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European Rally Championship
Updated: 6 min 50 sec ago

Tanak world success inspires Jeets to make ERC debut

1 hour 59 min ago

Estonian Autosport Union-supported Gregor Jeets will follow father Raul Jeets by stepping up to the FIA European Rally Championship, having been inspired to take up the sport by compatriots Ott Tänak and Markko Märtin, who have both won at world level.

Jeets Sr was a regular on ERC events between 2015 and 2016 but his 18-year-old son has no knowledge of the European championship nor the opposition he’ll face in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category.

“It’s my debut in the ERC so it’s my first big event,” said Jeets, who is co-driven by the experienced Kuldar Sikk. “In fact, I have only done seven rallies and the two rallies I have done this year were winter rallies.

“Before rallying I did five years in karting in Estonia, Finland and Europe and I also did the world championship for one year. My father Raul Jeets did the ERC so rallying is in my family. Also when you have Ott Tänak and Markko Märtin coming from your country you realise everything is possible.”

Like Jeets, Ken Torn will also be supported by the Estonian Autosport Union when he makes his ERC3 Junior debut, also in a new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T.

“I’ve not done this rally before but I think the stages will be similar to what we have in south Estonia,” said Torn. “My aim is to prepare well, to finish the rally and to enjoy the weekend. The new Fiesta is a very good R2 car, I enjoy it a lot and it’s a good step up from the previous Fiesta. I don’t know many of the drivers but I do know Jean-Baptiste Franceschi because we competed together in the world championship last season.”

Photo: Pirelli Motorsport Baltics

The post Tanak world success inspires Jeets to make ERC debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Liepaja familiarity lifts Furuseth

5 hours 3 sec ago

Rally Liepāja provides Sindre Furuseth a rare treat as the first round of this year’s FIA ERC3 Junior Championship that he has previous experience of.

Furuseth was a rookie in the Azores and Canarias but has knowledge of the high-speed Latvian stages having rallied in the country when it hosted the 2018 ERC finale.

“We are for the first time this year visiting a rally I went to last year,” said Norwegian Furuseth, whose Peugeot 208 R2 is co-driven by Swede Jim Hjerpe. “Even though we had an early retirement last year I feel we got a taste for the rally, and we will try to use that advantage this year.”

The Pirelli-equipped Saintéloc Junior Team driver continued: “It is one the fastest rallies in Europe, so to find the confidence to push will be the key for us. I have prepared well with what we have from last year, and the goal is to get the win. We have been strong so far this year, but now we need the results.”

The post ERC Liepaja familiarity lifts Furuseth appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Rossel will miss Bernardi fight in ERC3

8 hours 27 sec ago

Yohan Rossel won’t have Florian Bernardi to fight for ERC3 success on Rally Liepāja this week.

Bernardi, the ERC3 class winner on Rally Islas Canarias in a Renault Clio R3T, hasn’t included the Latvian event on his schedule for 2019, leaving Rossel to battle Jean-Baptiste Franceschi only for French supremacy in the front-wheel-drive category.

Franceschi (Ford Fiesta R2T) finished second in class with Peugeot Rally Academy’s Rossel in third on the all-asphalt Rally Islas Canarias earlier this month.

Neither driver has tackled Rally Liepāja’s high-speed gravel stages before.

The post Rossel will miss Bernardi fight in ERC3 appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Arai in “unique” ERC challenge

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 21:00

Hiroki Arai has described his first Rally Liepāja and FIA ERC1 Junior Championship debut as a “unique challenge”.

The Japanese, who is embarking on a European in a STARD-run Citroën C3 R5, is heading Yokohama’s return to the ERC with new co-driver Ilka Minor from Austria.

“This is a unique challenge,” said Arai, the 25-year-old son of Japanese rallying legend Toshi Arai. “This rally won’t be so easy because the level of the ERC is high and there are lots of young drivers with experience of this event. It’s also going to be a challenging week for me because it will be my first time with my new co-driver and I don’t really know the car. But the main purpose is to work with Yokohama on the development of the tyres.”

While Rally Liepāja is all-new to Arai, he does have previous experience of competing in Latvia, winning his class in fifth overall back in 2015. “I did [Rally Latvia] four years ago so I have an understanding there is more loose gravel than what you get in Finland for example.”

The post Arai in “unique” ERC challenge appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

New car, new rally for ERC Junior Antunes

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 18:00

Pedro Antunes is braced for a week of change in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

Having started his campaign in a Peugeot 208 R2, the FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver gets his hands on a new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T for his Rally Liepāja debut.

The M-Sport Poland-built machine was the car to beat in the Pirelli-supported category on Rally Islas Canarias earlier this month, prompting Antunes to consider his options for his first high-pace gravel rally.

“After Rally Islas Canarias we had some talks with M-Sport and we are excited to try this car,” said Antunes, who will sample the car for the first time today (Wednesday). “The result of the rally will depend on how I think the car is and my adaptation because it’s a different car to the Peugeot and I have never driven with a turbo before.

“Every driver in R2 is curious about this car because of the fantastic performance we saw on Rally Islas Canarias. We saw it has more power, mostly on Tarmac, but I think we will see a good performance on gravel.

“Of course this rally will be a big challenge for me because I have never been to this rally before. We have some rallies on gravel in Portugal in similar conditions but not with the same speed. Whatever happens, I just want to take advantage of the opportunity I have and do the best result I can.”

The post New car, new rally for ERC Junior Antunes appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Adielsson to use ‘home’ advantage and Lukyanuk’s pace in ERC1 Junior

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 15:00

Sweden National Team driver Mattias Adielsson plans to capitalise on his ‘home’ knowledge – and Alexey Lukyanuk’s speed – when he resumes his bid for FIA ERC1 Junior Championship in Latvia.

He hopes the similarities between stages in his native Sweden and those that make up the route of this year’s Rally Liepāja will boost his hopes of success.

“We are almost on home soil, it’s a little bit faster than what we are used to and a little bit wider but similar conditions to Sweden,” said Adielsson. “We went to Liepāja in 2015 when it was a snow rally but we have seen some of the stages and I can’t wait to get as much advantage as possible with Alexey Lukyanuk as my team-mate. For sure he will be very fast and hopefully he can share some secrets with me.”

Driving a Citroën C3 R5 alongside co-driver Andreas Johansson, Adielsson is looking to Rally Liepāja and the next round in Poland as being key events in his title challenge.

“Our aim is to be on top in ERC1 Junior and Liepāja and Poland are very important for us and we will do our best to be on top from the start. We know the car is good, we know the team is good so it’s all up to us. Both me and Andreas are more than prepared. We have practiced a lot and we are feeling confident for the task. I can’t wait to get started.”

The post Adielsson to use ‘home’ advantage and Lukyanuk’s pace in ERC1 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Al-Rashed gears up for ERC campaign

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:00

Rakan Al-Rashed has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship to test his skills and build his experience of international competition.

The Saudi Arabian driver, 29, has signed for Finnish team Printsport to contest the upcoming Rally Liepāja in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. He will tackle two further events including September’s Cyprus Rally. Hugo Magalhães, a multiple ERC event winner, will co-drive.

“I started driving in 2015 and my focus was on the Middle East Rally Championship at first,” Al-Rashed explained. “The MERC is, of course, challenging but there are not as many events as in Europe to learn and improve so I decided to shift my focus there. I have done events in Lithuania, Estonia and Finland and I’ve also competed on Rally Liepāja. But for this year I am doing a proper programme of ERC rallies and I am very excited.”

Al-Rashed continued: “A lot is happening with motorsport in our country with Formula E and also the Dakar coming next year. One of our aims of doing the ERC will be to show the culture of Saudi Arabia and promote it as a country people should discover.”

In terms of his objectives, Al-Rashed has a clear plan in mind: “Of course I would like to finish in the top 10 but I will also be more humble and push for the top 15 because I know the level of competition in the ERC is very high. I would like to do more ERC events in the future and then, one day, progress to the world championship.”

Al-Rashed underlined his potential with a strong run on January’s Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland. He was ninth in class with one stage remaining only for a delay to drop him down the order.

Rally Liepāja takes place on high-speed gravel stages in Latvia from 24-26 May with a revamped route including stages in the Talsi region for the first time.

Photo: Rakan Al-Rashed/Nauris Brunins

The post Al-Rashed gears up for ERC campaign appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Fast to faster: Solberg Jr ready for ERC power step

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:00

Oliver Solberg will join the FIA European Rally Championship’s top tier on Rally Liepāja, stepping up from R2 to R5 level for his second appearance in the all-action contest.

Solberg has registered for ERC1 Junior points and will drive a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 on the high-speed gravel event.

“I did this rally last year in an R2 car and it was very fast,” said Petter Solberg’s 17-year-old son. “Now I’m driving an R5 car it will be very, very fast. It’s my first time in the Polo on gravel so I will just try to do my best as I have no expectations.

“I know some of the drivers I will be competing against and I know they will be very fast, guys like Sesks and Ingram. But I try not to focus on them, I just focus on my job and build my experience because I’ve not done many rallies in the car and the two I have done were on snow. So this rally is all about learning and being smart.”

The post Fast to faster: Solberg Jr ready for ERC power step appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Rokland back with an old friend

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:00

Steve Røkland will count on Peugeot 208 R2 power when he returns to FIA ERC3 Junior Championship action on Rally Liepāja.

Norwegian Røkland began his campaign in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category in a Ford Fiesta R2T but is back behind the wheel of his more familiar Peugeot.

“I am back in my Peugeot for this rally but I’ve had this car since 2014 so I have lots of experience and hopefully it will be fast enough to challenge for my first win,” said Røkland.

“I’d not driven my Peugeot for six or seven months but we had a short test in Norway, not too many runs but enough to be ready for the rally.”

Photo: Facebook.com/Stevemotorsport

The post ERC’s Rokland back with an old friend appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC return makes Broz happy

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:00

Dominik Brož has thanked his partners and the Czech federation for making possible his return to FIA ERC3 Junior Championship action on Rally Liepāja.

Brož was absent from Rally Islas Canarias but is back in action in the ACCR Czech Rally Team Peugeot 208 R2 he shares with co-driver Petr Tĕšínský.

“After missing Rally Islas Canarias due to logistical reasons, I am very happy that we will start Rally Liepāja,” said Brož, who has competed in the Pirelli-backed ERC3 Junior since 2016. I must say big thanks to my partners and the Czech federation for making this possible. There are very nice stages in Latvia and we will try again to do our best.”

Brož will be chasing his first Rally Liepāja finish after falling short on his two previous appearances.

The post ERC return makes Broz happy appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Hokkanen wants to enjoy ERC Rally Liepaja just like the fans

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:00

Miika Hokkanen is hoping to enjoy Rally Liepāja just as much as the thousands of fans who will visit the Latvian stages for the third event of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship season.

Hokkanen scored an ERC3 Junior podium when Rally Liepāja last ran in autumn 2018. But with the event moving forward to May for 2019, the Finn wants to join spectators in truly savouring the high-speed gravel contest.

“Rally Liepāja is a nice event with very beautiful stages,” said the former Finnish 2WD champion. “I did the rally last year in autumn and this year it will be in spring so it’s even better for the spectators because the weather may be warmer.

“Our first event of the season didn’t go well after two punctures so hopefully we can make it better this time. We will make a one-day test with Mavisa Sport and let’s see if we can find a good set-up for the race.”

Rally Liepāja takes place from 24-26 May on stages around the cities of Talsi and Liepāja.

The post Hokkanen wants to enjoy ERC Rally Liepaja just like the fans appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Schwedt ready for ‘crazy’ in ERC

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 15:00

Roman Schwedt described the Rally Liepāja stages as “crazy” after getting a first glimpse of the high-speed gravel route by watching footage online.

The 19-year-old is in his first season in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship and admits his trip to Latvia with co-driver and fellow German Lina Meter will be very much a learning experience.

“I’ve seen the videos and it looks really, really fast, not so many jumps but the speeds look like they will be really, really high,” said the Team ROMO driver. “To me it looks really crazy to drive a car on gravel roads that are so fast but I have two days of testing to get the feeling with the car on gravel.”

The post Schwedt ready for ‘crazy’ in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

From exams to stage: ERC Junior Cais set for busy week

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 12:00

Erik Cais will go from sitting his school exams to driving his Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta R2T in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.

Cais, 19, makes his Rally Liepāja debut this week just days after completing his final exams at school in his native Czech Republic.

He said: “From looking at the on-board footage it looks like a very fast so I’m full of expectations just how fast it will be. But it will be quite hectic for me because I will go straight from my final exam at school to the airport – I will change my civil suit for a P1 racing suit!”

Cais, who is co-driven by Jindřiška Žáková, forms part of his national federation-backed ACCR Czech Rally Team.

The post From exams to stage: ERC Junior Cais set for busy week appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Klausz ‘Hungary’ for Latvia ERC success

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 09:00

Kristóf Klausz is determined to make the most of his Rally Liepāja experience when the event hosts round three of the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship this week.

Klausz is making his sixth start on the high-speed gravel event in Latvia and feels a podium challenge is realistic alongside co-driver Ágnes Farnadi

“This will be my sixth time so we will try to finish on the podium,” said the Hungarian. “I really love the speed of the stages and after not being able to show the speed in Gran Canaria, I am really waiting for Rally Liepāja, the speed and the fast corners.”

The post Klausz ‘Hungary’ for Latvia ERC success appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram to build on 2018 pace when he makes ERC Liepāja return

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 06:00

Chris Ingram will use his charging run to second place on the 2018 Rally Liepāja as inspiration ahead of his return to Latvia’s FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Ingram battled eventual winner Nikolay Gryazin on last year’s event, eventually finishing second for the Toksport team. He’s hoping to build on that performance later this week.

“I am really excited,” said the ERC1 Junior leader. “It doesn't feel like long ago since we were there at the end of last year. It was one of my best performances of the season so we hope to build on what we achieved last year finishing second to Gryazin at his home event.

“We have a great package with the Toksport ŠKODA Fabia R5 and Michelin tyres so we are building confidence on every rally.

“We know the competition is always strong in the ERC from the regulars or local heroes but we will be doing our best to come away from Liepāja leading the European Rally Championship and keep Toksport in the lead of the Teams’ championship.”

The post Ingram to build on 2018 pace when he makes ERC Liepāja return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram will build on 2018 pace during ERC Liepaja return

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 06:00

Chris Ingram will use his charging run to second place on the 2018 Rally Liepāja as inspiration ahead of his return to Latvia’s FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Ingram battled eventual winner Nikolay Gryazin on last year’s event, eventually finishing second for the Toksport team. He’s hoping to build on that performance later this week.

“I am really excited,” said the ERC1 Junior leader. “It doesn't feel like long ago since we were there at the end of last year. It was one of my best performances of the season so we hope to build on what we achieved last year finishing second to Gryazin at his home event.

“We have a great package with the Toksport ŠKODA Fabia R5 and Michelin tyres so we are building confidence on every rally.

“We know the competition is always strong in the ERC from the regulars or local heroes but we will be doing our best to come away from Liepāja leading the European Rally Championship and keep Toksport in the lead of the Teams’ championship.”

The post Ingram will build on 2018 pace during ERC Liepaja return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC’s Stengg hoping for lucky break on favourite gravel rally

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 21:00

Roland Stengg wants his luck to change on the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship-counting Rally Liepāja, which he describes as his favourite event on gravel.

Austrian Stengg has endured a frustrating start to his second season in the Pirelli-supported category, non-starting in the Azores following a testing crash and non-finishing in Gran Canaria due to car failure.

Despite his tough run, the driver and joint principal of Stengg Motorsport is keeping positive ahead of his Latvian adventure.

“Rally Liepāja is my favourite gravel event of the season,” he said. “The wide and fast roads are fun and challenging. The goal for us is to get under one second per kilometre to the top guys which is extremely hard because of their experience on the surface. Unfortunately, we can’t test before so our first metres will be the Free Practice on Friday.”

The post ERC’s Stengg hoping for lucky break on favourite gravel rally appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg counts on ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in ERC3 Junior

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 18:00

Elias Lundberg plans to capitalise on the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team’s extensive knowledge of the high-speed Latvian roads when he makes his Rally Liepāja debut later this week.

Back on his favoured gravel surface following a tough outing on the asphalt-based Rally Islas Canarias, Lundberg will be hoping to replicate the kind of form that took him to a debut FIA ERC3 Junior Championship podium on the Azores Rallye.

“It feels good to be back on gravel,” said the Swede, who drives a Pirelli-equipped Opel ADAM R2 in ERC3 Junior. “I know the ADAC Opel Rallye Team has the right knowledge and will to win. Our ADAM R2 is strong and has proved to be fast on gravel in the past. This leaves it up to us in the car to perform on top.

“This year’s competition in ERC3 Junior is extremely hard and a lot of the drivers have been to Liepāja before so we need to do our best from the preparation of the rally until the last stage. We had a good start on gravel in the Azores so I hope we can fight for the podium again in Latvia.”

The post Lundberg counts on ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Semerad gets set for first gravel rally

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 15:00

FIA ERC3 Junior Petr Semerád will do something he’s never done before this week: contest a rally on gravel-only stages.

ACCR Czech Rally Team-backed Semerád, who turned 18 earlier this month, has only rallied on Tarmac, which will up the level of challenge he faces on Rally Liepāja, which he’ll contest in a Pirelli-shod Peugeot 208 R2 alongside co-driver Jiří Hlávka.

“This will be my first gravel rally in my career and I hope it will be a successful one,” said Semerád. “We went to Liepāja last year for the ERC Junior Experience training programme and did a small test and the recce. It was quite nice and at least I know how the roads look, very fast, quite wide and I like that.”

The post ERC Junior Semerad gets set for first gravel rally appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mareš to Czech out ERC1 Junior progress

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 12:00

Filip Mareš, one of an exciting breed of young Czech rallying talents, will get the chance to demonstrate his progress when he contests Rally Liepāja in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 backed by his country’s national federation.

Part of the ACCR Czech Rally Team, Mareš is in his second season in R5 machinery and will be one to watch in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship category alongside co-driver Jan Hloušek.

“I am very pleased we will be back in such a prestigious championship as the ERC,” said Mareš. “And of course, we are very thankful to the ACCR Czech Rally Team, that they give us this opportunity again.

“We will start our mission where we finished in 2018, so we hope we will use the experience from the previous edition. We did a visible step on the gravel between Poland and Liepāja at the end of the 2018 season. Our objective is to continue in this way and make the gap to the fastest guys lower.

“For sure, the competition is going to be tough so it will be important to finish the rally and to fight for some good points for us and for the team.”

Mareš finished second on the Czech championship Rallye Český Krumlov last weekend.

The post Mareš to Czech out ERC1 Junior progress appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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PZM 75. Rajd Polski / PZM 75th Rally Poland

PZM 75. Rajd Polski

Kalendarz 2019

21-23.03.2019:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

02-04.05.2019

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

24-26 05.2019

Rally Liepāja (Łotwa)

28-30.06.2019

Rajd Polski

19-21.07.2019

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

16-18.08.2019

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

27-29.09.2019:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

08-10.11.2019:

Rally Hungary (Węgry)