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European Rally Championship
Updated: 15 min 33 sec ago

Enhanced Hyundai i20 R5 for ERC action

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:00

Hyundai Motorsport’s i20 R5 should be even faster when it takes to the stages of the FIA European Rally Championship this season.

Work by engineers from the team’s Customer Racing department in Germany has resulted in an uprated powerplant, variable valve timing and new engine map, which Hyundai Motorsport reports will “gather more power from the 1.6-litre engine, as well as greater throttle response due to a reworked ALS strategy”.

The changes have been made possible by Hyundai Motorsport using its final ‘joker’, which permits certain changes to be made outside of the original homologation.

And the changes don’t end there. As well as upping the power, ongoing testing and engineering feedback has led to handling tweaks being implemented. There are also new specifications of dampers for both Tarmac and gravel settings, as well as a wider range of differential ramps, which Hyundai Motorsport hopes will allow its customers to “harness greater performance from the i20 R5 as they seek to be competitive in their respective championships”.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Department Manager Andrea Adamo said: “In our efforts with the i20 R5 and our customers we are always aiming to make sure they can compete at the very front of whatever championship they choose. The rapid pace of development within the R5 category means that we constantly have to be working in order to guarantee this. These latest improvement are the most important we have made since the car’s debut, and will allow our customers to again challenge for rally wins and championship titles around the world. This season our customers are competing in a wider range of championships, so we have to make sure we continue our work in order for them to be on the pace in all conditions.”

At least two Hyundai i20 R5s will be in action when the 2018 ERC season gets underway on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Papp’s back for Érdi Jr in the ERC

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 12:00

György Papp will continue to co-drive Tibor Érdi Jr in the FIA European Rally Championship, his team has confirmed.

Érdi Jr revealed last month that he plans to defend the ERC2 title he won alongside Papp in 2017.

An Érdi Rallye Team spokesperson has now confirmed the driver line-up will remain unchanged during the upcoming ERC season when the Hungarians are expected to tackle five rounds of the all-action series in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

Papp is pictured left with Érdi Jr on last September's Rally di Roma Capitale, where they scored a crucial ERC2 class win.

Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre promotion for ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 12:00

The largest shopping centre in the Azores, Parque Atlantico, has joined forces with the Azores Airlines Rallye to promote the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship spectacular.

From 14 February to 4 March, Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre, owned by Sonae Sierra, will feature a display based around the Azores Airlines Rallye zero car.

Several promotional events are also scheduled to allow shoppers to win Azores Airlines Rallye-themed merchandise.

“Successful events are built upon successful partnerships and the Azores Airlines Rallye is proud to announce this cooperation with Parque Atlantico Shopping Centre,” a statement from the event organisers read.

A ceremony to launch the promotion is scheduled for 16h30 on 14 February. All are welcome to attend. The Azores Airlines Rallye will open the 2018 ERC season when it takes place from 22-24 March.

FIA re-selects Pirelli as Official Tyre Supplier to ERC Junior Under 27 Championship

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:00

Pirelli will continue to equip some of rallying’s brightest young prospects after it was confirmed as the Official Tyre Supplier to the 2018 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship following an electronic vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

A founding partner of ERC Junior in 2014 and a staunch supporter of driver development, Pirelli will also continue as an Official Partner of the ERC as part of a long-standing agreement with championship promoter Eurosport Events.

*Decision extends alliance between young driver category and Pirelli for fifth season
*Italian tyre firm remains Official Partner of ERC through agreement with Eurosport Events
*Six-round series features equal split of asphalt and gravel rallies


Pirelli will supply its P Zero RK tyre for the three asphalt-based rounds of ERC Junior Under 27 and its Scorpion K tyre for the three gravel events. It will also provide an on-event support service including technical advice from experienced engineers.

Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli’s Rally Activity Manager, said: “Pirelli is delighted to have been selected as the Official Tyre Supplier of the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship as part of our company-wide philosophy of promoting young talent in rallying to ensure the future of the sport. With Pirelli also being sole supplier to the FIA Junior WRC, as well as being present on several national rally series throughout Europe, a ladder of talent is in place to develop drivers from the grass roots of the sport all the way to the top, which is perfectly in keeping with the ethos behind the ERC as well. We look forward to another exciting season of great rallies and with the aim of discovering more champions of the future.”

ERC Junior, a joint initiative from Eurosport Events and motorsport’s world governing body the FIA for young drivers in Pirelli-equipped R2 cars, lists Marijan Griebel, Jari Huttunen and Stéphane Lefebvre among its graduates. For 2018 it offers one of the best prizes in international motorsport: a career progression fund of 100,000 euros – pledged by the promoter and allocated to the champion to use towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019 when they will step up from an R2 to an R5 car. And for the first time, drivers registering for ERC Junior U27 will be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience training programme, which covers topics such as driving tuition, car set-up, vehicle extrication and first aid, social media dos and don’ts, interview techniques and sponsorship acquisition.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased Pirelli remains the Official Tyre Supplier to ERC Junior following the vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Pirelli continues to provide a high-quality product and service and its support of young drivers is in complete alignment with the ERC. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye hosts the ERC Junior U27 season opener from 22-24 March.

Costenaro wants more than three in the ERC

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 12:00

Giacomo Costenaro is hoping he can turn what will be an initial three-event FIA European Rally Championship campaign into a full ERC season.

Costenaro revealed on his Facebook page that he will contest the Azores Airlines Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and the Acropolis Rally in Greece.

But the Italian added that he doesn’t want his adventure to end there with a full-season bid the ultimate aim for the Italian.

Costenaro, whose last of seven ERC appearances came in 2016, said: “This year we will be back in the FIA ERC. For sure we will participate on the first three events with the hope to continue for the whole season. Stay tuned.”

He focused on an Italian Gravel championship effort in 2017, finishing third in the final standings with two podiums.

On the rise: 177 million watch ERC on TV in 2017

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 12:00

The FIA European Rally Championship achieved significant audience and broadcast hours increases in 2017, independent analysis undertaken by Nielsen Sports on behalf of ERC promoter Eurosport Events has revealed.

Coverage of the eight-event 2017 ERC season reached a cumulative 177.2 million viewers, which marked a 14.5 million (nine per cent) increase compared to 2016, when the ERC calendar was made up of 10 rallies and therefore offered more viewing opportunities.

Despite there being two events fewer in 2017, broadcast time increased by 11.7 per cent to 1081 hours and 12 minutes, a result of new agreements with additional broadcast partners around the world – which totalled 95 channels in 89 markets – plus the reintroduction of trailers on Eurosport and an overhaul of the coverage produced, particularly the ERC All Access magazine show, which was significantly revamped.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “For the viewer numbers and broadcast hours to have increased at the end of a season when we took the decision to reduce the calendar in response to competitor feedback speaks volumes about the popularity of the ERC, the improvements made to the high-quality product produced by Eurosport Events, and the hard work behind the scenes to grow the roster of broadcast partners. While it has been very satisfying to share the findings of Nielsen Sports with our rallies, partners and other stakeholders, the challenge is already underway to achieve further increases in 2018.”

Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Spain were among the countries to experience audience increases. Spain’s 9.6 million rise – on the back of a season-high 249 hours and 42 minutes of broadcast time – was attributed to coverage being achieved on three of the most popular channels, Antena, La1 and Telecinco.

Italy’s return to the ERC schedule through Rally di Roma Capitale resulted, in part, with a 2.5 million audience increase following news coverage on Italia 1 and highlights on Rai Sport.

An audience rise of 1.2 million in Portugal was the result of RTP’s decision to air more coverage on its main national channels in light of top Portuguese driver Bruno Magalhães challenging for the title up until the final round in Latvia, where increased programming on LTV 1 led to an audience rise of 0.5 million.

The 2018 ERC season begins with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. The calendar features eight events – five on gravel, three on asphalt – with the championship finale taking place in Latvia with the sixth running of Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October.

Hyundai pair set for ERC opener

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00

Armindo Araújo and Carlos Vieira are set to contest the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Hyundai i20 R5s backed by the make’s Portuguese importer.

Hyundai Portugal is supporting Araújo and Vieira in a national championship campaign this season. And with the CPR including the ERC season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye as its second round, Araújo and Vieira will go head-to-head with the ERC regulars.

Araújo and Vieira are formidable talents. Araújo is a double Production world champion and four-time Portuguese title winner, while Vieira is the defending national champion.

Having won on his last appearance in the Azores in 2006, Araújo is "very pleased to have Hyundai Portugal's support in this return to competition and very motivated to drive the Hyundai i20 R5. We have created an ambitious project and we will work towards winning."

Vieira, who placed ninth in the Azores last year, said: “It's a huge pride for me to represent Hyundai, it's something that I always dreamed of being able to participate in a project supported by a brand. I am very motivated and aware of the responsibility of defending Hyundai's colours in CPR.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye takes place from 22-24 March.

Araújo is pictured left with co-driver Miguel Ramalho (Photo: Hyundai.pt)

Monteiro aims for gains with big ERC push

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:00

Aloísio Monteiro hopes stepping up to the FIA European Rally Championship’s headlining ERC1 class in 2018 can make him an even better driver, while giving his sponsors a greater return on their investment.

Monteiro is targeting a six-event ERC campaign following a successful season in the Iberia section of the European Clio R3T Trophy, when he finished runner-up to Spaniard Fran Cima Artime.

He will continue his partnership with ARC Sport, which guided his fellow Portuguese Bruno Magalhães to the runner-up spot in the overall ERC standings last year and also oversaw Emma Falcón’s ERC Ladies’ Trophy campaign.

“The progress and evolution that we have seen from the Portuguese drivers who join the ERC is incredible and the recent successes of Diogo Gago and Bruno Magalhães is proof of this,” Monteiro said. “This learning fascinates me and my goal is always to improve as a rally driver.”

Welcoming Monteiro to the championship, ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “Having proved himself in one-make rallying, it’s great that Aloísio is stepping up to a higher level. But he does so with the support of a very strong team around him in ARC Sport. And by targeting a six-event campaign he’ll gain plenty of experience while avoiding putting too much pressure on himself.”

André Couceiro, Portuguese RC5 class champion navigator in 2017, will co-drive Monteiro while the identity of their car will be announced in due course.

In addition to the Azores Airlines Rallye, which takes place from 22-24 March, and Rally Islas Canarias, which follows from 3-5 May, Monteiro is planning to contest four more ERC rallies although his precise schedule is currently unconfirmed. He took part on both island events last year.

All rounds of the 2018 ERC will enjoy significant coverage on Eurosport plus other networks in Europe and around the world.

Griebel reveals hoped-for ERC schedule

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel has revealed his hoped-for FIA European Rally Championship campaign for 2018.

After winning back-to-back ERC Junior titles, Griebel is now preparing to mount a bid for outright ERC1 class honours.

He plans to contest the ERC-counting Azores Airlines Rallye, Acropolis Rally, Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín with Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja dependent on budget and results. Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally unfortunately clash with his eight-event German championship campaign, which he announced on Friday.

Griebel will pilot a ROMO-Motorsport PEUGEOT 208 T16 alongside co-driver Stefan Kopczyk. Alexander Rath will do likewise in the DRM, which begins with the Saaland-Pfalz Rallye from 2-3 March.

Full ERC Azores Airlines Rallye programme published

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 12:00

Organisers of the Azores Airlines Rallye, the opening round of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship season, have published the full event programme.

Taking place from 22-24 March, the event is one of the most spectacular on the international calendar. Click here for more information.

Big chance for ERC Junior Under 28 champion Griebel

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 14:00

One of the most successful young drivers in recent FIA European Rally Championship history has been handed a dream opportunity by PEUGEOT Deutschland for 2018.

Marijan Griebel, who won back-to-back ERC Junior titles in R2 and R5 machinery, will add a German championship challenge to his planned outright ERC campaign after being signed by his country’s PEUGEOT importer to contest the eight-round domestic series in a PEUGEOT 208 T16.

His programme in Germany, which will also include the world championship-counting ADAC Rallye Deutschland in August, is in addition to his ERC bid when he plans to contest up to six European championship rounds, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. Griebel stands to tackle upwards of 14 rallies in an R5 car in 2018 with an outright ERC win a firm target for the 28-year-old German talent, a protégé of former European champion Armin Kremer.

“I’m always trying to build my experience in R5 cars and I now have a link to a manufacturer, PEUGEOT, which is important,” said Griebel, who has elected to swap a one-off drive in a World Rally Car – his prize for winning the ERC Junior Under 28 title in 2017 – for an expanded programme of ERC events in 2018 with the full support and agreement of ERC promoter Eurosport Events. “The aim is to do six ERC rounds and, after finishing second and third last year, the goal is to win a European championship rally in 2018 and then target becoming European champion in the future. With six rounds in the ERC compared to the four I was able to do in 2017, I am in a much better position than last year.”

Griebel plans to contest the ERC-counting Azores Airlines Rallye, Acropolis Rally, Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín with Rally Poland and Rally Liepāja dependent on budget and results. Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally unfortunately clash with his German championship campaign.

“Last year it was really difficult for me to drive an R5 car on a complete private basis,” said Griebel. “Luckily it was just one year and now I have a great opportunity with PEUGEOT Deutschland with the same ROMO-Motorsport team I did the last round of the German championship with in 2017 when everything worked quite well. After that I worked hard to get the seat in the car for this year and now I am really looking forward to showing what I and the car can achieve together.”

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “To be handed this chance by a manufacturer such as PEUGEOT is an enormous opportunity for Marijan and a real recognition of his ability. He’s in a really good position to build his experience in R5 machinery and take another step as a driver.”

Stefan Kopczyk will co-drive Griebel in the ERC, when he will drive a ROMO-Motorsport 208 T16, with Alexander Rath doing likewise in the DRM, which begins with the Saaland-Pfalz Rallye from 2-3 March.

Wagner follows Huttunen, Lefebvre with ERC Junior bid

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:00

Simon Wagner will contest the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in 2018, as he follows in the wheel tracks of rising talents Jari Huttunen and Stéphane Lefebvre by contesting the young driver training series.

After impressing on two ERC Junior appearances in 2017, which included a podium finish on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the 24-year-old from Austria is preparing to bid for the coveted title – and the 100,000 euros career progression fund, offered by ERC promoter Eurosport Events to the eventual champion, to use towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019 when they step up from an R2 to an R5 car. Factory world rally drivers Huttunen and Lefebvre are among a number of notable ERC Junior graduates.

Driving a Peugeot 208 R2 for the Saintéloc Racing Junior Team in the six-event contest, Wagner will also be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience, a series of training workshops and seminars organised during the season. Topics covered include driving tuition, car set-up, vehicle extrication and first aid, social media dos and don’ts, interview techniques and sponsorship acquisition.

Wagner’s step up to ERC Junior full time for 2018 is in line with championship promoter Eurosport Events’ aim to provide a clear path of progression from national to international level. Having won the Austrian Junior crown in 2016 and challenged for Czech 2WD honours in 2017 alongside selected ERC Junior outings, Wagner will embark on a full-season ERC Junior bid alongside experienced co-driver Gerald Winter. They will contest three events on asphalt and three on gravel starting with the loose-surface Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

And Wagner underlined his potential when he came close to winning last month’s International Jänner Rallye in an ageing Mazda 323 GT-R – a reduced-budget effort aimed at showcasing his talent to a wider audience – only to retire from the lead on the road section heading to the finish.

“Even with the bitter retirement on the last road section, the Jänner Rallye was an absolute highlight,” said Wagner. “I am completely aware that the difficult and changing conditions of the rally contributed to the fact that we were able to end up being first after the last stage with an old car. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, I am proud of what we were able to show there. Now I'm looking forward to the challenge of FIA ERC Junior and I want to thank all supporters and sponsors for the unique opportunity to tackle this championship with the official Peugeot Sport team Saintéloc.”

Vincent Ducher, the Saintéloc Racing Team Manager, said: “We already had an eye on Simon before the Jänner Rallye and have been in contact with him regarding a potential cooperation in 2018. Saintéloc has successfully helped and developed talented young drivers already in the past and we really look forward to welcome Simon and Gerald to our junior team in 2018.”

Hungarian champion Herczig steps up to ERC for full-season campaign

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:00

Norbert Herczig has vowed not to waste his long-awaited chance to compete outside his native Hungary full time when he contests the FIA European Rally Championship in 2018.

Herczig will step up to the ERC as a four-time Hungarian champion after clinching his third consecutive national crown in 2017 and having landed support from oil company MOL Hungary.

The 42-year-old will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 under the MOL Racing Team banner and run by leading Austrian outfit Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, which guided him to domestic honours last season on the back of three wins and two podiums.

His programme is set to include all eight rounds of the ERC, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March and finishing in Latvia, venue of Rally Liepāja, from 12-14 October. Ramón Ferencz, also from Hungary, has signed up as Herczig’s new co-driver.

“We have been preparing for years to show internationally what we are able to achieve,” Herczig explained. “But without proper backing we did not have the opportunity for that. So I am proud that one of the biggest companies in Hungary and many more of our partners decided to support me to achieve our common goals. I ensure everyone that we will do everything to finish the championship with the best result.”

Herczig has been using MOL Racing Fuel RST (Rally Standard) since 2016. And what was initially a supply deal developed into a fully-fledged partnership when MOL became his title sponsor the following year.

“MOL is engaged to support sports since sport is a universal language that connects all of us,” said Kata Apáti-Tóth, MOL Hungary's Communication Director. “We are fully standing by Norbert, which is why we decided to support him in the ERC this year. We are excited about the season ahead. It’s a big achievement that we have a Hungarian driver who can take part in the entire European Rally Championship. His skills and results make him deserving of this opportunity.”

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “A key objective of the ERC is to provide a platform for drivers to step up from national to international level, and we’re delighted that Norbert Herczig is taking this step with a top team in Baumschlager Rallye & Racing and a high-level sponsor in MOL Hungary. Of course, Norbert has a lot to learn, but he’s got a strong package behind him and it’s clear from what he has achieved in his career so far that he has the ability required to shine in the European championship.”

D-50: Excitement builds ahead of ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:00

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship fires into life on one of the most spectacular events of them all in 50 days from now.

Based on the island of São Miguel from 22-24 March, the Azores Airlines Rallye is a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster of an event using mainly gravel roads.

Stages criss-cross breath-taking scenery and lush countryside and are characterised by their sandy surface and narrow and undulating nature.

And because the timed tests are often no wider than the width of a car, there is simply no margin for error, particularly on the Sete Cidades test along the rim of a volcanic crater lake.

Changeable weather is also a factor with conditions switching from sunshine to showers and fog patches.

Up for the double: Érdi Jr targets ERC title defence

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:00

Tibor Érdi Jr has no intention of winning the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 title just once after announcing plans to defend his crown in 2018.

Érdi Jr claimed the showroom category laurels in a thrilling final-round decider on Rally Liepāja last October when he pipped Zelindo Melegari to top honours. Now he wants to become back-to-back champion.

The Hungarian has targeted a five-event campaign in 2018 although he has yet to confirm whether he will contest the season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March or push back the start of his title defence to round two, Rally Islas Canarias, from 3-5 May.

“Our plan is to compete on five rallies but, right now, we’re not sure if we can participate in the Azores,” Érdi Jr explained. “We are waiting for the [new mandatory] safety fuel tank to be delivered and we’re not sure it will arrive in time to participate on that event. But anything can happen so our schedule is maybe Azores, Canarias, Greece, Italy and Czech Republic. These are the countries we would like to participate in and we will keep Latvia as the spare event.”

Érdi Jr is the second European championship regular to reveal his plans for an ERC2 campaign in 2018 following on from Sergei Remennik’s announcement last week confirming he will return for a second season after placing third in last year’s final standings.

And like Remennik, Érdi Jr intends to take advantage of a regulations tweak for 2018, which stipulates that ERC2 drivers count their best four scores rather than the previous six, a response to calls from competitors to lessen costs, reduce their time commitment and ultimately make ERC2 more accessible to more drivers.

While Érdi Jr’s precise ERC2 schedule is still to be finalised, the 35-year-old has already switched into competition mode in 2018 by contesting the Latvian championship-counting Rally Alūksne earlier this month. Driving a Vorobjovs Racing Mitsubishi Lancer, Érdi Jr placed P13 overall and fifth in class.

Co-driven by compatriot György Papp, Érdi Jr took the 2017 ERC2 crown courtesy of category victories on Rally Islas Canarias, Barum Czech Rally Zlín and Rally di Roma Capitale. He finished second on the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally in Greece and Rally Liepāja.

The Azores Airlines Rallye marks the opening round of the 2018 ERC season from 22-24 March. The calendar features eight events, five on gravel, three on asphalt with the championship finale taking place in Latvia with the sixth running of Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October.

Former ERC champion Kopecký is a class act

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 18:00

Jan Kopecký, the winner of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, turned 36 in style today (Sunday) with a class win on Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Co-driven by fellow Czech Pavel Dresler, Kopecký was ŠKODA Motorsport’s sole official representative on the world championship counter but thrived under the pressure to deliver a standout victory in his Fabia R5.

Taking the class lead on the second day of the iconic Tarmac rally, Kopecký adopted a measured approach to win by almost eight and half minutes having claimed a number of fastest times in his category along the way.

Esapekka Lappi, who succeeded Kopecký as ERC champion in 2014, was on course for a fine fourth place on only his third Rallye Monte-Carlo start only to slide wide and off the road on the final stage and drop to seventh. The Finn finished ahead of ERC event winners Bryan Bouffier and Craig Breen, who were eighth and ninth respectively. Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke and Thierry Neuville – all drivers with ERC event experience – placed second, third, fourth and fifth.

The 2018 ERC season begins on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Photo: ŠKODA Motorsport

Late twist in store for ERC Rally Islas Canarias

Sat, 01/27/2018 - 12:00

This year’s Rally Islas Canarias, the Spanish round of the FIA European Rally Championship, is set to feature a potentially decisive late twist.

While the event itinerary has yet to be officially disclosed, organisers of the Las Palmas-based classic have revealed the rally will finish with the longest stage of the event, the 24.21-kilometre Gáldar test on the afternoon of Saturday 5 May.

Only the Acropolis Rally in Greece included a longer final stage in 2017 with the Elatia/Karya run measuring 33.86 kilometres in length.

Rally Islas Canarias hosts the second event of the 2018 ERC season from 3-5 May.

ERC Junior champion Ingram takes to the streets

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:00

Chris Ingram’s profile has been raised even further thanks to partner CarFinance247. The Manchester, UK-based company helped to mark Ingram’s achievement in winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship last season by promoting his standout success on a giant billboard in Ingram’s home city.

He said: “Proud to see this billboard up in my home city Manchester. Massive thanks to CarFinance247 for the support.”

Ingram’s prize for winning the ERC Junior Under 27 title is a grant of €100,000 for an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2018.

Leading ERC team gets three Polo GTI R5s

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 12:00

Austrian squad Baumschlager Rallye & Racing – the team behind Marijan Griebel’s FIA ERC Junior Under 28 success in 2017 – has completed orders for three all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5s.

Fifteen examples of the car are set to be delivered to customers in the second half of this year amid ongoing strong interest in the all-new machine.

“We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback on the Polo GTI R5,” said Sven Smeets, the Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “The customer demand is enormous. We are obviously pleased about this, and it is an additional motivation to provide the teams with the best possible rally car.”

Subject to homologation, the Polo GTI R5 could be eligible for competitive use in the ERC from Barum Czech Rally Zlín (24-26 August) onwards.

New rules leave Remennik wanting more ERC2 action

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:00

Sergei Remennik has signed up for a second season of FIA ERC2 action – and a change to the rules for 2018 was a deciding factor in his decision.

Responding to calls from drivers and teams, FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events worked with governing body the FIA to modify the regulations concerning scoring opportunities in the ERC2 category for showroom-based machinery.

Previously drivers could count their best six scores from a possible eight. But feedback from competitors concluded that by allowing drivers to include their best four scores only would lessen costs, reduce the time commitment and ultimately make ERC2 more accessible to more drivers.

“Last year was very difficult in terms of time away from home and work because it was eight events and you must not forget the additional training and testing,” Remennik explained. “So it’s great that the organisers have changed the scoring rules and we will choose the races we like the most, where we can get the best results.”

Remennik, whose Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will continue to be co-driven by compatriot Mark Rozin, is set to tackle the Azores Airlines Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias, the Acropolis Rally in Greece and Rally Liepāja in Latvia as a minimum commitment.

“Since the four best results count towards the standings, we need to have a couple of races in reserve,” said Remennik, who placed third in last season’s ERC2 standings, his first international campaign. “Where else we will go will depend on my job, budgets and how we start the season. Last year we started quite well – we saw that we were quite competitive and fast in the category. If there is an opportunity to compete for the title, it will be seen after the first half of the season. Then it will be already clear whether it is worth to push hard or not.”

Remennik will continue to work with driver coach and ERC event winner Alexey Lukyanuk in 2018, with the pair spending four days training in Rovaniemi, Finland recently where Remennik honed his skills driving on snow and ice. The trip to the Arctic Circle was in preparation for a planned outing on Rallijs Sarma in Latvia on 10 February, a round of the national and Estonian championships.

The Azores Airlines Rallye marks the opening round of the 2018 ERC season from 22-24 March.

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ORLEN 74 Rally Poland / Rajd Polski

ORLEN 74 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)