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European Rally Championship
Updated: 47 min 37 sec ago

Furuseth hits back in style with ERC3 Junior podium

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 06:00

Sindre Furuseth hit back from his Rally Islas Canarias retirement in style with his second podium of the season in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

The Norwegian got the better of compatriot Steve Røkland in a close finish to Rally Liepāja, a result that puts the Saintéloc Junior Team talent back into the title battle.

“After the retirement in Gran Canaria, this is a good result for me and means the championship is still on,” said Furuseth, whose Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2 is co-driven by Swede Jim Hjerpe.

“We did two really good stages on the first day and one good stage with the puncture. It was a front-right puncture, a stone in the line, and we would have been in the lead without it. It was rough out there with a few big hits but the car could take it and I knew what to do.”

The post Furuseth hits back in style with ERC3 Junior podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Czech federation-backed Mareš goes fourth on ERC1 Junior return

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 18:00

Filip Mareš completed his third gravel event in an R5 car in a fine fourth position in FIA ERC1 Junior – but it was the experience gained on Rally Liepāja that mattered most to the Czech talent.

Driving an ACCR Czech Rally Team ŠKODA Fabia R5 alongside Jan Hloušek, Mareš completed the high-speed gravel event in sixth overall.

“We have to be satisfied with this result, just our third rally on gravel in an R5 car,” he said. “Some stage times were good, some were worse but generally it was quite good for us and I would like to thank the whole team because it’s also their work. We were on a good pace and to finish fourth in ERC1 Junior and sixth overall on my first gravel rally for eight months is quite satisfying after a difficult rally.”

The post Czech federation-backed Mareš goes fourth on ERC1 Junior return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Title battle tightly poised as ERC revs up for Poland

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 12:00

Łukasz Habaj will take a one-point advantage in the battle to win the FIA European Rally Championship when the title race resumes on the all-gravel Rally Poland – his home event – from 28-30 June.

That’s after Chris Ingram slashed his lead by beating him to fourth position and scoring more leg bonus points on Rally Liepāja last weekend.

Habaj won the Azores Rallye in March and was on the podium on Rally Islas Canarias earlier this month. However, he could only score 13 points in Latvia compared to the 20 earned by Ingram, who also heads the ERC1 Junior division.

ERC2 is also tightly poised with Juan Carlos Alonso one point ahead of Zelindo Melegari after three rounds.

The post Title battle tightly poised as ERC revs up for Poland appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC winner Solberg: It’s the biggest day of my life

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 06:00

Oliver Solberg became the latest young star to prove their talent in the FIA European Rally Championship when he triumphed on Rally Liepāja yesterday. This is what the 17-year-old had to say following his Latvia success.

Q:
You are the youngest winner of an FIA European Rally Championship event. How good does that feel?

OS:
I have no words. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m so happy, it’s crazy.

Q:
What does the win mean to you?

OS:
It’s the biggest day of my life. I have never driven so good as I’ve done now. It’s unbelievable, I can’t understand it. It’s been such a perfect rally. On the penultimate stage I was too cautious, I was driving too stiff. Then I thought I’ll just do what I’ve done the whole weekend and go flat out, and I won the last stage. I’m so happy.

Q:
Talk us through the rally itself, your first gravel event with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

OS:
I was surprised I have to say on SS1 to be fastest by six seconds. I never expected that for sure. OK, it wasn’t maybe the best plan on the long term but I always want to go hard from the beginning, so always flat out. Being fastest on the first stage was absolutely a dream.

Q:
You made winning look easy, winning 10 out of 13 stages this weekend. How does if feel to win against the Russian Rocket Alexey Lukyanuk?

OS:
He’s always been my hero and before the race I watched every video of him from Estonia, from Latvia, with the Evo, everything. I told my father, ‘how is it possible to go so fast?’ ‘I would never manage to do this,’ I said. And then I come on SS1 and I win it by six seconds, I was like ‘what just happened?’. It’s crazy.

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World Rallycross star Nitišs up for more ERC Abarth Rally Cup action

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 23:00

Latvian Reinis Nitišs is keen on more appearances in the Abarth Rally Cup following his return to FIA European Rally Championship action on his home round of the ERC.

Nitišs, the youngest winner of an FIA World Rallycross Championship event, placed third on his debut in the one-make category for the Abarth 124 rally on Rally Liepāja, having fought back from an electrical issue on leg one.

“It was a tough race,” said Nitišs, who bagged two stage wins in his class today. “I’ve been driving many different cars in my lifetime but this car was something completely different. Rear-wheel drive, turbo engine and a lot of power on two wheels only. I didn’t have any self-confidence to go flat-out at first, but it came, and I would love to drive it again.”

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ERC top three support FIA Volunteers Weekend

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 21:00

The top three finishers on Rally Liepāja joined together to recognise the essential role carried out by volunteers in motorsport around the world.

Oliver Solberg, Alexey Lukyanuk and Mārtiņš Sesks – who finished first, second and third respectively on the FIA European Rally Championship counter – were helping to celebrate the FIA Volunteers Weekend, which is dedicated those who give up their time to make motorsport possible.

Capitalising on a busy weekend of FIA competition, 10 events have raised awareness and given thanks to the volunteers who carry out the wide variety of essential roles without which motorsport would simply not happen.

Throughout the weekend, the entire motorsport community – from volunteers and officials to fans, drivers and members of the media – showed their appreciation on social media.

Using the hashtag #FIAVolunteersWeekend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people can share photos and stories of themselves in action over the two days, connecting motorsport volunteers at all levels across the globe – from club events to world championships.

The post ERC top three support FIA Volunteers Weekend appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Nucita fights back for ERC Abarth Rally Cup victory

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 20:18

Andrea Nucita fought back from opening-leg issues on Rally Liepāja to claim victory on the second round of the Abarth Rally Cup to be held within the FIA European Rally Championship.

The Italian driver had led the category for much of Saturday, but braking and gear-change issues meant he went into the final leg with a deficit of 28.5 seconds to Dariusz Poloński.

Poloński held onto his advantage by going 0.8s faster than Nucita in SS6, but a spin for the Polish driver at the beginning of SS7 allowed Nuctia to move ahead by three seconds. A further incident for Poloński on SS8, when he went off the road into a ditch, caused him to lose more than a minute and couldn’t recover.

After an ECU issue halted him during leg one, Latvia’s FIA World Rallycross Championship star Reinis Nitišs returned and was the quickest driver through leg two, with wins on the two passes of the Liepāja stage.

The post Nucita fights back for ERC Abarth Rally Cup victory appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Sirmacis seals ERC2 success on Rally Liepaja return

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 20:00

Ralfs Sirmacis has tasted success on the FIA European Rally Championship’s Rally Liepāja for a second time after claiming ERC2 victory on his series return.

The Latvian driver enjoyed a final winning margin of 10 minutes, having seen his expected rivals Vytautas Švedas, Dmitry Feofanov and Sergey Remmenik all retire within the first three stages of the rally on Saturday. Sirmacis’s win on his first ERC2 outing follows his outright Rally Liepāja win in 2016.

Kuwaiti driver Meshari El-Thefiri moved up to second place on Sunday, ahead of the Abarth Rally Cup winner Andrea Nucita. Zelindo Melegari took fourth, with Dariusz Poloński ending up fifth after some time-consuming spins.

The post Sirmacis seals ERC2 success on Rally Liepaja return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Torn triumphs in ERC3 Junior

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 19:44

Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver Ken Torn clinched FIA ERC3 Junior Championship victory on Rally Liepāja ahead of Sindre Furuseth and Steve Røkland.

Torn’s win on his maiden appearance in the Pirelli-supported category is the second in a row for the new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T following Jean-Baptiste Franceschi’s victory on Rally Islas Canarias. The two drivers were locked in a close battle into the second leg in Latvia, with Torn just 12 seconds ahead after eight stages.

Franceschi then drove SS9 with the bonnet up on his car, hampering visibility, after forgetting to lock it shut before the stage. That demoted him to fourth place and gave Torn a more comfortable advantage that he could nurse to the finish, taking the win by 29.4 seconds.

Norwegian Peugeot 208 R2 drivers Furuseth and Røkland both led early in the rally prior to small issues and staged an exciting fight for second place on the final day. Furuseth ultimately held on, with his final 15s margin exaggerated by a 10s penalty for a jump start by Røkland on the penultimate stage.

After his earlier mistake, Franceschi tried to fight back to regain his second place, but was one of several drivers to receive a penalty for not correctly navigating a chicane in SS5, which left him fourth.

ERC3 Junior championship leader Efren Llarena of Rallye Team Spain just held onto fifth place. FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Pedro Antunes had closed to within 2.5s during the Sunday morning loop, but Llarena eked out his advantage to 4.7s during the afternoon. The fight for seventh in ERC3 Junior was even closer, with Kristof Klausz holding off Roman Schwedt by 1.4s. Gregor Jeets took 10th place on his debut in the second Estonian Autosport Junior Team entry, having lost seven minutes when he stopped with a turbo issue in SS3.

Not eligible for ERC3 Junior, Yohan Rossel was seventh among the ERC3 crews. Fellow Peugeot driver Sean Johnston was 10th as the American former circuit racer continued his learning on gravel. Catie Munnings claimed maximum ERC Ladies’ Trophy points with the Peugeot Rally Academy in 11th.

The post Torn triumphs in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Solberg scores stunning overall victory on ERC1 Junior debut

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 19:01

Teenager Oliver Solberg has made history by winning Rally Liepāja on his debut in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship.

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

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

“It’s the biggest day of my life,” Solberg said. “I have never driven so good as I’ve done now. I don’t know what to say.

“It’s unbelievable, I can’t understand it. It’s been such a perfect rally. On the penultimate stage I was too cautious, I was driving too stiff. Then I thought I’ll just do what I’ve done the whole weekend and go flat out, and I won the last stage. I’m so happy.”

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

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

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

In his first ERC appearance of the season, ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Filip Mareš enjoyed a trouble-free run to sixth overall and fourth in ERC1 Junior. ERC Junior graduate Marijan Griebel produced a stronger second leg to soar from 11th place to seventh, passing Hiroki Arai on the penultimate stage.

Arai had ended the opening leg in fifth place after his first day driving a Citroën C3 R5 in anger, but a 1m10s time penalty for being late out of Saturday’s remote service due when the car didn’t start put him down to eighth. A further issue on Sunday forced him to run the car in stage mode on the road sections during the morning loop.

Eyvind Brynildsen finished ninth, moving back into the top 10 with a series of top-five stage times on the final day, having conceded eighth position on Saturday evening to avoid running towards the front of the road order for the second day. Sweden National Team’s Mattias Adielsson took 10th place away from Alexandros Tsouloftas – driving stages vastly different in nature to his native Cyprus – during the final afternoon. Norbert Herczig slipped back to 14th place after having to sweep the road clear on the final day in his MOL Racing Team Volkswagen.

After losing five minutes to a puncture and subsequent off on Saturday, Vaidotas Žala demonstrated his speed, going second fastest on SS8 as he recovered to 16th.

ERC Junior graduate Ralfs Sirmacis claimed a dominant ERC2 win in 13th overall upon his return to action on home soil. Ken Torn took ERC3 and ERC3 Junior honours for the Estonian Autosport Junior Team ahead of Norwegian duo Sindre Furuseth and Steve Røkland. Round two of the Abarth Rally Cup went the way of Andrea Nucita over Darius Poloński, while Catie Munnings reached the end of an eventful rally to clinch ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours.

The post Solberg scores stunning overall victory on ERC1 Junior debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

BREAKING NEWS: Oliver Solberg wins in the ERC

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 17:21

Oscar Solberg has claimed a historic victory on Rally Liepāja, sealing a perfect debut in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship.

The 17-year-old son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg led the rally from start to finish, claiming stage win number 10 on the event’s final test to finish 22.7 seconds ahead of Alexey Lukyanuk.

Lukyanuk’s second position for Saintéloc Junior Team earns him crucial points towards his ERC title defence after two non-finishes at the start of the year.

Mārtiņš Sesks finished a fine third overall and second in ERC Junior on his home event on his debut in an R5 car, while Chris Ingram was fourth overall following frantic late radiator repairs.

Ralfs Sirmacis won ERC2 with Ken Torn taking an ERC3 and ERC3 Junior double.

The post BREAKING NEWS: Oliver Solberg wins in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Franceschi loses sight of ERC3 Junior glory in Latvia

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 12:06

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi has dropped back in his fight with Ken Torn for FIA ERC3 Junior Championship victory on Rally Liepāja after driving through SS9 with the bonnet open on his Ford Fiesta R2T.

Torn and Franceschi, both driving latest-specification Fiestas, were closely-matched through most of Sunday morning with just 12 seconds separating them after SS8, prior to the Frenchman's issue.

"I'm stupid, I drove with opened bonnet the whole stage. I forgot to lock it before the stage," he said.

While the error demoted Franceschi to fourth position in class, all is not lost. He is just 1.1s behind third-placed Steve Røkland and 6.4s away from Sindre Furuseth in second.

Torn's advantage is now 27.6s with four stages remaining.

The post Franceschi loses sight of ERC3 Junior glory in Latvia appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Solberg still strong on final day of ERC Rally Liepaja

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 11:50

Oliver Solberg is on course for overall victory on Rally Liepāja with four stages remaining, after the teenage FIA ERC1 Junior Championship star added to his advantage on Sunday morning.

The 17-year-old was quickest on the first three stages of the loop in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to extend his rally lead.

Rival Alexey Lukyanuk responded by winning SS9 and is 19.1 seconds away from Solberg heading into the afternoon. The Saintéloc Junior Team-entered Citroën C3 R5 driver knows he must secure a strong finish to get his ERC title bid back on track.

Mārtiņš Sesks continues to hold a strong third overall and second in ERC1 Junior on his debut in an R5 car. The native of Liepāja is undertaking the first of two prize drives for winning last year’s ERC3 Junior title.

Chris Ingram is in fourth, still hoping to fight for the podium in the final stages but on track to add to his lead in the ERC1 Junior standings. The overall ERC championship leader Łukasz Habaj has added to his margin over Filip Mareš in their fight for sixth.

Hiroki Arai was demoted to eighth place overnight when he received a 1m10s time penalty for being late out of mid-day service on Saturday. He continued to set strong times and move up to seventh, even though he can’t switch his Citroën C3 R5 out of stage mode for the road sections.

Marijan Griebel was a strong fifth-fastest on SS9, promoting him past Mattias Adielsson and Alexandros Tsouloftas into eighth overall. The trio remain close, with Eyvind Brynildsen also closing in.

Ralfs Sirmacis continues to lead ERC2 in 13th overall, while Ken Torn is now 27.6s ahead in ERC3 Junior after Jean-Baptiste Franceschi drove SS9 with the bonnet up on his Ford Fiesta R2T, demoting him to fourth. Andrea Nucita leads the Abarth Rally Cup after rival Dariusz Poloński had a spin in SS7. Catie Munnings suffered a loss of brakes on SS9 but is still running with the ERC Ladies' Trophy lead.

The post Solberg still strong on final day of ERC Rally Liepaja appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig to open the road on deciding ERC leg in Latvia

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig will start first on the deciding leg of Rally Liepāja today after the overall top positions 10 at the completion of Saturday’s action were reversed for Sunday.

Latvia’s high-speed round of the FIA European Rally Championship concludes with eight stages over a distance of 106.50 kilometres from 08h40 local time.

MOL Racing Team-entered Herczig will be followed by ERC1 Junior drivers Mattias Adielsson, Alexandros Tsouloftas and Filip Mareš, plus outright championship pacesetter Łukasz Habaj.

Meanwhile overall leader Oliver Solberg starts P10, one place behind defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk.

ERC Radio will cover all stages live with on-air coverage beginning at 08h30 local time. The ERC’s Facebook channel will show SS7 plus the deciding stage as they happen at 09h30 and 17h45 respectively.

Click here to view the full starting list for leg two.

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Solberg: beating my hero Lukyanuk in the ERC is unbelievable

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 21:04

Oliver Solberg was shaking after completing the opening leg of Rally Liepāja ahead of his hero Alexey Lukyanuk.

Solberg, 17, is 9.7s in front of Lukyanuk – the winner of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship – after five high-speed stages in Latvia.

After the completion of Saturday’s final stage, Solberg said: “I am shaking, it’s unbelievable. He has always been a hero to me. I watched all his on-boards, it’s a big big dream to beat him. I am almost crying – I don’t know what to say.”

Lukyanuk described Solberg as “very fast” and waited at the stage-five finish to check his rival’s time and then offer his congratulations.

The post Solberg: beating my hero Lukyanuk in the ERC is unbelievable appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Polonski on top in ERC Abarth Rally Cup fight

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 19:43

Dariusz Poloński took the lead of the Abarth Rally Cup away from Andrea Nucita on Saturday’s final stage on Rally Liepāja, as home hero Reinis Nitišs hit trouble.

Nucita, on his first gravel appearance in the Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally, made the early ground in the one-make category, going fastest on the opening two stages.

Despite a technical issue slowing him down on SS3, the Italian went into remote service with a lead of 14.6 seconds over Poloński, and increased that to 23.9s in SS4. However, he then lost 42.4s relative to his rival in SS5, complaining of a braking problem and hitting a chicane.

It means Poloński holds a lead of 18.5s over Nucita heading into the final day.

Latvia’s FIA World Rallycross Championship star Nitišs is making his Abarth Rally Cup debut and enjoyed a good fight with Poloński during the opening loop, ending it just 4.9s behind.

An ECU failure forced Nitišs to stop in SS4, but he will rejoin on Sunday.

The post Polonski on top in ERC Abarth Rally Cup fight appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Torn opens a lead in tight ERC3 Junior battle

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 19:19

Ken Torn leads fellow Ford Fiesta R2T driver Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in a tight battle in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on day one of Rally Liepāja.

Entered by the Estonian Autosport Junior Team, Torn became the third different ERC3 Junior leader in as many stages when he was quickest on SS3, but another fastest time on SS4 helped him to finish the day 12.8 seconds in the lead.

Franceschi, who took the ERC3 Junior win on asphalt last time out in the Canary Islands, improved stage-by-stage during the day as he moved up from seventh place. Going quickest on SS5 allowed him to take second overall away from early leader Sindre Furuseth.

Saintéloc Junior Team driver Furuseth was quickest in SS1 but fell to fifth after picking up a front-right puncture towards the end of SS2. After recovering ground, an overshoot in SS5 left him third at the end of the day, five seconds behind Franceschi.

Fellow Norwegian Peugeot 208 R2 driver Steve Røkland rose from sixth to first on SS2 before slipping back to fourth with minor suspension damage.

ERC3 Junior points leader Efrén Llarena was quick out of the blocks – second fastest in SS1 – and was then pushed down to seventh after SS2, but the Rallye Team Spain youngster ended the day fifth, 5.9s away from Røkland.

Pedro Antunes was as high as third at one point on his debut in a 2019-specification Fiesta and sits sixth overnight for FPAK Portugal Team ERC, with ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Erik Cais seventh and ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver Gregoire Munster eighth. Ninth-placed Kristof Klausz showed promise with the third-best time on SS5.

Roman Schwedt is 10th in ERC3 Junior, frustrated by a series of overshoots, with Dominik Brož one place behind. Gregor Jeets, Torn’s stablemate in the Estonian Autosport Junior Team, lost eight minutes when he stopped with a technical issue in SS3.

Miikka Hokkanen was third after SS1 and still within the top five before he lost a wheel in SS4 and had to retire. Elias Lundberg went off the road in his Opel Adam on the opening test.

Peugeot Rally Academy driver Yohan Rossel was unhappy with his times, ending the day 10th in ERC3, with Sean Johnson just 6.7 seconds behind him. Catie Munnings is 14th and on course for an ERC Ladies’ Trophy win.

The post Torn opens a lead in tight ERC3 Junior battle appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Returning Liepāja winner Sirmacis out front on ERC2 debut

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 18:39

Ralfs Sirmacis is heading for another success on Rally Liepāja, this time in the ERC2 class on his debut in the category.

The Latvian – a graduate of ERC Junior who won his home event outright in 2016 – is in 13th position overall and has an advantage of more than four minutes over in ERC2 after his closest rivals fell by the wayside during the opening loop of stages.

Vytautas Švedas was second, just 3.5 seconds adrift of Sirmacis, in the opening stage but stopped with a gearbox issue in SS2. That handed second place to Dmitry Feofanov, but he rolled his Mitsubishi on SS3, as did third-placed Sergey Remennik.

Darius Poloński is second overnight after passing Andrea Nucita for the Abarth Rally Cup lead in SS5. Meshari Al-Thefiri from Kuwait is fourth in a Mitsubishi – just 0.3s behind Nucita – with Zelindo Melegari fifth.

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Sensational Solberg shows Lukyanuk the way on ERC Rally Liepāja

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 18:05

Seventeen-year-old Oliver Solberg leads on his debut at the top level of the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Liepāja, heading Alexey Lukyanuk and fellow ERC1 Junior star Mārtiņš Sesks into the final day.

Solberg, the son of 2003 world champion Petter, has led from the start in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and been fastest on four out of five stages.

While a half-spin on the final stage of the first loop allowed reigning ERC champion Lukyanuk to close in, Solberg responded to open up a 9.7-second advantage during the two afternoon tests.

Lukyanuk began the day cautiously in his Saintéloc Junior Team-entered Citroën C3 R5, but a quickest time on SS3 allowed him to move into second place close to within 3.8s of the lead. While he had no answer to Solberg’s speed in the afternoon, he continues to keep the teenager under pressure.

Sesks has also impressed on his ERC1 Junior debut, with the 19-year-old Liepāja resident holding a podium position on his maiden outing in an R5 car as the first of two prize drives for winning the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title in 2018.

He has an 11.6-second advantage over fellow ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver Chris Ingram, having been quicker than the ERC1 Junior points leader on all but the final stage. Ingram pledged to give everything to match the speed of the top three over more familiar stages on Sunday.

Japanese driver Hiroki Arai completed the day in a fine fifth overall on his first day driving a Citroën C3 R5, but he faces a time penalty after he was seven minutes late out of remote service when his car failed to start.

ERC championship leader Łukasz Habaj is sixth overall despite missing a junction in SS4. The Sports Racing Technologies driver increased his margin over seventh-placed Filip Mareš to 11.9s when the ACCR Czech Rally Team driver had an overshoot of his own on SS5.

Alexandros Tsouloftas is eighth overall while Mattias Adielsson and Norbert Herczig both leapt into the top 10 at the end of the day, with the Hungarian just 5.8s ahead of Marijan Griebel. Eyvind Brynildsen was ninth until he conceded around a minute in SS5, dropping to 14th.

Vaidotas Žala had passed Arai for fifth position in SS2 when he had a puncture in the following test, costing him five minutes in total.

Ralfs Sirmacis, an ERC Junior graduate and previous winner of Rally Liepāja, leads ERC2 in 12th overall. With three of his closest rivals ruled out of contention during the morning, his class lead is a comfortable one over Abarth Rally Cup leader Darius Poloński, who overhauled Andrea Nucita in SS5. Ken Torn leads ERC3 and ERC3 Junior by 12.8 seconds over fellow Ford Fiesta R2T driver Jean-Baptiste Franceschi and Norwegian Peugeot 208 duo Sindre Furuseth and Steve Røkland. Catie Munnings is on course for an ERC Ladies’ Cup win in 14th in ERC3 for the Peugeot Rally Academy.

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Teenage ERC1 Junior star Solberg leads Lukyanuk

Sat, 05/25/2019 - 14:49

Talented teen Oliver Solberg claimed an early overall lead on his FIA ERC1 Junior Championship debut on Rally Liepāja, heading Alexey Lukyanuk after the first three stages.

The 17-year-old son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg was 5.9 seconds faster than anyone else in SS1 in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, with fellow teen Mārtiņš Sesks in second place on his R5 debut in a ŠKODA Fabia.

Solberg increased his advantage to 8.9s by then also going fastest on SS2, before a half-spin in SS3 allowed stage winner Lukyanuk to close to within 3.8s as the Saintéloc Junior Team driver also moved past Sesks for second place.

Liepāja local Sesks, taking part in the first of two prize drives for winning the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship crown in 2018, ended the morning 4.4s behind Lukyanuk in third overall.

ERC1 Junior points leader Chris Ingram was third in front of Lukyanuk in SS1 but admitted that hitting a rock in SS2 dented his confidence. He is 8.8s behind Sesks and 8.9s in front of fifth-placed Hiroki Arai, with the Japanese driver enjoying a strong debut morning in his Citroën C3 R5.

Lithuanian driver Vaidotas Žala had taken fifth from Arai in SS2 on his ERC debut but suffered a puncture in SS3, going off the road and losing five minutes.

Łukasz Habaj, who led the ERC standings arriving in Latvia, is sixth overall for Sports Racing Technologies, just 2.5s ahead of ACCR Czech Rally Team's Filip Mareš. Alexandros Tsouloftas is eighth with Eyvind Brynildsen only 2.8s behind him. Norbert Herczig moved into P10 on SS3, 0.9s ahead of Marijan Griebel.

ERC Junior graduate and two-time Rally Liepāja winner Ralfs Sirmacis leads ERC2 in P10 overall, just 0.6s behind Griebel. His class advantage is over two minutes after Vtautas Švedas, Dimitry Feofanov and Sergey Remennik all hit trouble. Andrea Nucita leads the Abarth Rally Cup.

ERC3 Junior had three different stage winners and leaders in as many stages. Sindre Furuseth was ahead after SS1 before a front-right puncture dropped him to fifth, but he finished the morning third, 6.6s behind leader Ken Torn from the Estonian Autosport Junior Team. Furuseth’s fellow Norwegian Steve Røkland went from sixth to first in SS2 and then back down to fourth in SS3 with minor suspension damage. He's one place behind Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in the Pirelli-supported category. ERC Ladies’ Trophy leader Catie Munnings is P15 in ERC3.

The post Teenage ERC1 Junior star Solberg leads Lukyanuk 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