCR Czech Rally Team ace, an ERC Junior Under 27 graduate, overcame several challenges – including a front-right damper issue on Sunday morning – and showed progress throughout in the Kresta Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 he shares with co-driver Jan Hloušek.

“The first morning was very difficult for me but the feeling [on Saturday afternoon] was an other level from my point of view in terms of confidence and what is needed for gravel rallying,” said Mareš. “At the end, we took it easy because of the gap ahead over Tomasz Kasperczyk. We enjoyed the stages and the whole rally, so we’re satisfied with the result. I definitely improved on the second loop and I know where to find seconds to the fastest guys but it will take some time.”

The post Satisfied ERC Junior Mareš fifth on R5 gravel debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Herczig goes from gardener to cleaner

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 09:00

MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig completed his six-event FIA European Rally Championship campaign with his fourth top-10 finish of the season on PZM Rally Poland.

But it was an eventful outing for the four-time Hungarian champion, who turned 43 on the opening day of the Mikołajki event, which he celebrated with the second fastest time on the first special stage.

“After the good start on Friday, Saturday was not too good for us,” the double ERC podium finisher explained. “I made a little mistake at a big left corner and we went into a garden. We thought maybe something happened with the car but not, although I am sorry to the owner. After [that] I had to build myself step by step because my self confidence wasn’t too good.”

Running first on the road on day two required Herczig to clean a path through the loose surface for the drivers running behind. He battled through to the finish in P10 despite rolling on SS13.

“Yesterday I was called ‘gardener’, today I'm a ‘cleaner’,” he said. “It was very slippery, but we tried, loose gravel everywhere. We crashed on stage 13, we rolled over and we landed back on four wheels so I was lucky.

“Overall, this weekend was not my weekend but we learned a lot at these stages and at this rally. It’s an absolutely beautiful place and I hope next year I’m going to be a little bit luckier.”

The post ERC’s Herczig goes from gardener to cleaner appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 75. Rajd Polski / PZM 75th Rally Poland

PZM 75. Rajd Polski

Kalendarz 2018

22-24 marca:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

03-05 maja:

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

01-03 czerwca:

Acropolis Rally (Grecja)

15-17 czerwca:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

20-22 lipca:

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

24-26 sierpnia:

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

21-23 września:

Rajd Polski

12-14 października:

Rally Liepaja (Łotwa)