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European Rally Championship
Updated: 49 min 43 sec ago

ERC Junior champions* praise ASNs for vital support

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 18:00

Provisional ERC Junior champions* Efrén Llarena and Filip Mareš have praised their national federations for the vital support they received to claim title glory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín yesterday.

Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA) gave Llarena his first taste of international competition via its Rallye Team Spain initiative, which handed the country’s national-level Beca Júnior R2 championfrom 2017 a season in ERC3 Junior in 2018 as part of an alliance with ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

And after impressing with his potential last year, RFEDA extended its support to Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández to include the 2019 season, which culminated in the provisional Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior crown for 24-year-old Llarena.

“We thank the Spanish federation a lot for all the support, they made this possible,” said Llarena.

Mareš, meanwhile, stepped up to ERC3 Junior from national events as part of the ACCR Czech Rally Team in 2017. After a season in R2 machinery, the Autoclub of the Czech Republic supported a combined programme of Czech and ERC1 Junior events in a ŠKODA Fabia R5, which continued into 2019.

As well as winning the ERC1 Junior crown, Mareš, 27, finished second in his national championship standings to multiple champion Jan Kopecký.

“The Czech federation has supported me for many years, it's so important and thanks to this support I am here,” said Mareš.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post ERC Junior champions* praise ASNs for vital support appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nucita thanks team for ERC Abarth Rally Cup lead

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:00

Andrea Nucita has issued a special thank you to his Loran Srl team after he cemented his lead of the Abarth Rally Cup on Barum Czech Rally Zlín yesterday.

Nucita led the one-make category from start to finish to ensure he remains at the head of the table with just November’s Rally Hungary left to run.

“I am very happy to be at the finish of this amazing race without mistake,” said the Sicilian. “I am very happy with the car and special thanks to all my team for the incredible work. I am leading the Abarth Rally Cup with one round remaining so I am very happy.”

The post Nucita thanks team for ERC Abarth Rally Cup lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Torn: ERC3 Junior title chase a big boost

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 06:00

Ken Torn says chasing the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title has boosted his experience and helped him to improve as a driver.

Torn, part of the Estonian Autosport Junior Team, had contemplated retirement until he was offered a career lifeline to drive an M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta R2T on Rally Liepāja in late May.

After winning his class on the Latvian event, plus the subsequent PZM 76th Rally Poland and Rally di Roma Capitale, Torn missed out on the coveted Pirelli-supported title by a single point in a dramatic three-way decider on Barum Czech Rally Zlín between him, eventual champion* Efrén Llarena and Sindre Furuseth from Norway.

Having taken three wins from four ERC3 Junior starts, Torn said: “It was not easy to drive here for my first time and I needed to keep fighting with other guys who had experience here and were really fast.

“We tried to push as hard as we can, trying not to think too much about the championship. It was so close with Efrén and Sindre. They go flat out all the time, they don't want to lift off and we don't either, so it was a very tough season. But, actually, I think it's helped us, we could improve and get more experience.”

Torn’s ERC3 Junior campaign also gave him the chance to build his knowledge of sealed-surface competition.

“Before Rome we had one rally and five stages of Tarmac experience,” Torn explained. “But I like Tarmac more and more now although here [Zlín] it’s totally different, it’s special but I liked it.”

The post Torn: ERC3 Junior title chase a big boost appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Career lift-off time in Zlin for ERC Juniors Mares and Llarena

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 23:00

Filip Mareš and Efrén Llarena have given their hopes of further career progression a huge lift by capturing the FIA ERC1 Junior and FIA ERC3 Junior titles respectively on Barum Czech Rally Zlín*.

While Jan Kopecký and ŠKODA Motorsport co-driver Pavel Dreslercelebrated a fifth consecutive victory on this tremendously challenging sealed-surface event, Kopecký’s eighth in total, Mareš and Llarena can now look forward to two fantastic prize-drive opportunities.

Mareš, who competes for the Autoclub of Czech Republic-backed ACCR Czech Rally Team, will receive 100,000 euros from ERC promoter Eurosport Events to contest the season-closing events in Cyprus and Hungary alongside co-driver Jan Hloušek.

Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA)-backedLlarena, meanwhile, gets two rounds of the 2020 FIA ERC1 Junior Championship in an R5 car run by Motorsport Italia as his prize.

Significantly, both ERC Junior champions received direct support from their respective ASNs as part of ongoing efforts by Eurosport Events to provide a stepping stone from national to international level.

“Now we are the champions in ERC1 Junior we will start on the next two rounds of the ERC, which is fantastic because my season would probably stop after this race,” said Mareš. “It was a really close battle between me and Chris, so for sure I am now really happy with this result. The Czech federation has supported me for many years and it’s thanks to this support that I am here. Thanks also to Kresta Racing for this amazing car.”

Ken Torn had initially celebrated ERC3 Junior title success only for class winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi’s original notional time for stage 15 to be adjusted after a technical problem struck, dropping the Frenchman to fourth in class and promoting Llarena to first place. The one extra day point for Llarena means he takes the title by a single point ahead of Torn.

“We were always on the limit with some big moments like all the drivers,” said Llarena. “We knew we needed to win and we deserved it. We were working too hard for two years not to win and we thank the Spanish federation a lot for all the support. We were very fast on all the rallies and my team did a very good job. Me and Sara [Fernández, co-driver] worked a lot, not just with the pacenotes but on the car. We tried to be more professional and work as hard as possible. We improved a lot during the year.”

But while the ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior titles have been decided for 2019 subject to the confirmation of the results by the FIA, the battle for the overall crown still rages with two events remaining. Although Ingram suffered the huge disappointment of missing out on the ERC1 Junior crown to Mareš by 0.3s, the Toksport WRT driver has moved to the top of the overall FIA European Rally Championship standings. He’s one point ahead of reigning champion Alexey Lukyanuk, whose bid for maximum leg two bonus points following his Sunday restart were wrecked by a puncture on the final stage.

As well as his ERC1 Junior title success, Mareš celebrated his best ERC finish to date by following Kopecký home in second place with Ingram taking third ahead of Czech Tomáš Kostka, double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel from Germany and Austrian ERC1 Junior newcomer Simon Wagner, who secured third place in the category for young stars in R5 cars.

Sicilian Andrea Nucita grabbed an ERC2/Abarth Rally Cup double with Pole Dariusz Poloński restarting to finish second in the Abarth Rally Cup and third in ERC2 behind Argentine Juan Carlos Alonso.

Łukasz Habaj had been due to start first on the road on day two in P10 overall but he was prevented from doing so when it was discovered his Fabia R5’s roll cage had been damaged during an off on Saturday. As a result, the former title leader was a non-scorer in Czech Republic and slips to third in the overall standings, albeit 10 points behind new pacesetter Ingram.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post Career lift-off time in Zlin for ERC Juniors Mares and Llarena appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

BREAKING NEWS: ERC3 Junior results adjusted, Llarena promoted to class victory

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 20:37

Efrén Llarena (Rallye Team Spain) has been promoted to first place in ERC3 and ERC3 Junior on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, following a time adjustment for initial winner Jean-Baptiste Francheschi.

Franceschi and Llarena were separated by just four seconds heading to the final stage of the rally, with Llarena needing to beat Franceschi by 11.8s to score enough points to overhaul Ken Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) for the title.

The last stage of the rally was red flagged for Martin Vlček’s stopped Hyundai and identical notional times were initially handed out, but Franceschi’s time was later adjusted again by the Clerk of the Course.

“Due to finding out new facts concerning the allocation of notional time to crew no. 42 in SS15…the Clerk of the Course after due deliberation decided to revise the original notional to the crew No. 42: new notional time of 15:23,9,” read a statement from the Clerk of the Course.

Llarena now provisionally finishes the ERC3 Junior season on 133 points, with Torn one behind on 132, though the decision is still subject to appeal.

The post BREAKING NEWS: ERC3 Junior results adjusted, Llarena promoted to class victory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nucita takes Zlin win but Alonso takes ERC2 lead

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 17:44

Andrea Nucita scored his first outright win in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, but second place for Juan Carlos Alonso took the championship lead with second place.

Abarth Rally Cup points leader Nucita (Loran SRL) was given a clear path to victory when arch rival Dariusz Poloński retired with transmission failure on Saturday, though the Pole came back to score an ERC2 podium and second in the Abarth Rally Cup.

Alonso had issues of his own on Saturday with a broken limited-slip differential costing him several minutes, but hung on to score his third podium finish of the year to take a five point championship lead over Nucita.

Zelindo Melegari had led ERC2 heading to the Czech Republic but fell to third, 12 points behind Alonso. He had retired on Saturday after rolling his Abarth multiple times, with both Melegari and co-driver Corrado Bonato continuing to recover in hospital.

The post Nucita takes Zlin win but Alonso takes ERC2 lead appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Franceschi win helps Torn seal ERC3 Junior title

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 17:18

Victory for Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship class of Barum Czech Rally Zlín helped team-mate Ken Torn secure the championship title by only seven points over Efrén Llarena (Rallye Team Spain).

Drama had struck Torn’s hopes of winning the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship – and the two prize drivers in ERC1 Junior next season that come with it – when he lost nearly two minutes on the first pass of Kašava.

Torn had been battling Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) for fourth place but fell well behind into fifth, meaning a Llarena victory could potentially give the Spaniard the title.

But Franceschi intervened, having passed Llarena for the lead on the same stage as Torn’s time loss. Franceschi increased his advantage by 1.3s on Maják and though Llarena clawed that time back on Pindula, the final stage of the rally being red flagged locked in the Frenchman’s second ERC3 Junior win of the year.

Llarena secured second place but ultimately fell four seconds short of winning the coveted ERC3 Junior title.

Sindre Furuseth, who had an outside shot at the championship coming to the Czech Republic, fell to fourth on the penultimate stage of the rally, passed by a charging Cais for the final podium position.

Cais’s run on Sunday was an impressive one, going 6.6s faster than anyone else across leg two’s six stages, to score his third top five finish of the year.

Though Torn had struggled for pace in most stages, he thrived on Pindula and passed both Florian Bernardi in sixth and Yohan Rossel (Peugeot Rally Academy) in seventh, beating Bernardi to fifth in ERC3 by only 0.6s.

Miklós Csomós (East Motorsport Kft.), René Dohnal (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Orhan Avcioğlu (Toksport WRT) – who competed in the main ERC category for R5 cars last season – rounded out the top 10.

Avcioğlu broke into the top 10 at the last moment, overtaking Sean Johnston on the afternoon pass of Pindula and pipping the Saintéloc Junior Team driver by just 0.6s

Outside the ERC3 top 10, Petr Semerád (GO+CARS GO+Eauto) demonstrated what might have been after his first class stage win on leg one. He caught and passed the only remaining ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team machine of Elias Lundberg for sixth in ERC3 Junior on Pindula, the position Lundberg’s team-mate Grégoire Munster had occupied before retiring with a technical problem.

Nabila Tejbar scored a last-gasp ERC Ladies’ victory over 2015 champion Ekaterina Stratieva, gaining nearly half a minute on Pindula to secure victory by just 7.2s.

The post Franceschi win helps Torn seal ERC3 Junior title appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mares beats Ingram by 0.3s in thrilling Barum Czech Rally Zlín finale

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 16:47

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) scored a historic victory in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC1 Junior category, fighting Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) tooth and nail to take the title by just 0.3s on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Jan Kopecký (ŠKODA Motorsport) was unchallenged for victory out front after Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team) and Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) – who was using the second of his prize drives as last year’s ERC1 Junior champion – both hit trouble on Saturday.

But behind the now eight-time Barum Czech Rally Zlín winner, Mareš and Ingram were swapping positions on almost every stage, trading only a handful of seconds on each stage.

Unhappy with the twisty nature of the Maják stage, Ingram lost three seconds to Mareš and fell to second in ERC1 Junior, though had put himself back into the lead by 0.6s by beating his Czech rival on the iconic Pindula test.

That created a tense showdown on Kašava, the final stage of the rally, and running wide on the second-last corner of the rally led to Ingram finishing 0.9s down, allowing Mareš to secure the 100,000 euro prize pot to compete on the last two rounds of the ERC season, Cyprus Rally and Rally Hungary.

Ingram may have missed out on the ERC1 Junior title but his third place overall has put him one point ahead of Lukyanuk in the overall ERC classification, with Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) a further nine behind after retiring with rollcage damage in Sunday morning service.

Tomáš Kostka (Kresta Racing) finished just one place away from a fourth ERC podium in fourth place, mirroring Mareš and Ingram’s times closely but falling back slightly as the day wore on.

Past ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior champion Marijan Griebel took a much needed top five finish after a difficult season, taking a cautious approach on the notoriously tricky asphalt stages and gradually moving up the leaderboard during the weekend.

Simon Wagner’s ERC1 Junior debut was a highly successful one, using the skills and knowledge accrued during his ERC3 Junior career to score a class podium and sixth place overall on his ERC debut in an R5 car.

Driving the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo, Wagner overcame a stomach bug on Saturday to push on up the leaderboard, retaking the final ERC1 Junior podium spot after Nikolay Gryazin struck a bridge and broke the rear-left corner of his older-spec Fabia.

Jaromír Tarabus (Agrorodeo) finished seventh and looked set to be followed into eighth place by Vojtěch Štajf, but the ACCR Czech Rally Team captain crashed out on the final stage of the rally, promoting Tomáš Pospíšilík (BTH Import Stal Rally Team) to eighth instead.

Pospíšilík, one of the original competitors in the first ever ERC Junior event back in 2014, secured fourth place in ERC1 Junior on his category debut, his one minute loss with a puncture on Maják not posing any obstacle to scoring his first overall top 10 finish in ERC.

Martin Březík (Samohýl ŠKODA Team) picked up ninth place after Martin Vlček (Hyundai Kowax Racing) retired close to the finish of the final stage, while ERC3 winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi completed the top 10 in his Ford Fiesta R2T.

The post Mares beats Ingram by 0.3s in thrilling Barum Czech Rally Zlín finale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

BREAKING NEWS: Filip Mares is 2019 ERC1 Junior champion by 0.3s!*

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 15:18

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) has been provisionally crowned FIA ERC1 Junior champion for 2019 after passing Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) for class victory on the final stage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Starting the last stage with 0.6s to make up, Mareš took just under a second out of Ingram on the longest stage of the rally, sealing the title by an incredible 0.3s, after both completed thousands of kilometres across six countries.

“Totally amazing feeling. I have no words for it. For sure it’s the biggest day of my lfie so far. I’m really happy,” said Mareš. “I would like to thank my team and everyone who has helped me so far in my rally career. I’m really happy.

“For sure Chris has done an amazing performance during the weekend. I really admired them, really nice performance, it was the race of my life.”

Despite missing out on a 100,000 euro prize to compete on the last two events of the FIA European Rally Championship, provided by series promoter Eurosport Events, Ingram was magnanimous in defeat.

“I did my best. Massive thank you to the team.”

Jan Kopecký (ŠKODA Motorsport) also sealed his fifth consecutive Barum Czech Rally Zlín victory, with Mareš and Ingram completing the overall podium. Despite losing out on the ERC1 Junior title, Ingram is provisionally one point in the lead of the overall standings.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post BREAKING NEWS: Filip Mares is 2019 ERC1 Junior champion by 0.3s!* appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Watch the ERC1 Junior title decider on Facebook Live

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 14:39

Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) and Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) are separated by only 0.6s with just one stage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín left to decide the new ERC1 Junior champion.

After losing the lead to Mareš on Maják, Ingram stormed back to pole position for the ERC1 Junior title on Pindula by going 2.3s faster, setting up a thrilling finale to the pair’s intense title fight.

All the FIA European Rally Championship action from the final stage, Kašava, will be broadcast live and for free on Facebook Live, with both the ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior titles set to be decided on the very last stage of the year for both classes.

Kašava, the longest stage of the rally at 24.88 kilometres, with the broadcast starting at 14h45 CET. Watch it live here:  https://www.facebook.com/fiaeuropeanrallychampionship

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Polonski back on track for ERC Abarth podium

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 12:42

Dariusz Poloński is back in the race for a podium finish in both the Abarth Raly Cup and FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category, while title rival Andrea Nucita continues to lead out front.

Nucita’s six-stage winning streak was broken by Poloński – who returned to the rally on Sunday after a transmission issue had halted his progress on the first leg – on the legendary Pindula test, on which the Pole went 12 seconds quicker.

Though Poloński holds second in the Abarth Rally Cup, he will likely have to settle for third in the overall ERC2 classification.

Juan Carlos Alonso is ahead of Poloński in second place, driving the only four-wheel drive car on an event that favours the rear-wheel drive Abarth 124 Rally machines.

The post Polonski back on track for ERC Abarth podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rally Zlín throws up shock twists in ERC3 Junior title race

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 12:29

Franceschi, effectively acting as Torn’s wingman thanks to being stablemates in Orsák Rally Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta R2Ts, caught and passed Llarena (Rallye Team Spain) for the lead on Pindula.

The Spaniard lost 8.4s and and slipped to second place, making his task of overhauling Torn in the championship order a much harder task.

But brake fade issues for Franceschi on Kašava brough Llarena straight back into lead  contention, the pair now separated by four seconds with only three stages left to decide the new ERC3 Junior champion.

“We lost a lot of seconds in the second stage. Now we try to attack,” said a defiant Llarena at the end of Kašava.

Sindre Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team), the last of the three ERC3 Junior title fighters, remains third, 8.5s behind Llarena.

“The other guys have been flat out,” said Furuseth. “I have not so much margin left, so I have to take more risks.”

Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) had been battling Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) for fourth place but picked up a puncture seven kilometres from the finish of Kašava, losing nearly two minutes.

Such was his gap over ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team pairing Grégoire Munster and Elias Lundberg that he remains fifth in ERC3 Junior, despite falling behind Florian Bernardi to sixth in the combined ERC3 standings.

But leg points are now a worry for Torn, who is only eighth in the combined ERC3 Junior times for Sunday’s stages. Seven points are available for the fastest driver over leg two, down to one point for the seventh-fastest driver: Torn has now dropped to eighth, with Lundberg 12s ahead in the first points-paying spot.

If the current positions remain until the finish, Torn would win the title by six points from Llarena, but with only four seconds between Franceschi and Llarena, the title’s destination could change at any moment.

Behind the Junior title dramatics, Bernardi resumed his battle over sixth place with Yohan Rossel (Peugeot Rally Academy) and is 11.3s ahead of his fellow Frenchman, though now has Torn in between himself and Rossel, who remains seventh in ERC3.

Sean Johnston (Saintéloc Junior Team), Miklós Csomós (East Motorsport Kft.) and René Dohnal (ACCR Czech Rally Team) complete the top 10 in ERC3.

Nabila Tejpar lost the lead in ERC Ladies’ on Maják, the first stage of Sunday morning, as 2015 ERC Ladies champion Ekaterina Stratieva successfully erased a 35.8s deficit to the Brit and established a 16.1s advantage of her own by the end of stage 12.

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ERC1 Junior title rivals only 1.3s apart with three stages left

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:39

FIA ERC1 Junior Championship title rivals Chris Ingram and Filip Mareš are only 1.3 seconds apart with just three stages remaining on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, with a 100,000 euro prize on the line for the winner.

Jan Kopecký (ŠKODA Motorsport), who won the FIA European Rally Championship in 2013, is on course to score a fifth consecutive Barum Czech Rally Zlín win out front, but attention was focused on the enthralling battle between Ingram (Toksport WRT) and Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team).

Mareš was faster than Ingram on both the Maják and Kašava, in the latter case aided by Ingram having a small spin on a gravel section, bringing the gap between the pair down to only 1.3s with 51.67 kilometres of action remaining to decide the new champion.

Ingram and Mareš are second and third overall and now have Tomáš Kostka (Kresta Racing) is their closest challenger in fourth, 17.4s behind the podium places.

Kostka’s progress was aided by eight-time ERC event winner Václav Pech (EuroOil - Invelt Team) being forced to stop with mechanical trouble, and also has 26.6s in hand over fifth-placed Marijan Griebel.

Behind the 2017 ERC1 Junior champion was a class debutant, Simon Wagner (Rallytechnology), who was beginning to feel better after coming down with illness on Saturday.

Feeling more able to push, Wagner took third place in ERC1 Junior back when Nikolay Gryazin slid wide and hit a bridge, destroying the left-rear corner of the Sports Racing Technologies pilot’s machine.

Wagner also moved into sixth overall, though has multiple ERC podium-finisher Jaromír Tarabus (Agrorodeo) only 7.6s behind him.

Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) moved up to eighth at the expense of Martin Březík (Samohýl ŠKODA Team), who lost over three minutes with a puncture on Kašava.

Tomáš Pospíšilík (BTH Import Stal Rally Team) cemented his fourth place in ERC1 Junior with ninth place overall, with Martin Vlček (Hyundai Kowax Racing) completing the top 10, with Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) retiring from the final points place before the day had begun with rollcage damage.

Miroslav Jakeš (Samohýl ŠKODA Team) had shown strong pace with the third fastest time on Maják but went no further, retiring from P15 with a broken wheel. Hiroki Arai (Team STARD) and Albert von Thurn und Taxis (Baumschlager Rallye & Racing) also retired on the Sunday morning loop with handling and battery issues respectively.

The post ERC1 Junior title rivals only 1.3s apart with three stages left appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Odlozilik bales out of ERC after chicane collision

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:42

Roman Odložilík’s 20th start in the FIA European Rally Championship has left the SK DER Rally Team driver clutching at straws, as a collision with a hay bale forced him to retire from Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Odložilík – whose best ERC result came courtesy of a podium finish on this event back in 2010 – was running P13, 22.1s behind ERC1 Junior star in an R5 car Tomáš Pospíšilík (BTH Import Stal Rally Team).

But a nose-first trip into a hay bale by the 2013 Czech Sprintrally champion broke his radiator and caused terminal overheating, ending his hopes of another ERC top 10 on his home event.

Photo: Lina Arnautova

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Gryazin crashes, Pech stops in Czech ERC counter

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 09:59

Nikolay Gryazin has crashed out of Barum Czech Rally Zlín as the legendary Pindula stage caught out the flying Russian on round six of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Gryazin and co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov, who went fastest on the opening Maják test this morning, were reported to be okay following the crash, which has blocked the road and caused the action to be momentarily halted while the Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 is removed by recovery crews.

Václav Pech also hit trouble on the 18.64-kilometre test, retiring his Ford Fiesta R5 with a technical issue. Pech had been in a podium fight with ERC1 Junior stars Chris Ingram and Filip Mareš prior to his exit.

Last night, the experienced Czech driver said:“I was happy with my position because I am going at my maximum level.”

Photo: ewrc-results.com

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Habaj out of ERC fight after retiring in service

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 09:03

Łukasz Habaj's hopes of closing the gap to FIA European Rally Championship title rival Alexey Lukyanuk are over on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, being forced to retire in Sunday morning service.

Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) was set to restart P10 but a damaged rollcage from a side-on crash into a tree yesterday left his team no option but to retire his ŠKODA Fabia R5 for safety reasons.


“We came to the morning service and discovered that the rollcage is bent, so we cannot continue. Yesterday in all this heat when they were fixing it, nobody spotted it, but now we can't continue," explained Habaj.


"We were hoping for some day points for today and also wanted to keep fighting for points, so it's a big disappointment. But what can I do? I made a mistake yesterday and that's the consequence."


With Lukyanuk restarting after retiring yesterday, the two title front-runners are set to pick up very few points, bringing ERC1 Junior star Chris Ingram back into contention to lead the overall championship after Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

The post Habaj out of ERC fight after retiring in service appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC champion Lukyanuk targets points with “important” Zlín restart

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 08:39

Alexey Lukyanuk has targeted taking points away from FIA European Rally Championship title rivals Łukasz Habaj and Chris Ingram on Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s second leg, as he returns from retirement on Saturday.

Saintéloc Junior Team’s lead driver was forced to stop after the second pass of Halenkovice after a slow puncture damaged the front-left corner of his Citroën C3 R5, a case reminiscent of his retirement from the lead of Rally Islas Canarias three months ago.

Nearest rival Habaj is now set to leave the Czech Republic with no points on the board, having finished P10 and out of the leg points-paying places on leg one, then retiring in Sunday morning service with rollcage damage.

“We have decided to experiment with the set-up of the car in a wide range, because it’s like test kilometres for us now. At the same time I think it would be not bad to try to take some points away from our rivals and competitors,” said Lukyanuk.

“There are some valuable and important tasks for today, so [we are] trying to focus on that.”

The post ERC champion Lukyanuk targets points with “important” Zlín restart appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Wagner heads Zlín leg two road order

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 08:15

FIA European Rally Championship young star in an R5 car Simon Wagner (Rallytechnology) will be first on the road for Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s second leg as two title deciders reach their final act.

The ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior championhips will be decided in just six stages’ time, with the two young stars in R5 cars battling for the ERC1 Junior title – Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) – heading out seventh and eighth in the road order respectively.

Big names that fell by the wayside with incidents are also back for leg two, with reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk lining up P10 on the road this morning as he targets maximum leg points.

Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team), Hiroki Arai (Team STARD) and Paulo Nobre (Palmeirinha Rally) are all down to restart tomorrow, as is ERC2 and Abarth Rally Cup championship hopeful Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology).

A trio of ERC3 pilots are also set to return: ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Junior hopeful Jan Talaš, Adam Březík and Kristóf Klausz (Klausz Motorsport).

Six drivers will not be heading back onto Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s challenging stages on Sunday.

Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) was originally set to be first car on the road but was forced to retire at Sunday morning service, having picked up rollcage damage when he hit a tree side-on during Saturday's second loop.

ERC1 Junior star Miko Marczyk’s ŠKODA Fabia R5 was heavily damaged in a crash on Kostelany, Jan Černý has been sidelined by a technical issue and Antonín Tlusťák will not return after his unfortunate double puncture on Halenkovice. ERC3 Junior Amaury Molle (Toksport WRT) is also out of the running.

Sunday’s running begins with the the 8.15 kilometre Maják test, with all of today’s action broadcast live on ERC Radio. Coverage begins at 08h30 CET – visit https://www.fiaerc.com/live-radio/ to tune in.

The post ERC Junior Wagner heads Zlín leg two road order appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mares not frustrated by last-stage first leg ERC1 Junior lead swap

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 07:00

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) dismissed any worries over losing the lead in ERC1 Junior on the last stage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s opening leg, despite missing out on an extra leg point to title rival Chris Ingram.

Chasing down a 30 point deficit but with no scores to drop, Mareš needs to chase every point to win the all-important ERC1 Junior crown, though was unconcerned with scoring only six leg points instead of seven after being passed by Ingram (Toksport WRT) on the Kostelany night stage.

“It's not so frustrating for me because I don't like this stage, to be honest. I hope [today] will suit us better and we can take the position back for us,” said Mareš.

“It's difficult to enjoy it in some moments because it's really big motivation to win this battle. It's about budget for two ERC rounds of the season so it's important for us to win and it will be really nice to win it.”

Ingram, however, was elated at his last minute swipe of the class lead. He beat the likes of seven-time event winner and 2013 ERC champion Jan Kopecký (ŠKODA Motorsport) and reigning ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies) to the overall fastest stage time, stealing the maximum seven leg points away from Mareš at the last moment.

“It was the best day for a long time,” said Ingram of his first leg performance.

“There was one stage, Semetín, both runs I lost so much time. But we were quicker than Filip on every other stage, and then going fastest on the last stage in the dark was really nice.

“We can do it. It's been a difficult year but I've proven to myself today that if I just relax, I've got the pace, and we've not taken any risks, so really promising.”

Ingram and Mareš are only 3.8s apart heading to leg two and also occupy second and third place overall, with only 103.34 kilometres of competitive action left to decide this year’s ERC1 Junior champion.

The post Mares not frustrated by last-stage first leg ERC1 Junior lead swap appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nucita puts his Abarth on top in Zlin ERC2

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 22:52

Andrea Nucita’s title campaign is back on track in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category, the Sicilian eading both the production class outright and also the Abarth Rally Cup order.

Loran SRL driver Nucita has led from the start after topping Zlín’s late night superspecial on Friday, putting himself on course for a vital maximum points score in both championships.

“This [last] stage was really tricky but at the end of the day I am very happy, especially for the championship. The race is not finished, again one [more] day,” he said.

One of Nucita’s main rivals, Rallytechnology’s Dariusz Poloński, had held firm in second place, less than a minute off the pace, but was halted by a transmission problem and retired.

Juan Carlos Alonso moved into second place in ERC2 as a consequence, but had to cruise through the last three stages with a broken limited-slip differential.

Nucita’s team-mate and ERC2 championship leader Zelindo Melegari crashed at high speed on stage four. Both Melegari and co-driver Corrado Bonato were hospitalised with rib injuries and remain in intensive care to undergo continued medical treatment and assessment, though both are fully conscious and in good spirits.

The post Nucita puts his Abarth on top in Zlin ERC2 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

2019 Calendar

21-23 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

02-04 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

24-26 May

Rally Liepāja (Latvia)

28-30 June

76th Rally Poland

19-21 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

16-18 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

27-29 September

Cyprus Rally

08-10 November

Rally Hungary