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ERC Newsletter #06/13
Posted by: newsla on Feb 07, 2013 - 06:21 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #06/13


The Subaru Impreza’s illustrious participation in rallying will continue this year with the news that the Rally Class concept will join the FIA European Rally Championship in 2013.


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Rally Class is designed as an affordable one-make series, using identical Class 3-specification Subaru Imprezas. For 240,000 Euros, competitors will be able to ‘arrive and drive’ on six ERC events this year, with all costs included.

At the end of the season, the Rally Class winner will be rewarded with three prize drives in an R4-specification Impreza in the 2014 ERC. The second-placed finisher will receive one prize drive in next year’s series. Rally Class will support the ERC rounds in Açores, Belgium (Ypres), San Marino, Czech Republic (Zlín), Italy (Sanremo) and Switzerland (Valais).

Belgian team Symtech Racing will prepare and maintain the identical cars and plans to host the competitors and their cars in a dedicated ‘village’ area within the service park on each event.

Symtech’s Dirk Van der Sluys commented: “The series provides the perfect stepping stone for drivers who wish to progress in their rally career with the full support and back-up of a highly experienced team.”

Organisers of round two of the FIA European Rally Championship, Rally Liepāja-Ventspils, have received significant praise following the successful running of the first edition of the event last week.

Senior officials from Eurosport Events, the promoter of the ERC, joined FIA Rally Director Jarmo Mahonen in praising the work of event organiser Raimonds Strokšs and his team.

“Like I said to the local promoter I am a little bit surprised but in a positive way,” said Mahonen. “They have done a remarkable job here of course with the help of Eurosport Events.”

ERC General Co-ordinator Jean-Pierre Nicolas said: “The organisation was quite fantastic and Raimonds and his team should be very proud, it was an excellent rally.”

François Ribeiro, Motorsport Development Director of Eurosport Events, added: “Every promise Raimonds made one year ago he delivered it. It was certainly not an easy challenge to turn a summer rally into a winter event. He just made it happen. I am very hopeful this event has a future in the European Rally Championship.”

Leading FIA European Rally Championship driver François Delecour has underlined the importance of Eurosport Events’ television offering for securing and satisfying sponsors.

Delecour is backed by Romania’s tourism authority – Visit Romania – which is using its involvement in the ERC to showcase the country as a destination for holidaymakers. Romania also hosts a round of the ERC, July’s Sibiu Rally. All rounds of the ERC are filmed and produced for television by ERC promoter Eurosport Events, including some live.

“It’s so important for Visit Romania and I knew that today it would be a good report and great moment going out in the field in sixth gear,” said Delecour. “I was very lucky the helicopter was above me and I knew that Eurosport would be showing it on the ERC website so soon, which is fantastic. We need people like Eurosport in this championship.”

Rally Liepāja-Ventspils sensation Alexey Lukyanuk says he wants to contest more rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship but added that he’s waiting for the phone to ring with an offer.

The rapid Russian, who scooped the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy after fighting for third overall in his standard-specification Mitsubishi Lancer only to retire in the closing stages, said he hoped the Latvian event won’t be his last in this year’s ERC.

“I hope to do more in European championship but no M-Sport or Peugeot are calling me, I do not understand! It’s a joke of course but we have to find some funds to do some extension to our programme in Latvia and Estonia. Hopefully the performance here will help with our budget.”

Lukyanuk was in a battle with François Delecour for third place when a brush with a snow bank damaged his car’s oil cooler and forced his exit on the penultimate stage.

Marco Tempestini has revealed why he was so determined to set a faster time than his son Simone through the final stage of Rally Liepāja-Ventspils.

The Tempestinis were both in action on the FIA European Rally Championship round in their Napoca Rally Academy Subaru Impreza R4s. Afterwards Tempestini Sr explained his attacking approach on the spectator-friendly stage located at Ventspils’ ski centre.

“The last stage was very interesting for me,” said Tempestini Sr. “Simone was only one tenth behind me and on the other stages he was faster than me. My first thought was to leave him to beat me because he had such a good day, but in his career he will not find any other driver who will let him pass just because he had a good day. So I decided to go as fast as possible and if he can beat me, then fine. Finally I had the third time in the ERC Production Car Cup and ninth overall. Simone made a mistake, which was really easy to do on a stage like this, but I think he learned a lot here.”

Unless you’re clued up on one-make rallying in France, Stéphane Lefebvre is a name that probably hadn’t registered prior to last week’s Rally Liepāja-Ventspils. But that changed when the 20-year-old topped the two-wheel-drive division after Friday’s first stage in the Peugeot 208 R2 he was using in competition for the first time. And it would get better for Lefebvre with the youngster holding Finn Risto Immonen, a snow and ice specialist, at bay until his car’s gearbox malfunctioned and dropped him to second on Sunday morning where he remained until the finish.

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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