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European Rally Championship
Updated: 9 min 13 sec ago

ERC Rome order shaken up by Rossetti and Crugnola issues

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 16:37

The battle for FIA European Rally Championship honours on Rally di Roma Capitale has been shaken up by two of the top three hitting trouble on the afternoon pass of Pico-Greci, handing the lead to Giandomenico Basso.

Previous rally leader Andrea Crugnola’s slim lead evaporated when he had to stop and change a wheel, costing him over two minutes and dropping him well down the order.

And there was further change for the podium places when three-time ERC champion Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL), who had started the afternoon in third place, crashed out four kilometres into stage four.

Cutting a left hand corner, a rim on Rossetti’s car broke, which caused him to go straight on at the following left hand corner.

ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) was the main beneficiary, moving from fourth to second place despite reaching to the finish with a front-left puncture and dropping 20s to Basso (Loran SRL).

Current championship leader Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) closed in on third-placed Lukyanuk due to the Russian’s puncture, now 18.7s behind his title rival.

But Habaj is under threat from ERC1 Junior leader Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) in sixth, the latter cutting his disadvantage down to 1.2s.

Stage four was also briefly delayed when Albert von Thurn und Taxis’ car (Baumschlager Rallye & Racing) caught fire, forcing him to retire.

The post ERC Rome order shaken up by Rossetti and Crugnola issues appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Driving parade brings ERC to the centre of Rome

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 16:30

Drivers from the FIA European Rally Championship enjoyed a motorised tour of central Rome on Friday evening as the traditional Rally di Roma Capitale parade attracted significant interest from members of the public in the historic Italian city.

Setting off from the Castel Sant’Angelo on the banks of the River Tiber in groups of 15 behind separate police escorts, the drivers covered a route of approximately 10 kilometres past famous landmarks including Campidoglio, Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and the Terme di Caracalla.

Afterwards, ERC drivers were united in their praise of the initiative and appreciative of the opportunity to showcase themselves and the championship in front of thousands of people.

“It’s something unique to the ERC,” said Alexey Lukyanuk, last year’s Rally di Roma Capitale winner and the defending FIA European Rally champion. “You are driving not really fast but it’s without any stops around really nice places. It’s a good experience and we’re happy to repeat it. It’s good for the championship because people are curious what’s happening. We got some attention.”

Łukasz Habaj, leader of the European championship after four rounds, said: “It was the third time I did it but this year I was the first car after the police so I could really enjoy the sightseeing. In general, the day in Rome was really enjoyable. People are always quite surprised to see rally cars in the city. Because it’s Rome there are so many tourists and plenty of people. We also saw some Polish people, so it was nice.”

Yaroslav Fedorov, co-driver to ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin, said: “It’s always one of the brilliant moments of Rally di Roma Capitale. You feel like ancient gladiators moving near the Colosseum and places like this. It’s our third time here and we know Rome like our home city now.”

Mārtiņš Sesks, competing on Rally di Roma Capitale as part of his prize for winning the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior title in 2018, said: “It was very nice to see what’s happening in the capital. For sure it’s good for the championship and drivers like me to be able to perform in this way. Italians are very passionate about motorsport.”

Japanese ERC1 Junior driver Hiroki Arai said: “It was quite amazing that we didn’t have to stop at every traffic light and it was valid because the police were leading us. Many people were watching us, the atmosphere was amazing.”

 Pedro Antunes, part of the FPAK Portugal Team ERC line-up in the Pirelli-equipped ERC3 Junior division, said: “It was amazing to start in that beautiful city. People told me before that it would be incredible and it was really incredible. All the people cheering and passing through those monuments was really nice.”

Peugeot Rally Academy’s Catie Munnings added: “It was so much fun – the atmosphere was incredible. It was like doing a city stage around the Colosseum, which was just the most surreal feeling. It was the best sightseeing you can do because you get to do everything with no queues in a rally car.”

Organised by Max Rendina and his Motorsport Italia company, Rally di Roma Capitale is the fifth event of the 2019 ERC season and part of the championship for the third time.

The post Driving parade brings ERC to the centre of Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC1 Junior leader Mares bounces back after Czech crash

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 15:26

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s young star in an R5 car Filip Mareš is back on form in his quest for FIA ERC1 Junior Championship success on Rally di Roma Capitale, building up his confidence after a crash last weekend.

Mareš was in a race against time to make the event after his ŠKODA Fabia R5 sustained heavy damage in a crash on Rally Bohemia last weekend, requiring extensive repairs.

He subsequently took a a cautious approach to the opening loop of Rally di Roma Capitale, which paid dividends with the lead in ERC1 Junior and sixth overall as others hit trouble, including title rival Chris Ingram who suffered rear brake problems and dropped over 30 seconds.

“We started carefully because of the accident last week for sure, but we are improving step-by-step. We are more and more confident with every kilometre” he said.

“We are not so far behind Habaj and we are keeping first position in ERC1 Junior, which is the most important target for us, so we can be satisfied so far.”

A win and the leg points that go with it would keep the ERC1 Junior title fight going until Mareš’s home ERC round, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, next month.

The post ERC1 Junior leader Mares bounces back after Czech crash appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Q&A: Rally di Roma Capitale leader Andrea Crugnola

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 14:46

2014 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship runner-up Andrea Crugnola is grabbing headlines once again by leading Rally di Roma Capitale. After scoring two stage wins out of three on Saturday morning, we caught up with Crugnola to understand the secret behind his rapid pace.

Q: It's been a good morning for you so far, hasn't it?

A: Yes, of course, we are happy about our morning. We need to work a little bit on the set-up of the car because it's our first time with the Škoda on Tarmac. Pace is very high, we are very close with the other competitors so we need to stay focused, keep our pace high and of course avoid mistakes and punctures.

Q: That seems quite difficult with so many drivers having problems. How are you guys keeping out of trouble?

A: Last year I was starting 40th [on the road] because I didn't enter ERC and I got punctures! So this year it was very important to set a good time in the Qualifying Stage, to start at the front in the first group at least. Now we will have some rocks [on the road] like the others so we will try to manage it. Sometimes you also have to be lucky: it's like this for everyone. We will see after the next three stages and when we finish the loop, we will see where we can be.

Q: And what do you want to do to the set-up? You said you weren't too happy with it.

A: Yes, we need to work because I'm trying to adapt my driving style to the car, but it's not enough, so we need to find some speed from our set-up. This is the plan and I hope we can fix it with the engineers and the mechanics.

The post ERC Q&A: Rally di Roma Capitale leader Andrea Crugnola appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC champion Lukyanuk bemoans “quite bad” Rome opening loop

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 13:59

FIA European Rally Championship title holder Alexey Lukyanuk is unhappy with his fourth position after the Saturday morning loop of Rally di Roma Capitale, describing his performance as “quite bad”.

The Russian driver, who switched to Saintéloc Racing for his title defence this year, is only one position ahead of current ERC points leader Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies), and is 22.7s behind rally leader Andrea Crugnola.

"In general we are doing all we can but nothing comes out [of it],” said Lukyanuk at midday service.

“We were eight seconds slower on the second stage than in the previous year. But what, I forget how to drive or something? I don't know. Something's not working.

Lukyanuk’s car had been carrying a pop-off valve issue since the opening Pico-Greci stage, but also said his car was handling “like soap” later in the same loop.

“It's not the main problem,” said Lukyanuk of the pop-off valve problem. “I don't know. We will try [some changes at service] and see.”

The post ERC champion Lukyanuk bemoans “quite bad” Rome opening loop appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Furuseth takes early Rome ERC3 lead as title rivals hit trouble

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 13:16

Sindre Furuseth’s FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title ambitions were strengthened by a good start to Rally di Roma Capitale, as title rivals Efrén Llarena and Ken Torn lost time on Pico-Greci.

Driving a Pirelli-shod Peugeot 208 R2, Saintéloc Junior Team’s young Norwegian talent was fastest in ERC3 on stages one and three, building a 28.2s lead over Grégoire Munster (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team)

His title rivals encountered a similar issue to each other: Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) and Llarena (Rally Team Spain) and both picked up punctures on Pico-Greci, the first stage of the rally, losing 47.8s and 1m42s respectively.

The first of ACCR Czech Rally Team’s federation-backed young chargers Erik Cais took advantage to hold third position after the Saturday morning loop, 37 seconds behind Furuseth.

Despite his puncture Torn is still in the fight, climbing up to fourth place on stage three, only 13.2s behind Cais and the final podium position.

ACCR Czech Rally Team has two cars in the top five, with Jan Talaš 5.5s behind Torn but only 3.3s ahead of sixth-placed Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO).

Schwedt was one of two cars to suffer clutch trouble: the other was Orhan Avcioğlu (Toksport WRT), making his first ERC3 appearance after competing in the top ERC1 class last season. Avcioğlu had been running seventh until his clutch pedal began going to the floor, dropping behind the recovering Llarena to eighth.

Another driver plotting a comeback drive is Florian Bernardi, who was also setback by a tyre issue on Pico-Greci that cost him two minutes. He immediately bounced back with an ERC3 stage win on stage two but still has a long way to go, passing Gregor Jeets for ninth at the end of the morning loop.

ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team faced two extremes: while Munster is flying high in second place, Elias Lundberg’s real position on the leaderboard is still unknown, having been held up by Pedro Antunes (FPAK Portugal Team ERC) after he crashed out on Pico-Greci.

While a notional time will likely improve Lundberg’s current P11 in ERC3 and P9 in ERC3 Junior, a trapped nerve in his left arm forced him to drive with only his right hand, costing him further time.

Cristiana Oprea is P12 on her ERC3 debut, driving a R2 car for the very first time after two and a half years racing R1-specification machinery in her native Romanian championship.

James Williams had a difficult introduction to ERC3, losing three minutes with a puncture on Pico-Greci and then crashing out one stage later. Catie Munnings (Peugeot Rally Academy) is also out, a brake fire at the finish line of Pico-Greci forcing her to retire on the following road section.

The post Furuseth takes early Rome ERC3 lead as title rivals hit trouble appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Home favourite Nucita takes early Abarth and ERC2 Rome lead

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 12:39

Andrea Nucita kicked off his home round of the FIA European Rally Championships’ ERC2 category and Abarth Rally Cup in style, winning the first three stages to establish a lead in both classes.

Locked in a battle for championship honours with Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology), Nucita is focused on taking maximum points for his Abarth Rally Cup title bid, and began in style by winning all three stages by at least 20 seconds.

“I’m very happy for the rhythm. The focus for the race is first position in Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 and at the moment it’s all good for this,” said Nucita after stage three.

Nucita has a two minute lead over fellow Fiat Abarth 124 Rally pilot Poloński, with Nucita’s new Loran SRL team-mate Zelindo Melegari completing the podium on his Abarth Rally Cup debut.

Mshari Althefiri is making his third ERC2 appearance in a row and is fourth in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. A brake fade issue cost him over 1m30s on Pico-Greci, so is now over two minutes adrift of Melegari ahead.

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Crugnola leads in Rome after first morning of ERC action

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 12:23

Andrea Crugnola leads Rally di Roma Capitale after an intense first morning of FIA European Rally Championship action, as early leader Nikolay Gryazin crashed out.

Last year’s ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) won stage one to take an early lead but crashed out only four corners from the finish of stage two, locking up on a fast left-hander and going off into a tree.

Both Gryazin and co-driver Yaroslav Federov were OK after their off but the car’s rollcage was damaged in the impact, which will force them to sit out the rest of the event.

That promoted Crugnola, an ERC3 Junior graduate who finished as championship runner-up in 2014, to the lead of the rally in his ŠKODA Fabia R5, who built a 7.3s over Giandomenico Basso (Loran SRL).

Crugnola won both stages two and three but has two drivers with five ERC titles between them in tow, with two-time champion Basso followed by three-time winner Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL) 14.9s off the lead.

Reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) is fourth, 22.7s off the pace and with his car running slightly down on power with a pop-off valve issue.

The Russian’s main title rival Łukasz Habaj is fifth after a difficult morning, 29.8s behind Lukyanuk after suffering three spins across the first two stages.

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s young star in an R5 car Filip Mareš leads the ERC1 Junior class after Gryazin’s retirement and is also sixth overall, his decision to pace himself paying off as others hit trouble.

Seventh-placed Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team), who is giving the brand new evolution of the Ford Fiesta R5 its European debut, was initially running in the top five until a puncture on Roccasecca-Colle San Magno.

Campedelli demoted two-time Rally di Roma Capitale winner Umberto Scandola (Hyundai Motorsport N) to eighth place on stage three, with Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) also being passed by Campedelli and falling to ninth.

ERC1 Junior championship leader Chris Ingram completes the top 10, having lost over half a minute with fading rear brakes on Pico-Greci.

Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija), who is making his second of two prize drive appearances for winning the ERC3 Junior title last year, completes the ERC1 Junior podium in P11 overall, having been delayed by a puncture on Pico-Greci.

Andrea Nucita has made a strong start to lead both the Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 production category, while Sindre Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) leads ERC3 and ERC3 Junior after two stages.

The post Crugnola leads in Rome after first morning of ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Gryazin crashes out of ERC Rome lead

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 11:19

Nikolay Gryazin has crashed out of the lead on Rally di Roma Capitale, with last year’s FIA ERC1 Junior champion overshooting a corner and hitting a tree on stage two.

The Russian driver was planning to gain more experience on asphalt in ERC this year, using his prize fund for winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2018 to compete in both Rome and next month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

But Gryazin didn’t make it to the end of stage two, getting into trouble under braking while pushing to keep the lead and hitting a tree only a few corners from the end of Roccasecca - Colle San Magno.

"We were pushing and on this place we crashed there was strange dust on the road, I don’t remember. I was not touching the dust but the car completely locked all wheels," explained Grazyin.

"We tried to release the brakes, it didn’t help and we just go through to the tree. We broke the guardrail and damaged the roll cage.

"We will not continue this event. For us it is finished here but when you are trying to push it’s normal that some kind of crashes can happen, but I hope we will not repeat it again."

There were smaller incidents for other drivers, with the same hairpin catching out both Hiroki Arai (STARD) and Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) with half-spins and a few seconds lost.

Andrea Crugnola inherited the lead after Gryazin’s crash and extended his advantage over two-time ERC champion Giandomenico Basso (Loran SRL) to 4.9s with the fastest time on stage two.

Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL), himself a three-time ERC title-winner, has jumped from sixth to third, passing defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) and Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team), the latter picking up a front-right puncture when cutting a corner.

Umberto Scandola (Hyundai Motorsport N) now completes the top five with Campedelli’s delay, the double Roma winner's first even on Tarmac in a Hyundai i20 R5.

The post Gryazin crashes out of ERC Rome lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tough Rome opener takes its toll on ERC crews

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 10:44

FIA European Rally Championship crews faced a tricky start to Rally di Roma Capitale, with the rally-opening Pico-Greci stage claiming Niki Mayr-Melnhof’s Ford Fiesta R5 and other drivers hitting trouble.

Austrian national champion Mayr-Melnhof had chosen to run as first car on the road but was also the first to retire, making it only 1.5 kilometres before he went off into an embankment.

Three young stars in R5 cars competing in the ERC1 Junior Championship also had issues.

Points leader Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) suffered fading brakes that cost him 40s compared to reigning ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies), while Hiroki Arai (STARD) lost 55s with a puncture.

Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija), who is redeeming his second prize drive awarded by promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC3 Junior title last year, was also delayed by a puncture, dropping 40s.

Swedish pilot Lars Stugemo, Palmeirinha Rally’s Paulo Nobre and reigning double ERC2 Tibor Érdi Jr. (Érdi Team KFT) were also hit with punctures. Unlike his younger rivals, Érdi elected to stop and change a wheel, only to suffer a second puncture to drop over four minutes.

Similar problems also afflicted ERC3 Junior championship title contender Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) and British rookie James Williams, who dropped 1m42s and 2m56s to class leader Sindre Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) respectively.

Qualifying Stage winner Gryazin leads the overall Rally di Roma Capitale classification along with the ERC1 Junior class, 1.4s ahead of Andrea Crugnola.

Two-time ERC champion Giandomenico Basso (Loran SRL) is 1.6s off Gryazin in third, with Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) and Simone Campedelli (Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team) completing the top five.

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Rally di Roma Capitale live on Facebook, ERC Radio

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 09:00

Rally di Roma Capitale can be followed live on Facebook and ERC Radio when the first of 16 special stages start at 09h30 local time.

ERC Radio reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will report live from the end of special stages, while there will be live coverage on Facebook of stages three, six, 10, 14, 15 and 16.

ERC Radio is available at FIAERC.com of by downloading the ERC app. Click here for the Facebook Live coverage.

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Melegari expects “emotional” Abarth Rally Cup debut in ERC

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 06:00

FIA European Rally Championship regular Zelindo Melegari is braced for an “emotional” debut in the Abarth Rally Cup this weekend.

The Italian has swapped his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X for the Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally ahead of Rally di Roma Capitale.

Ahead of the ceremonial start in Rome on Friday evening, Melegari revealed he was a boyhood fan of Abarth rally cars.

“My passion started when I was 11,” said Melegari, a contender for ERC2 points. “I had a poster of an Abarth rally car featuring Markku Alen. This rally will be a little bit emotional for this reason.”

Melegari has covered approximately 40 kilometres in his Loran SRL-run Abarth. He’s therefore treating Rally di Roma Capitale as an extended test session.

“I will have nearly 200 kilometres of testing doing the rally,” said Melegari. “I want to arrive at the end with a podium to also have a good result in ERC2.”

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Champion Lukyanuk: We’re still learning in ERC

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:00

Alexey Lukyanuk admits he’s still learning his Citroën C3 R5 as he prepares to win Rally di Roma Capitale for a second season running.

Lukyanuk triumphed on the asphalt only event in Italy last season on his way to winning the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship.

Although he won the last round in Poland, the Russian wasn’t entirely at ease with his Saintéloc Junior Team-run machine during practice and qualifying this morning.

I don’t know if we found the right set-up in testing,” said Lukyanuk. “We still made some changes in the qualification today because we’re still searching. In this car we don’t have much experience, so we are still learning and exploring. It’s interesting but it takes time.”

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Castel Sant’Angelo start for ERC Rally Roma di Capitale

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:00

Italy’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship began beneath the historical Castel Sant’Anglo close to the Vatican City in Rome this evening.

Fans and media watched the competing crews drive over the start ramp to signal Rally di Roma Capitale getting underway.

Up next is the opening stage, Pico-Greci, from 09h33 local time.

 

 

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Munnings excited ahead of ERC return

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:00

Catie Munnings says she’s “so excited” to be back on FIA European Rally Championship duty in Italy this week.

After missing PZM 76th Rally Poland last month, Munnings returns in her Peugeot Rally Academy R2 with co-driver Veronica Engan.

“I’m so excited to be back, this was one of my favourite rallies last year, an incredible atmosphere and really good stages,” said the Red Bull-backed Briton. “Every year the stages surprise me how tricky they are. But we’ve got a new pacenote system this year so I’m hoping they will suit these roads.”

As well as chasing ERC3 points on Rally di Roma Capitale, Munnings will bid for ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours.

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Gryazin picks P5, Mayr-Melnhof first in ERC Rome road order

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 17:10

Nikolay Gryazin used his free choice of road order on Rally di Roma Capitale to pick fifth in the FIA European Rally Championship running order for Saturday’s first leg, with Niki Mayr-Melnhof choosing to go first.

Unlike gravel rallies, where drivers usually opt to start as far down the order as possible, the top 15 drivers from Friday morning’s Qualifying Stage took different strategies for their start order selection.

Last year’s ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) will start fifth on the road, with second and third fastest qualifiers Andrea Crugnola and Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL) choosing to run fourth and third respectively.

Austrian national champion Mayr-Melnhof, who was fifth to choose, selected the honour of leading the ERC field into battle on Saturday, with championship points leader Łukasz Habaj (SRT) also getting creative and choosing to start seventh.

Drivers who finished between P10 and P15 in qualifying will start the rally on Saturday in the same positions, including ERC1 Junior star in an R5 car Hiroki Arai (STARD) in P10 and reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Racing) starting from P12.

Rally di Roma Capitale gets underway with the ceremonial start and parade through Rome at 18h00 CET, starting in the iconic Castel Sant’Angelo.

The first rally action begins on Saturday with the 19.46 kilometre Pico-Greci stage, with Mayr-Melnhof the first car to depart at 09h36 CET.

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Herczig continues ERC Qualifying Stage streak

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:00

Norbert Herczig continued his string of strong FIA European Rally Championship Qualifying Stage performances in 2019, keeping up his record of qualifying in the top eight for every event on Rally di Roma Capitale.

MOL Racing Team’s four-time Hungarian champion has been on form in qualifying on all five ERC events so far this season, with eighth place in Rome his lowest qualifying position of 2019.

The two-time ERC podium finisher was still optimistic despite not quite being able to put in a perfect qualifying run on Friday.

“For us it was a good warm up as the Qualifying Stage was more similar to the stages than the test,” said Herczig.

“We made small mistakes but I’m happy for our time. I can’t wait to start the rally and fight for the good position.”

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Mayr-Melnhof has “perfect” car for ERC in Rome

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:00

Reigning Austrian national rally champion Niki Mayr-Melnhof believes his car is “perfect” after going fourth on the FIA European Rally Championship’s Qualifying Stage on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Mayr-Melnhof, who was previously team-mate to fellow ERC competitor Albert von Thurn und Taxis in GT racing, scored four wins on his way to his national title last year, and is now looking for his first top five finish on the international stage.

He finished P10 on Rally Islas Canarias earlier this year but zoomed out of the blocks in Rome, posting fourth-fastest time on the Qualifying Stage in a DriftCompany-prepared Ford Fiesta R5.

“We have found a very good set-up on the [pre-event] test. It was working perfectly on the QS, same as the car and tyres, everything was perfect,” said Mayr-Melnhof.

“The rally will be long and we are here for the first time so it will not be easy.”

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Five from five by ERC1 Junior stars

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 12:00

Nikolay Gryazin's fastest time on Rally di Roma Capitale's Qualifying Stage earlier today continues an unbroken sequence of pacesetting times by drivers from the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship, the category for young stars in R5 cars.

On all rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship run so far in 2019, ERC1 Junior drivers have been quickest in qualifying. And here's a reminder.

Azores Rallye (Portugal):
Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (ŠKODA Fabia R5)

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain):
Pepe López/Borja Rozada (Citroën C3 R5)

Rally Liepāja (Latvia):
Oliver Solberg/Aaron Johnston (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5)

PZM 76th Rally Poland:
Filip Mareš/Jan Hloušek (ŠKODA Fabia R5)*

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy):
Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (ŠKODA Fabia R5)


*Mares is pictured in action in Poland last month

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ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin wins Roma Qualifying Stage

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 10:21

Reigning FIA ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin has won the Qualifying Stage on Rally di Roma Capitale, despite deliberately “driving slow” to try and avoid being fastest.

Sports Racing Technologies driver Gryazin is redeeming his prize drives from FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior title last season, competing on Rally di Roma Capitale this weekend and then Barum Czech Rally Zlín next month.

Despite picking asphalt events to focus on building his experience rather than chase wins, Gryazin couldn’t help but win Friday’s Qualifying Stage, 0.193s ahead of reigning Italian Tarmac champion Andrea Crugnola.

“I was driving slow, wasn’t pushing at all,” said Russian Gryazin, 21.

“I didn’t want to be first to choose their road position in qualifying because it’s difficult to choose which position is better, so sometimes it’s better to let the Italian guys choose first.”

But Gryazin will choose his road position before anyone else, beating all the top Italian championship crews also chasing ERC points this weekend.

Behind Crugnola, three-time ERC champion Luca Rossetti (FPF Sport SRL) was third fastest, 0.727s off the quickest time.

Gryazin’s SRT team-mate and current ERC championship leader Łukasz Habaj went fourth fastest, with former Austrian champion Niki Mayr-Melnhof completing the top five, 1.447s slower than Gryazin.

ERC1 Junior frontrunners made up much of the lower top 10 overall, with Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) behind two-time ERC champion Giandomenico Basso (Loran SRL) in seventh, Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) ninth and Hiroki Arai (STARD) completing the top 10.

Reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk had a half-spin on the Qualifying Stage, dropping a couple of seconds to score P12. Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) will be the last driver to choose their start position, finishing P15 on the Qualifying Stage in his first ERC appearance driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Andrea Nucita (Loran SRL) topped the Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 runners with P18 overall, with Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) the top ERC3 and Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior runner.

Cristiana Oprea’s ERC3 debut has already presented its first challenge. The all-Romanian female crew of Oprea and Diana Hategan had an off during free practice that took the right front wheel off her Peugeot 208 R2, which forced her to miss the Qualifying Stage.

The crews are now preparing to head to Rome for the start selection ceremony from 16h00 local time followed by the ceremonial start and city parade from 19h00.

The post ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin wins Roma Qualifying Stage 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)