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Hyundai chance makes Magalhães proud, ERC ambitions remain

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 06:00

Bruno Magalhães says being chosen to drive for Team Hyundai Portugal in 2019 has made him proud, while confirming he will "try" to take part in selected ERC events this season.

A top-three finisher in the FIA European Rally Championship for the last two years, Portuguese Magalhães has been given the chance to chase a fourth national title in a Hyundai i20 R5, having won the prestigious accolade three seasons in succession from 2007-2009.

“By integrating into Team Hyundai Portugal in the Hyundai i20 R5 is a source of pride and, at the same time a great opportunity,” said Magalhães. “We will do our best and I am sure that together we will achieve great results.”

While chasing a fourth Portuguese title in 2019 will be priority number one for Magalhães, the Lisbon resident has confirmed he will “try” to take part in more European championship events beyond the planned ERC season opener in the Azores, which he last won in 2017.

Hugo Magalhães will continue to co-drive his namesake Bruno in 2019. Armindo Araújo and Luís Ramalho will drive a second Team Hyundai Portugal i20 R5 having taken the title – Araújo’s fifth and Ramalho’s first – in 2018.

Photo: Team Hyundai Portugal

The post Hyundai chance makes Magalhães proud, ERC ambitions remain appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior champion Gryazin great again with winter win

Sun, 01/20/2019 - 21:00

Nikolay Gryazin produced another strong performance to win the Sigdalsrally in Norway for the second year running.

Gryazin and co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov were fastest on seven of the eight stages in their Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5.

The Russian pair finished more than half a minute clear of Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor-Petrasko, the top seeds also armed with a Fabia R5.

After winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship in 2018, Gryazin is stepping up to the world stage in 2019, but will contest two ERC events as part of his prize for his 2018 title success.

His win on yesterday’s Sigdalsrally will help with his preparations for next month’s Rally Sweden, his world championship debut.

The post ERC Junior champion Gryazin great again with winter win appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC winner Al-Attiyah is a Dakar hat-trick hero

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 06:00

Nasser Al-Attiyah, a winner in the FIA European Rally Championship, added a third Dakar triumph to his impressive CV, with victory on the gruelling event in Peru earlier this week.

The Qatari, who won the ERC-counting Cyprus Rally in 2017, reported making “no mistakes” over the 3000-kilometre competitive route.

“It’s fantastic,” said the Toyota driver. “It was a very, very difficult rally for everybody. The good thing was that from day three we were leading and we built on our time every day until we came to the last day with a big, big lead. There were no mistakes during the entire rally, I’m really happy.”

Photo: DPPI/Dakar.com

The post ERC winner Al-Attiyah is a Dakar hat-trick hero appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Adielsson to double up with ERC Junior campaign

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 11:00

Mattias Adielsson will take on a dual role when he returns to the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019.

Not only will the talented Swede chase ERC1 Junior success in a Saintéloc Racing Citroën C3 R5, he will be an ambassador for his national federation to help develop the next generation of young talents.

Since impressing during a programme of ERC Junior rounds in 2015, Adielsson has worked tirelessly to build his competition experience – including several outings in R5 machinery – and funding. He has formed an alliance with the Swedish National Team and will serve as the initiative’s liaison between his young compatriots stepping up from national to international level in the ERC.

While ERC1 Junior – the category for young stars in R5 cars – will be Adielsson’s focus in 2019, he will also be a contender for overall honours and can count on the expertise of the Saintéloc Racing operation, which has enjoyed a strong run of success in the ERC with drivers such as Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen. The French team is also well versed in helping drivers with limited experience to develop through its Saintéloc Junior Team arm, which guided Stéphane Lefebvre to the inaugural ERC Junior crown in 2014.

“The ERC is a very good platform for drivers coming from grassroots level who are fighting for sponsors like me,” said the Gothenburg-based Swede, 27. “With the Eurosport television cooperation and good drivers, it’s an easy choice for me and my partners. There are special rallies with a great atmosphere and you are at the highest level in an R5 car, getting all the attention. When I first competed outside Sweden in 2015, I realised I needed a big back up to succeed, so we started working on this programme then to make what we have now possible. The 2019 season was the target and now we are here.”

Of his target for 2019, Adielsson said: “Obviously we are looking for the most points possible. I don’t have much experience of the R5 abroad but I’m a competition guy and I want to win. We won’t be pushing like hell to make good stage times on every stage and go off the road, we have a whole championship to do so we will have a good strategy. And we have a great car and great team with experience at all levels.”

Adielsson, who got his first taste of the Saintéloc Racing Citroën C3 R5 on last November’s Rallye du Var, will join forces with long-term co-driver Andreas Johansson for an outing on the SM-Sprint Vinter event on 1 February to kick-off his 2019 season. Broadcast on live TV, the event will give Adielsson his first taste of the C3 R5 on a loose surface and Johansson his maiden run in the car.

By registering for ERC1 Junior, Adielsson will be in contention to win 100,000 euros to be used on the ERC season-closing events in Cyprus and Hungary, which are outside the ERC1 Junior schedule. Depending on results earlier in the year, these two rallies could give him a shot at winning the overall title.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “The ERC is very much unfinished business for Mattias, a talented driver who has been on our radar for some time. He showed a lot of promise in ERC Junior in 2015 but, unfortunately, didn’t get the results to back that up, despite his impressive speed. But the ERC has remained a key target, so he has gone away, worked very hard to build up a strong portfolio of partners and has aligned himself with the Swedish ASN and a top team in Saintéloc. It means that combined with his obvious ability, Mattias has all the ingredients in place for a successful 2019 season.”

Vincent Ducher, Saintéloc Racing Rally Manager, said: “It will be great to work with Mattias and Andreas. They have a good experience in R5 cars and the team has huge experience of the ERC. I’m sure we will do a great job together.”

The post Adielsson to double up with ERC Junior campaign appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior aces get world chance 

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:00

Two hugely promising youngsters will prove their talent – and utilise the experience they gained challenging for FIA ERC Junior title success in 2018 – when they step up to the world stage this season.

Tom Kristensson and Mārtiņš Sesks have entered the world championship’s junior category for Ford Fiesta R2s on Pirelli tyres, which begins on Rally Sweden next month and features five events.

Sesks, 19, beat his then ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team team-mate Kristensson, 27, to the ERC Junior title in 2018 with both drivers claiming two wins from six starts. Sesks will take up his prize drive of two ERC events in a Motorsport Italia ŠKODA Fabia R5 alongside his world campaign with Rally Islas Canarias and Rally di Roma Capitale confirmed on his schedule.

ERC Junior Experience graduate Roland Poom is also on the list of 13 registered drivers.

The post ERC Junior aces get world chance  appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New stages for ERC Rally Islas Canarias

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 15:00

Rally Islas Canarias, the second round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship, will get two new stages when it takes place from 2-4 May.

Valesquillo is the new venue for Free Practice, the Qualifying Stage and Shakedown on Thursday 2 May, while Valleseco will be used on leg two, one of 16 stages to appear on the itinerary – an increase of two stages compared to 2018 when 14 were run.

As well as counting as round two of the eight-event ERC season, the all-asphalt Rally Islas Canarias is the second event of the Spanish Tarmac championship season and the new-for-2019 Spanish Superchampionship from governing body RFEDA.

This year’s Rally Islas Canarias is edition number 43 of the popular event and the fifth to be included on the ERC schedule since the championship’s streamlining in 2004.

The post New stages for ERC Rally Islas Canarias appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC champion Lukyanuk hints at Polo R5 run after Fabia test

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 18:00

Alexey Lukyanuk, the first Russian to win the FIA European Rally Championship, tried a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for size in Italy earlier today – then hinted he might be getting behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s all-new Polo GTI R5 before too long.

Having used a Ford Fiesta R5 to win the ERC title in 2018, Lukyanuk sampled a Citroën C3 R5 in testing before Christmas. His run in a Step Five Motorsport Fabia means he builds his knowledge of R5 machinery as he continues his preparations for the 2019 season.

“The tests I had were short, only 30 kilometres, but I got to see how the team works as the car goes,” said Lukyanuk. “The [car was] very balanced, a very smooth, awesome engine. The team made a nice impression. There are no plans, but I'm increasing my idea. haven't tried the new Polo but maybe I'll try it soon.”

Photo: Facebook.com/lukyanuk

The post ERC champion Lukyanuk hints at Polo R5 run after Fabia test appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Back to where ERC title-winning year began for Gryazin 

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 21:00

Nikolay Gryazin’s return to the Sigdalsrally in Norway this weekend will evoke happy memories for the young Russian.

In 2018, Gryazin and co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov took victory on the Norwegian championship opener at the start of their hugely successful campaign, which included winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship for young stars in R5 cars.

But while their entry on the winter rally will mark a return to an event they won by almost one minute 12 months ago in a Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5, there’s a more serious side to their participation as they prepare for their first season of world championship competition, starting with next month’s Rally Sweden.

The post Back to where ERC title-winning year began for Gryazin  appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sesks’ movie celebrates ERC Junior champion’s impressive rise

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 21:00

The rise and rise of Mārtiņš Sesks, the 2018 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 champion, is the subject of a new short film, Champion at Nineteen.

Charting the Latvian teen’s early career in buggies and karts, Champion at Nineteen also charts his switch to rallying and his capture of the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior crown last season driving an Opel ADAM R2 for the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team.

Sesks will contest at least two rounds of the ERC1 Junior Championship in 2019 in a Motorsport Italia ŠKODA Fabia R5, his prize for his 2018 title triumph.

Click here to watch Champion at Nineteen.

The post Sesks’ movie celebrates ERC Junior champion’s impressive rise appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC stars meet King of Spain

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:00

FIA European Rally Championship talents Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández enjoyed a royal appointment in Madrid earlier this week.

The Rally Team Spain duo, who will chase ERC3 Junior success in 2019 in a Pirelli-equipped PEUGEOT 208 R2, met Felipe VI of Spain and his wife, Queen Letizia of Spain, at the National Prize Giving event, which they attended on behalf of the Spanish motorsport federation, RFEDA.

After winning Spain’s Beca Júnior R2 title in 2017, Llarena and Fernández stepped up to ERC Junior as part of a prize initiative from Rally Team Spain. They finished third in the final standings courtesy of three podiums.

The post ERC stars meet King of Spain appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rally Team Spain ERC alliance continues into 2019

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:00

Spain’s motorsport federation RFEDA (Real Federación Española de Automovilismo) will continue its alliance with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019 following confirmation of Efrén Llarena’s entry in the ERC3 Junior category.

Through the Rally Team Spain initiative, Llarena will contest the Pirelli-supported championship for drivers 27 or under on 1 January 2019 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. The hugely-talented 23-year-old will be at the wheel of a PEUGEOT 208 R2 alongside co-driver Sara Fernández, and will be one to watch in the title chase, which takes place over six events on asphalt and gravel.

In his first season of international competition in 2018 following his step up from national level as Spain’s Beca Júnior R2 champion, Llarena belied his lack of event experience to finish third in the ERC Junior standings. He will now put that knowledge to full use when he bids for the coveted crown and planned prize package from championship promoter Eurosport Events: two rounds of the 2020 ERC in a Motorsport Italia ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“Big thanks to Real Federación Española de Automovilismo,” said Llarena. “I'm receiving an incredible support since I began to compete last year with Rally Team Spain. For any young driver as I am, it's a dream to see how we are being supported in Spain. I feel really lucky because they trust in me again to try to gain the ERC title this year. It's going to be, undoubtedly, my main goal. I'm convinced that, if we have good luck, we can do pretty well.”

Llarena challenged for the ERC Junior Under 27 title up until the penultimate round in 2018, with class podiums in Azores, Italy and Poland. Without RFEDA’s support, Llarena – who is also a highly-skilled car mechanic – admits he would never have had the means to compete outside his homeland.

Manuel Aviñó, the RFEDA President, said: “I trust in Efrén and Sara. I’m sure they are going to have a very successful season this year in the ERC3 Junior Championship.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted that Efrén will continue in ERC Junior with Rally Team Spain’s support. He took full advantage of the chance offered to him by RFEDA in 2018 and he’ll now have another richly-deserved opportunity to further increase his experience of international competition and showcase his obvious talents.”

The Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior – the new name for ERC Junior Under 27 – features six rounds, three on asphalt and three on gravel, with drivers counting their best four scores.

The post Rally Team Spain ERC alliance continues into 2019 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Top Italian Campedelli targets ERC attack

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 09:00

Simone Campedelli is working hard to secure the budget for an FIA European Rally Championship title attack in 2019.

A frontrunner in the Italian championship in recent seasons, Campedelli also has experience at world and European level.

He hopes to start his campaign on Rally Islas Canarias in May and contest the remaining six rounds of the all-action championship, which includes his home event, Rally di Roma Capitale, in July.

“It would be great to be back in an international contest,” said the highly-capable 32-year-old. “It’s an opportunity I would really appreciate but, at the moment, I am still waiting for the budget to be secured so the decision is not in my hands. I’m ready and it would be great if we can finalise the deal to start in the ERC.”

Driving a Ford Fiesta R5 alongside Swiss co-driver Tania Canton, Campedelli proved his talent against the ERC regulars last season with three stage wins and the leg two victory on Rally di Roma Capitale. And had it not been for a spate of punctures, he could have challenged eventual winner Alexey Lukyanuk for the overall victory.

ERC1 drivers count their best six scores from a possible eight, meaning Campedelli would not be disadvantaged by missing the planned season opener in the Azores in March.

The post Top Italian Campedelli targets ERC attack appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings gets Red Bull backing for ERC Junior bid

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 21:00

Catie Munnings has attracted Red Bull backing for her FIA ERC3 Junior Championship bid, the first female driver from the United Kingdom to receive support from the energy drinks giant.

ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner in 2016, the 21-year-old was a regular top-five finisher in ERC Junior last season and will continue her long-term partnership with Saintéloc Racing in a Pirelli-equipped PEUGEOT 208 R2 during the 2019 season.

“So excited to be joining the Red Bull UK family as the UK’s first female motorsports athlete,” Munnings tweeted. “What a team to be a part of, a big dream come true.”

This year’s ERC3 Junior Championship, which ran under the ERC Junior Under 27 banner in 2018, features six rounds, three on asphalt and three on gravel, as follows:

Round 1: Azores Airlines Rallye, 21-23 March, gravel (subject to promoter agreement)
Round 2: Rally Islas Canarias, 2-4 May, asphalt
Round 3: Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 24-26 May, gravel
Round 4: Rally Poland, 28-30 June, gravel
Round 5: Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 19-21 July, asphalt
Round 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 16-18 August, asphalt

Click here to find out more about Catie Munnings and her ERC Junior results in 2018.

The post Munnings gets Red Bull backing for ERC Junior bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polish contenders to challenge ERC stars

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 06:00

Drivers from the Polish championship will once again take on their FIA European Rally Championship counterparts when they contest Rally Poland in June.

Each season, the ERC gives competitors from national championships the chance to showcase their skills against drivers from the FIA’s top regional championship through the running of combined events.

This year, Rally Poland forms the third event of the Polish championship as well as round four of the 2019 ERC when it takes place from 28-30 June on all-gravel stages around base town Mikołajki.

Click here for more information on Rally Poland.

The post Polish contenders to challenge ERC stars appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Triumph and despair for ERC brothers at home

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 06:00

Brothers Julian and Simon Wagner – competitors in the FIA European Rally Championship in recent seasons – experienced dramatically contrasting fortunes on last weekend’s Jänner Rallye.

While Julian (pictured) took his maiden Austrian championship victory on his debut in an R5 car, older brother Simon was eliminated from the lead battle on the final day when his ŠKODA Fabia R5 suffered electrical failure.

But following the finish in Freistadt on Saturday evening, Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run Julian Wagner said his win alongside ERC co-driving regular Anne Katharina Stein was a “dream come true”.

Meanwhile, top seed and sometime ERC contender Hermann Neubauer suffered early heartache when a newly-fitted driveshaft broke a handful of kilometres from the start of the opening stage.

The post Triumph and despair for ERC brothers at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC rally winner Al-Attiyah embarks on Dakar mission

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 06:00

FIA European Rally Championship event winner Nasser Al-Attiyah will take on one of motorsport’s toughest challenges when he contests the Dakar cross-country raid from 6-17 January.

Al-Attiyah, who won the ERC-counting Cyprus Rally in 2017, is one of the favourites to win the hugely-demanding event, which takes place entirely in Peru over a competitive route of 3000 kilometres divided into 10 gruelling legs.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi, who claimed ERC gold in Cyprus in 2014, is also on the Dakar entry, along with Harry Hunt – who contested two ERC events in 2012 – and Erik Wevers, boss of respected ERC team Wevers Sport. Rallying legend Carlos Sainz, who won seven ERC rallies during his early career, is defending his 2018 title.

Dakar 2019 starts and finishes in the Peruvian capital Lima today (Sunday) and runs until 17 January over a 5000-kilometre route. Competitors get one rest day on 12 January.

The post ERC rally winner Al-Attiyah embarks on Dakar mission appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

On this day in ERC history: Kubica wins big in Austria

Sat, 01/05/2019 - 06:00

Robert Kubica, who will make his hugely-deserved and long-awaited return to Formula One this season after serious injury derailed his grand prix career, was winning in the FIA European Rally Championship five years ago today (5 January 2014).

Kubica, a race winner in Formula One, started the closing 25.00-kilometre stage of the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich trailing Václav Pech by 11.8s. But a stunning performance, coupled with an inspired tyre choice, enabled him to power to victory on the ERC season opener, which took place in the stunning countryside of Upper Austria.

While Pech – who selected slick tyres for his MINI John Cooper Works S2000 – struggled for grip on the mud and rain-hit final test, Kubica opted for a combination of studded and winter Michelin tyres fitted in a diagonal formation, which proved ideal for the demanding conditions.

Co-driven in his LOTOS-backed Ford Fiesta RRC by Maciej Szczepaniak for the first time, Kubica was fastest in the fog and dark by 23.0s to secure top spot over Pech by 19.9s and top the inaugural ERC Ice Master standings after he set eight fastest stage times.

The Polish driver’s efforts emulated Jan Kopecký’s victory of 2013 when the Czech reversed a deficit of 10.6s to claim first place. And his winning margin could have been even higher but for a puncture on day one and a 10-second penalty for a jumped start on Sunday morning.

“For sure it’s very nice to do be here as a winner,” said Kubica at the time. “I did participate on four ERC events [in 2013] but I was often unlucky and made [a] few mistakes as I was using the rallies for training. I was a bit more lucky this time, but the conditions were very difficult and for sure this was one of the toughest weekends of my motorsport career.”

Kubica earned the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for his achievements, which was presented by two-time world rally champion Marcus Grönholm, who was in Austria working as an expert TV commentator for Eurosport.

The post On this day in ERC history: Kubica wins big in Austria appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC brothers set for R5 adventure

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 06:00

Julian and Simon Wagner will transfer their prowess in R2 machinery – and their sibling rivalry – to a pair of ŠKODA Fabia R5s for the Int. Lietz Sport Jänner Rallye from today (4 January).

While Simon Wagner – a podium finisher in ERC Junior last season – is unbeaten in three starts at R5 level, younger brother Julian is making a step up in power for his home event, an FIA European Rally Championship counter in the past.

He’s called on top ERC team Baumschlager Rallye & Racing for his graduation with long-term co-driver and ERC regular Anne Katharina Stein in support.

Sometime ERC driver Hermann Neubauer is the top seed for the Freistadt event, which features 16 stages over a competitive distance of 220.84 kilometres. Co-driven by Bernhard Ettel in a Ford Fiesta R5, the talented Neubauer is the 2016 Austrian rally champion.

Julian (left) and Simon Wagner are pictured on the ERC-counting Barum Czech Rally Zlín in 2017 where they finished fourth and third respectively in the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 category.

The post ERC brothers set for R5 adventure appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lukyanuk on board as Saintéloc tests the best ahead of new ERC season

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 06:00

Saintéloc Racing called on ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk to test its Citroën C3 R5 as part of its ongoing preparations for the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

While Lukyanuk’s involvement was more in his capacity as a top-line driver rather than a potential candidate for Saintéloc’s ERC attack, neither party has ruled out a future collaboration.

“It was great to have an experienced and fast driver like Alexey for a ride in the C3 R5 and give us his feedback,” said Saintéloc’s Rally Manager Vincent Ducher following the test close to Valence last month. “Saintéloc want to be back at the top of the ranking in the ERC with this new car so we are looking for different possibilities.”

Of the test, Lukyanuk said: “The car feels very good and strong. We don’t have far-reaching plans with [Saintéloc] but who knows how everything can turn.”

Co-driven by fellow Russian Alexey Arnautov, Lukyanuk claimed the 2018 ERC title with wins in Azores, Gran Canaria and Italy.

Photo: Facebook.com/lukyanuk

The post Lukyanuk on board as Saintéloc tests the best ahead of new ERC season 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 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)