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Updated: 42 min 32 sec ago

Erdi Jr’s ERC wait goes on

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 06:00

Tibor Érdi Jr’s wait for a top 10 finish in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship will continue to his home round next month.

The double ERC2 champion from Hungary has been out of luck in his four 2019 appearances at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

He came close to ending his frustrating sequence on the Cyprus Rally last month only for a puncture and overheating issue to cost him valuable time and leave him in P11 at the finish in Larnaca.

“We learned many, many things and we tried to make a good race,” said Érdi Jr.

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November.

The post Erdi Jr’s ERC wait goes on appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

How Avcioglu’s sauna visit earned Toksport crucial ERC points

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 06:00

Orhan Avcioglu’s perseverance on the Cyprus Rally could go a long way towards helping Toksport WRT win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.

The Turkish driver’s third place in ERC3 combined with Chris Ingram’s second position overall helped earn Toksport WRT an event-best 40 points to trim the Saintéloc Junior Team’s margin to two points with just next month’s Rally Hungary remaining.

“We came here for a podium and I’m really glad to get it,” said Avcioglu. “We had some difficulties on the first day but we did what we could, I tried to survive and it was a good strategy. I was really glad to be at the finish of such a long and really, really demanding rally. Outside the car was hot but inside it was like a sauna.”

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November on all-asphalt stages in the north east of the country.

The post How Avcioglu’s sauna visit earned Toksport crucial ERC points appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Bernardi thanks sponsors after keeping it five alive ERC3

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 06:00

Florian Bernardi has thanked his sponsors after he all but assured himself a top-five finish in the final FIA European Rally Championship ERC3 standings.

By finishing last month’s Cyprus Rally in fourth place in class, the Renault Clio R3T driver made it five points finishes from five ERC starts in 2019, including two on his alien gravel surface. It’s unlikely he will be overtaken in the standings with one event left.

“It is already very positive to finish this demanding rally and finish our fifth rally in as many starts,” said the Frenchman. “A big thank you to my sponsors who allow me to live unforgettable moments on mythical rallies, thank you to all my team and my fans.”

A decision on whether Bernardi contests the season-closing Rally Hungary next month has yet to be taken.

The post Bernardi thanks sponsors after keeping it five alive ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC helps Fernández build “massive experience”

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 06:00

Emilo Fernández says his debut in the FIA European Rally Championship gave him “massive experience”.

Chilean Fernández finished seventh overall on last month’s Cyprus Rally in a Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Afterwards, he said: “Massive experience on impressive roads with twisty corners. It was good for me and I learned a lot.”

Fernández was also able to gain experience of running first on the road on all-gravel stages when he went first on the final day in Cyprus.

The post ERC helps Fernández build “massive experience” appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Cais at the treble in ERC

Sat, 10/12/2019 - 06:00

Ex-downhill mountain bike racer Erik Cais underlined his huge potential as a rally driver by making it three second-place finishes in succession in ERC3 on last month’s Cyprus Rally.

Cais, in his second season of rallying and his first at international level, also claimed the runner-up spot in class on the FIA European Rally Championship rounds in Italy and his native Czech Republic alongside co-driver Jindřiška Žáková

“It is awesome to be in the second place in ERC3 three times in a row in the last three rallies,” said the 20-year-old ACCR Czech Rally Team driver. “The Cyprus Rally was a big challenge for me, Jindřiška, our Fiesta and the whole team. The most experience came on the three last stages because on the first we broke the gearbox and I can only put first and second gear. The engine was also overheating but the Ford was really strong.”

Cais has used a Ford Fiesta R2T run by Jaroslav Orsák’s team, which also oversaw Tomáš Kurka’s run to P12 overall on the Cyprus Rally in a Ford Fiesta R5.

The post Cais at the treble in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Two ERC Abarth rivals, one trophy and €30,000 up for grabs

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:00

Andrea Nucita and Dariusz Poloński will bring their season-long Abarth Rally Cup rivalry to a conclusion in Hungary next month.

Nucita and Poloński are eight points apart after five rounds of the one-make series with Nucita holding the edge having claimed three wins to the single success notched up by this category rival.

As well as the honour of winning the first Abarth Rally Cup title to be contested entirely within the FIA European Rally Championship, Nucita and Poloński are fighting it out over the €30,000 handed to the eventual champion.

Rally Hungary takes place from 8-10 November.

The post Two ERC Abarth rivals, one trophy and €30,000 up for grabs appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC title contender Habaj philosophical despite points drop

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 06:00

Łukasz Habaj was in philosophical mood after dropping 19 points behind Chris Ingram in the race to win this season’s FIA European Rally Championship.

Habaj placed fourth on his Cyprus Rally debut last month, despite a throttle issue robbing him of vital speed on the deciding leg.

Nevertheless, the Sports Racing Technologies driver actually gained a position in the title fight after he demoted 2018 ERC champion Alexey Lukyanuk for the runner-up spot following the Russian’s retirement with a mechanical issue.

“I was happy to finish with only 20 or 30 per cent of throttle,” said Habaj. “My only goal was to keep my position and we managed to do this. We did a good job over the whole weekend for the first time on this rally with no experience. In fact, the whole team did a great job but this rally is very demanding on machinery and it was just bad luck for us that for the first time since we start driving the ŠKODA something happened. But in the range of possibilities, we have to statistically assume it will break down eventually at some point.”

Rally Hungary will host the three-way ERC title decider from 8-10 November.

The post ERC title contender Habaj philosophical despite points drop appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mayr-Melnhof Hungary to show more ERC pace after strong Cyprus comeback

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 06:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof’s ERC career-best fifth shows he’s on the “right path” in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Ex-GT racer Mayr-Melnhof hit back from a trouble-hit Cyprus Rally opening leg to charge from P11 to the top five on the second day, picking up six bonus points for finishing leg two in the runner-up spot in the process.

“The first day was a really a tough test on all of us, the whole team, to keep the focus with everything going on,” said the 2018 Austrian champion of his early mechanical woes. “But the team was really great to put the car like it was [on day two] and we could push more and more. At least we’ve shown we’re really on the right path and we pushed to the maximum on the last stage, to the last metre because it was so much fun.”

Mayr-Melnhof, who completed the Cyprus Rally with back-to-back third-place stage finishes, is set to contest the inaugural Rally Hungary from 8-10 November in a Ford Fiesta R5 run by The Drift Company. Based in the city of Nyíregyháza, the all-asphalt event forms the deciding round of the 2019 ERC season.

The post Mayr-Melnhof Hungary to show more ERC pace after strong Cyprus comeback appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Teams’ title tussle tightly poised in ERC

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 06:00

The battle to win the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams is set to go down to the wire when Rally Hungary brings the 2019 season to a close from 8-10 November.

After seven rounds, the Saintéloc Junior Team from France and Germany-based TOKSPORT WRT are level on 145 points with the ACCR Czech Rally Team I firmly in contention, just nine points behind.

Click here to view the provisional ERC standings.

The post Teams’ title tussle tightly poised in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

More drivers rewarded in ERC from 2020

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 12:00

More drivers will be able to score points on each round of the FIA European Rally Championship from 2020 following confirmation that the top 15 classified finishers – rather than the current 10 – will score.

As a consequence, bonus points will be handed out to the top five finishers at the end of each leg rather than to the top seven, as per the current rules. This change has been made to cap the amount of points scored on each event in the interests of helping to maintain a highly competitive championship until the end of the season.

The modifications will apply to all FIA Regional Rally Championships from next year and were approved at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which took place at the Permanent Exhibition of the Michael Schumacher Private Collection at Motorworld in Cologne, Germany on 4 October.

New round-by-round scoring system
On all rounds of the ERC from next season, points will be allocated to the top 15 classified finishers as follows:

Position = points:
1 = 30
2 = 24
3 = 21
4 = 19
5 = 17
6 = 15
7 = 13
8 = 11
9 = 9
10 = 7
11 = 5
12 = 4
13 = 3
14 = 2
15 = 1

New bonus points structure
Bonus points, which are rewarded in part to encourage drivers who fail to finish a leg to restart on the subsequent leg, will be allocated to the top five finishers at the end of each leg as follows:

Position = points:
1 = 5
2 = 4
3 = 3
2 = 2
1 = 1

Had the rule rewarding the top 15 rather than the top 10 finishers applied to the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship, 19 additional drivers would have scored points along with the 47 who have claimed points during the first seven rounds.

This season’s FIA European Rally Championship, which has celebrated seven different winners during the first seven rounds, is set to be decided during a three-way title battle on the all-new Rally Hungary from 8-10 November. Chris Ingram, Łukasz Habaj and Alexey Lukyanuk can all win the FIA regional crown.

The post More drivers rewarded in ERC from 2020 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram begins new ERC funding bid

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 06:00

Chris Ingram will start with nothing in his bid to secure the funding to contest next month’s Rally Hungary, where he could secure the FIA European Rally Championship crown.

Ingram has battled financial uncertainty all season and relied on a crowdfunding campaign – instigated by his mother – to start last month’s Cyprus Rally, where second place put him 19 points ahead in the title fight.

“It’s a big push to try to get the funding for the last one,” said Ingram, part of the Toksport WRT line-up. “I’ve got a few leads and potential sponsors and hopefully this result will show I mean business and I can do it.”

Rally Hungary, a new addition to the ERC schedule, takes place from 8-10 November.

The post Ingram begins new ERC funding bid appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Galatariotis puts ERC Cyprus Rally exclusion down to a misunderstanding

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 06:00

Simos Galatariotis has put his dramatic exclusion from the Cyprus Rally seven days ago down to a misunderstanding with his service crew.

Galatariotis, the winner of his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship in 2018, was stripped of second place on this year’s edition following a post-event hearing by the event stewards.

They determined that a “major breach of the basic regulations in motorsport” had been committed in the aftermath of the challenging gravel rally.

During a hearing, Galatariotis explained there had been a misunderstanding between him, his co-driver and their service crew. Instead of placing the Petrolina Racing Team-entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 into parc fermé for final technical checks, team members transported it to another location instead.

Following the change of results, Chris Ingram moved up to second place behind winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, while Mikko Hirvonen gained an unlikely podium. Paulo Nobre also benefited, scoring the final European championship point on offer in P10.

The post Galatariotis puts ERC Cyprus Rally exclusion down to a misunderstanding appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC returnee Hirvonen happy to keep things fun

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 06:00

Mikko Hirvonen might have claimed an eventual third place on his return to the FIA European Rally Championship after 17 years but insisted he just wants to keep having fun rather than contemplate a full-time comeback to stage rallying.

Hirvonen was promoted from fourth to third place on last weekend’s Cyprus Rally when local hero Simos Galatariotis was excluded for a parc fermé infringement. Hirvonen had started the gravel event with the sole aim of “having fun” in his MM-Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5.

“I was not really expecting anything but we are really happy with [the result],” said the 15-time FIA World Rally Championship event winner. “We had a good weekend, there was a small issue with the brakes [on leg one], but the team did a fantastic job with the car.

“I enjoyed it and it was a tough challenge which I like, not some easy-going rally. For sure you enjoy more when you go flat out on a Finland-type of stage but this is the other end of it and it was good fun.

“But I have no interest in getting involved in a championship or anything like that. I’m really happy with how life is at the moment so these kinds of things are just enough.”

The post ERC returnee Hirvonen happy to keep things fun appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Alonso: ERC2 crown a dream come true**

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 09:00

Juan Carlos Alonso has described winning the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 title** as a “dream” come true.

Alonso, who commutes from his native Argentina to compete in the ERC’s showroom category, secured the championship at his third attempt with a hard-fought fourth place on the Cyprus Rally last weekend.

Needing to complete the demanding gravel event to make sure of ERC2 gold, Alonso and co-driver Juan Pablo Monasterolo had to battle a major brake issue to reach the finish in Larnaca where an emotional Alonso spoke about his achievement in a Proracing-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

“After the commitment, the hard work, this result is incredible,” said a jubilant Alonso. “I am very happy and very, very proud of my co-driver. My car, my team are amazing and all the people involved in this project. My family, my sponsor, our co-ordinator, all the people who love us, this is for them.”

Alonso started the Cyprus Rally knowing that 18 points would be enough to prevent his closest challenger, Andrea Nucita, from taking the ERC2 crown on the season-closing Rally Hungary next month. He and Monasterolo therefore adopted a cautious approach and were comfortably on course for title glory when the brake issue took hold and resulted in frantic roadside repairs as well as plenty of work by his team.

“We managed all the troubles and the key was to never surrender,” said Alonso. “Even when we were under water we never gave up because we knew anything could happen. To be an FIA champion is amazing. I turn 50 soon and I am in the last stages of my career so this is a dream for me. I haven’t stopped crying since the end of the last stage. The ERC will be home for all my life. I love it.”

Alonso began his ERC2 campaign with victory on the Azores Rallye in March. After retiring from Rally Islas Canarias with a mechanical issue, the Argentine hit back with a second victory on PZM 76th Rally Poland, before finishing second to title rival Nucita on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. With ERC2 drivers counting their best four scores from a possible eight, Alonso’s fourth-place finish in Cyprus means he cannot be caught with Rally Hungary from 8-10 November left. Nucita starts the Tarmac event leading the Abarth Rally Cup.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Juan Carlos and Juan Pablo’s commitment to the ERC by travelling to each event from Argentina must be admired and their title success in ERC2 is a fitting reward for their commitment. We offer them our utmost congratulations.”

**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

The post Alonso: ERC2 crown a dream come true** appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Von Thurn Turn und Taxis thanks co-driver Ettel for ERC pace push

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 06:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis has explained the role co-driver Bernhard Ettel played in helping him get his FIA European Rally Championship season back on track in Cyprus.

Von Thurn und Taxis started the event on the back of trio of non-finishes and without a point all season. But that changed with his sixth-place finish on the Cyprus Rally in his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“I really needed that,” von Thurn und Taxis said afterwards. “It’s been such a tough season so far. The problem if you have a lot of technical difficulties, you also become more careful with your driving because you want to bring home a result and it begins to be a problem with regard to your ability and determination to push.

“It’s good to have Bernhard because he said ‘we don’t care, we push, and if something breaks, something breaks and we have to keep going’. He was really motivating me and I’m very happy with this weekend.

“The rally was super-tough, even tougher than I imagined this afternoon but I am happy to be in the top 10, happy to get some points, happy to finish a race especially after that Free Practice [crash] meant it was not exactly a problem-free weekend.”

The post Von Thurn Turn und Taxis thanks co-driver Ettel for ERC pace push appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior co-driving ace Hlousek gets world chance

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 18:00

Jan Hloušek, who co-drove Filip Mareš to the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship title*, will get his chance on the world stage when he partners Jan Kopecký on this week’s Rally GB.

With Pavel Dresler’s long-term partnership with Kopecký at an end, the 2013 ERC champion has called on Hloušek for his fifth appearance on Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“I am happy that I could get the services of Jan Hloušek for Rally GB,” said ŠKODA Motorsport driver Kopecký. “Alongside Filip Mareš, Jan already collected loads of international experience and did an excellent job by navigating him to the ERC1 Junior Championship recently.”

Commenting on Dresler’s role in a long period of success, Kopecký added: “I want to thank Pavel for his professional work and commitment during the past eight years. He was an important key to successes like winning the FIA European Rally Championship 2013, the FIA Asian Pacific Rally Championship 2014 and finally, as an icing on the cake, the World Rally Championship 2 in 2018.”

Kopecký made his Rally GB debut back in 2003 and last took part on the gravel event in 2016.

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

Photo: ŠKODA Auto

The post ERC Junior co-driving ace Hlousek gets world chance appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Everything happened: Herczig scores in ERC

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 12:00

Hungarian hero Norbert Herczig was back in the points in the FIA European Rally Championship, overcoming myriad setbacks to finish P10 on the Cyprus Rally last weekend.

The MOL Racing Team star was up against it from the start after being handed a two-minute time penalty after his camera crew completed its reconnaissance of the stages without prior approval from the organisers.

A brush with a tree then broke the front-left driveshaft of his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, leaving him in two-wheel-drive mode for part of Sunday’s opening loop. But he persevered to complete the list of points finishers.

“Everything happened here,” the four-time Hungarian champion said at the finish in Larnaca. “We got a penalty before the rally and we were a little bit sad. But after we could drive quite well. After the first day we were in the [ninth] position, absolute perfect. On the second day we tried to push more because we would have liked to have caught another racer and a little bit better position. Unfortunately, on the second stage of the second day I went a bit into a tree and therefore our driveshaft broke and therefore we didn’t have four-wheel drive and that’s why we were delayed.

“We are here in the 10th position for one point. It’s not too much but we are here and very, very happy.”

Herczig will be the centre of attention when the 2019 ERC season concludes on Rally Hungary from 8-10 November.

The post Everything happened: Herczig scores in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Devastated Lukyanuk not giving up on second ERC title

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk will “fight till the end” in his bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship for a second season running.

The Saintéloc Junior Team driver was on course to bring his Citroën C3 R5 home in second place on the Cyprus Rally, a result that would have put him back on top of the ERC standings heading to the season-closing Rally Hungary form 8-10 November.

However, a fuel pressure issue one kilometre from the finish of stage 10 resulted in retirement for Lukyanuk and co-driver Alexey Arnautov.

“Obviously, this is not the way we wanted to finish the rally,” Lukyanuk wrote on Facebook. “We were driving very safe and [with a] cautious pace whole rally, with no mistakes until one kilometre before finish of SS10 the car just stopped due to some issue with fuel pressure. We don't know what it was, it will be investigated later by the team. Very angry and devastated but we will not give up and push harder for fight till the end.”

With dropped scores applied, Lukyanuk is 28 points behind championship leader Chris Ingram in third position. Łukasz Habaj is second in the table, 19 points down in Ingram but nine ahead of Lukyanuk.

The post Devastated Lukyanuk not giving up on second ERC title appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC All Access goes behind the scenes with co-driver Magalhaes

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 12:00

Tonight’s ERC All Access programme will go behind the scenes with multiple event-winning co-driver Hugo Magalhães.

A winner of three FIA European Rally Championship events, Magalhães co-drove Saudi Arabia’s Rakan Al-Rashed on last weekend’s Cyprus Rally, having also worked with his namesake and fellow Portuguese Bruno Magalhães, plus Briton Nabila Tejpar in the ERC this season.

While the programme will follow his participation on the Cyprus Rally, it will also give viewers a rare insight into the job of a co-driver and discover why it’s more than just reading pacenotes.

Ahead of the event, Magalhães spoke about some of the challenges he faced working with different drivers in different cars and using different languages to read pacenotes.

“It’s not so easy but I have been putting a lot of efforts on that, it’s my true passion and I arrange my schedule to be with this amount of drivers,” Magalhães said. “Of course I need to change my mind from one driver to another because all of them are using a different pacenote system. Sometimes it looks easy but it requires a lot of work to be prepared.”

With Al-Rashed unable to speak Portuguese and Magalhães not an Arabic-speaker, English is used in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 they share in the ERC.

“We are using the pacenotes in English and so far, we are doing quite well,” said Magalhães. “Sometimes on the stages when you need to react super-fast I am spelling a small word in Portuguese, it’s quite funny but in the end it works.”

As well as working with different co-drivers, Magalhães has to switch between R2 and R5 machinery, depending on which driver he is working with.

“You need to be very aware of the speed [difference] so you need to sometimes take some caution,” he said. “With R5 cars you think the corner was faster than you think because the last rally is in an R2 car and you need to manage very well the situation. But I enjoy the job a lot. I think I’m the happies guy in the world.”

ERC All Access is broadcast on Eurosport tonight with replays during the week. Check local listings for details.

The post ERC All Access goes behind the scenes with co-driver Magalhaes appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

And now for more… Al-Attiyah considering full ERC campaign

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 18:00

Nasser Al-Attiyah celebrated his sixth Cyprus Rally victory on Sunday evening by revealing that he’s considering a full FIA European Rally Championship campaign in 2020.

Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, has enjoyed a long run of success in stage and cross-country rallying at both regional and international level.

He’s yet to tackle more than a handful of ERC events in any one season but that could change next year.

“We are thinking to the European [championship] next year, we will sit with the team and we will see,” said Al-Attiyah, who drove an Autotek Motorsport-run Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to victory in Cyprus.

“To compete in different race [is the reason], we know everybody, the atmosphere in this European championship is really great, a family, and a lot of media. And when you win you win the race.”

In addition to a possible ERC bid, Al-Attiyah also confirmed he hopes to represent Qatar in skeet shooting at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The post And now for more… Al-Attiyah considering full ERC campaign 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