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European Rally Championship
Updated: 11 min 38 sec ago

Munster’s ERC Junior experience to last a lifetime

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 18:00

Experience gained during his 2019 FIA ERC3 Junior Championship will last Grégoire Munster a lifetime, according to the Opel-powered Belgian.

Munster retired from the season-closing Barum Czech Rally Zlín with an alternator issue. And while his season in the Pirelli-supported category didn’t go quite to plan, Munster said he learned plenty.

“It’s not [good] to have to retire due to a mechanical issue but it happens to be inherently linked to a mechanical sport,” said the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver. “This is not the manner in which we wished to end our European campaign. But that’s the way it is. Our European season was perhaps not perfect, but we have gained a fair amount of experience and they cannot take that away from me.”

The post Munster’s ERC Junior experience to last a lifetime appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Jeets seventh on “hardest” rally

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 12:00

Gregor Jeets came home seventh in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior division on Barum Czech Rally Zlín earlier this month.

Part of the Estonian Autosport Junior Team, Jeets was making only his second appearance on a sealed-surface event with experienced co-driver Kuldar Sikk.

The ex-international kart racer said: “I was trying to be very careful, especially on the night stages that were really hard, the hardest I have ever seen. I was getting good experience all the time, but I was trying to improve my driving as well. We did every stage on the final day a little bit better and the feeling was much better than before the rally. But it was a really hard rally, one of the hardest of my career so far.”

The post ERC Junior Jeets seventh on “hardest” rally appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Toksport tweaks boost Avcioglu in ERC3

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 06:00

Orhan Avcioglu credited set-up changes by his Toksport WRT team for his upturn in form on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

The Turkish driver was P13 in ERC3 after leg one but rose to P10 by the finish of the FIA European Rally Championship counter.

He said: “Sunday was much better than Saturday, we did some changes to the set-up overnight, which worked well. We went quite a bit harder, we found a sweet spot and the time improved.”

The post Toksport tweaks boost Avcioglu in ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Old rally, new car: Stratieva impresses on ERC return

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 18:00

Ekaterina Strateiva made her 11th start on Barum Czech Rally Zlín – and just missed out on winning the ERC Ladies’ Trophy on her first appearance in a Peugeot 208 R2.

Stratieva completed a late deal to contest her favourite round of the FIA European Rally Championship earlier this month. Despite her absence of car experience, the Bulgarian made the most of her knowledge of the sealed-surface stages to take the fastest time in class outright eight times, eventually finishing second to Nabila Tejpar by 7.2s after an engine issue led to a 20-second time penalty.

“This participation was not planned and without the support from my fans and partners we couldn’t have started,” said Stratieva, the 2015 ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner. “In recent years I have not been actively competing, but that has not prevented me from wishing and fighting for a place in the top three.

“It was a pleasure for me to compete with the leading lady, Nabila Tejpar, and this weekend gave me the impetus and hope for a serious return in 2020.”

Photo supplied by Ekaterina Stratieva

The post Old rally, new car: Stratieva impresses on ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

What happens when a post gets in the way? Nobre explains ERC Zlin delay

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 12:00

Paulo Nobre has explained how an innocuous spin caused him big problems on his latest FIA European Rally Championship appearance.

Brazilian Nobre was in the on Barum Czech Rally Zlín top 30 after two stages but an off on stage three put him out of the sealed-surface event’s first leg before his return under Rally2 rules on day two.

The Palmeirinha Rally team driver said: “On one left in a crest the back wheels of the car got loose and we spin. In the next corner that was exactly after this corner they make some protections to stop people from cutting. In most of the parts they make this with some sticks and that is okay, but in that corner they put some big stones and we hit one of these big stones with the right back wheel [as we spin] and we completely destroyed the shock absorber and broke one [suspension] arm. We couldn’t do anything.”

After restarting on Sunday, Nobre and co-driver Gabriel Morales placed P32.

The post What happens when a post gets in the way? Nobre explains ERC Zlin delay appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Monteiro gets to grips with new Fabia

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 06:00

Aloísio Monteiro and co-driver Sancho Eiró finished 12th of the ERC1 contenders on Barum Czech Rally Zlín as they tried their new ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo for the first time.

The Racing Factory team responsible for Monteiro’s FIA European Rally Championship campaign took delivery of the new Czech machine the week before the sealed-surface event, leaving Monteiro playing catch-up as he adapted to the revamped car.

“Everything was new for us with the car,” said the FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver. “It was tricky with the road position, so we tried to be safe, tried to learn the car, which is a good car.”

The post FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Monteiro gets to grips with new Fabia appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC aces claim world championship success in Germany

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 00:00

ERC graduates Jan Kopecký and Fabian Kreim scored notable class victories when the FIA World Rally Championship stopped off in Germany last week.

While Kopecký, ERC champion in 2013, claimed top spot in the world championship’s second division Pro category on ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Kreim – a winner in ERC1 Junior last season – was also on top form.

Competing in the World Rally Championship 2 category, Kreim led home double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel with three-time European title winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz third. Simone Tempestini, another former ERC regular, placed fourth with ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin fifth following a puncture.

The 2019 FIA European Rally Championship resumes on the Cyprus Rally from 27-29 September.

Photo: ADAC-Motorsport.de

The post ERC aces claim world championship success in Germany appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi scores in Zlin, plans Cyprus ERC2 mission

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 18:00

Florian Bernardi scored more important points in his bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category when he made his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut earlier this month.

The class winner on Rally Islas Canarias in early May, Bernardi was denied a top-five ERC3 finish by 0.6s and travelled back to his native France with 10 points after finishing in sixth place.

“This rally takes a lot of confidence and the experience we gained will serve us for future years,” said the Renault Clio R3T driver. “Even if the performance was not at the level we wanted, we draw a lot of positives from this experience.”

Bernardi is planning to contest the Cyprus Rally from 27-29 September as he builds his knowledge of driving.

The post Bernardi scores in Zlin, plans Cyprus ERC2 mission appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Pospisilik realises dream in ERC

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 12:00

Tomáš Pospíšilík’s ‘dream came true’ when he finished fourth on his FIA ERC1 Junior Championship debut on Barum Czech Rally Zlín recently.

One of the original ERC Junior intake from 2014, Pospíšilík was making a rare 2019 start due to funding restrictions but impressed with a performance free of big mistakes.

“This was the best weekend of my career with fantastic fights and beautiful stages,” said the Czech driver. “Thanks to my team and my father and mother. My dream has come true here, a top 10 overall result is fantastic.”

The post Pospisilik realises dream in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Furuseth hopes for R5 chance after ERC Junior heroics

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 06:00

Sindre Furuseth is more determined than ever to drive an R5 car after missing out on the opportunity to do so for free in 2020.

Along with Efrén Llarena and Ken Torn, Norwegian Furuseth was one of three drivers in contention for the coveted FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last week, with the winner receiving a two prize drives in a Pirelli-equipped, Motorsport Italia-run R5 car in the 2020 FIA ERC1 Junior Championship as his reward.

The Saintéloc Junior Team driver, who placed third in provisional standings, which remain subject to FIA confirmation, said: “We have proved a lot in terms of speed this year. But to close the championship you also need a bit of luck and I don’t think we’ve had that. We have to settle for third [in the championship] but we lost it before Barum. I tried my best and it’s quite incredible after over two hours of driving we are only [15] seconds off the win. It’s been a close and intense fight all weekend but I’m happy with my performance this year.”

Of his future plans, Furuseth said: “We have proved a lot in the R2 category, but I don’t think we belong in R2 anymore. Our goal has to be in R5 and we will try to use our performances this year to build the budget for an R5 car.”

The post Furuseth hopes for R5 chance after ERC Junior heroics appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sainteloc on course for ERC Teams’ Championship triumph

Sat, 08/24/2019 - 18:00

The Saintéloc Junior Team remain on course to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams with two events remaining.

Following the recent Barum Czech Rally Zlín, where it was represented by Sindre Furuseth, Sean Johnston and Alexey Lukyanuk, the French outfit holds an advantage of 23 points over the ACCR Czech Rally Team I.

Toksport WRT is next up followed by Rallye Team Spain, Estonian Autosport Junior Team and Sports Racing Technologies, which non-scored for the second event in a row in Zlín after Nikolay Gryazin and Łukasz Habaj retired.

The Cyprus Rally hosts the penultimate of the 2019 ERC season from 27-29 September.

The post Sainteloc on course for ERC Teams’ Championship triumph appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tejpar first lady again in ERC

Sat, 08/24/2019 - 12:00

Nabila Tejpar completed her Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut with more experience and the lead of the ERC Ladies’ Trophy following her last-gasp victory over 2015 winner Ekaterina Stratieva.

Tejpar took first place in class on the penultimate stage to score maximum points in the Peugeot 208 R2 she was sharing with new co-driver Hugo Magalhães.

“That has to be one of the toughest asphalt events I’ve ever done and there was huge pressure on me during the closing stages,” said Briton Tejpar.

“I never thought that I could take the win after being over 20 seconds away with just two stages to go. It’s been a great battle this weekend, but I didn’t make it easy for myself with a few mistakes. But I’m really pleased with how I managed to pull myself back from that and knuckle down to regain that lost time. It’s been a very rewarding weekend and the signs are looking good for the rest of the season.”

Despite not intending to mount a full ERC this season, after sampling the championship for the first time on Rally Islas Canarias back in May, when she initially moved to the top of the ERC Ladies' Trophy standings, Tejpar elected to shift her focus from the Peugeot Iberica Cup and British championship to the prestigious European series, which resumes on the Cyprus Rally next month.

The post Tejpar first lady again in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rossel thanks Peugeot for “great opportunity” in ERC

Sat, 08/24/2019 - 06:00

French talent Yohan Rossel has thanked Peugeot Sport for making his life not easy but hard in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Rossel, part of the Peugeot Rally Academy intake for 2019, was making his first appearance on Barum Czech Rally Zlín earlier this month. While he admitted the sealed-surface event was “not easy” he was thrilled with the experienced he gained in his Saintéloc Racing prepared 208 R2.

“This rally is not easy for the driver, the car and the setting, which is so hard to find,” said Rossel. “But it’s a great rally for sure a great opportunity with Peugeot Sport to get the experience.”

The post Rossel thanks Peugeot for “great opportunity” in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Marczyk “fighting” for ERC return

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 18:00

Miko Marczyk is “fighting” to return to the FIA European Rally Championship in 2020 after making his debut on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last week with ŠKODA Polska Motorsport.

Marczyk, who has tackled two ERC1 Junior rounds alongside his Polish championship title challenge, wants to increase his experience of international competition in 2020, having gained more valuable knowledge in Zlín, despite a heavy crash forcing his exit on leg one alongside co-driver Szymon Gospadarczyk.

“Both Szymon and myself are okay after our big crash, which is the most important thing,” said Marczyk. “After our analysis we know what went bad and it’s a pity we were not able to take the experience of all these kilometres because this rally was about gaining the experience, not about the speed. Barum is a very hard rally, as we discovered, and this is important for the future. Now we will focus on the Polish championship where we have two events remaining. It’s our main goal for this year but we are still fighting to be in the ERC next year.”

The post Marczyk “fighting” for ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Alonso back on top in ERC2

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 12:00

Juan Carlos Alonso moved back on top of the FIA ERC2 standings with a battling second place in class on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

After a rear differential hampered his progress on leg one, the Argentine was able to drive to the finish in second place behind winner Andrea Nucita.

“For the first time here and finish the rally is really, really an odyssey for us,” said Alonso. “It’s a very, very amazing rally, amazing, difficult and demanding. The stages excite you, they are really wonderful. To be here with a podium in ERC2 is really good for us because we are trying to chase the championship.”

Zelindo Melegari had topped the ERC2 table prior to the sealed-surface event but crashed into retirement on the opening leg. He returned to his native Italy earlier this week to continue his recovery from the rib injuries suffered in the accident alongside co-driver Corrado Bonato, who was also hospitalised.

The post Alonso back on top in ERC2 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Gryazin great again but out of luck on ERC prize drive

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 06:00

Nikolay Gryazin showed more rally-winning pace on his second of two prize drives from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship in 2018.

Russian Gryazin was super-fast on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last week but dropped out of contention for victory when he punctured on the opening leg. He was fighting back up the order when he crashed on the final morning.

Afterwards, the Sports Racing Technologies driver explained what had gone wrong in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 he shares with co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov.

“I understood maybe it’s not possible to try to win against Jan Kopecký but I wanted to be near so it was disappointing when I got the puncture because for sure I could not do anything after to make it more interesting.

“The stage [where we crashed] was quite tricky for us. In the forest we have a spin and we lost 15 seconds. After, on a wide road in one corner, my pacenote was just a little faster but I was so on the limit and we start sliding. I understand we are going in the bridge, so I go on full throttle to try to avoid and keep on the road somehow, but we just have a big impact into the bridge in the left-rear wheel and the car is completely damaged.

“We were improving and it was nice to drive here and see our performance. But when you are pushing to find the limit this can happen.”

Gryazin is continuing his world championship campaign on Rallye Deutschland this week.

The post Gryazin great again but out of luck on ERC prize drive appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polonski reveals mixed feelings following ERC Abarth podium

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 18:00

Dariusz Poloński admitted it was hard not to be disappointed despite finishing second in the FIA European Rally Championship-counting Abarth Rally Cup in the Czech Republic last weekend.

After driveshaft failure forced the Pole’s exit on leg one, he returned for Sunday’s six stages to finish runner-up behind category winner Andrea Nucita.

“Until [we retired] we had quite a good rally, we were happy with our pace and we were much closer to Andrea than usually on the Tarmac," said the Polish driver. "It was a shame we were missing the night stages [on Saturday] and it’salways difficult to come back and fight, but we are happy to be here after a very difficult rally.”

After five rounds, Poloński – a class winner on Rally di Roma Capitale last month – is second in the Abarth Rally Cup standings, eight points down on Nucita. Both drivers are also eligible for ERC2 points.

The post Polonski reveals mixed feelings following ERC Abarth podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Semerad: computer game helped me win stage

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 12:00

Petr Semerád said winning a stage in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on his Barum Czech Rally Zlín owed plenty to the Richard Burns Rally computer game.

Semerád was fastest in the Pirelli-supported category on the second run through the 11.55-kilometre Semetín stage alongside co-driver Jiří Hlávka.

Afterwards he explained why he’d been so quick in his Opel ADAM R2.

“We tried to push on Semetínbecause I like the stage quite a lot,” the 18-year-old explained. “I pushed and it worked. I’d never driven on it, just from the recce but I know it from a game, Richard Burns Rally. It’s a mod track you can download. I always liked it when I played it and now I am here and now I won it. It’s my first ERC stage win and it’s a great feeling after a big push.”

The post ERC Junior Semerad: computer game helped me win stage appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior champions* have big opportunity, says double title winner Griebel

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 06:00

Marijan Griebel believes the provisional ERC Junior champions for 2019 – Filip Mareš and Efrén Llarena – both have a “big opportunity” to progress following their capture of their respective prize drives.

Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA, ERC1 Junior champion* Mareš will contest the upcoming Cyprus Rally and Rally Hungary with the full support of ERC promoter Eurosport Events, which will also fund ERC3 Junior champion* Llarena’s two outings in a Motorsport Italia-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the 2020 ERC1 Junior Championship.

Griebel, who progressed to R5 level via a prize drive for winning the ERC3 Junior crown in 2016 before landing the ERC1 Junior title the following year to earn 100,000 euros of support from Eurosport Events for 2018, placed a season-best fifth on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. He atched the Mareš versus Chris Ingram battle for glory unfold with interest.

“It was really incredible,” said Griebel. “Both those guys deserved it because they had great pace and for sure it’s a big opportunity for both champions now. The ERC is helping a lot the young people and with the prizes it’s a good step for their career. I wish them all the best.”

Of his own performance in the Czech Republic, Griebel added: “I was driving at 80 per cent without mistakes and on this very difficult rally, with these tactics, you can get a very good result. Rallye Deutschland is next for me and it was really important I didn’t risk too much. I will drive the ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo for the first time [in Germany] so it’s something new for me, but doing this rally was good preparation.”

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post ERC Junior champions* have big opportunity, says double title winner Griebel appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Zlin ERC Junior speed surprises Franceschi

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 18:00

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi was surprised he was so fast on his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut last week at the wheel of a M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta R2T.

Franceschi, from France, set the fastest time in class on six of the 13 stages that the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship drivers tackled at full speed. He then thought he’d claimed the Pirelli-supported category win until evidence materialised that he’d been slowing with a technical issue on SS15 before its cancellation. As a result, his notional time was adjusted, and he fell to fourth, which was nevertheless a hugely impressive achievement against more experienced opposition.

“I was satisfied but surprised a little bit with my pace for my first time here,” said Franceschi. “We found a very good set-up, a good rhythm, especially in the second loop on Saturday. It was not easy to discover these roads and it was my first time [with this co-driver, Benoît Manzo].

“This rally is unique. There is nothing like it in any other rally. I discovered this during the recce and to be honest after the recce I was a little bit scared. Now I feel really confident and I know I learned a lot. I want to thank all the team at M-Sport for the job they did.”

The post Zlin ERC Junior speed surprises Franceschi 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