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Breaking news: Lukyanuk wins ERC Rally di Roma Capitale

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 17:50

Alexey Lukyanuk has won Rally di Roma Capitale to open his 2020 FIA European Rally Championship title challenge in style.

With new co-driver Dmitry Eremeev alongside, Lukyanuk beat Giandomenico Basso and Oliver Solberg to victory in Italy.

More to follow…

The post Breaking news: Lukyanuk wins ERC Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC ace Lukyanuk leads with three Rally di Roma Capitale stages remaining

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 16:00

Alexey Lukyanuk and Dmitry Eremeev are preparing to start the closing loop of three stages on Rally di Roma Capitale with an advantage of 23.9s over Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai (pictured).

Oliver Solberg and Aaron Johnston are third with Solberg on top in ERC1 Junior. Simone Tempestini and Sergiu Itu head Craig Breen and Paul Nagle by 2.3s in the battle for fourth.

Zelindo Melegari and Corrado Bonato lead ERC2, while ERC newcomer Andrea Mabellini heads the Abarth Rally Cup order alongside co-driver Nicola Arena.

In ERC3 and ERC3 Junior the battle couldn’t be closer with Ken Torn 1.2s ahead of Pedro Antunes. They are co-driven by Kauri Pannas and Pedro Alves respectively.

The 7.25-kilometre Rocca di Cave test gets underway at 16h02 with the deciding Guarcino stage due to begin at 17h15 with live streaming, including footage from the ERC’s camera in the sky, available on the ERC Facebook page by clicking here.

The post ERC ace Lukyanuk leads with three Rally di Roma Capitale stages remaining appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Watch live: SS11 streamed as it happens on ERC Facebook

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 12:30

Stage 11 of Rally di Roma Capitale will be streamed live on the FIA European Rally Championship’s Facebook page.

With spectacular footage from the ERC’s camera in the sky, ERC Radio reporter Julian Porter will host the action at the stage stop line from 12h34 CET.

Click here to watch the live coverage. SS15 will be streamed live from 17h15.

The post Watch live: SS11 streamed as it happens on ERC Facebook appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Midday round-up: Thrilling battle for ERC3 glory lights up Italian stages

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 12:00

Ken Torn and Pedro Antunes are engaged in a thrilling battle for victory in the FIA ERC3 Junior category on Rally di Roma Capitale.

With three stages run on today’s deciding second leg, Torn tops the Pirelli-supported class by a slender 4.3s in what is also a battle between the all-new Rally4 cars from M-Sport Poland and Peugeot Sport.

Driving a Ford Fiesta Rally4, Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver Torn began the second leg 11.2s in front of his Portuguese rival Antunes, who is driving a Peugeot 208 Rally4 on the Italian event.

After losing out to Antunes on SS7, Torn hit back on the next run before Antunes topped the class rankings on SS9 to trim Torn’s lead to 4.3s with six stages left.

Newcomer Pep Bassas remains third in the category for Rallye Team Spain followed by Amaury Molle, Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy’s William Creighton, Adam Westlund and Nikolai Landa.

Basso narrows Lukyanuk’s overall lead
After winning all six stages on Saturday to build an advantage of 34.1s, Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team) has been second best to Giandomenico Basso this morning, with the two-time ERC champion going quickest on the first and second stages north of rally hub Fiuggi.

At the regroup in the thermal spa town earlier, Basso had narrowed Lukyanuk’s overall lead to 29.3s with Oliver Solberg maintaining his grip on third as the top ERC1 Junior driver in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Hyundai-powered Craig Breen is fourth for Team MRF Tyres, taking the place from Simone Tempestini on SS8 after the Romanian driver admitted he was struggling to “wake up” and repeat his flying form from Saturday.

Efrén Llarena is sixth having adapted the handling of his Rallye Team Spain C3 R5 more to his liking by tweaking the spring and anti-roll bar settings. Hyundai Junior Driver Grégoire Munster is seventh with ERC1 Junior champion Filip Mareš up to eighth ahead of Emil Lindholm and Miko Marczyk from the ORLEN Team.

After restarting on leg two following his crash on Saturday's first stage, Andrea Crugnola went fastest of all on SS9 to underline his pace and potential.

Hard time for Kreim
A strong fifth overnight on his return to ERC1 Junior action, Fabian Kreim’s debut in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 ended on today’s first stage when he broke a wheel and retired.

Poloński out of luck again
Abarth Rally Cup contender Dariusz Poloński was back in action for leg two after a turbo issue forced him out on Saturday morning. After going fastest in the one-make series and in ERC2 on SS7 and SS8, more turbo problems struck on SS9, forcing the Pole to retire for a second day running.

Zelindo Melegari continues to lead ER2 despite reporting an intercom issue. Andrea Mabellini tops the Abarth Rally Cup section with Petr Nešetříl third in his Porsche 997 GT3. Roberto Gobbin is fourth followed by Dmitry Feofanov. However, Igor Widłak retired prior to SS7 with a sensor failure.

What’s next?
The action resumes with the second of three passes of the 7.25-kilometre Rocca di Cave test from 12h17 CET, after which five stages will remain to the finish in Fiuggi this evening.

Photo: Julian Porter/ERC Radio

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Polonski returns, Mabellini leads ERC Abarth Rally Cup

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 11:00

FIA European Rally Championship newcomer Andrea Mabellini holds a comfortable advantage in the Abarth Rally Cup on Rally di Roma Capitale.

With eight stages run, the Italian youngster was 3m44s in front of Roberto Gobbin with Dariusz Poloński in third after his return to action following his retirement on leg one due to a turbo failure.

Gobbin should have been closer to Mabellini in the standings but was penalised for his car’s late arrival in overnight parc fermé.

The post Polonski returns, Mabellini leads ERC Abarth Rally Cup appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Learning ends early: Cuesta on his ERC3 Junior retirement frustration

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 10:00

Sergio Cuesta said the most frustrating thing about his Rally di Roma Capitale retirement on Saturday’s penultimate stage was the fact it stopped him from building his experience of competing in the ERC.

Co-driven by his fellow Spaniard Alejandro Lopez, Cuesta is making his FIA European Rally Championship debut in Italy this week but was out on stage six of the all-Tarmac event having climbed to sixth place in the Pirelli-supported category.

“We were climbing positions with the retirements, but we broke the car's engine in the last stage on Saturday,” Cuesta explained. “I don’t know why, but it was bad for us because we came to learn, and I think it would have been a good result for us with an old 208 R2.

“Roma is a beautiful rally, many changes of rhythm with a lot of traps. But we were competing from less to more.

“We will go to Rally Liepāja next but then we don’t know how many rallies more we could do because the budget is too little. We want to compete on Rally Islas Canarias with the new 208 Rally4 but we will see.”

The post Learning ends early: Cuesta on his ERC3 Junior retirement frustration appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Crugnola sorry for ERC crash

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 09:00

Andrea Crugnola has apologised to his F.P.F. Sport team and his sponsors for crashing out on the opening stage of Rally di Roma Capitale yesterday.

Crugnola, a former ERC3 Junior contender, had been one of the favourites to win round one of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship before he hit trouble 2.3 kilometres after the start of the 13.40-kilometre Pico-Greco stage.

“First of all I would like to say sorry to my team and to my sponsors because I made a mistake in one fast corner,” said Crugnola. “It was a five-minus tightens and I missed the line and touched the gravel with the rear and lose the control. I hit first of all the rail and then the rocks.

“It was a fast section and I had no time to recognise I was doing a mistake. I crashed, it’s definitely a mistake so I am sorry. Of course it’s a shame.”

Following repairs to his Citroën C3 R5, Crugnola has restarted on leg two.

The post Crugnola sorry for ERC crash appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Listen live: Catch all the ERC action as it happens safe at home

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 08:00

ERC Radio will broadcast live throughout the deciding leg of Rally di Roma Capitale, the opening round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season.

Coverage will begin at 08h15 CET with the stage action beginning at 08h32.

Throughout the day reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will provide their expert commentary and analysis as the battle for victory in Italy unfolds.

With Rally di Roma Capitale closed to spectators this year in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, the ERC Radio service, available online and via the ERC app, is more of an essential listen than ever before.

The post Listen live: Catch all the ERC action as it happens safe at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Vogel is leading ERC lady on Rally di Roma Capitale

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 07:00

Adrienn Vogel’s first appearance in the FIA European Rally Championship as a registered ERC driver is more than going to plan.

The Hungarian is the leading lady driver after the opening leg of Rally di Roma Capitale.

“It was absolutely awesome,” Vogel said after completing Saturday’s six stages in eighth place in ERC3 in P33 overall. “They were really good stages, good car, good team, I love it.”

Rachele Somaschini had hoped to challenge Vogel for leading lady honours, but issues with her all-new Peugeot 208 Rally4 hampered her speed in the morning before an accident on SS4 led to her retirement.

The post Vogel is leading ERC lady on Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mares to run first on deciding day of ERC Rally di Roma Capitale

Sun, 07/26/2020 - 06:00

Filip Mareš will run at the front of the field when round one of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship concludes today (Sunday).

The ERC1 Junior champion from 2019 finished Saturday’s leg in P11 but was promoted to P10 when Giacomo Scattolon was forced out after his car caught fire following stage six.

With the top 10 positions after leg one reversed for leg two, Mareš will open the road followed by ERC1 Junior contenders Emil Lindholm, Grégoire Munster and Efrén Llarena.

Sunday’s itinerary features nine stages from 08h32 local time. A link to the start list appears below.

Rally di Roma Capitale 2020 leg two start list

The post Mares to run first on deciding day of ERC Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC3 Junior Torn’s Fiesta in front in battle of new Rally4 cars

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 22:47

Ken Torn leads FIA ERC3 and Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior in his all-new M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta Rally4 with Pedro Antunes second in Peugeot’s all-new 208 Rally4 following the opening leg of Rally di Roma Capitale.

Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver Torn was quickest on the first stage to open up a 7.7s advantage over Antunes. Portuguese driver Antunes then responded on SS2 to narrow Torn's lead to 6.9s, only for the Estonian to increase his margin to 14.2s as Antunes struggled with overheating tyres.

Antunes hit back on SS5, trimming Torn's gap to 12.8s, before scoring his first stage win of the day on SS6 to reach the overnight halt in Fiuggi 11.2s behind.

"The day went quite well with a clean run and we're happy," said Torn. "The delays in the morning made life a little bit harder because we were always starting with cold tyres and it's not easy with my [lack of] Tarmac experience. For sure to be leading is a good result."

Antunes added: "It was quite okay, we didn't push too much. On [SS3] the tyres were completely out but it was okay. It's a very new car and we have to adjust some things."

After a puncture on the first stage, Pep Bassas set the pace on SS2 and SS3 for Rallye Team Spain. He was quickest again on stage five and is third in class heading into Sunday's deciding leg followed by Amaury Molle, William Creighton, Adam Westlund and Nikolai Landa.

The post ERC3 Junior Torn’s Fiesta in front in battle of new Rally4 cars appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Comeback hero Melegari on top in ERC2

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 22:43

Zelindo Melegari leads the FIA ER2 category on Rally di Roma Capitale at the overnight halt following Dariusz Poloński’s retirement with a suspected turbo fault.

Poloński was fastest in class through SS1 in his Abarth 124 rally but was in trouble after five kilometres of SS2.

For Melegari, however, the achievement is significant on his first event since he and co-driver Corrado Bonato were injured in a crash on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last August.

Andrea Mabellini is second and the top Abarth Rally Cup contender with Roberto Gobbin third in a second Abarth. Czech Petr Nešetříl is fourth in his Porsche 997 GT3 with Igor Widłak and Dmitry Feofanov next up.

The post Comeback hero Melegari on top in ERC2 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Day one round-up: Six of the best for ERC Rally di Roma Capitale leader Lukyanuk

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 19:59

Alexey Lukyanuk has restarted international rallying in style by winning all six stages on leg one of Rally di Roma Capitale, the opening event of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season, to hold a strong overnight lead.

Competing alongside new co-driver and fellow Russian Dmitry Eremeev for the first time, Lukyanuk kept last year’s winner Giandomenico Basso – the double ERC champion – behind throughout the day via an accomplished display in his Pirelli-equipped Citroën C3 R5.

Basso, making his competition debut in a Loran-entered Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, is 34.1s behind Lukyanuk in second with Oliver Solberg an impressive third overall and the top ERC1 Junior runner, 13.0s down on his experienced Italian rival in another Polo.

Romanian champion Simone Tempestini (Škoda Fabia R5) is 7.5s behind Solberg in fourth with Fabian Kreim 5.0s further back in fifth on his Polo debut. Craig Breen (Hyundai i20 R5) completes the top six, 0.1s adrift of Kreim, on his return to the ERC with Team MRF Tyres.

COVID-19 protocol takes centre stage on international rallying’s restart
With myriad strict measures in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rally di Roma Capitale is the first FIA international-level event to run since lockdown restrictions eased in certain countries. Drivers and teams have united in their praise of the extensive steps taken by organiser Motorsport Italia to provide a safe and secure environment for competitors and volunteer officials alike in partnership with the FIA, ERC promoter Eurosport Events and Italian federation ACI Sport.

Despite only getting back behind the wheel of his Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën for the first time since last season’s Rally Hungary during a test on Tuesday, a gap of 255 days, Lukyanuk showed no sign of lacking in seat time by leading from the start.

“It’s going really nice, no push really controlling the pace,” said Lukyanuk. “I’m happy with the day, it looks like we did quite a good job in every stage. Thanks to the team for the perfect car and Pirelli for the tyres. The package is working. The feeling is quite okay and I would say I am more or less relaxed inside. It looks like this period of quarantine was not affecting me so much.”

Basso was 9.8s behind Lukyaunk after three stages but gradually slipped back in the afternoon. “We want to fight in the ERC but here we have to look to the Italian championship,” Basso said. “We are in first position and each day is a different round so we are in a good position.”

Solberg eyes ERC1 Junior victory on Roma debut
Oliver Solberg, son of 2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg, heads the ERC1 Junior category on his first appearance on a pure Tarmac rally behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. The 18-year-old, who lost his glasses prior to stage two, leads Simone Tempestini by 7.5s with Fabian Kreim, Grégoire Munster and Efrén Llarena completing the top five followed by Emil Lindholm, ORLEN Team’s Miko Marczyk, Dominik Dinkel (Brose Motorsport) and Albert Battistolli. Rallye Team Spain driver Llarena was fourth starting Saturday’s final stage but slipped to fifth when a power issue struck.

“It was difficult because you don’t see some stuff and the main problem is I can’t judge distances without glasses on one eye so that can be difficult,” said Solberg. “My father found them but someone had run over them so I had to drive without them. But I am taking it easy with no risks at all, trying to learn as much as possible about tyre management and to understand the whole Tarmac concept basically. But the times are quite good and it’s more than I expected from my side.”

Comeback hero Melegari on top in ERC2 as Poloński hits trouble
Zelindo Melegari leads ERC2 at the overnight halt following Dariusz Poloński’s retirement with a suspected turbo fault. Poloński was fastest in class through SS1 in his Abarth 124 rally but was in trouble after five kilometres of SS2. For Melegari, however, the achievement is significant on his first event since he and co-driver Corrado Bonato were injured in a crash on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last August. Andrea Mabellini is second and the top Abarth Rally Cup contender with Roberto Gobbin third in a second Abarth. Czech Petr Nešetříl is fourth in his Porsche 997 GT3 with Igor Widłak and Dmitry Feofanov next up.

Torn’s Fiesta in front in battle of new Rally4 cars
Ken Torn leads ERC3 and ERC3 Junior in his all-new Ford Fiesta Rally4 with Pedro Antunes second in Peugeot’s all-new 208 Rally4. After a puncture on the first stage, Pep Bassas set the pace on SS2 and SS3 for Rallye Team Spain. He was quickest again on stage five and is third in class overnight followed by Amaury Molle, William Creighton, Adam Westlund and Nikolai Landa.

Crugnola, Fourmaux in trouble during opening stages
Amid searing ambient temperatures, Saturday morning’s running was truncated when Andrea Crugnola and Adrien Fourmaux crashed on stages one and two respectively. On both occasions the action was delayed while the damaged cars were recovered. However, there were no injuries to any crew.

One of the favourites for victory, Crugnola crashed 2.3 kilometres after the start of the opening 13.40-kilometre Pico-Greco stage, which he said could be decisive in the outcome of the rally prior to the start in Rome last night. Emil Lindholm, who was running behind the Italian, told ERC Radio reporter Chris Rawes what he had seen. “It was a quick right-hander over a crest,” said Team MRF Tyres’ driver Lindholm. “It looks like he hit a barrier and crashed into the rock face. Two wheels were missing from the car.”

Having been delayed through the final five kilometres of stage one with a front-right puncture on his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team-run Fiesta R5 MkII, Fourmaux rolled into retirement on the next test.

Troubled restart for Czech mates
It was a tough morning for Czech drivers Erik Cais and Filip Mareš. Cais retired with damaged right-rear suspension at the end of SS1, while Mareš dropped more than 30s to Alexey Lukyanuk when he spun and had to reverse. He’s P11 overnight having battled back into contention following his free practice roll.

In need of Devine intervention
Callum Devine was P11 when he was forced out by a reported engine failure on his Motorsport Ireland Rally Team Academy Hyundai at the finish of stage three. Other drivers to retire on leg one included MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig, who crashed out on SS4, ERC Junior quartet Pedro Almeida (fuel leak), Miika Hokkanen (accident), Dennis Rådström (suspension damage) and Rachele Somaschini (accident). Enrico Brazzoli and Damiano De Tommaso were non-starters after crashing in shakedown. Łukasz Lewandowski was another non-starter, while Sergio Fuentes went off the road on SS1.

Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel is down in P18 following a puncture. Albert von Thurn und Taxis is P16, one place ahead of close friend Niki Mayr-Melnhof, who has been beset by problems throughout the day. Italians Antonio Rusce and Alessandro Re completed leg one in P13 and P14 respectively followed by ERC1 Junior Dominik Dinkel. Adrienn Vogel is the leading lady driver in eighth place in ERC3 and P33 overall.

PROVISIONAL TOP 10 POSITIONS (after six stages, 97.00 kilometres)
1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 58m52.7s
2 Giandomenico Basso (ITA)/Lorenzo Granai (ITA) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +34.1s
3 Oliver Solberg (SWE)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +47.1s
4 Simone Tempestini (ROU)/Sergiu Itu (ROU) Škoda Fabia R5 +54.6s
5 Fabian Kreim (DEU)/Frank Christian (DEU) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +59.6s
6 Craig Breen (IRL)/Paul Nagle (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 +59.7s
7 Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Citroën C3 R5 +1m27.0s
8 Grégoire Munster (LUX)/Louis Louka (BEL) Hyundai i20 R5 +1m33.4s
9 Giocomo Scattolon (ITA)/Matteo Nobili (ITA) Škoda Fabia R5 +1m39.6s*
10 Emil Lindholm (FIN)/Mikael Korhonen (FIN) Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo +1m40.0s
*Car caught fire on road section following SS6. Scattolon will be a non-starter on leg two

FIA ERC2: Zelindo Melegari (ITA)/Corrado Bonato (ITA) Subaru Impreza STI
FIA ERC3: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta Rally4
FIA ERC1 Junior: Oliver Solberg (SWE)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta Rally4

Live timing and results: https://www.fiaerc.com/live-timing/

What’s next: The longest leg of Rally di Roma Capitale takes crews north of its Fiuggi hub on Sunday 26 July with the first of nine stages, Rocca di Cave, getting underway at 08h30 CET. Cars are due to return to Fiuggi for the finish at 18h00.

The post Day one round-up: Six of the best for ERC Rally di Roma Capitale leader Lukyanuk appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Midday round-up: ERC ace Lukyanuk leads in Rome

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 14:13

Alexey Lukyanuk has made a flying start to the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season with a hat-trick of stage wins on Rally di Roma Capitale.

Driving a Pirelli-equipped Citroën C3 R5 for the Saintéloc Junior Team alongside new co-driver Dmitry Eremeev, Lukyanuk holds a 9.8s advantage over last year’s winner Giandomenico Basso heading to the regroup in Fiuggi.

Romanian champion Simone Tempestini is a fine third with Fabian Kreim a strong fourth on his return to ERC action at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Oliver Solberg is fifth, despite losing his glasses, with Craig Breen sixth in his Team MRF Tyres-entered Hyundai i20 R5.

Giacomo Scattolon, Norbert Herczig, Rallye Team Spain’s ERC3 Junior champion Efrén Llarena and Grégoire Munster complete the top 10.

Crugnola in trouble on opening stage
Amid searing ambient temperatures, Saturday morning’s running was truncated when Andrea Crugnola and Adrien Fourmaux crashed on stages one and two respectively. On both occasions the action was delayed while the damaged cars were recovered. However, there were no injuries to any crew.

One of the favourites for victory, Crugnola crashed 2.3 kilometres after the start of the opening 13.40-kilometre Pico-Greco stage, which he said could be decisive in the outcome of the rally prior to the start in Rome last night.

Emil Lindholm, who started behind the Italian, told ERC Radio reporter Chris Rawes what he had seen. “It was a quick right-hander over a crest,” said Team MRF Tyres’ driver Lindholm. “It looks like he hit a barrier and crashed into the rock face. Two wheels were missing from the car.”

Having been delayed through the final five kilometres of stage one with a front-right puncture on his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team-run Fiesta R5 MkII, Fourmaux rolled into retirement on the next test.

Troubled restart for Czech mates
It was a tough morning for Czech drivers Erik Cais and Filip Mareš. Cais retired with damaged right-rear suspension at the end of stage one, while Mareš dropped more than 30s to Alexey Lukyanuk when he spun and had to reverse.

In need of Devine intervention
Callum Devine was P11 when he was forced out by a reported engine failure on his Motorsport Ireland Rally Team Academy Hyundai at the finish of stage three.

Melegari on top in ERC2 as Poloński hits trouble
Zelindo Melegari leads ERC2 after three stages following Dariusz Poloński’s retirement with a suspected turbo fault. Poloński was fastest in class through SS1 in his Abarth 124 rally but was in trouble after five kilometres of SS2.

Torn’s Fiesta in front in battle of new Rally4 cars
Ken Torn leads ERC3 and ERC3 Junior in his all-new Ford Fiesta Rally4 with Pedro Antunes second in Peugeot’s all-new 208 Rally4. After a puncture on the first stage, Pep Bassas set the pace on SS2 and SS3 for Rallye Team Spain.

What’s next?
With the event running approximately two hours behind schedule, Pico-Greco is due to begin at 17h25 local time.

The post Midday round-up: ERC ace Lukyanuk leads in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tough ERC times for Czech mates… and Fourmaux too

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 12:12

It’s been a tough morning for Czech drivers Erik Cais and Filip Mareš as Rally di Roma Capitale got underway to signal the start of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season.

Cais retired with damaged right-rear suspension at the end of stage one, while Mareš dropped more than 30s to Alexey Lukyanuk when he spun and had to reverse.

ERC1 Junior contender Cais, who drives a Ford Fiesta R5 MkII for the Yacco ACCR Team, said: “I’m an idiot. I was too fast, I tried something but it didn’t work. I’m sorry for the team.”

Mareš missed the ceremonial start in Rome last night while his Rexteam rushed to repair his Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo following his Free Practice crash. But his Saturday challenge got off to a frustrating start as the 2019 ERC1 Junior champion explained.

“I spun in a hairpin and hit a ditch,” said Mareš. “I had to reverse and lost a lot of time. It was a terrible start.”

Adrien Fourmaux, meanwhile, is out after rolling on stage two. Having been delayed through the final five kilometres of stage one with a front-right puncture on his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team-run Fiesta R5 MkII, Fourmaux crashed on the next test, which had to be suspended to enable the removal of his damaged car.

Photo: Chris Rawes/ERC Radio

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Early drama on ERC Rally di Roma Capitale is Pico bites Crugnola

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 09:41

Andrea Crugnola has crashed out of Rally di Roma Capitale, the opening event of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

One of the favourites for victory, Crugnola crashed 2.3 kilometres after the start of the 13.40-kilometre Pico-Greco stage, which he said could be decisive in the outcome of the rally prior to the start in Rome last night.

Emil Lindholm, who started behind the Italian, told ERC Radio’s Chris Rawes that Crugnola’s Citroën C3 R5 had sustained significant damage.

“It was a quick right-hander over a crest,” said Team MRF Tyres’ driver Lindholm. “It looks like he hit a barrier and crashed into the rock face. Two wheels were missing from the car.”

Both Crugnola and co-driver Pietro Ometto were uninjured in the crash, which has resulted in the stage being temporarily halted to enable the car’s recovery.

Saintéloc Junior Team’s Alexey Lukyanuk, the 2018 ERC champion, has set the fastest time so far, the Russian clocking a 7m59.1s on his first outing with new co-driver Dmitry Eremeev. Giandomenico Basso was 5.9s slower with Oliver Solberg 15.9s down on the Russian.

The post Early drama on ERC Rally di Roma Capitale is Pico bites Crugnola appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Live streaming from ERC Rally di Roma Capitale

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 09:00

Fans following Rally di Roma Capitale from the safety of their homes can watch live coverage of stages two and five, plus the regroup in Fiuggi at 19h00 CET, if the FIA European Rally Championship season opener.

Streamed live on the ERC’s Facebook page, the coverage includes dramatic footage from the ERC’s camera in the sky plus stage-end sequences.

Stage 2, Roccasecca-Colle San Magno, is live from 10h02 CET with Stage 5, a repeat of the earlier 13.93-kilometre test, getting underway at 16h15.

The post Live streaming from ERC Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Listen live: ERC Radio brings all the action and reaction as fans stay safe at home

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 08:00

ERC Radio will be live from the finish of the six special stages that make up the opening leg of Rally di Roma Capitale, round one of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

Reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will interview the drivers shortly after they complete each stage, as well as providing their expert analysis, the latest news, results and other useful information.

With Rally di Roma Capitale closed to spectators this year in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, the ERC Radio service, available online and via the ERC app, is more of an essential listen than ever before.

ERC Radio is on-air from 09h00 CET with the opening stage, Pico-Greco, getting underway at 09h13.

The post Listen live: ERC Radio brings all the action and reaction as fans stay safe at home appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mares is back: ERC1 Junior champion’s damaged Skoda repaired following practice roll

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 07:00

Filip Mareš is set to line up on the start line for Rally di Roma Capitale’s opening special stage as planned after his Rexteam mechanics fixed his Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo following the Czech driver’s roll in Free Practice yesterday morning.

However, while the 2019 FIA ERC1 Junior champion is back in action, Enrico Brazzoli and Damiano de Tommaso are non-starters after they both crashed during Friday’s Qualifying Stage.

The post Mares is back: ERC1 Junior champion’s damaged Skoda repaired following practice roll appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC victory contender Crugnola says beware of Pico

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 06:00

Andrea Crugnola has picked the Rally di Roma Capitale-opening Pico-Greco test as potentially the decisive stage on his home FIA European Rally Championship event.

The 13.40-kilometre test opens the action at 09h13 local time and is repeated at 15h26.

It has a reputation as being a rough and tough test with the risk of punctures an ever-present threat due to broken nature of the road surface in places.

“We will try to push from the first metre and try to avoid the trouble in the Pico stage,” said the F.P.F. Sport Citroën C3 R3 driver. “Every year since 2017 I had some problem there so maybe I will have to drive less faster. Pico will be a bit more tricky compared to last year. I have already seen some big cuts so it’s going to be a gamble like every year.”

The post ERC victory contender Crugnola says beware of Pico appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 76th Rally Poland - Newsfeed LEG 2

PZM 76th Rally Poland - Leg 2

2020 Calendar

24-26.07.

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

14-16.08.

Rally Liepaja (Latvia)

02-04.10.

Rally Fafe Montelongo (Portugal)

06-08.11.

Rally Hungary

26-28.11.

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

11-13.12.

Spa Rally (Belgium)