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Von Thurn und Taxis attacks on asphalt ahead of ERC finale

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 06:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis used last month’s Rally Idrija to get back up to speed on asphalt – and ended up claiming the runner-up spoils alongside co-driver Bernhard Ettel.

After scoring his first points of the FIA European Rally Championship season on September’s gravel-based Cyprus Rally, the German returned to Tarmac on the Slovenian event in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.

Von Thurn und Taxis will now look to build on his sixth place in Cyprus and strong form in Slovenia on the ERC season-closing Rally Hungary from 8-10 November.

The post Von Thurn und Taxis attacks on asphalt ahead of ERC finale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Introducing the ERC title contenders: #3 Alexey Lukyanuk

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 18:00

The third and final contender for the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship crown is defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

Less than a week before the season-closing Rally Hungary gets underway in Nyíregyháza, the Russian answers the key questions including the threat posed by his rivals Chris Ingram and Łukasz Habaj.

What would winning the ERC title mean to you?
“Of course it would be a good result for the season for all our efforts and our sponsors and fans. For me it would be a second title in the ERC.”

How would it change your life?
“When it happens for the first time it’s maybe more exciting and brings something. For us it basically changes nothing, all stays the same, there is not a lot of money for the next programme.”

In your mind, what do you need to do to win the title?
“Pretty simple, score much more points than our rivals, that’s it. It’s not so hard in terms of strategy, we need to score maximum and see what happens.”

Of your two title rivals, who do you fear the most?
“I don’t fear anyone.”

How will you prepare for the event?
“As always we are looking for the data about the location and the stages. We also do our regular fitness. Of course, we are working on the set-up of the car, trying to do something extra with the set-up for the unpredictable conditions. But it’s really routine things.”

ALEXEY LUKYANUK REFRESHER:

Date of birth: 12/12/80 (age 38)
Nationality: Russian
Co-driver: Alexey Arnautov (Russia)
Team: Saintéloc Junior Team
Car: Citroën C3 R5

Position: Third Points: 107 Best 2019 result: 1 (Poland)

CAREER AT A GLANCE:
2018: 1 (3 wins), ERC; 5 Czech
2017: 4 (1 win), ERC
2016: 2 (2 wins), ERC; 6 (1 win), ERC2; 11 (1 win), Russia
2015: 3 (2 wins), ERC; 6 (1 win), ERC2
2014: 5 (1 win), ERC Production Cup; 1 (4 wins), Russia; 1 (4 wins), Estonia

ERC FORM GUIDE 2019:
Azores Rallye: DNF (accident)
Rally Islas Canarias: DNF (mechanical)
Rally Liepāja: 2
PZM Rally Poland: 1
Rally di Roma Capitale: 4
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 15
Cyprus Rally: DNF (mechanical)

The post Introducing the ERC title contenders: #3 Alexey Lukyanuk appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Introducing the ERC title contenders: #2 Łukasz Habaj

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 12:00

FIAERC.com is introducing the three contenders for the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship title ahead of the season finale in Hungary from 8-10 November.

Łukasz Habaj, second to Chris Ingram and ahead of Alexey Lukyanuk in the standings, answers the key questions prior to the all-asphalt Rally Hungary getting underway in the city of Nyíregyháza.

What would winning the ERC title mean to you?
“I am just concentrated on delivering the best performance. It is quite an unbelievable opportunity so it’s better not to think about it at the moment.”

How would it change your life?
“It would be a great pay-off for many years of hard work and huge sacrifice of myself and many people around me. Maybe it would help bring rally sport back to its popularity in my country.”

In your mind, what do you need to do to win the title?
“Stay calm and deliver the best performance of my life, something I was getting myself ready to do for many years.”

Of your two title rivals, who do you fear the most?
“I don’t fear anybody. I think both of my closest rivals are equally dangerous. Alexey because he is unbelievably fast, Chris because he is fast, consistent and has more points but I honestly respect all the other rivals too and I do hope they will be able to keep up the pace of my closest opponents because this increases my chances. For sure this will be very interesting rally.”

How will you prepare for the event?
“We did great test session by participating in Vsetin Rally. I am sure it will help.”

ŁUKASZ HABAJ REFRESHER:

Date of birth: 29/04/75 (age 44)
Nationality: Polish
Co-driver: Daniel Dymurski (Poland)
Team: Sports Racing Technologies
Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

Position: Second Points: 116 Best 2019 result: 1 (Azores)

CAREER AT A GLANCE:
2018:
 11, ERC; 7, Polish; 12, Baltic
2017: 10, ERC
2016: 15, ERC; 12 (1 win), ERC3; 7, Polish
2015: 1 (3 wins), Polish
2014: 3 (2 wins), Polish

ERC FORM GUIDE 2019:
Azores Rallye:
1
Rally Islas Canarias:
3
Rally Liepāja:
5
PZM Rally Poland:
3
Rally di Roma Capitale:
16
Barum Czech Rally Zlín:
DNF (damaged rollcage)
Cyprus Rally:
4

The post Introducing the ERC title contenders: #2 Łukasz Habaj appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Introducing the ERC title contenders: #1 Chris Ingram

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 06:00

The 2019 FIA European Rally Championship is set for a thrilling showdown in Hungary next week (8-10 November). Throughout today, FIAERC.com is introducing the three title contenders – Łukasz Habaj, Chris Ingram and Alexey Lukyanuk – and revealing their answers to the key questions ahead of the Nyíregyháza-based event.

Up first is Toksport WRT’s current championship leader Ingram, from Great Britain.

What would winning the ERC title mean to you?
“Winning the ERC would be a life ambition achieved. It would mean an enormous amount to me to be able to wake up every day having achieved a dream and would give me a huge amount of self-belief and satisfaction. This is everything to me.”

How would it change your life?
“Winning would make a huge difference to me personally and to my career and give me an immense sense of pride. Having the ERC title to my name would be a huge opportunity to use the publicity of the accolade to boost my profile massively in the UK and Europe, which would hopefully help me take the next step up in my career in 2020.”

In your mind, what do you need to do to win the title?
“I will drive consistently and fast like in Barum and I believe that will be enough. I also need a strong car and team, like we always have. Result-wise, if Alexey wins, I need to finish on the podium. If Łukasz wins, I need to finish second to him or ahead of both of them.”

Of your two title rivals, who do you fear the most?
“I do not fear anyone. I am driving against myself and want to become the best version of myself. However, I have huge respect for Alexey and Łukasz and their co-drivers. If I had to say one driver, I would say Alexey because he is already a champion and he drives at a savage pace.”

How will you prepare for the event?
“We will test before, which will be critical, and do our usual preparation. Psychologically, I am feeling excited, relaxed and confident, this is what I need the most.”

CHRIS INGRAM REFRESHER:

Date of birth: 07/07/94 (age 25)
Nationality: British
Co-driver: Ross Whittock (Great Britain)
Team: Toksport WRT
Car:
ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo

Position: First Points:135 Best 2019 result: 2 (Cyprus)

An ERC regular since 2014, Ingram took the 2017 ERC3 Junior crown in a dramatic final-round decider and just missed out on doing likewise in ERC1 Junior the following season. Son of former national rallying regular Jon Ingram, Chris Ingram began 2019 with one goal in mind: to become the first Briton since Vic Elford in 1967 to win the European title. As well as title success, Ingram has captured myriad awards during his career, including the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for a heroic performance on the 2014 Circuit of Ireland Rally, which ultimately ended in a car-wrecking crash.

CAREER AT A GLANCE:
2018:
 2 (1 win), ERC Junior U28; 5, ERC; 6, Baltic Rally Trophy; 25, WRC2
2017: 1 (3 wins), ERC Junior U27; 1 (3 wins), ERC3
2016:  1 (1 win), ERC3; 2 (1 win), ERC Junior; 12, 2WD class German DRM
2015: 4 (1 win), ERC3; 5 (1 win), ERC Junior
2014: 7, ERC Junior/ERC 2WD; 15, Volant Peugeot

ERC FORM GUIDE 2019:
Azores Rallye:
3 (1, ERC1 Junior)
Rally Islas Canarias:
2 (2, ERC1 Junior)
Rally Liepāja:
4 (3, ERC1 Junior)
PZM Rally Poland:
DNF (mechanical)
Rally di Roma Capitale:
6 (2, ERC1 Junior)
Barum Czech Rally Zlín:
3 (2, ERC1 Junior)
Cyprus Rally:
2

The post Introducing the ERC title contenders: #1 Chris Ingram appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC event preview: Rally Hungary

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 12:00

Three drivers will face off for the oldest international rally championship title in the world when Hungary hosts the hotly anticipated 2019 ERC season decider from 8-10 November.

Essentials
What: 2019 FIA European Rally Championship round 8 of 8*
When: 8-10 November 2019
Where: Nyíregyháza, Hungary
Stages: 14
Distance: 211.52 kilometres
Surface: Tarmac
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 0 (new to the ERC calendar for 2019)

*Also counting for: ERC2, ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams, ERC Nations’ Cup, ERC Ladies’ Trophy

Recent winners:
2018: András Hadik/Attila Deák (Ford Fiesta R5)*
*Event ran as the Nyíregyháza Rally, a round of the Hungarian championship

Overview
Three drivers will face off for the oldest international rally championship title in the world when Hungary hosts the hotly anticipated 2019 ERC season decider from 8-10 November.

Since 1953, the FIA European Rally Championship has created heroes with names such as Rauno Aaltonen, Miki Biasion, Vic Elford, Sandro Munari and Walter Röhrl, plus current leading names like Giandomenico Basso, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Jan Kopecký, Esapekka Lappi and Alexey Lukyanuk all lifting the crown.

And Russian Lukyanuk can win the title for a second year in succession – providing he can overhaul the two drivers ahead of him, Chris Ingram from Great Britain, and Poland’s Łukasz Habaj, who are bidding to clinch the FIA’s leading regional rally championship laurels for the first time.

Heading to Rally Hungary, a new addition to the ERC roster for 2019, 25-year-old Ingram leads the standings by 19 points from Habaj with Lukyanuk just nine points further back. Based on those numbers alone it might appear that Ingram is in the ascendency, but it’s certainly not that simple.

A maximum of 39 points are up for grabs in Hungary and with ERC drivers counting their best six scores over the season, Habaj and Lukyanuk are very much in the hunt despite the gap to Ingram.

While Habaj and Lukyanuk are set to drop four and three points respectively from their eventual totals, Ingram could end up discounting 12 points from his final score following the finish in Nyíregyháza.

Although Habaj and Lukyanuk have taken a win apiece in 2019, Ingram has yet to register an overall victory, instead focusing his efforts on winning the supporting ERC1 Junior title during the first six events of the year. While he ultimately came up short to Filip Mareš in his bid to win that accolade – and the 100,000 euros on offer to the champion – by a mere 0.3s on the deciding round in Czech Republic, points scored that weekend promoted him to the top of the overall table and gave him another goal to chase.

As well as hosting the overall championship decider, Rally Hungary marks the concluding round of the new-for-2019 Abarth Rally Cup when Italian Andrea Nucita and Poland’s Dariusz Poloński – separated by just eight points – will chase the title and a prize purse of 30,000 euros. Meanwhile, Briton Nabila Tejpar is aiming to beat double winner Ekaterina Stratieva (Bulgaria) to the ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

While the ERC2** and ERC3** titles have been settled in favour of Juan Carlos Alonso and Efrén Llarena respectively, the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams is undecided prior to Rally Hungary with three entrants (Saintéloc Junior Team, Toksport WRT and ACCR Czech Rally Team) possible winners.

Fourteen stages over a competitive distance of 211.52 kilometres await the ERC contenders, while organisers have attracted a 114-strong entry – including 29 top-of-the-range R5 cars between the International, National and Historic fields, as the latest exciting chapter in the history of Hungarian motorsport is written.

Rally Hungary in 100 words
Hungary returns to the ERC for the first time since 2003 with a new sealed-surface event in Nyíregyháza, north-east Hungary, approximately 150 minutes by car from the capital Budapest. While the event was effectively brand new for 2018 when it ran as the Nyíregyháza Rally and counted as the Hungarian championship finale, the city and surrounding region were regulars on the national scene in previous years. Four-time Hungarian champion and double ERC podium finisher Norbert Herczig talks of a “mixture of very fast and very narrow, but good quality stages”, while the event enjoys enthusiastic government and local authority support.

Talking points
*After relying on a crowdfunding campaign launched by his mother Jo to contest the Cyprus Rally, Chris Ingram resorted to auctioning off his old rally overalls to raise much needed funding to continue his title chase with Toksport WRT and become the first Briton since Vic Elford in 1967 to lift the crown.
*Łukasz Habaj stepped up his preparations for his ERC title challenge in Hungary with an outing on Partr - Sev.en Commodities Rally Vsetín last month. Forming part of the Czech Republic’s Rallysprint series, the country’s second-tier rally contest, the seven-stage event allowed Habaj to reacclimatise to asphalt competition follow the ERC’s gravel-based Cyprus Rally. He finished sixth overall.
*Alexey Lukyanuk took time out of his Rally Hungary preparations to coach Saintéloc team-mate Sean Johnston as the American gets to grips with the Citroën C3 R5 he’ll use for the first time on his step up from ERC3 to ERC1 level in Nyíregyháza.
*Four-time national champion Norbert Herczig will be seeking family advice ahead of his home round of the ERC. The Volkswagen-powered MOL Racing Team driver’s 16-year-old son Patric won the Hungarian Rallycross Championship on the Rabócsiring track, which hosts Rally Hungary’s opening superspecial.
*Filip Mareš is taking up the first of two prize drives from ERC promoter Eurosport Events for winning the 2019 ERC1 Junior Championship**. The Czech federation-backed promise drives a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by his idol Roman Kresta. Jan Hloušek is back on co-driving duty after partnering factory ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký on the world championship events in Great Britain and Spain of late.
*András Hadik will be hoping the old adage ‘you’re only as good as your last rally’ holds true having won the Nyíregyháza Rally in 2018. For his return, the one-time ERC2 regular is armed with M-Sport’s latest take on the Ford Fiesta R5.
*Much is expected of Ferenz Vincze Jr, the 2019 Hungarian champion and a winner of four national championship rallies this season alone. The Korda Racing driver was third on the 2018 Nyíregyháza Rally. Like Vincze Jr, Pál Lovász is also preparing to make his ERC debut.
*After scoring his first ERC points of the year on the Cyprus Rally, Albert von Thurn und Taxis got back into Tarmac mode by finishing runner-up on Rally Idrija in Slovenia last month.
*János Puskádi, who returns to the ERC in his native Hungary after a three-year hiatus, placed fifth overall on the Slovenian event in a similar ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.
*Following his impressive showing on the Cyprus Rally, ex-GT racer and 2018 Austrian rally champion Niki Mayr-Melnhof will be hoping to show off his Tarmac-driving skills in Hungary.
*Double ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr starts his home round of the European championship desperate to score points for the first time in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 entered by his family team.
*With 13 Hungarian class titles to his name, Róbert Bútor is not to be underestimated, especially after he won the TAXI4 Veszprém Rallye – a major national championship event – in the summer, his last start.
*Ireland’s Callum Devine makes his first ERC start since 2016 and his first in a top-class car after landing a deal to drive a Hyundai i20 R5 under the Hyundai Motorsport N banner.
*After finishing second on the Nyíregyháza Rally in 2018 and runner-up in the opening two rounds of this season’s Hungarian championship, ERC returnee Frigyes Turán will be aiming to deliver another strong performance on his second outing in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.
*Simone Tempestini returns to the ERC a four-time Romanian champion following his latest triumph on the recent TESS Rally Bresov, his fifth win out of six starts on home soil in 2019 in a Hyundai i20 R5.
*Paulo Nobre has travelled from his native Brazil to contest all rounds of the ERC this season. The Palmeirinha Rally driver scored his second top 10 of the year on the most recent round in Cyprus.
*Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński will fight it out for the honour of winning the first ERC-based Abarth Rally Cup – and the 30,000 euros on offer to the champion. They will also fight for the runner-up spot in the final ERC2 points table behind provisional champion Juan Carlos Alonso.
*Hungarian Mátyás Nagy will make his long-awaited ERC2 debut after car eligibility issues forced him to scrap his planned Barum Czech Rally Zlín appearance in the summer.
*Ex-downhill mountain bike champion Erik Cais can take the second place in ERC3 with a strong class result on Rally Hungary in his ACCR Czech Rally Team-entered Ford Fiesta R2T.
*The 20-year-old will face strong opposition from Toksport WRT pair Orhan Avcioglu (Turkey) and Germany’s double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel, who is stepping back to ERC3 level with the main goal of helping Toksport win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.
*Miklós Csomós is gearing up for his second ERC3 start of 2019 after placing eighth in class on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The Hungarian is the winner of his national 2WD and Peugeot 208 R2 Cup titles. Meanwhile, Rally Hungary represents Romanian Eugen Caragui’s first ERC start.
*Briton Nabila Tejpar starts Rally Hungary with a 14-point advantage over Ekaterina Stratieva as she bids to win the ERC Ladies’ Trophy for the first time. Stratieva, who won the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2014 and 2015, continues with the Saintéloc Junior Team, whom she joined for her Cyprus Rally debut.

Abarth Rally Cup head to head: Nucita v Poloński
The first Abarth Rally Cup held within the FIA European Rally Championship will go down to the wire on Rally Hungary with Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński locked in combat and just eight points apart. Italian Nucita has won the category for the Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally three times compared to Pole Poloński’s solitary triumph. With Rally Hungary unchartered territory for both, a straight fight is expected for the coveted title and the 30,000 euros awarded to the inaugural champion.

Form guide: Ferenc Vincze Jr
Third on the 2018 Nyíregyháza Rally, Ferenc Vincze Jr, 28, starts his country’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship with the national title in the bag following an impressive season that’s included a quartet of wins in a Korda Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia R5, plus a podium on the last round in Pécs, home of the Mecsek Rallye.

How to follow?
On TV and online: Live coverage of the ceremonial start, plus SS4, SS5, SS10, SS12 and the stop line of SS14 on Facebook. Daily highlights on Eurosport, Eurosport Player. Videos on YouTube. ERC All Access on Eurosport on 12 November. Event highlights broadcast around the world, including on M4 Sports in Hungary.
Videos, news update and live timing: Available at FIAERC.com
ERC Radio: Live from the end of all stages and selected service park visits. Available at FIAERC.com or download the official ERC App.
Social media: Follow the ERC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Daily news feed: Available on request by emailing media@fiaerc.com

Five facts:
1: As well as hosting a round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Nyíregyháza is famous for its zoo, which is home to 500 species and 5000 animals on a 30-hectare site.
2: Several Hungarian drivers contest the European Rally Championship each season with Tibor Érdi Jr winning the ERC2 title for a second year running in 2018, while Dávid Botka was a stage winner, Kristóf Klausz an ERC3 Junior point-scorer and Norbert Herczig a double podium finisher last season.
3: Herczig, who stepped up to the ERC in 2018 with the MOL Racing Team, is one of Hungary’s most successful rally drivers having taken the national title four times, including consecutively from 2015-2017.
4: ERC promoter Eurosport Events has a long association with Hungary through the FIA World Touring Car Championship and now the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
5: Not since Rallye International du Valais in 2015 has an ERC season been decided on a Tarmac event.

Key timings and details:
Starts: 18h05, Friday 8 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
Finishes: 18h37, Sunday 10 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
Headquarters: Continental Arena, Nyíregyháza
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 0 (new to the ERC calendar for 2019)
Stages: 14
Stage distance: 211.52 kilometres
Liaison distance: 790.18 kilometres
Total distance: 1001.70 kilometres
Surface: Tarmac

Free Practice: 07h30-09h30, Friday 8 November, Napkor (3.90kms)
Qualifying Stage: 09h45, Friday 8 November, Napkor (3.90kms)
Shakedown: 10h45-13h20, Friday 8 November, Napkor (3.90kms)
Start order selection: 15h00, Friday 8 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
Autograph session (TBC): 17h30-18h00, Friday 8 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
Ceremonial start: 18h05, Friday 8 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
Finishing podium: 18h37, Sunday 10 November, Podium, Nyíregyháza centre
More information/resources, including event itinerary, entry list and maps:
https://www.fiaerc.com/event/rally-hungary-2019/
Championship standings: https://www.fiaerc.com/standings/

**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA. All details correct at time of issue, subject to change.

The post ERC event preview: Rally Hungary appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC aces face all-star Hungarian line-up on season showdown

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 18:00

Rally Hungary organisers have published the entry list for the deciding round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship with 24 top-of-the-range R5 cars set for action on the all-asphalt stages around host city Nyíregyháza.

Title leader Chris Ingram is the top seed followed by championship rivals Łukasz Habaj and Alexey Lukyanuk, while the list of home-grown heroes is a who’s who of Hungarian rallying.

It includes four-time national champion Norbert Herczig, recently-crowned champion Ferenc Vincze, 2018 champion András Hadik and Tibor Érdi Jr, the two-time ERC2 champion. Other names to feature on the entry list are János Puskádi, Frigyes Turán and Róbert Bútor, a winner of 13 Hungarian class titles.

Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński will fight it out for the honour of winning the first ERC-based Abarth Rally Cup, while Hungarian Mátyás Nagy will battle them for ERC2 points.

Erik Cais is the leading ERC3 seed followed by Orhan Avcioglu, Marijan Griebel and local prospect Miklós Csomós. Briton Nabila Tejpar and Ekaterina Stratieva will chase ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours.

Click here and scroll down to view the entry list.

The post ERC aces face all-star Hungarian line-up on season showdown appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mares looks to the future with ERC prize drive

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 12:00

Filip Mareš is targeting a full assault on the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship after winning this season’s ERC1 Junior title** during the summer.

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

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

Originally, that vital financial assistance had been earmarked to enable the 28-year-old to contest the closing rounds of this year’s ERC season in Cyprus and Hungary – in a car and with a team of his choosing – with the aim of challenging for the outright title.

However, with Kresta Racing – the team Mareš has been closely aligned to since the start of 2018 – not in a position to include the Cyprus Rally on its 2019 schedule, ERC promoter Eurosport Events – with the approval of the FIA – agreed to adjust the prize package.

As well as contesting the upcoming Rally Hungary in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by Kresta Racing, Mareš will tackle the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March. It is then hoped that Mareš will be able to secure the additional funding required to complete the 2020 ERC season, which totals eight events.

“After winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2019, my goal is to win the overall title in 2020,” said Mareš. “With this agreement I am now able to add to my experience at R5 level on Rally Hungary with the knowledge I already have one confirmed ERC drive for 2020. That will be a huge help in my ongoing efforts to secure the budget to contest the full championship next year and I would like to thank all the people and partners who are helping me with my mission.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “As much as possible, Eurosport Events will adapt the format of the final prize to best suit the winner, as we did with Marijan Griebel and Chris Ingram in the past. It’s the same with Filip and we are delighted this move will allow him to strengthen the partnership he has with Kresta Racing, who I am sure will do all it can to make his ERC title pursuit a reality in 2020.”

**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post Mares looks to the future with ERC prize drive appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig hoping son’s advice will make him King of the Ring on ERC Rally Hungary

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 12:00

Four-time national champion Norbert Herczig will be seeking family advice ahead of his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship next week.

The Volkswagen-powered MOL Racing Team driver’s 16-year-old son Patric won the Hungarian Rallycross Championship on the Rabócsiring track, which hosts Rally Hungary’s opening superspecial stage on 8 November.

“I drove here a long time ago so I will ask for instructions from my son,” said Herczig, who won his first Hungarian title on the stages around Nyíregyháza – where this year’s Rally Hungary will be based – in 2009.

The Rabócsiring superspecial is due to begin at 18h58 local time next Friday (8 November) over a 2.4-kilometre course. Click here for more information and ticket details.

The post Herczig hoping son’s advice will make him King of the Ring on ERC Rally Hungary appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tejpar ready for ERC Ladies’ Trophy bid

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 18:00

Nabila Tejpar reckons she’s as well prepared as possible for next week’s Rally Hungary, where she’ll attempt to beat former winner Ekaterina Stratieva to the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title.

Tejpar placed P11 in the RC4 category on Spain’s round of the world championship last weekend and now switches her focus back to the FIA European Rally Championship.

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for Hungary now,” said the Briton, who tops the ERC Ladies' Trophy ranking by 14 points. “Of course, it’s an important rally for the title but I feel a little more relaxed heading there after this weekend thanks to the feeling on the asphalt.

“Hungary will be a new rally for me but having confidence going into new events is important. I’m looking forward to seeing what it brings.”

Portuguese Hugo Magalhães will co-driver Tejpar on the Nyíregyháza-based event from 8-10 November.

The post Tejpar ready for ERC Ladies’ Trophy bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Johnston steps up to R5 car for 2019 ERC finale

Mon, 10/28/2019 - 15:00

Sean Johnston’s impressive progression in his first season of international rallying – only his second in the sport – has been rewarded with a step up to an R5 car for the deciding round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship, next month’s Rally Hungary.

American Johnston has embarked on a dual programme in 2019, dividing his time between an ERC3 campaign in a Saintéloc Junior Team Peugeot 208 R2, and an FIA Junior World Rally Championship assault in a Ford Fiesta R2T. Having scored category points on four ERC rounds, Johnston completed his Junior world bid with a podium finish on Rally GB earlier this month.

He will contest Rally Hungary in a Saintéloc-run Citroën C3 R5 with regular co-driver and compatriot Alex Kihurani. And to prepare for their step up in performance, Johnston and Kihurani completed a one-day test in France last week under the watchful eye of Saintéloc’s defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

“It’s always been the plan to move to an R5 car but we’ve just been trying to figure out when it was going to happen,” said the Germany-based Johnston, who switched to rallying following a successful career in GT and sportscar racing. “The objective is certainly to do a handful of R5 starts next year, depending on the budget, but we wanted to experience one rally in an R5 car already this year. I'm grateful and excited to report that my sponsor, Driscoll’s, has rewarded Alex and I for our podium on Rally GB by giving us this great opportunity on Rally Hungary.”

Of his test in France, Johnston said: “It was absolutely amazing, fun to feel some proper torque, I loved it and it reminded me a lot of the FIA GT3 equipment that I used to spend time in. Everything was obviously coming so much quicker but I actually found that the car responded more appropriately and in a more refined way to all my inputs. The car handled in a more natural way on the exits of corners and I could get on the throttle, open up the wheel and have the car rotate under power, which is not something you do in a front-wheel-drive R2 car. Once I had become accustomed to the higher speeds, I actually found the driving to be really quite enjoyable and quite natural.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November using all-asphalt stages in the north east of the country. Johnston insists his expectations are firmly in check. “If we can bag a top 10 result that would be great but really the primary objective of the first R5 round would simply be to get to the end of the rally and anything beyond that would be a total bonus. Alexey [Lukyanuk] told me his first R5 rally on Tarmac he was three seconds per kilometre off the pace from the top guys but that had come down to one second by the end of the rally. Rally Hungary is going to be about learning, learning and learning. "It's a dream come true to make our first R5 start this year, and what we learn this weekend will definitely help us make a decision as to when to try jump up into the equipment more regularly next season."

The post Johnston steps up to R5 car for 2019 ERC finale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

And now for something different… Griebel returns to ERC3

Sun, 10/27/2019 - 18:00

Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel will return to the category where he first made his name at international level after securing a last-minute deal to contest Rally Hungary in an ERC3-specification Peugeot 208 R2.

Griebel has been drafted in to continue the job Orhan Avcioglu started by chasing vital points for Toksport WRT as part of its bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

“I have never done a single metre with the 208 R2,” said Griebel, who lives one hour away from Toksport’s Germany base. “I have a lot of experience in the Adam R2 and I also did competitions in DS3 R3 and Clio R3, but nothing with the Peugeot. But we will do a small test before the rally and I hope I can adapt quite fast.

“My aim is for sure to help Toksport to get this title and at least a podium finish in ERC3 would be quite helpful I think.”

Griebel won the ERC3 Junior crown in 2016 before taking the ERC1 equivalent the following season. After winning the German title in 2018, Griebel contested selected ERC events this season as well as his country’s round of the world championship in the summer.

“I’m really happy for this opportunity,” said Griebel, who became a father recently. “Due to lack of budget my last rally was back in August. But I got stage win in World Rally Championship 2 on the last stage against Kalle Rovanperä and Mads Østberg, what is quite nice, but nevertheless it is hard to have such a long break.”

By contesting Rally Hungary with Toksport, Griebel will link up with his former team-mate Chris Ingram, who is chasing the overall title in one of the team’s ŠKODA Fabia R5s. They previously drove together for the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team with Griebel beating Ingram to the ERC3 Junior title on Rally Liepāja in 2016.

Griebel will now begin his intensive preparations for the ERC season-closing event, which takes place on sealed-surface stages from 8-10 November. “I will prepare as professional as always and be motivated for a strong result,” he said.

Alex Rath, who partnered Griebel on his first ERC appearance in Latvia in 2014 and navigated him to the German national title in 2018, will co-drive.

The post And now for something different… Griebel returns to ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

After 430 turns Stratieva is Hungary for more ERC action

Sat, 10/26/2019 - 18:00

Ekaterina Stratieva will continue her pursuit of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy when the 2019 season concludes on Rally Hungary from 8-10 November.

Stratieva has moved into title contention with a late-season campaign that has so far taken in Barum Czech Rally Zlín and the Cyprus Rally, where the Bulgarian was competing for the first time in a Saintéloc Junior Team-run Peugeot 208 R2.

Ahead of the all-asphalt Hungarian counter, Stratieva is 14 points behind Briton Nabila Tejpar.

“Cyprus was a great ordeal for us and it has definitely made us stronger, certainly one of the three biggest challenges of my career,” she said. “I counted that there were over 430 turns in the longest stage.”

Of her Rally Hungarian hopes, Statieva said: “Currently, with my navigator Georgi [Avramov] and my partners from Petrol, we are fully focused on organising our participation in Hungary. I don’t know what to expect there but I’m definitely excited and hope to have an interesting race in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy.”

Rally Hungary will make Stratieva’s third rally in the Peugeot, a prospect she admits is creating some anxiety.

“My Peugeot is still foreign and I have a problem making the pacenotes,” Stratieva explained. “This car is much more developed than the Citroën I drove before. I still can't trust it but I have eliminated the wrong habits.”

Stratieva has confirmed that her partnership with the Saintéloc Junior Team will continue for a second event. “I am satisfied with our collaboration. They help me lot in Cyprus and also on this rally I will trust in their advice.”

The post After 430 turns Stratieva is Hungary for more ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

M4 Sports to broadcast Rally Hungary ERC title decider plus all rounds in 2020

Thu, 10/24/2019 - 14:00

FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events has secured an exciting coverage opportunity with Hungarian domestic free-to-air broadcaster MTVA.

An extension to the existing alliance between Eurosport Events and MTVA covering the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, which is also part of the Eurosport Events’ portfolio, the new agreement will result in daily highlights of the upcoming Rally Hungary being broadcast on MTVA’s M4 Sports channel.

The coverage of the season-deciding asphalt event, based in Nyíregyháza from 8-10 November, will also include the behind-the-scenes ERC All Access programme. It is a prelude to the 2020 season when M4 Sports will broadcast highlights of all rounds of the ERC, plus ERC All Access and daily highlights of next year’s Rally Hungary.

“We are really pleased to welcome MTVA to the ERC’s roster of respected broadcasters and we are delighted the all-new Rally Hungary will benefit from coverage on a domestic, free-to-air television channel,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator. “MTVA’s coverage of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO is well regarded and widely known and we look forward to showcasing the ERC to another new audience and to being part of the MTVA family.”

Dávid Székely, the Channel Director of M4 Sport, said: “Excitement around the first Rally Hungary continues to grow and to give our viewers the opportunity to watch the three-way battle for the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship being decided on M4 Sports is really good news. As well as introducing them to the top drivers of the ERC, we’ll also remind them there’s a strong pool of talented Hungarian drivers aiming to make an impression on what will be a very competitive and highly-entertaining weekend of motorsport.”

Chris Ingram (Great Britain), Łukasz Habaj (Poland) and Alexey Lukyanuk are locked in a thrilling battle for the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship title on Rally Hungary, which is a new addition to the ERC calendar for this season. Four-time national champion Norbert Herczig of the MOL Racing Team and double ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr are among the Hungarian drivers taking part on the event.

ERC coverage on M4 Sports refresher
2019: Rally Hungary daily highlights programme and ERC All Access
2020: Highlights of all ERC rounds, plus Rally Hungary daily highlights and ERC All Access

Photo: MNASZ/Ádám Szabó-Jilek

The post M4 Sports to broadcast Rally Hungary ERC title decider plus all rounds in 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Devine secures Hungary Hyundai run ahead of possible 2020 ERC switch

Thu, 10/24/2019 - 09:00

Callum Devine will contest next month’s season-deciding Rally Hungary ahead of a possible FIA European Rally Championship bid in 2020.

Irishman Devine, 25, has linked up with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing to drive a Hyundai i20 R5 with the support of his country’s ASN, Motorsport Ireland.

Co-driven by Brian Hoy, Devine is part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and was a frontrunner in the 2019 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, scoring one win and two podiums. He has previous experience at world championship level and has three ERC starts to his name from earlier in his career.

“I’m planning an ERC campaign next year so, thanks to Andrew Johns at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, we managed to put a package together to do Hungary. It will be great experience for next year and will give us plenty to work on over the winter.”

Although Devine has completed a brief acclimatisation session in a Hyundai i20 R5, his first meaningful running will be during the Rally Hungary official test on Tuesday 5 November. “I’ve had a short test in a Hyundai thanks to the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy around a circuit which was some help but you can’t beat the real thing on closed roads,” said Devine. “We have to learn the event and the car but hopefully we can show some good pace also. I enjoy a challenge and this will be just that.”

Like the bulk of the ERC registered drivers competing on Rally Hungary, Devine has no experience of the asphalt stages around host city Nyíregyháza. “I’ve been watching some onboard videos and the event looks quite specialist with its rough roads and slippery conditions at that time of year,” said Devine, who works in the construction industry when he’s not. rallying. “I’m used to driving on wet Tarmac in Ireland but you seem to able to cut more on the continent and the type of Tarmac is different. We’ll know more after our test where we’ll try find a good set-up.”

Of his ERC aspirations, Devine said: “I have been following the ERC for a long time now, the competition is very high and the fact that the title is going down to the final round has created a lot of interest. If we can provide a surprise, all the better. I’d like to thank Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racine for giving myself and Brian this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank all my regular sponsors who have backed me to date, this opportunity wouldn’t have come about without them either.”

The post Devine secures Hungary Hyundai run ahead of possible 2020 ERC switch appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hungarian champion to take on ERC title chasers at home

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 06:00

Recently crowned Hungarian champion Ferenc Vincze will contest his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship next month, coming up against the ERC’s elite.

But Vincze, who will compete in Nyíregyháza alongside co-driver Igor Bacigal in a ŠKODA Fabia R5, isn’t fazed by the prospect of taking on the ERC’s top three, Chris Ingram, Łukasz Habaj and defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

“I talked to my colleagues and many of them thought we do not have any chance against the top drivers,” said Vincze. “But I believe that we must try to fight. I have never been at such a race, although I have never raced without any pressure like now either. I would like to go fast and take some more risk that I took during the season. I trust in my good performance and that we can get to the top of the field.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November and counts as the deciding round of the eight-event ERC season.

Photo: Korda Racing

The post Hungarian champion to take on ERC title chasers at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title contender Habaj gets back into Tarmac mode

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj is stepping up his preparations for his FIA European Rally Championship title challenge in Hungary next month with an outing on Partr - Sev.en Commodities Rally Vsetín this weekend (25-26 October).

Forming part of the Czech Republic’s Rallysprint series, the country’s second-tier rally contest, the seven-stage event will allow Habaj to reacclimatise to asphalt competition follow the ERC’s gravel-based Cyprus Rally last month.

Pole Habaj, 19 points behind Chris Ingram in the ERC title chase, will compete in his usual Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 with Daniel Dymurski co-driving.

Opposition will come from a number of Barum Czech Rally Zlín regulars including Jaromír Tarabus and Miroslav Jakeš.

Meanwhile, Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November on asphalt-only stages around the city of Nyíregyháza.

The post ERC title contender Habaj gets back into Tarmac mode appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig tells ERC rivals to get ready for “very good stages”

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig has told his FIA European Rally Championship rivals to get ready for “very good stages” when his native Hungary hosts the ERC title decider next month.

Rally Hungary, which takes place from 8-10 November, is new to the European roster for this season and Herczig, the four-time national champion and double ERC podium finisher, reckons there’s a treat in store.

“They are very good stages,” said Herczig, who drives a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for the MOL Racing Team. “There’s a mixture of very fast and very narrow but quite good quality. Some stages a very tricky but it’s a very good rally and it will be a very good experience for everybody.”

The post Herczig tells ERC rivals to get ready for “very good stages” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2020 route to support areas ravaged by summer wildfires

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 12:00

Communities hit by the wildfires that raged on Gran Canaria in August can continue to count on the support of Rally Islas Canarias.

Organisers of the FIA European Rally Championship counter have confirmed the route of the all-asphalt event, which takes place from 7-9 May 2020, will visit the same municipalities included on this year’s route, including Artenara, Valleseco, Agaete, Moya, Gáldar, Tejeda and San Mateo.

According to data from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, 60 per cent of Artenara was affected by the fires, which devastated 10,000 hectares of land during the summer. Indeed, the test stage in Artenara used ahead of May’s 43rd Rally Islas Canarias is currently not accessible following the fires.

A statement from the event organisers read: “The organising committee, through its president, Germán Morales, has already communicated the decision to the main institutions such as the Government of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as the consistories of the rest of municipalities. From Eurosport Events, promoter of the ​​ERC, the measure has been applauded, as its leaders conveyed messages of concern and support during the days when the fire consumed part of the spectacular Gran Canaria summit.”

While the route of next May’s Rally Islas Canarias is largely set, the stage layouts are still being finalised with a number of changes planned.

The post ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2020 route to support areas ravaged by summer wildfires appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Half-century celebrations in the planning as ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlín bosses prepare to go big

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 12:00

The 50th Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be longer than in recent seasons, while there will be a return to “old and legendary stages” under plans currently being drawn up by bosses of the sealed-surface FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Scheduled to take place from 28-30 August as the sixth event of the 2020 ERC season, the milestone-running of Barum Czech Rally Zlín is set to offer crews a competitive distance in excess of 230 kilometres after special dispensation was received from the FIA, motorsport’s governing body. This year’s event covered a distance of less than 220 kilometres.

“With this anniversary we want to offer something special to the crews,” said Miloslav Regner, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín Clerk of the Course. “At least for this one special year we would like to return to some old and legendary stages. Of course, it requires many negotiations with villages and property owners at places where the rally has not been run for many years. But the approved exception gives us a room for arranging the route and we believe that its final shape will be extraordinary.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s half century will enforce its partnership with title sponsor Continental Barum, which opened its tyre factory in Otrokovice in 1971, the year of the first Barum Rally. For many years a stage was run around the factory’s grounds, which now accommodate the event’s service park.

As well as the association with Continental Barum, confirmation that the event will continue to form part of the ERC schedule extends a relationship that began in 1983 when the Zlín-based event hosted the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time.

“The FIA European Rally Championship has enjoyed a long and very successful relationship with the organisers of Barum Czech Rally Zlín,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the FIA ERC Coordinator. “As one of the highlights of our calendar, the month of August is always eagerly anticipated and every year we look forward to and enjoy a great welcome and plenty of on-stage action. In addition to being well organised, the event is extremely popular among our registered drivers and teams, who take part in great number each season. We extend our congratulations to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín organising team for reaching this impressive milestone.”

The post Half-century celebrations in the planning as ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlín bosses prepare to go big appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Q&A: Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:15

Following the publishing the FIA European Rally Championship calendar for 2020, Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, highlights some of the key points.

Q: The ERC will again be decided over eight rounds in 2020. But why not add more events, especially when Corsica and Catalunya have dropped out of the world championship schedule?

A: “We consult our drivers and teams every season and the underlying wish is to respect budgetary and time concerns. Eight remains the preferred number of rallies and we are very happy with the events we work with. There was no reason to change a winning formula.”

Q: What does the calendar offer drivers, particularly those who are stepping up from national to international level?

A: “First and foremost we offer eight well organised events all with their own unique appeal and challenge. There is an equal split of asphalt and gravel rallies, which is perfect for building experience of different surfaces. By scheduling the events from March to November, costs can be spread throughout the year.”

Q: Will teams benefit from travel support to attend the island rallies next season?

A: “Arrangements are being made with the organisers of the Azores Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally to provide logistical support once again. More details will be announced in due course.”

Q: There will again be a focus on young talent through the two ERC Junior championships. What’s the plan for 2020?

A: “ERC1 Junior will continue to cater for young stars in R5 cars with ERC3 Junior for rising talents in R2 machinery on Pirelli tyres. Soon we’ll announce details of the prize packages on offer in 2020.”

Q: Not wishing to single out one event but Barum Czech Rally Zlín turns 50 in 2020. What do you think of this achievement?

A: “The ERC has enjoyed a long and very successful relationship with the organisers of Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The month of August is always eagerly anticipated and every year we look forward to and enjoy a great welcome and plenty of on-stage action. In addition to being well managed, the event is extremely popular among our registered drivers and teams, who take part in great number each season. We extend our congratulations to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín organising team for reaching this impressive milestone.”

The post Q&A: Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

PZM 76. Rajd Polski - Etap 2

Kalendarz 2019

21-23.03.2019:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

02-04.05.2019

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

24-26 05.2019

Rally Liepāja (Łotwa)

28-30.06.2019

Rajd Polski

19-21.07.2019

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

16-18.08.2019

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

27-29.09.2019:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

08-10.11.2019:

Rally Hungary (Węgry)