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European Rally Championship
Updated: 48 min 9 sec ago

Tejpar back in front in ERC Ladies’ Trophy

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 12:00

Nabila Tejpar reclaimed the lead of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy by finishing her first high-speed gravel event, last week’s PZM 76th Rally Poland.

The Briton focused on learning and building her limited experience, scoring points in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

“It was difficult, I won’t lie,” said Tejpar. “It was the fastest event I’ve ever done and I was lacking confidence and experience. But I was building my confidence and getting a lot of experience by doing all the kilometres.

“It was not easy but I learned a lot and I was very happy to be at the finish, happy with the experience and that I was able to build my confidence over the weekend. I got some good points in ERC Junior and I’m quite happy where I finished.”

The post Tejpar back in front in ERC Ladies’ Trophy appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

First ERC3 Junior win there for the taking, says Furuseth

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 09:00

Sindre Furuseth had the pace to land his maiden victory in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship, settling instead for second place when a damaged tyre halted his charge on PZM 76th Rally Poland.

The Norwegian was on course to win the Pirelli-supported category only to drop back on Saturday afternoon. He tried to recover the lost time on Sunday morning but opted to settle for second rather than push all out for victory over Ken Torn.

“I think we deserved to win but Ken [Torn] did a really good job also,” said the Saintéloc Junior Team driver.“We started the first day with flat-out speed and built a small lead, but the puncture put us in a difficult position on the final morning.

“We tried and we closed the gap a little bit. But when I saw Ken’s speed on the rough stage after service, I just thought that this is not possible. Also, Efrén [Llarena] crashed out and from there it was just about survival.

“But the championship looks good with three second places now, but obviously we want to put in that win as well.”

The post First ERC3 Junior win there for the taking, says Furuseth appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg: team deserved ERC3 Junior podium

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 06:00

Elias Lundberg was back to his Azores Rallye best in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship – but a podium eluded him in the closing stages of PZM 76th Rally Poland after transmission failure hit.

Lundberg, part of the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, was on course to finish third in the Pirelli-supported category having overcome intercom and powersteering issues on leg one of the high-speed gravel event aboard his Opel ADAM R2.

“It felt really good to complete the first stages and not be so far behind,” said the Swede, who finished third in class on the Azores Rallye in March. “We lost the intercom and the powersteering on stage eight and also the engine cut off a few times.

“But the car was working well [on Sunday morning] and we were trying to find the real rhythm, everything was quite okay. Of course, it's hard to retire so close to the finish line with a podium position in sight. In contrast to some of our rivals, we hadn't made any mistakes until then. The guys deserved the podium spot.”

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ERC regulars Alonso and Nobre shoot for glory

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 00:00

FIA European Rally Championship regulars Juan Carlos Alonso and Paulo Nobre have got behind their respective countries ahead of today’s Copa America semi-final.

The game, which is being played in Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirão at 02h30 CET today (3 July), is between Alonso’s Argentina and Nobre’s Brazil with a place in Sunday’s final at stake.

Alonso and Nobre took part in the photocall during last weekend’s PZM 76th Rally Poland – where Alonso triumphed in the ERC2 division – to promote the upcoming tie between the two South American powerhouses.

Despite the intensity of the fixture, Nobre – a fierce supporter of Brazilian club side Palmeiras – played down the rivalry. “We are brothers, not enemies,” he said.

The post ERC regulars Alonso and Nobre shoot for glory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Arai shows speed on ERC Poland debut

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 18:00

Hiroki Arai showed plenty of speed on his second appearance in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship and his first on PZM 76th Rally Poland.

However, a rare mistake on the final morning led to he and co-driver Ilka Minor crashing into retirement when a class podium was looking assured.

“It was a really tricky left-hand corner, the one corner in a forest section that was really slippery, really compact,” said the Team STARD development driver. “We had a massive slide, not over-speeding and I nearly came back on the road but at the last minute we clipped a ditch and started rolling. It was my mistake.”

Despite his Citroën C3 R5 rolling, Arai confirmed the damage done was not too severe. “Cosmetically the car was damaged but the engine, transmission, things like that were okay.

“Every stage was so difficult on this rally because every stage has a different profile. Compared to the last event in Latvia, the road is much, much narrower and so fast. You really have to be on the line and that’s the most difficult part. But we took good experience and gave good feedback to Yokohama for the tyres.”

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Ingram remains on top in ERC1 Junior despite freak injury

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 12:00

Chris Ingram continues to lead the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship despite a troubled PZM 76th Rally Poland last weekend.

After myriad problems put him out of contention, a badly burned hand sustained while carrying out repairs forced his exit on the final afternoon.

With four rounds run and two remaining – including Rally di Roma Capitale later this month – Ingram remains in prime position to win the category for young stars in R5 cars. But the Toksport WRT driver will need to keep a close eye on his rivals, particularly ACCR Czehc Rally Team’s Filip Mareš, who scored maximum points in Poland.

Ingram explained the sequence of events that ultimately put him out of the high-speed gravel event.

“The alarm came on a few kilometres before the end [of SS13]. I backed off a bit, the time was still aright but it was a water temperature issue. We’d hit a rut quite hard and sand basically filled the radiator, so it wasn’t cooling. The water temperature was already at 160 degrees and it wasn’t getting any cooler.

“After a while we had permission to just carry on and risk it but the last time we tried to do something, we put the engine back on to see if the fans would cool the engine down a bit, and then the last time I unscrewed the cap it just exploded everywhere.

“I had my glove on and it just soaked my glove and I couldn’t get it off. That’s why it was so bad really. The first time we opened it, it was just like a can of Coke. But the second time it just exploded. It was so painful.”

The post Ingram remains on top in ERC1 Junior despite freak injury appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Llarena on high-speed ERC crash, race against time

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 06:00

Efrén Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández are facing a race against time to continue their FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title challenge in Italy later this month.

Their high-speed crash on PZM 76th Rally Poland left their Peugeot 208 R2 badly damaged after it travelled an estimated 200 metres from the point of initial impact, according to the crew, who were largely unharmed.

Spanish duo Llarena and Fernández, who are trained mechanics, will have to work around the clock if they are to be ready for Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July.

“I think I was too fast on a very fast corner,” said the Rallye Team Spain driver, who was in third place in class at the time of the accident. “I touched inside, I don’t know what but immediately we started to roll. It was more bad luck for us but we were fighting for the championship, so we were completely flat. Our car is now destroyed and we see if we can go to Rome because of the time to repair the car in Spain and the budget.

“We rolled seven or eight times and of course when you are rolling the feeling is not good. I was thinking maybe I will have injuries but after I asked Sara she told me she was okay, so we could only go out of the car. That’s when we saw the car was completely destroyed but that’s rally.”

Llarena arrived in Poland leading the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior table but his accident has left him two points behind new title pacesetter Sindre Furuseth.

“For us the weekend was going very well,” Llarena added.” We had some temperature problems on the first morning and on the first loop we lost 15 seconds to Sindre Furuseth. But after we were on the same pace as him. Then [on Sunday morning] we had a puncture, maybe in the same place as Alexey Lukyanuk because it was on a straight. It was really bad luck.”

Click here to watch Llarena and Fernández crash out of PZM 76th Rally Poland, fortunately without serious injury to either crew.

The post Llarena on high-speed ERC crash, race against time appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nucita reflects on “very important” ERC Abarth Rally Cup victory

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 18:00

Andrea Nucita has described his class victory in the Abarth Rally Cup on PZM 76th Rally Poland as “very important”.

The Italian’s success was his second in as many events and came on his least favoured gravel surface.

With the next three events on his favoured asphalt, Nucita’s hopes of title joy – and the €30,000 end-of-season cash prize have received a big boost.

“This result was very, very important,” said Nucita. “It was not easy, but I could get to the finish and I’m very happy.”

The post Nucita reflects on “very important” ERC Abarth Rally Cup victory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC champion Kajetanowicz comes to town

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 12:00

Record-breaking FIA European Rally Championship winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz was a visitor to PZM 76th Rally Poland last weekend.

The three-time champion arrived in Mikołajki on Friday and took part in the ERC’s Facebook live show. Speaking to report Chris Rawes, Kajetanowicz said: “I am happy to here. Okay, like a spectator, but it’s always nice to be in Mikołajki at this famous rally with a great atmosphere and many fast drivers. My heart is bumping being here, it’s so exciting.”

Kajetanowicz registered his first ERC victory in Poland in 2013 before going on to become the first driver in history to win three European titles in succession between 2015 and 2017.

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Hyundai’s Huttunen flies high in ERC

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 06:00

Jari Huttunen made it two podiums from two starts in the FIA European Rally Championship’s top tier with second place on PZM 76th Rally Poland yesterday.

After finishing second to Russian Nikolay Gryazin in Poland last season, the Finn had to give best to Gryazin’s countryman, the defending ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk, who won 11 stages to the two wins Huttunen registered in his Hyundai i20 R5.

“Lukyanuk was much faster this time,” said Huttunen, a graduate from the ERC3 Junior category and a Hyundai affiliated driver. “Maybe next time I can win but to be honest I'm really happy about the result. I did not make any mistakes and didn't have any big problems, so I need to be happy.”

Asked if more ERC events were in the planning, Huttunen said: “If you are asking, why not?”

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ERC3 form book Torn up with another win for Ken

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 16:56

Ken Torn cemented his status as an FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title contender with his second consecutive class win in ERC on PZM 76th Rally Poland, beating new points leader Sindre Furuseth.

Estonian Autosport Junior Team’s standout talent made his ERC debut last month on Rally Liepāja and has wasted no time establishing himself as a man to beat, maintaining his 100% win rate in ERC3.

Torn had taken the lead from Furuseth late on the first leg (Saintéloc Junior Team) and was initially under pressure, his lead cut to just 4.7s after the first pass of Gmina Mragowo.

But he would not be beaten by Furuseth for the rest of the rally, winning three of the last four stages aboard his Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta R2T to build a 37.8s lead by the finish line.

Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) had started leg two as the third contender for victory. A puncture on Gmina Mragowo cost him around 20 seconds and dropped him from second to third, but worse was to come. A high-speed crash destroyed his car, though both Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernandez were OK after their off.

Llarena’s non-finish coupled with a second place put Furuseth first in both the ERC3 and ERC3 Junior championships, something that was on the Saintéloc driver’s mind in the closing stages.

“After service I didn’t give it everything. It was difficult to keep in the pushing mood when Llarena went off,” said Furuseth.

“This is important for the championship. I am happy, I think we proved our speed yesterday.”

There was a radical reshuffle of the order behind the top two during the afternoon. Miika Hokkanen rolled on the first pass of Uzranki that cost him 40 seconds but, more critically, led to his time card going missing.

Hokkanen’s rollover had led to his co-driver’s timecard becoming hidden underneath one of the seats in his Peugeot 208 R2 and, by the time it had been tracked down, it was too late, being forced to retire by default when unable to hand over the card at the finish line of SS12.

That initially promoted Tomasz Zbroja (GO+Cars GO+EAuto) to third, who was under pressure from both ERC3 debutant Adam Westlund and Elias Lundberg (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team).

Sensing the opportunity for a stunning debut podium, Westlund upped his pace, putting in a stage-winning time on Gmina Mragowo to take third place. With Zbroja also suffering a puncture on the same test, his third place was assured.

Lundberg vanished from the battle entirely when both ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team cars retired within a kilometre of each other. In addition to Lundberg’s DNF, Grégoire Munster was also forced to stop with a driveshaft failure.

With several midfielders falling by the wayside, Team ROMO’s Roman Schwedt was poised to take advantage, scoring his first top five finish in ERC3.

FPAK Team Portugal ERC’s Pedro Antunes also showed why it’s important never to give up in ERC.

Antunes’s car was looking decidedly second hand after a rollover during Friday practice that meant borrowing parts from teams and fans to finish repairs.

Sporting a bonnet from a road-going Peugeot 208 and a faulty sensor that caused his engine to cut out occasionally, he pushed on regardless and finished sixth, a great result for what had started out as a nightmare weekend.

It was all the more impressive considering he had to fend off Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) all day, starting 2.9s ahead of the Czech federation-backed driver and finishing four seconds up, with Cais securing seventh in ERC3.

Sean Johnston scored an eighth place finish but was nearly in contention for a top five, having been only 13.1s behind fifth-placed Schwedt when a puncture struck on SS13.

Florian Bernardi is a master of ERC3 on sealed surfaces but on the less familiar territory in Poland he was in learning mode, competing for the first time on gravel. Clocking every competitive kilometre, he picked up ninth place, with Gregor Jeets in the second Estonian Autosport Junior Team-run Ford Fiesta R2T completing the top 10.

Jeets also picked up seventh in ERC3 Junior, with ERC Ladies winner Nabila Tejpar picking up eighth place in the Junior category.

The post ERC3 form book Torn up with another win for Ken appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Alonso scores “perfect” ERC2 win to strengthen title ambitions

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 16:14

Juan Carlos Alonso scored a “perfect” victory in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category on PZM 76th Rally Poland, increasing his points lead over title rival Zelindo Melegari.

Alonso led the ERC’s production category from start to finish, winning 12 out of 15 stages across three days of action.

He was initially kept honest by Mshari Althefiri on leg one. Althefiri remained within striking distance for much of Saturday until the Kuwaiti rookie suffered a broken gearbox on stage eight, leaving Alonso’s path to victory clear.

“It’s wonderful for us. We had a perfect weekend, we showed our speed, and my co-driver was excellent all weekend,” said Alonso.

Melegari (Neiksans Rallysport), who started the event only one point behind Alonso in the ERC2 points standings, finished as runner up but was five minutes behind Alonso, unable to find the feeling he wanted with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

Andrea Nucita wrapped up a vital Abarth Rally Cup victory, bolstering his ambitions of winning the €30,000 grand prize at the end of the season. His efforts were also enough to secure the final podium place in ERC2, which keeps him within touching distance of Alonso and Melegari for the overall ERC2 title.

Dmitry Feofanov (Sporta Klubs Autostils Rally Team) capped his ERC2 debut with fourth place, restarting on leg two after a broken wheel on stage eight had forced him to retire.

Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) was also back on the road again after being sidelined with driveshaft failure on Saturday, completing the top five in ERC2 and picking up second in the Abarth Rally Cup, limiting his points loss to Nucita in their duel for the title.

Althefiri had returned for leg two but crashed midway through the opening Mikołajki MAX test, ending his rally.

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Lukyanuk scores well-earned ERC win as title race ramps up

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 15:56

Alexey Lukyanuk is back in the hunt for a second FIA European Rally Championship title after 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 first thing on Saturday morning after stage two, Lukyanuk didn’t look back, winning by 59.8s.

After a broken damper and puncture on Saturday only proved to be a minor delay, another puncture occurred when Lukyanuk hit a stone on the morning pass of Gmina Mragowo.

His lead was reduced but still remained out from there he was untouchable, winning the remaining stages to cement his first win.

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

Conscious that Lukyanuk was keen to get his first win of 2019 on the board, Huttunen played it safe and made sure he secured second place, continuing the ERC3 Junior graduate’s 100% podium rate in ERC since moving up to the faster four-wheel drive cars.

Championship leader Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) added another podium finish to his impressive 2019 trophy cabinet, limiting his points loss to Lukyanuk and ensure he would leave his home country still atop the ERC standings, 11 points ahead of Lukyanuk.

Habaj overhauled ERC1 Junior star Miko Marczyk (ŠKODA Polska Motorsport) for fourth place early on Sunday morning and then took third when Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) suffered a broken wheel on SS12.

Despite losing nearly a minute Mareš still secured victory in the ERC1 Junior category and fourth place overall, putting him into 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 aboard his ŠKODA Fabia R5. Domżała had been battling Habaj earlier on but fell back during leg two, and was able to bring the car home without drama when nearest rival Hiroki Arai (Team STARD) rolled out of the rally on Uzranki’s morning pass.

Tomasz Kasperczyk (Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team) mounted a remarkable 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, but also passed Mattias Adielsson (Sweden National Team), Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) and Marczyk during leg two.

Adielsson had been set to finish sixth until a broken front differential left him with only rear wheel drive, though Griebel’s crash meant the he was given a notional time for the final stage and clung on to seventh by 0.1s from Herczig.

Despite the last-minute issues Adielsson also wrapped up a first ERC1 Junior podium finish, ahead of Marczyk, who completed the class podium and finished ninth overall. Marczyk had been running fourth overall behind Habaj on Sunday morning but lost nearly three minutes when he stopped to change a puncture on SS12.

The spate of late retirements promoted Kacper Wróblewski into the top 10 on the final stage, scoring an ERC championship point on his first ever gravel rally in a four-wheel drive car.

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BREAKING NEWS: Torn takes two in ERC3 with Poland win

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 15:22

Ken Torn continued his brilliant form in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship by taking his second ERC3 victory in as many rallies on PZM 76th Rally Poland, beating Sindre Furuseth.

Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) took the lead on Saturday afternoon when Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team) lost time on stage eight and didn’t look back, building his advantage on leg two to win by 37.8s.

“I don’t remember the last time I pushed so hard.  I had some big moments but we are happy and we are here,” said Torn, who drives a Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta R2T.

Furuseth scored his third second place finish of the season in ERC3, handing him a narrow lead in the ERC3 Junior Championship standings after PZM 76th Rally Poland.

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BREAKING NEWS: Lukyanuk scores first ERC win of 2019 in Poland

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 15:10

Defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk wrapped up his first FIA European Rally Championship victory of 2019 on PZM 76th Rally Poland, beating Hyundai Motorsport N’s young talent Jari Huttunen.

Lukyanuk endured a challenging rally, picking up two punctures in two days along with a minor damper issue on Saturday.

But he persevered and held his lead throughout, sealing victory over Huttunen.

"Finally! It feels fantastic we even did it in a proper way, having fun until the end. Thank you to the team, the sponsors and the fans for all the support," said an ecstatic Lukyanuk.

"We had so many stories behind the scenes for some of the stages. But now we are here. Yes!"

Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) still leads the championship standings, completing the podium positions.

Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) secured his maiden ERC1 Junior Championship victory in fourth place overall, having held third for much of the rally until a right-rear wheel broke on Sunday morning.

Aron Domżała (TGS Worldwide) completed the top five overall.

 

 

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Final ERC stage in Poland delayed

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 14:34

The concluding stage of PZM 76th Rally Poland has been delayed by a crash for FIA European Rally Championship driver Marijan Griebel.

A tough rally for the past ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior champion came to an end only 2.5 kilometres from the finish line of Rally Poland, rolling his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Both crew members are reported to be OK after their off but the stage was postponed to help clear his stricken Fabia, with Mattias Adielsson stopped midway through the stage and the rest of the field waiting to start.

MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig cleared the stage before Griebel’s accident but will have to wait to find out what position he finished, as he began only 0.1s behind Adielsson in their battle over eighth place.

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Water leak ends Ingram’s ERC recovery drive

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 13:10

A water leak on FIA ERC1 Junior Championship leader Chris Ingram’s car means the Toksport WRT driver will score zero points on PZM 76th Rally Poland in his title fight against Łukasz Habaj and Alexey Lukyanuk.

Ingram has faced a tough rally, with a power steering failure costing him several minutes on Saturday that demoted him to P15 overall and out of the points.

A strong start to leg two had put Ingram second in the leg two classification, behind Jari Huttunen (Hyundai Motorsport N) but crucially ahead of Lukyanuk and Habaj.

However, any hopes of damage limitation disappeared thanks to a water pressure issue during the afternoon pass of Mikołajki MAX, with water pouring from the underside of his car.

“A similar thing happened in Latvia. Basically the radiator got full of dust,” explained Ingram.

“Hopefully we can carry on because today has been going good.”

Ingram and co-driver Ross Whittock worked on the car after the finish line of SS13 but were unable to resolved the problem, forcing the duo to retire.

His ERC1 Junior title hopes remain very much alive and will still top the standings after PZM 76th Rally Poland despite his non-finish.

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Torn on top in ERC3, Llarena and Hokkanen hit trouble

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 12:11

Ken Torn is holding steady at the front of the FIA ERC3 Championship field on PZM 76th Rally Poland, though podium contenders Efrén Llarena and Miika Hokkanen both encountered issues.

Torn’s only challenger for victory is now Sindre Furuseth (Saintéloc Junior Team), who had been making slight inroads on the Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver during the first two stages of leg two.

But a great stage time from Torn on Uzranki helped him claw back 7.2s over Furuseth, building his lead in ERC3 back up to 11.9s.

Furuseth was on the comeback trail after losing his lead to a puncture on Saturday’s Olecko stage, and is determined not to give up chasing Torn.

“After the puncture yesterday we have been absolutely flat out this morning. We are currently second but the fight is close. There’s three stages left and we’ll try,” said Furuseth.

Catastrophe stuck for two other podium contenders. ERC3 Junior points leader Llarena (Rally Team Spain) was in contention for victory until a puncture on Gmina Mragowo, then crashed out on Uzranki, ending his rally.

Miika Hokkanen was in prime position to benefit from Llarena’s misfortune but he also went off, a tricky concrete section that had also caught out ERC1 Junior contender Mattias Adielsson catching out the Finn.

In Hokkanen’s case though there would be no lucky escape; he rolled, losing nearly a minute as spectators pushed his Peugeot 208 R2 upright to continue.

It got worse from there, as the off caused co-driver Rami Suorsa to lose their timecard, with the crew unable to present it to timekeepers at stage end.

They later found the timecard but their inability to present it at the finish line of Uzranki may force them to retire, potentially handing Elias Lundberg the fourth position Hokkanen currently occupies.

Tomasz Zbroja (GO+Cars GO+EAuto) was down in seventh after SS10 (Mikołajki MAX) but now finds himself in a podium spot, already going past Hokkanen even before the timecard drama.

Zbroja, Elias Lundberg and Adam Westlund were locked in an intense battle for fifth before Llarena and Hokkanen’s respective woes, with all three swapping positions repeatedly since SS8 yesterday.

A fast time from Zbroja on Uzranki has given him a little breathing room though, with Lundberg now 8.5s behind in fifth and Westlund with 10.2s to make up in sixth.

Lundberg’s ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Grégoire Munster had been on the tail of that three way battle heading into leg two but couldn’t quite keep up, falling 15.6s behind Westlund in seventh.

Roman Schwedt (Team ROMO), who lost his rear bumper on Gmina Mragowo, Sean Johnston (Saintéloc Junior Team) and Pedro Antunes (FPAK Team Portugal ERC) complete the top 10 in ERC3, with Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Gregor Jeets (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) also on course for ERC3 Junior points.

ACCR Czech Rally Team's second car, driven by Jan Talaš, was forced to retire on Uzranki with a broken oil pump.

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Nucita and Alonso set a course for Abarth & ERC2 victories

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:47

Andrea Nucita and Juan Carlos Alonso are three stages away from crucial class victories on PZM 76th Rally Poland, with Nucita on top in the Abarth Rally Cup and Alonso leading the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category.

Both have sights set on their respective championship titles and are looking good to score maximum points, with Nucita’s title rival Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) restarting after his retirement on Saturday.

"For the first loop it’s all OK, the car is very good, so I go very slowly for the finish in this position, because in front I have two minutes and in the rear 10 minutes. So this is the race today," explained Nucita.

Alonso’s lead over ERC2 title rival Zelindo Melegari looks secure, boosting his title hopes after coming to Poland with only a single point advantage over the Neiksans Rallysport driver.

Nucita rounds out the overall ERC2 podium, with Saturday retirees Dmitry Feofanov (Sporta Klubs Autostils Rally Team) and Poloński in tow behind for fourth and fifth places.

Mshari Althefiri had also returned from a broken gearbox on Saturday but didn’t make it to the finish of leg two’s first stage, crashing out of the rally.

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Lukyanuk leads ERC as Junior order shakes up

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:21

Alexey Lukyanuk still leads the FIA European Rally Championship order on PZM 76th Rally Poland despite losing time, as a trio of ERC Juniors had issues on the Uzranki stage.

A puncture delayed Lukyanuk on SS11 and cost him over 15 seconds, though his lead from Jari Huttunen (Hyundai Motorsport N) behind was still mostly intact. Winning the Uzranki test immediately afterwards built his gap back up to 30.5s.

Behind Huttunen the order was reshuffled massively by a chain of events on the Uzranki stage.

Championship leader Łukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) had passed fellow Pole Miko Marczyk (ŠKODA Polska Motorsport) for fourth place on the first stage of the morning, Mikołajki MAX.

But that fourth place became third when Filip Mareš (ACCZ Czech Rally Team) was delayed on Uzranki with two different issues.

Mareš was held up on the road by Marczyk, who was forced to stop and change a puncture, which cost him two minutes. While following Marczyk he then sustained a broken right-rear wheel.

Those issues lost Mareš over half a minute, though thanks to Marczyk’s issues he is still leading ERC1 Junior and fourth overall.

With Marczyk losing over two minutes and falling to P10 overall, Team STARD’s Hirokai Arai was set to benefit. But instead his rally ended entirely on Uzranki, rolling his Citroën over.

Aron Domżała (TGS Worldwide) moved up two places to fifth as a result, though is more than half a minute behind Mareš in fourth.

Instead, he was under pressure from Mattias Adielsson, who is now up to second in ERC1 Junior in addition to sixth overall.

His run on Uzranki was not without drama either, skating “maybe 100 metres” off the road on a very slippery concrete section but losing only a few seconds.

Marijan Griebel (Baumschlager Rallye & Racing) is up to seventh, while Tomasz Kasperczyk (Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team) rocketed up to eighth from P11, thanks in part to a puncture picked up by Norbert Herczig that dropped the MOL Racing Team pilot a few seconds.

Herczig is still within reach of Kasperczyk, however, 11.2s behind while holding a comfortable advantage over Marczyk in P10.

Albert von Thurn und Taxis (Baumschlager Rallye & Racing) and Jarosław Kołtun both retired, von Thurn und Taxis with a broken wheel on Gmina Mragowo and Kołtun crashing out on the tricky Uzranki test.

Ken Torn (Estonian Autosport Junior Team) is still leading ERC3 with three stages to go, with Juan Carlos Alonso leading ERC2 after SS11.

The post Lukyanuk leads ERC as Junior order shakes up 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