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ERC Newsletter #49/13
Posted by: newsla on Dec 06, 2013 - 06:05 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #49/13

ŠKODA will enter two factory crews in next season’s FIA European Rally Championship while it gears up to join the R5 revolution from 2015 with a new-generation challenger based on the Fabia.


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Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will take over from 2013 ERC champions, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, by tackling selected European championship events in 2014 in a Fabia Super 2000. Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian will drive a second Fabia S2000 in the ERC under the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland banner. Kopecký and Dresler will turn their attentions to the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

Meanwhile, formal confirmation of ŠKODA’s R5 project is another significant boost for the ERC and follows confirmation of Peugeot Rally Academy’s plans to support a brace of 208 T16s for Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen in 2014. M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta R5 is already a winner in the ERC, while Citroën will launch its DS3 R5 next year.

Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at ŠKODA, said: “The current Fabia Super 2000 has been demonstrating our technical prowess for years. The challenge is now to follow on from this success. That is why we are working flat out to develop a new racing car, based on the ŠKODA Fabia, for the R5 category.”

Michal Hrabánek, ŠKODA Motorsport Director, added: “The R5 category succeeds the previous Super 2000 class. This way, we are able to continue to compete successfully in international championships and to push ahead with our customer programme. As it stands, we are assuming that the new car will be homologated by mid-2015.”

The 2014 ERC features 12 rounds between January and November and gets underway with the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich from 3-5 January.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has ratified the European Rally Championship calendar for 2014 and rubberstamped several exciting developments for next season.

Meeting in Paris yesterday (Wednesday), the WMSC has approved the 12-event ERC schedule and confirmed the creation of the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup, the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup for Production Cars and the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup for 2WD Cars. It has also sanctioned the introduction of the ERC Junior Championship.

A statement from the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, read: “A Junior Championship will be created within the framework of the FIA European Rally Championship to create a genuine ladder between the ERC and WRC for young talent.

“Designed to be an accessible and cost-effective series for drivers under 25 competing in currently named R2 cars, the Championship will run over seven events with the best four results – including one gravel or snow rally – counting towards the title.”

On all ERC events, Free Practice and a Qualifying Stage will be run to increase the spectacle for fans and heighten media interest.

As part of continued cost-cutting measures, ERC 2WD Championship competitors will be restricted to a maximum of 16 tyres plus four for shakedown during each event. However, plans to appoint a single fuel supplier have been postponed and will be further discussed in 2014.

The various FIA European Rally Championship award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Paris next week (10 December).

They will gather at the Automobile Club de France on Tuesday evening to receive their trophies and look back on the all-action ERC season in the company of a number of distinguished guests, including team and manufacturer representatives, championship partners, suppliers, officials, journalists and event organisers.

News from the ERC Awards Ceremony will be published at www.fiaerc.com. Follow the ERC on Facebook and Twitter.

Stig Blomqvist will mark the 30th anniversary of his world title triumph by driving the course-opening zero car on the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich, round one of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, from 3-5 January.

The 67-year-old legend will drive an Audi Quattro for the occasion, similar to the car that carried him to the WRC crown in 1984. While fellow Swede Robert Jakobsson will co-drive him during the rally, event organiser, Rallye Club Mühlviertel, will offer two Rallye Pass holders the chance to join Blomqvist for a passenger ride during the pre-event shakedown near Freistadt on 3 January by arranging a prize draw.

Blomqvist, who finished second overall on the East African Safari Classic last week, is a Jännerrallye regular having tackled the event on eight previous occasions, including earlier this season when he finished 12th overall.

Rally Liepāja-Ventspils, which formed round two of this season’s FIA European Rally Championship, is in contention for Latvia’s most prestigious sporting award.

The winter spectacular, which took place between the two Latvian cities earlier this year and was won by Jari Ketomaa in a Ford Fiesta RRC, is one of four events shortlisted for the prize.

It’s going up against the Nordea Marathon, the Speedway Grand Prix, the Latvian Cyclist Unity Race and the Men’s Under 18 European Basketball Championship.

Organised by the Latvian Olympic Committee, the winner will be announced live on Latvian Television from 21:15hrs on 27 December.

Meanwhile, organisers of Rally Liepāja, which will count as the second round of the 2014 ERC season from 31 January-2 February, have announced details of their advanced purchase ticket sales. More information is available from www.lvrally.com.

The rising star from South Africa made his FIA European Rally Championship debut on the Croatia Rally in late September and impressed with his pace, despite his lack of knowledge driving on Tarmac. Highly rated for future stardom by successful driver and team boss Raimund Baumschlager, Lategan is contemplating a programme of ERC events in 2014. He was recently enrolled onto the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, a prestigious training scheme.

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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