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ERC 2019: A year of firsts

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 06:00

It’s been a year of firsts in the FIA European Rally Championship. As the end of 2019 approaches, here’s a reminder of just some of the highlights.

Chris Ingram became the first Briton since Vic Elford in 1967 and the first ERC Junior graduate to win the FIA European Rally Championship overall when he took title glory on Rally Hungary alongside co-driver Ross Whittock. It was also a first ERC title triumph for Toksport WRT.

Alexey Lukyanuk’s ERC title defence was his first driving a Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 R5. The Russian rocket scored his first win of the campaign on 76th Rally Poland in June, while Saintéloc placed first in the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

Łukasz Habaj claimed his first win in the ERC with victory on the Azores Rallye back in March.

By taking first place on in ERC1 Junior on Barum Czech Rally Zlín with a scant margin of 0.3s over Chris Ingram, Filip Mareš won the category for young stars in R5 cars. Jan Kopecký made it five wins in a row with first place overall on famous sealed-surface event.

First place for Oliver Solberg on Rally Liepāja made the 17-year-old the youngest ERC event winner. After Solberg took the first win for Volkswagen’s Polo R5 in the ERC, Nasser Al-Attiyah made it a win double for the German machine on the Cyprus Rally.

Juan Carlos Alonso’s long wait for a first ERC2 title ended on the Cyprus Rally when fourth place for the Argentine proved enough for him to be crowned champion.

Efrén Llarena was first in both the final ERC3 and ERC3 Junior orders for Rallye Team Spain.

Ken Torn impressed with three first-place finishes in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior for the Estonian Autosport Junior Team. Sindre Furuseth was third in ERC3 Junior and fourth in ERC3.

A first win in ERC3 for ex-downhill mountain bike racer Erik Cais on the Cyprus Rally underlined the ACCR Czech Rally Team driver’s huge potential.

The ACCR Czech Rally Team was classified first in the ERC Nations’ Cup ahead of the RFEDA-backed Rallye Team Spain and FPAK Portugal Team ERC.

Four class wins helped Andrea Nucita win the first Abarth Rally Cup to take place within the FIA European Rally Championship structure. Dariusz Połonski settled for the runner-up spot after Alberto Monarri won the first round on Rally Islas Canarias.

Rally Hungary joined the ERC roster for the first time with Frigyes Turán taking the win following an action-packed event in early November.

MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig used his home ERC counter to claim his first stage win of 2019.

Ekaterina Stratieva denied Nabila Tejpar a first ERC Ladies’ Trophy with a late-season charge.

The post ERC 2019: A year of firsts appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Hungary

Mon, 12/30/2019 - 06:00

Toksport WRT’s Chris Ingram became the first British driver to win the FIA European Rally Championship title for 52 years by finishing fourth in a dramatic season showdown in Hungary.

Alongside co-driver Ross Whittock, the ŠKODA Fabia R5-powered Ingram overcame two tyre deflations – the second coming on the final stage of the event – and a spin to finish the season on 141 points, taking into account dropped scores and leg bonus points.

Saintéloc Junior Team’s Russian Alexey Lukyanuk finished second to rally winner Frigyes Turán after suffering his own puncture on the last test. He and co-driver Alexey Arnautov could only pick up two Sunday leg bonus points, and finished on 131 points, nine adrift of Ingram and Whittock.

Ingram came into the weekend 19 points ahead of Sports Racing Technologies’ Łukasz Habaj, and a further nine ahead of Lukyanuk, the reigning champion. With the best six results out of eight counting towards the championship, Ingram was set to lose 12 points from his end-of-season total, with Habaj and Lukyanuk potentially dropping four and three respectively.

But in a dramatic final stage, Ingram came through to clinch the crown as Frigyes Turán took the Rally Hungary victory, his first in the ERC to become the eighth different winner in as many rounds in 2019.

Ingram’s success completes his transition from rookie to overall champion in a space of six seasons. “It’s been a bloody hard road to get but this is everything to us,” said Ingram, 25. “Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us, everyone who has supported us. The support has been absolutely unbelievable and we are so grateful.”

Lukyanuk’s final-stage puncture, meanwhile, denied him the event win and what have been a second title following Ingram’s drama ahead of him on the road. He settled for second as Callum Devine, driving a Hyundai Motorsport N-entered i20 R5, took third in his first ERC1 start made possible by backing from his national ASN, Motorsport Ireland.

Andrea Nucita celebrated Abarth Rally Cup success with Czech federation-supported Erik Cais’s win in ERC3 enough to secured second place in the final ranking behind provisional champion Efrén Llarena.

Ekaterina Stratieva won the ERC Ladies’ Trophy for a third time with her Saintéloc Junior Team winning the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams ahead of Toksport WRT and ACCR Czech Rally Team.

RALLY HUNGARY, 8-10 NOVEMBER 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 14 stages, 211.52 kilometres)
1 Frigyes Turán (HUN)/László Bagaméri (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 2h11m28.0s
2 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 1h06m39.4s +33.7s
3 Callum Devine (IRL)/Brian Hoy (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 +3m39.5s +1m25.9s
4 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m48.5s
5 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +3m12.3s
6 Albert von Thurn und Taxis (DEU)/Bernhard Ettel (AUT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +6m04.3s
7 Sean Johnston (USA)/Alex Kihurani (USA) Citroën C3 R5 +6m55.0s
8 Erik Cais (CZE)/Jindřiška Žáková (CZE) Ford Fiesta R2T +13m22.5s
9 Pál Lovász (HUN)/Tamás Kürti (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +5m03.1s
10 Paulo Nobre (BRA)/Gabriel Morales (BRA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +14m08.8s

FIA ERC2: Andrea Nucita (ITA)/Bernardo Di Caro (ITA) Abarth 124 rally
FIA ERC3: Erik Cais (CZE)/Jindřiška Žáková (CZE) Ford Fiesta R2T
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Ekaterina Stratieva (BGR) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Hungary appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Cyprus Rally

Sun, 12/29/2019 - 06:00

Nasser Al-Attiyah grabbed a record-extending sixth Cyprus Rally victory on a pivotal day in the battle for FIA European Rally Championship glory.

With Briton Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) finishing in second place following the disqualification of Simos Galatariotis due to a parc fermé infringement and Russia’s defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk retiring with technical issues, Ingram left Cyprus with a lead of 19 points with just the inaugural Rally Hungary remaining, when Łukasz Habaj will make it a three-way battle for the title.

The Pole, who lost time due to an electrical issue on the closing leg, is back up to second in the standings, nine ahead of Lukyanuk in the hunt for European rallying’s top prize.

While the overall ERC title remained firmly up for grabs with one event left, Juan Carlos Alonso and Juan Pablo Monasterolo put the ERC2 crown beyond doubt with a battling drive to fourth in class after brake problems caused the Argentines plenty of anguish in the sweltering Cypriot sunshine.

There was also title success for Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández in ERC3, the Spanish federation pair making the most of the opportunity handed to them by the Peugeot Rally Academy to compete in Cyprus for the first time.

Former FIA World Rally Championship star Mikko Hirvonen’s one-off return to the ERC following a 17-year absence netted a fine third overall. Niki Mayr-Melnhof celebrated an ERC-best fifth behind Habaj, Albert von Thurn und Taxis scored a season-high sixth ahead of Chilean ERC rookie Emilio Fernández.

Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig and Brazilian Paulo Nobre completed the top 10. Bulgaria’s Ekaterina Stratieva topped the ERC Ladies’ Trophy classification for the Saintéloc Junior Team.

CYPRUS RALLY, 27-29 SEPTEMBER 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 12 stages, 105.62 kilometres)
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 3h02m51.3s
2 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m5.9s
3 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN)/Jarmo Ottman (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5 +4m34.0s
4 Łukasz Habaj (PLN)/Daniel Dymurski (PLN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +5m43.4s
5 Niki Mayr-Melnhof (AUT)/Poldi Welsersheimb (AUT) Ford Fiesta R5 +6m03.0s
6 Albert von Thurn und Taxis (DEU)/Bernhard Ettel (AUT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +7m01.5s
7 Emilio Fernández (CHL)/Axel Coronado (ESP) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +8m07.7s
8 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Marshall Clarke (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +8m50.8s
9 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferenc (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +9m26.3s
10 Paulo Nobre (BRA)/Gabriel Morales (BRA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +11m21.5s

FIA ERC2: Petros Panteli (CYP)/ Kyprianos Christodoulou (CYP) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Ekaterina Stratieva (BGR) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Cyprus Rally appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Barum Czech Rally Zlin

Sat, 12/28/2019 - 06:00

Filip Mareš and Efrén Llarena gave 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 Dresler celebrated 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, beat Chris Ingram by 0.3s in a final-stage decider and will receive 100,000 euros from ERC promoter Eurosport Events to contest two European championship events with his Kresta Racing team alongside co-driver Jan Hloušek.

Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA)-backed Llarena, 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.

“It was a really close battle between me and Chris, so for sure I am now really happy with this result,” said Mareš.“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. The one extra day point for Llarena meant he took 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.”

Although Ingram suffered the huge disappointment of missing out on the ERC1 Junior crown to Mareš by 0.3s, the Toksport WRT driver moved to the top of the overall FIA European Rally Championship standings, 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 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.

BARUM CZECH RALLY ZLÍN, 16-18 AUGUST 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 15 stages, 219.63 kilometres)
1 Jan Kopecký (CZE)/Pavel Dresler (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo 2h05m17.4s
2 Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m31.5s
3 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m31.8s
4 Tomáš Kostka (CZE)/Ladislav Kučera (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo +1m51.1
5 Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Pirmin Winklhofer (DEU) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m49.7s
6 Simon Wagner (AUT)/Gerald Winter (AUT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo +3m07.9s
7 Jaromír Tarabus (CZE)/Daniel Trunkát (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m15.4s
8 Tomáš Pospíšilík (CZE)/Jiří Hovorka (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +5m38.5s
9 Martin Březík (CZE)/Marek Omelka (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +6m51.9s
10 Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2 +10m36.6s

FIA ERC2: Andrea Nucita (ITA)/Bernardo Di Caro (ITA) Abarth 124 rally
FIA ERC3: Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2
FIA ERC1 Junior: Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2
Abarth Rally Cup: Andrea Nucita (ITA)/Bernardo Di Caro (ITA) Abarth 124 rally
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Nabila Tejpar (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Barum Czech Rally Zlin appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Rally di Roma Capitale

Fri, 12/27/2019 - 06:00

Double ERC champion Giandomenico Basso scored his first FIA European Rally Championship victory in six years with top spot on Rally di Roma Capitale.

The Loran SRL-entered Italian was in the podium places from the opening test and took a lead he would not relinquish on stage four when Andrea Crugnola punctured. Basso's only mistake of note was overshooting a junction on stage 13, which cost him around 24 seconds and nearly put him within Simone Campedelli's reach.

Afterwards, Basso's co-driver Lorenzo Granai explained that his compatriot had endured a tough event following the passing of a close friend shortly before the start in Rome on Friday.

"We wanted to make a very good race for what happened to the best friend of Giandomenico," said Granai. "We had a difficult weekend but now, with him, that followed us, I'm sure we did a very good job.”

Campedelli gave M-Sport’s brand-new Ford Fiesta R5 challenger its ERC debut in Rome. Despite limited testing he was quickly into his stride and stormed up from ninth to third after tyre trouble on stage two.

That became second after a time penalty for Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team) demoted the reigning ERC champion down a place. And Lukyanuk would fall further back when Andrea Crugnola snatched the final podium spot after the ERC Junior graduate won 13 out of 16 stages.

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) scored a crucial ERC1 Junior victory over Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT), the pair separated by 17.6s in fifth and sixth overall.

Ingram and Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) spent most of leg two swapping positions in fifth and sixth, which became sixth and seventh when Crugnola went breezing past them on the morning loop.

Mārtiņš Sesks (LMT Autosporta Akadēmija) capped his second prize drive for winning last year’s ERC3 Junior crown with third in ERC1 Junior and eighth overall. Umberto Scandola (Hyundai Motorsport N) ran in the top five on Saturday but an end-of-day puncture cost him three minutes and sent him down to ninth as Vojtěch Štajf (ACCR Czech Rally Team) completed the top 10.

Early-season title pacesetter Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) crashed out on Saturday and only scored points for finishing fourth on leg two.

Nikolay Gryazin, on his first of two prize drives from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior crown in 2018, led after winning the first stage only to crash into retirement nearing the end of the very next run.

Dariusz Poloński won the Abarth Rally Cup and ERC2 with Ken Torn taking ERC3 and Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior honours.

RALLY DI ROMA CAPITALE, 19-21 JULY 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 16 stages, 189.40 kilometres)
1 Giandomenico Basso (ITA)/Lorenzo Granai (ITA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 1h57m32.0s
2 Simone Campedelli (ITA)/Tania Canton (ITA) Ford Fiesta R5 +23.3s
3 Andrea Crugnola (ITA)/Pietro Ometto (ITA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m00.3s
4 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 +1m03.0s
5 Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m26.0s
6 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m43.5s
7 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +1m49.1s
8 Mārtiņš Sesks (LVA)/Uldis Briedis (LVA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m14.5s
9 Umberto Scandola (ITA)/Guido D’Amore (ITA) Hyundai i20 R5 +4m42.4s
10 Vojtěch Štajf (CZE)/Veronika Havelková (CZE) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +7m03.1s

FIA ERC2: Dariusz Poloński (POL)/Łukasz Sitek (POL) Abarth 124 rally
FIA ERC3: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
FIA ERC1 Junior: Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
Abarth Rally Cup: Dariusz Poloński (POL)/Łukasz Sitek (POL) Abarth 124 rally
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Emma Falcón (ESP) Citroën C3 R5

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: PZM 76th Rally Poland

Thu, 12/26/2019 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk got back in the hunt for a second FIA European Rally Championship title by taking his first win of 2019 on PZM 76th Rally Poland, scoring maximum points.

Taking the lead from Hyundai Motorsport N’s ERC3 Junior graduate Jari Huttunen after stage two, Lukyanuk didn’t look back, winning by 59.8s with home hero Łukasz Habaj taking third to maintain his title advantage, albeit by 11 points over new second place driver Lukyanuk.

After a broken damper and puncture on Saturday caused minor delay, Lukyanuk picked up another puncture when he hit a rock on the morning pass of Gmina Mragowo.

His lead was reduced but he still remained out front and from there he was untouchable, winning the remaining stages to cement his first win of 2019 and his ninth in the ERC.

“It’ a long-awaited result,” Lukyanuk said. “It should come straight away from Azores, but some bad luck happened. Now it's like a revenge against fate.”

Huttunen’s return to the European championship was equally as successful as his appearance on this event last year, repeating his second-place finish in a factory-supported Hyundai i20 R5.

Conscious that Lukyanuk was keen to get his first win of 2019, Huttunen played it safe and made sure he secured second place to continue his 100 per cent podium rate in the ERC since moving up to the faster four-wheel-drive category.

Championship leader Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) added another podium to his impressive 2019 trophy cabinet, limiting his points loss to Lukyanuk to ensure he would leave his home country still top of the ERC standings.

Habaj overhauled ERC1 Junior star Miko Marczyk (ŠKODA Polska Motorsport) for fourth place early on the final morning and then took third when Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) picked up a right-rear puncture on stage 12.

Despite losing nearly a minute, Mareš still secured victory in the ERC1 Junior category and fourth place overall, putting him into class title contention as Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) retired on the road section between SS13 and SS14 with a water leak.

Aron Domżała (TGS Worldwide) scored his first ERC top five finish alongside three-time ERC champion co-driver Jarek Baran, as Hiroki Arai (Team STARD) rolled into retirement.

Tomasz Kasperczyk (Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team) mounted a strong comeback to finish sixth after starting leg two down in P11. He benefitted from Arai’s retirement and also Marijan Griebel’s off just 2.5 kilometres from the end of the rally.

Juan Carlos Alonso won ERC2, Andrea Nucita secured top Abarth Rally Cup honours, while Ken Torn made it two ERC3 and ERC3 Junior wins in succession.

PZM 76TH RALLY POLAND, 28-30 JUNE 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 15 stages, 201.42 kilometres)
1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 1h45m49.4s
2 Jari Huttunen (FIN)/Mikko Lukka (FIN) Hyundai i20 R5 +59.8s
3 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m51.5s
4 Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m09.2s
5 Aron Domżała (POL)/Jarek Baran (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m05.2s
6 Tomasz Kasperczyk (POL)/Damian Syty (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 +4m02.1s
7 Mattias Adielsson (SWE)/Andreas Johansson (SWE) Citroën C3 R5 +4m06.5s
8 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +4m06.6s
9 Miko Marczyk (POL)/Szymon Gospadarczyk (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m32.4s
10 Kacper Wróblewski (POL)/Marcz Szeja (POL) Hyundai i20 R5 +6m16.9s

FIA ERC2: Juan Carlos Alonso (ARG)/Juan Pablo Monastelero (ARG) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
FIA ERC1 Junior: Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
Abarth Rally Cup: Andrea Nucita (ITA)/Alina Bianca Pop (ROU) Abarth 124 rally
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Nabila Tejpar (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: PZM 76th Rally Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Liepaja

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 06:00

Teenager Oliver Solberg made history as the youngest winner of an FIA European Rally Championship event by winning Rally Liepāja on his ERC1 Junior debut.

The 17-year-old, son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg, led the high-speed gravel event from start to finish in his Pirelli-equipped Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, posting the fastest time on 10 of the 13 stages alongside Northern Irish co-driver Aaron Johnston.

Heading reigning ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk by 9.7 seconds at the end of the first leg, Solberg simply increased his advantage on the final day and finished up 22.7s clear of the Russian.

“It’s the biggest day of my life,” Solberg said. “I have never driven so good as I’ve done now.”

Lukyanuk was quickest on SS9 and SS12 in his Saintéloc Junior Team-entered Citroën C3 R5, but admitted to being under pressure to finish, having failed to do so on the Azores Rallye and Rally Islas Canarias earlier this season.

Another first-time ERC1 Junior star finished in third overall, with Mārtiņš Sesks securing a place on the podium on his first event driving an R5 car. On the first of two prize drives for winning last year’s ERC3 Junior crown, the native of Liepāja produced a quick and consistent performance, once again demonstrating his potential.

Chris Ingram faced late drama when he holed his ŠKODA’s radiator on the penultimate stage. Repairs before the final test ensured he could finish in fourth overall, increasing his ERC1 Junior points lead and moving him to within one point of overall championship pacesetter Łukasz Habaj, who came home fifth for the Latvian Sports Racing Technologies team.

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Filip Mareš enjoyed a trouble-free run to sixth overall and fourth in ERC1 Junior. Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel produced a stronger second leg to soar from P11 to seventh, passing Hiroki Arai on the penultimate stage.

Eyvind Brynildsen finished ninth, moving back into the top 10 with a series of top-five stage times on the final day, having conceded eighth position on Saturday evening to avoid running towards the front of the road order for the second day.

Sweden National Team’s Mattias Adielsson took P10 away from Alexandros Tsouloftas – driving stages vastly different in nature to his native Cyprus – during the final afternoon.

ERC Junior graduate Ralfs Sirmacis claimed a dominant ERC2 win in P13 overall upon his return to action on home soil. Ken Torn took ERC3 and ERC3 Junior honours for the Estonian Autosport Junior Team ahead of Norwegian duo Sindre Furuseth and Steve Røkland. Round two of the Abarth Rally Cup went the way of Andrea Nucita over Darius Poloński, while Peugeot Rally Academy’s Catie Munnings reached the end of an eventful rally to clinch ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours.

RALLY LIEPĀJA, 24-26 MAY 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 13 stages, 205.96 kilometres)
1 Oliver Solberg (LVA)Aaron Johnston (GBR) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 1h40m31.9s
2 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 +22.7s
3 Mārtiņš Sesks (LVA)/Krišjānis Caune (LVA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +57.4s
4 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m16.8s
5 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m17.7s
6 Filip Mareš (CZE)/Jan Hloušek (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m02.4s
7 Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Stefan Kopczyk (DEU) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m32.0s
8 Hiroki Arai (JPN)/Ilka Minor (AUT) Citroën C3 R5 +3m36.5s
9 Eyvind Brynildsen (NOR)/Cato Menkerud (NOR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +3m46.2s
10 Mattias Adielsson (SWE)/Andreas Johansson (SWE) Citroën C3 R5 +4m12.6s

FIA ERC2: Ralfs Sirmacis (LVA)/Ralfs Igaveṇš (LVA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
FIA ERC1 Junior: Oliver Solberg (LVA)Aaron Johnston (GBR) Volkswagen Polo GTI
FIA ERC3 Junior: Ken Torn (EST)/Kauri Pannas (EST) Ford Fiesta R2T
Abarth Rally Cup: Andrea Nucita (ITA)/Alina Bianca Pop (ROU) Abarth 124 rally
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Catie Munnings (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Liepaja appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Islas Canarias

Tue, 12/24/2019 - 06:00

ERC Junior Pepe López scored a maiden FIA European Rally Championship victory on his home round and showed the quality of the ERC1 Junior stars in R5 cars, with Chris Ingram taking second overall.

A battle royale was expected between López and overnight leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who had won four stages apiece on Friday. But their fight would end on the first stage of the second leg, as while López took his fifth stage win, Lukyanuk clipped the inside of a corner and broke his front-left wheel and suspension.

From there López, co-driven by Borja Rozada, managed his lead diligently, becoming the first Spanish winner of an ERC round since Enrique García Ojeda in 2007. López’s decision to back off allowed Toksport WRT’s top driver Ingram to close up slightly, as a frenetic battle for the final podium position unfolded.

“I’m really, really happy,” said López. “I want to thank Citroën Racing, all my team and all the people who made this possible. Last year was difficult with not so many opportunities but it was important for my career to be in this situation. It’s the best moment of my career.”

Ingram and double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel had begun the final loop of Rally Islas Canarias locked in battle over second place but the German driver fell into the clutches of Iván Ares and Norbert Herczig behind, entering SS14 only 0.8s up on the former.

Griebel’s podium hopes evaporated when he picked up a puncture on the Galdar stage, driving to the finish and dropping nearly two minutes, which demoted him from third to ninth. His Baumschlager Rallye & Racing stablemate Norbert Herczig also suffered a puncture on the same stage though fared much better, dropping only 20s.

Ares had suffered a similar fate to Griebel and Herczig one stage earlier but lost less time, dropping from fourth to seventh. That opened the door for Łukasz Habaj, who won the final two stages of the rally and shot up to the final podium place, a result that keeps the Pole at the top of the ERC standings following a fine display on only his second asphalt start in his Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet had also been on a charge since being set back by a delaminated tyre on Friday and was right behind Habaj throughout leg two, entering SS16 only 3.1s off a podium place.

Ultimately Loubet pushed slightly too hard on the final stage, sliding wide into a ditch and losing around five to seven seconds and allowing Herczig to retake fourth place for MOL Racing Team.

Loubet still secured a top five finish and an all-important third place finish in ERC1 Junior, finishing 1.7s behind Herczig and clear of Ares in sixth.

Alberto Monarri scooped the honours, and a €12,000 prize to go with his winner’s trophy, in the new Abarth Rally Cup, the Spaniard also topping the ERC2 production category.

Florian Bernardi won ERC3 ahead of Yohan Rossel and Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in an all-French podium. Franceschi, meanwhile, took ERC3 Junior honours in his Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2 ahead of Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena and FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver Pedro Antunes.

RALLY ISLAS CANARIAS, 2-4 MAY 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 16 stages, 200.98 kilometres)
1 Pepe López (ESP)/Borja Rozada (ESP) Citroën C3 R5 2h06m23.9s
2 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +28.5s
3 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +39.9s
4 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +52.9s
5 Pierre-Louis Loubet (FRA)/Vincent Landais (FRA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +54.6s
6 Iván Ares (ESP)/David Vázquez (ESP) Hyundai i20 R5 +1m07.5s
7 Surhayen Penía (ESP)/Alba Sanchez (ESP) Hyundai i20 R5 +2m14. 4s
8 Luis Monzón (ESP)/José Déniz (ESP) Ford Fiesta R5 +2m16.6s
9 Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Stefan Kopczyk (DEU) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m47.3s
10 Niki Mayr-Melnhof (AUT)/Poldi Welsersheimb (AUT) Ford Fiesta R5 +3m02.3s

FIA ERC2: Alberto Monarri (ESP)/Alberto Chamorro (ESP) Abarth 124 rally
FIA ERC3: Florian Bernardi (FRA)/Victor Bellotto (FRA) Renault Clio R3T
FIA ERC1 Junior: Pepe López (ESP)/Borja Rozada (ESP) Citroën C3 R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (FRA)/Anthony Gorguilo (FRA) Ford Fiesta R2T
Abarth Rally Cup: Alberto Monarri (ESP)/Alberto Chamorro (ESP) Abarth 124 rally
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Emma Falcón (ESP) Citroën C3 R5

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Rally Islas Canarias appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC 2019 season recap: Azores Rallye

Mon, 12/23/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj and Daniel Dymurski battled the elements to claim a sensational maiden victory in the FIA European Rally Championship, snatching top spot from reigning champions Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov during a dramatic final afternoon on the Azores Rallye.

Lukyanuk was on course for his second consecutive Azores win only to pick up a puncture on the penultimate stage, handing first place to Habaj and dropping to third behind local hero Ricardo Moura. But the flailing rubber from Lukyanuk’s punctured tyre had damaged his Citroën C3 R5’s braking and resulted in the unsuspecting Russian suffering a huge accident at the first corner of the event-closing Tronqueira stage.

Although Lukyanuk and co-driver Arnautov were uninjured, their all-new Saintéloc Junior Team-entered C3 suffered extensive damage. But while Lukyanuk was left to reflect on what might have been, Habaj became the first Polish driver to win in the Azores and the first driver from his country to win in the ERC since Kajetan Kajetantowicz triumphed on the Acropolis Rally in Greece 657 days previously. And by leading through the final stage, Habaj joins compatriots Kajetanwoicz and Robert Kubica by heading the field in the Azores.

“The final stage was crazy, the most difficult stage I have ever done,” said the 2015 Polish champion, who was driving a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for Sports Racing Technologies. “I can’t believe it, but we had good pace all week and this victory was not just luck, there was a lot of hard work behind.”

Just 8.4s behind Habaj, Moura gave home fans reason to celebrate in second with Toksport WRT’s Chris Ingram claiming his first overall Azores podium and winning the ERC1 Junior category for young stars in R5 cars. Bruno Magalhães finished fourth for Team Hyundai Portugal, Ricardo Teodósio took fifth with double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel rounding out the top six on his Volkswagen Polo debut.

There was a first ERC3 and ERC3 Junior victory for Rallye Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena, who broke down in tears at the finish of the final stage, such was the enormity of his achievement in the Pirelli-supported category ahead of Sindre Furuseth.

Juan Carlos Alonso beat Sergey Remennik to ERC2 honours after both drivers overcame a succession of issues, Remennik going slowly to the finish with a transmission issue.

AZORES RALLYE 21-23 MARCH 2019

TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 15 stages, 223.93 kilometres)
1 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5 2h50m55.s
2 Ricardo Moura (PRT)/António Costa (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +8.4s
3 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +42.2s
4 Bruno Magalhães (PRT)/Hugo Magalhães (PRT) Hyundai i20 R5 +1m29.0s
5 Ricardo Teodósio (PRT)/José Teixeira (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m46.1s
6 Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Stefan Kopczyk (DEU) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +2m12.5s
7 Alexandros Tsouloftas (CYP)/Antonis Chrysostomou (CYP) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m34.7s
8 Bernardo Sousa (PRT)/Victor Calado (PRT) Citroën C3 R5 +6m44.0s
9 Vojtĕch Štajf (CZE)/Veronika Havelková (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +10m10.7s
10 Paulo Nobre (BRA)/Gabriel Morales (BRA) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +11m40.9s

FIA ERC2: Juan Carlos Alonso (ARG)/Juan Pablo Monasterolo (ARG) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2
FIA ERC1 Junior: Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC3 Junior: Efrén Llarena (ESP)/Sara Fernández (ESP) Peugeot 208 R2

The post ERC 2019 season recap: Azores Rallye appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Operation ERC 2020 in Rally2 car is underway for Czech hope

Sun, 12/22/2019 - 06:00

ERC3 runner-up Erik Cais is set for a step up to Rally2 level in the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, with Jarek Orsák ready to continue his alliance with his younger compatriot through his Orsák Rallysport team.

Cais and Orsák have worked closely since the former's switch to rallying from downhill mountain bike racing in 2018.

“Together with Erik we are currently working with ACCR and sponsors to find the budget for next season so Erik can start again in the ERC, this time, however, with a more powerful [Rally2] specification car,” said Orsák. “I believe that we all will be able to fill the budget together so that Erik's career can continue and develop.”

Cais has form in Rally2 machinery, having finished runner-up on the Vančík Rallysprint Kopná in April, before claiming a strong P11 overall on Rallye du Var last month.

The post Operation ERC 2020 in Rally2 car is underway for Czech hope appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Abarth Rally Cup drivers to chase €210,000 in 2020 ERC

Sat, 12/21/2019 - 06:00

The prize fund for the upcoming Abarth Rally Cup, which will take place on six rounds of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval, comes with an incredible prize fund of €210,000.

On each round the winner will get €12,000, the runner-up will receive €10,000, while the third-place finisher receives €8,000. And in a further financial boost, the winning driver at the end of the season can look forward to an additional €30,000.

The post Abarth Rally Cup drivers to chase €210,000 in 2020 ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Top award for ERC rising star Cais from FIA President Jean Todt

Fri, 12/20/2019 - 12:00

Erik Cais’s achievements in the FIA European Rally Championship have been recognised through a top award presented by FIA President Jean Todt recently.

Cais, 20, is the FIA Central European Zone’s Talent of the Year, an award that takes into account the performances of young drivers from CEZ member states competing in various disciplines such as rallying, circuit racing and karting.

The former downhill mountain bike racer, who switched to rallying just one year ago, was chosen ahead of Italian Formula 4 racer Andrea Rosso and Serbian karter Filip Jenič, after he finished runner-up in ERC3 and fourth in ERC3 Junior driving a Ford Fiesta R2T for Orsák Rallysport. He received his award from President Todt at the recent FIA CEZ Gala in Tirana, Albania.

Cais said: “Being chosen as the greatest talent in the FIA Central European Zone is great for me. I consider it as a reward for trust. Jarek Orsák and his team believed in me and they gave me the opportunity to do what I really like. I was able to race in the ERC thanks to the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, who supported us financially and to whom I thank very much. My thanks also go to my co-driver Jindřiška Žáková and my sponsors, YACCO, VP Racing Fuels, GPD, P1, SMR PLUS, and to all my fans who I appreciate a lot. Last but not least, I thank my girlfriend and family for their tremendous support. I wouldn't be standing here without them."

Orsák said: “I was really deeply moved when President Todt handed over this award to Erik. After all, two years ago Erik was holding the handlebars of his downhill race bike until he suffered a serious injury. Now he is the FIA CEZ Talent of the Year. During these two seasons, we followed Erik's incredibly fast progression, we went through a lot of worries, but especially a lot of joy at individual rallies. This award belongs to the whole team, who put their trust in our project with Erik and worked really hard.”

Tomáš Kunc, the General Secretary of Automotive and Motorcycle Sport of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, was also in attendance at the gala in Albania.  “I am very glad that Erik was elected the Talent of the Year 2019 across all federations within the Central European Zone. It shows what a great international result he has achieved this year. I’m watching his growth and the goals he is conquering. I thank Erik, his co-driver, Jindřiška Žáková, and the whole team from Orsák Rallysport for this year's cooperation and their representation of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic. We will work together again next season and I believe that we will achieve all the common goals and fight for the top spots again.”

Operation ERC 2020 in Rally2 car is underway
Erik Cais is set for a step up to Rally2 level in the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, with Jarek Orsák ready to continue his alliance with his younger compatriot. “Together with Erik we are currently working with ACCR and sponsors to find the budget for next season so Erik can start again in the ERC, this time, however, with a more powerful [Rally2] specification car,” said Orsák. “I believe that we all will be able to fill the budget together so that Erik's career can continue and develop.” Cais has form in Rally2 machinery, having finished runner-up on the Vančík Rallysprint Kopná in April, before claiming a strong P11 overall on Rallye du Var last month.

The post Top award for ERC rising star Cais from FIA President Jean Todt appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Abarth Rally Cup offers six ERC events in 2020 plus €210,000 prize fund

Thu, 12/19/2019 - 14:00

The 2020 Abarth Rally Cup will be contested over six rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship** with a prize fund totalling €210,000 up for grabs.

Featuring four events on asphalt and two on gravel, the 2020 Abarth Rally Cup is exclusively for the Abarth 124 rally.

The calendar for the 2020 Abarth Rally Cup, which is subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval, is as follows:

Round 1: Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt), 7-9 May
Round 2: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel), 29-31 May
Round 3: 77th Rally Poland (gravel), 26-28 June
Round 4: Rally di Roma Capitale (asphalt), 24-26 July
Round 5: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt), 28-30 August
Round 6: Rally Hungary (asphalt), 6-8 November

On each round, the following prize money will be awarded:

First position: €12,000
Second position: €10,000
Third position: €8,000

The winning driver receives an additional €30,000.

All six rounds count, while Abarth Rally Cup competitors will be eligible for the ERC2 production category.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “The first ERC-based Abarth Rally Cup in 2019 provided an alternative offering for drivers either intent on building a career in the sport or looking for a competitive environment, but on a level playing field. In highly entertaining rear-wheel-drive sportscars from a manufacturer with a vast heritage in rallying, drivers experienced asphalt and gravel events with the title – and substantial end-of-season prize fund – decided on the final round.”

In addition to a very attractive prize fund, Abarth will provide an on-event parts support service plus technical back up from its expert engineers. A dedicated hospitality centre will be available at all rounds, while the Abarth Rally Cup will be pushed through the ERC’s digital platforms with action also included on television coverage of the championship on Eurosport and other networks around the world.

**Subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval

The post Abarth Rally Cup offers six ERC events in 2020 plus €210,000 prize fund appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hard work ongoing as ERC Azores Rallye prepares to turn 55 in 2020

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 06:00

New Azores Rallye head Rui Moniz says his organising team is “working hard” in order to turn 55 in 2020.

Forming the opening round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, the Azores Rallye will celebrate its 55th running from 26-28 March.

“We must make known that our team is working hard to meet the necessary conditions to put on the road a memorable edition of the rally, which can keep raising the name of the Azores to the highest level.”

The post Hard work ongoing as ERC Azores Rallye prepares to turn 55 in 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Islas Canarias organisers receive top award

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 18:00

The organisers of the FIA European Rally Championship-counting Rally Islas Canarias have picked up a top award.

Club Deportivo Todo Sport received the prestigious Organiser of the Year trophy at the recent Spanish federation (RFEDA) awards ceremony.

A regular on the Spanish championship schedule, the asphalt-only Rally Islas Canarias has hosted the ERC five times since the championship’s restructuring in 2004. It will form round two of the 2020 ERC season from 7-9 May.

The post ERC Rally Islas Canarias organisers receive top award appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Don’t miss the ERC Season Review on Eurosport

Mon, 12/16/2019 - 09:00

Eurosport’s coverage of the FIA European Rally Championship continues this week with the eagerly anticipated Season Review tomorrow evening (Tuesday).

Scheduled to broadcast during a primetime slot from 19h15-20h15 CET, the programme will contain all the highlights of the action-packed 2019 season, which was decided on the very final stage of the very last round, November’s Rally Hungary.

Check local broadcast times for more details.

The post Don’t miss the ERC Season Review on Eurosport appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner Stratieva honoured at Peugeot Sport Awards in Paris

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 06:00

Ekaterina Stratieva has received recognition from Peugeot Sport for her capture of the 2019 ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

The Bulgarian took the title driving a Peugeot 208 R2 and joined other Peugeot-powered champions at an event in Paris earlier this month.

Peugeot Sport Director François Wales made a presentation to Stratieva, a plaque and a bottle of individually branded champagne produced by one of the senior Peugeot Sport engineers.

“This recognition means a lot to us and gives us an incentive to continue to fight and organise things for a stronger 2020,” said Stratieva.

Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández were also recognised at the event for winning the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 and ERC3 Junior crowns.

The post ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner Stratieva honoured at Peugeot Sport Awards in Paris appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Hungary organisers release highlights clip

Sat, 12/14/2019 - 06:00

Organisers of Rally Hungary have released a highlights clip featuring memorable moments from the deciding round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship.

Rally Hungary Aftermovie is a not-to-be-missed production and is available by clicking here.

The post ERC Rally Hungary organisers release highlights clip appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rally Poland confirms Mikołajki base for ERC counter

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 06:00

Poland’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship will continue to be based in Mikołajki, organisers of the ERC’s longest-serving event have confirmed.

Scheduled as the fifth event of the 2020 season from 26-28 June, the 77th edition of Rally Poland is the 51st to be included on the European roster.

A statement from the rally organisers read: “Just like in its previous editions held since 2005, the picturesque town of Mikołajki and the Masuria lake district will host the 77th Rally Poland with flat-out action again running on spectacular gravel stages.”

The post Rally Poland confirms Mikołajki base for ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hyundai reveals updated Rally2 challenger for ERC

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:00

Hyundai Motorsport has revealed an updated version of its multi-event and title-winning i20 R5, which will be available in time for the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season.

Conforming to the FIA’s Rally2 regulations, the i20 R5 ’20 comes with new dampers in both Tarmac and gravel configuration, as well as a more powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, now putting out a reported 290bhp.

Existing customers will be able to update their cars, while the new parts will be fitted as standard on all newly-built i20 R5s.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Senior Sales Associate Andrew Johns said: “The i20 R5 ‘20 represents the largest single upgrade to the car since it was revealed at the end of 2016. The first tests show a good increase in performance, and the feedback from our drivers on the handling and balance has been very positive. We will continue to finalise the exact specifications of the new parts, but I am already confident that the updates will make the i20 R5 ‘20 a very strong contender for national and international rallying.”

Redesigned door mirrors and a re-profiled roof-scoop offer visual changes, with the later improving airflow to the driver and co-driver. The gearbox and brakes will also benefit from improved cooling ducts.

The post Hyundai reveals updated Rally2 challenger for ERC 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