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Updated: 16 min 9 sec ago

Champion Lukyanuk: We’re still learning in ERC

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:00

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

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

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

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

The post Champion Lukyanuk: We’re still learning in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Castel Sant’Angelo start for ERC Rally Roma di Capitale

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:00

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

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

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

 

 

The post Castel Sant’Angelo start for ERC Rally Roma di Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Munnings excited ahead of ERC return

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:00

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

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

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

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

The post Munnings excited ahead of ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 17:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post Gryazin picks P5, Mayr-Melnhof first in ERC Rome road order appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig continues ERC Qualifying Stage streak

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:00

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

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

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

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

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

The post Herczig continues ERC Qualifying Stage streak appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:00

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

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

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

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

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

The post Mayr-Melnhof has “perfect” car for ERC in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Five from five by ERC1 Junior stars

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 12:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


*Mares is pictured in action in Poland last month

The post Five from five by ERC1 Junior stars appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin wins Roma Qualifying Stage

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 10:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin wins Roma Qualifying Stage appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

The day ahead on ERC Rally di Roma Capitale

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 06:00

Rally di Roma Capitale, round five of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship, is go from today.

Practice, qualifying, the ceremonial start at the Castel Sant’Angelo in the centre of Rome followed by a driving parade past some of the city’s famous landmarks are all included on the agenda for Friday 19 July.

Free Practice is scheduled from 07h00-09h00 with the Qualifying Stage from 09h30. The top 15 drivers from qualifying will select their starting positions for leg one at 16h00 ahead of the autograph session from 18h30 at the Castel Sant’Angelo, where the ceremonial start will begin at 19h00 followed by the driving parade through Rome.

The post The day ahead on ERC Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

First time for everything: ERC legend Rossetti gets to grips with Rally di Roma Capitale

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 21:00

Luca Rossetti will be among the Rally di Roma Capitale rookies when the event gets underway in the historic Italian city tomorrow evening.

Rossetti has competed extensively throughout his homeland but the all-asphalt Rally di Roma Capitale is an unknown quantity for the three-time winner of the FIA European Rally Championship.

“This is my first time here in Rally di Roma Capitale and really I don’t know what to expect,” Rossetti said. “For sure other guys have been here three times already but for me it’s just the first time, so it’s always difficult even if we are in our homeland. But the feeling of the car is growing race after race. I am quite happy and I know very well the Pirelli tyre. It is working well in this surface so I am quite positive.”

As well as learning the Rally di Roma Capitale stages, Rossetti is still adapting to his new-for-2019 Citroën C3 R5 with only three events on asphalt under his belt in the French machine.

The post First time for everything: ERC legend Rossetti gets to grips with Rally di Roma Capitale appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg keen to take on latest ERC Tarmac challenge

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 18:00

Elias Lundberg is preparing to do something he hasn’t done very often on Rally di Roma Capitale: drive on asphalt.

Swede Lundberg estimates that of the rallies he’s contested during his career only “10 per cent” have been on Tarmac, the basis of this week’s FIA ERC3 Junior Championship counter.

But the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver is relishing the opportunity as he looks to build his experience of sealed-surface competition.

“This season has been a tough one for us and the team,” said Lundberg, last year’s ADAC Opel Rallye Cup winner. “But we will never stop continuing to work hard in order to gain good results until the end.

“I’d say less than 10 per cent of the rallies I have contested in my career were on Tarmac, so I still have something to learn. But our big improvement on Rally Islas Canarias was quite encouraging so I can’t wait to take on Italian Tarmac with my Opel ADAM R2.”

The post Lundberg keen to take on latest ERC Tarmac challenge appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC asphalt rookie Jeets to use karting skills in Rome

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 15:00

Gregor Jeets plans to utilise knowledge gained from his karting career when he contests Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July.

Jeets has never rallied on asphalt before making his trip from Estonia to Italy a step into the unknown for the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship contender.

The Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver explained: “It’s my very first Tarmac rally. Last weekend I did Rally Estonia [on gravel] and [on Tuesday we had] one day of testing. This is my preparation, but we also watch some videos.

“I have six years of karting behind me so maybe this can help me. Because I don’t have any experience my plan is to collect as much experience as possible. This is the target.”

The post ERC asphalt rookie Jeets to use karting skills in Rome appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pirelli set for home ERC event

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 12:00

Tyre maker Pirelli, an Official Series Partner of the FIA European Rally Championship, has revealed the challenges faced on this week’s Rally di Roma Capitale and it how plans to overcome them.

Based in Milan, Pirelli supplies tyres to several ERC frontrunners including championship leader Łukasz Habaj and Mārtiņš Sesks, who is taking up his second of two prize drives for winning the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship in 2018.

With challenging stages on slippery asphalt in warm summer temperatures, tyres must perform consistently on a wide variety of surfaces and be resistant to wear.

Pirelli will supply its P Zero RA asphalt tyres, which made a winning debut in the ERC on the last asphalt round, Rally Islas Canarias. They are available to four-wheel drive crews in the hard-compound RA5 and soft-compound RA7, together with the Cinturato RWA rain tyre. The hard RK5, soft RKW7 and wet RW are nominated for the ERC3 Junior Championship drivers to use.

Crews in four-wheel drive cars can use up to 18 tyres during the event. ERC3 Junior drivers are allowed to use a maximum of 12 tyres, to be chosen from 12 of the RK5 hard compound, six of the RKW7 soft compound and six of the RW rain tyre.

Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli's Rally Activity Manager: “As our home event and an important round of both the European and Italian championships, which showcases our capital city, Rally di Roma is always a highlight of the season for Pirelli. It’s set to be a long and closely-fought rally in hot conditions, making it a tough test for the tyres as always. We can also expect different types of asphalt, adding to the challenge. We’re equipping the vast majority of the field across a wide variety of cars and classes, including the brand new Ford Fiesta R5, seen in action in the ERC for the first time.”

As well as supplying all ERC3 Junior drivers as standard, Pirelli is also the exclusive tyre supplier to the new-for-2019 Abarth Rally Cup, which Andrea Nucita leads after three rounds.

Many of the top Italian championship contenders are also registered for ERC honours, including Pirelli-equipped Luca Rossetti, Simone Campedelli and Andrea Crugnola.

The post Pirelli set for home ERC event appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Antunes not fazed by surface switch

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 09:00

Pedro Antunes will continue his FIA ERC3 Junior Championship challenge on Rally di Roma Capitale keen to play down the switching of surfaces from gravel to asphalt.

FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver Antunes admits he has a slight preference for gravel compared to Tarmac but doesn’t want that to impact his Italian weekend.

“We will try to be in the top five because to be in the top three is maybe difficult, but we will try,” said Antunes. “I enjoy both surfaces. Honestly, I prefer gravel, but I think I am fast on Tarmac as well.”

The post ERC Junior Antunes not fazed by surface switch appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Cais aiming for asphalt gains after gravel pain in ERC

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 06:00

ACCR Czech Rally Team driver Erik Cais is hoping the switch back to asphalt for the final two rounds of the 2019 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship will result in a change of fortune.

Cais, whose rallying career is still in its infancy following a lengthy stint in downhill mountain bike racing, has more experience on Tarmac and prefers sealed-surface events, particularly following a tough time on the gravel-based Rally Liepāja when he suffered two car-wrecking crashes.

“I really want to do some great results in Roma, but we will see because there will be lots of fast drivers there,” said Cais, who will drive a Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2T on this week’s Rally di Roma Capitale. “We have to go flat out with these guys and it’s so difficult to do a great result. I hope Tarmac will be lucky for me because it’s a surface I really like and know much better than gravel.”

The post Cais aiming for asphalt gains after gravel pain in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram plans new approach in bid to win ERC1 Junior crown

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 21:00

Chris Ingram is planning a new approach behind the wheel of his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5 when Rally di Roma Capitale hosts the penultimate round of the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship from Friday to Sunday.

Ingram, on top of the standings by 35 points after four rounds, endured a troubled outing in Poland last month. While the mechanical problems that struck were beyond his control, the Briton believes there is still room for improvement when it comes to his own performance.

“I’ve been thinking why I am only fast at the end of a rally so I need to go into Rome to enjoy it and the times will come from the start if I am confident,” said the 2017 ERC3 Junior champion. “I know I’ve not been able to string [the perfect] rally together for a while but I’m really confident for Rome and I know the rally from the last two years.”

Ingram is pictured with co-driver Ross Whittock and ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley

The post Ingram plans new approach in bid to win ERC1 Junior crown appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tarmac return excites Czech ERC Junior Talaš

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 18:00

Jan Talaš can’t wait to make his Rally di Roma Capitale debut – because it signals the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship’s return to asphalt after two events on gravel.

With the bulk of his competitive outings taking place on Tarmac, the ACCR Czech Rally Team driver is far more adept on sealed surfaces.

“I am really looking forward to what is another new rally for me,” said Talaš, the Czech Junior and 2WD champion from 2019.“A lot of new experiences are waiting for me and we are returning to Tarmac, which is my favourite surface as all rallies in Czech Republic are done only on Tarmac.”

All ERC3 Junior drivers use Pirelli tyres as standard.

The post Tarmac return excites Czech ERC Junior Talaš appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Schwedt out to prove he’s a (Roman) gladiator on asphalt

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:00

Roman Schwedt is feeling confident ahead of Italy’s round of the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship – even though he’ll be a Rally di Roma Capitale rookie when the event begins on Friday.

Schwedt, who arrives in Italy having finished second in the RC4 category on Rally Luxembourg recently, has done the bulk of his rallying on sealed surfaces.

Partnered once again by co-driver Henry Wichura, who returns alongside Schwedt in place of Lina Meter, teenager Schwedt has high hopes in his Team ROMO Peugeot 208 R2.

“I started my career on Tarmac in Germany so for me it’s much easier to drive on Tarmac than gravel and I hope I can really do good in Rome,” said German Schwedt. “We need to see how the others are there but I’m happy for Rome and I hope it’s going to be all good. I am confident with the experience I have on Tarmac.”

The post ERC Junior Schwedt out to prove he’s a (Roman) gladiator on asphalt appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New recruit Williams brings 2019 FIA ERC Junior registrations to 34

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 12:00

The Eurosport Events-promoted FIA ERC3 Junior Championship has increased its intake to 20 with confirmation that James Williams will make his debut in the Pirelli-supported category on this week’s Rally di Roma Capitale (19-21 July).

A class winner in the MSA British Rally Championship, 23-year-old Williams will compete in a new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T as he follows a long line of rising talents stepping up from national to international level in ERC3 Junior.

“It’s going to be cool,” said Williams. “I’ve only done the BRC before so it will be a big step up, but it will be interesting. I quite like Tarmac, it’s a strong surface for me. Going to Rome will be new. I have to find my feet, but [I’ve had] a chance to see what the roads are like, the characteristics. I’ll be sussing it out a little bit but it’s a good opportunity.”

Williams, who is co-driven by fellow Briton Tom Woodburn, will travel to Italy from his native Wales on a high following his class success on the recent Ypres Rally in Belgium, which gave him his first competitive outing in the new Fiesta.

“The aim is to prove the car against the Peugeots and the Opel ADAMs, but I don’t go into any rally unless I’m trying to win it,” said Williams, who studies Motorsport Management at university in Swansea, South Wales. “We need to be realistic but it’s the plan to do as well as I can, and I feel quite confident coming from Ypres. It should be good.”

While Rally di Roma Capitale is currently a one-off in ERC3 Junior, Williams is open to more appearances. “I hope there will be further opportunities, but we take it step by step at the minute,” he said.

ERC3 Junior is for drivers born on or after 1 January 1992 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. While 20 have registered for this year’s championship – which lists Stéphane Lefebvre, Emil Bergkvist, Marijan Griebel, Chris Ingram and MārtiņšSesks as its previous title winners – a further 14 have registered for ERC1 Junior for young stars in R5 cars for a total of 34 registrations.

Photo: BRC/Jakob Ebrey Photography

The post New recruit Williams brings 2019 FIA ERC Junior registrations to 34 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Falcón: learning comes first in ERC

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 09:00

ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner Emma Falcón admits learning must come first during her maiden season at R5 level.

The Canary Islander will contest Rally di Roma Capitale for a third time this week but her first at the wheel of the Escuderia Fuertwagen Motorsport Citroën C3 R5 she shares with co-driver Eduardo González.

“This is one of the rallies that I most like and enjoy but it’s my first participation with the R5 car,” said ERC1 Junior contender Falcón. “This year has been about getting acquainted with the car. Hopefully next year we participate in more events.”

Falcón finished sixth in ERC3 and second in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in Rome last season.

The post Falcón: learning comes first in 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