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ERC Newsletter #50/13
Posted by: newsla on Dec 15, 2013 - 06:03 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #50/13

Jan Kopecký made sure he didn’t miss the FIA European Rally Championship Awards Ceremony in Paris on Tuesday night – he got behind the wheel of his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.


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The European champion spent five days in the French capital attending the annual FIA Prize-Giving Gala on Friday (6 December), dining at the champions’ table at the Gucci Masters equestrian event on Sunday before undertaking filming and promotional work for ŠKODA and ERC promoter Eurosport Events on Monday and Tuesday, which included giving interviews to journalists while driving through the streets of Paris in his Fabia S2000.

Prior to arriving at the Automobile Club de France on Tuesday evening for the ERC Awards, Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler were given a guided tour of Eurosport’s headquarters and also stopped off at the offices of L’Equipe newspaper where their car was put on display outside. Go to the ERC Facebook page to watch Kopecký’s adventures in Paris.

FIA President Jean Todt used his visit to the FIA European Rally Championship Awards Ceremony in Paris on Tuesday to speak about acknowledge the partnership between motorsport’s world governing body and ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

President Todt joined some 250 guests at the event, which was hosted by Eurosport Events’ Managing Director Olivier Fisch and Eurosport CEO Jean-Thierry Augustin at the Automobile Club de France on Place de la Concorde.

“We at the FIA are very happy about this successful partnership between the FIA and Eurosport Events to host the European Rally Championship,” said President Todt. “It’s a great category with great events. We have a strong partner and we will keep our efforts up to make rallying amongst the pinnacle of motorsports.”

The new ERC Master accolades, which will recognise surface specialists in the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, were given an enthusiastic reception at their unveiling during the ERC Awards Ceremony.

François Ribeiro, Motorsport Development Director of ERC promoter Eurosport Events, revealed the creation of the ERC Asphalt, Gravel and Ice Masters. They will be handed out in honour of the drivers who perform best on those surfaces during the upcoming 2014 ERC season. Points will be allocated on the usual 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 basis to the leading 10 finishers according to the final overall classification.

The respective ERC Master will carry a coloured sticker on their car for the next event to signify their status. This will be displayed until they are no longer the ERC Master of their specialist surface. The three ERC Master trophies will be presented at the end-of-season awards.

Throughout the season the ERC Masters will enjoy coverage on the ERC website and through social media channels. Details of the ERC Masters following each round will be included in the Inside ERC programme on Eurosport. Furthermore, the respective standings will be available on the ERC website.

With the start of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship season getting closer, organisers of the opening event, the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich, are hosting a press conference in the Austrian city of Linz next week.

They will use the function on Wednesday 18 December to announce the entry for the winter showcase, which takes place from 3-5 January and promises serious competition ahead. ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley will be in attendance.

Media wishing to attend should click here for more information.

Bryan Bouffier was singled out as the worthy winner of the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy Driver of the Year because he never gave up during the 2013 season.

That’s according to FIA European Rally Championship General Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas, who was part of a three-person judging panel to select Bouffier for the prestigious award.

Making the presentation to Bouffier at the ERC Awards Ceremony in Paris last night, Nicolas, pictured left with Bouffier, said: “There was one driver who couldn’t take part in all the events because he hasn’t got any money, he finds the money for one event and then when that event is done he has to do it all again to get the money for the next event. He even took a different co-driver for one rally because the co-driver had the sponsorship. Despite this, he never gave up, he always very quick even though he was in an old car driving for a small team. He led in Austria, in Romania, in Poland, in Sanremo and won in Corsica.”

Gilbert Roy, Director of Editorial for ERC promoter Eurosport Events, and Colin’s father Jimmy joined Nicolas on the judging panel.

Kris Meeke’s deal to drive for Citroën in the World Rally Championship in 2014 means there will be European championship or Intercontinental Rally Challenge representation in all three factory teams in the WRC next season.

Meeke won the IRC title in 2009 – a series founded and promoted by Eurosport Events, which became ERC promoter in 2013 under a 10-year agreement with the FIA – and made a one-off appearance in this year’s ERC when he drove a new-generation Peugeot 208 T16 as a course car on the Geko Ypres Rally in June.

In addition to Meeke, double IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen will drive for the works Volkswagen team in the WRC with 2010 IRC title-winner and 2012 European champion Juho Hänninen partnering former IRC frontrunner Thierry Neuville at Hyundai, thereby underlining the ERC’s status as the perfect platform for drivers to progress their careers even further.

Opportunities don’t get much better than the prize drive Kevin Abbring has secured for 2014. After winning the Peugeot 208 Rally Cup in France this season, Dutchman Abbring will be awarded with a six-event campaign in next year’s FIA European Rally Championship in a new-generation Peugeot 208 T16, which has been built to the exciting R5 regulations. Abbring’s schedule for 2014 has yet to be finalised but the former Junior world championship star and Volkswagen development driver has the potential to make a big impact.

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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