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Feb 07, 2014 - 06:03 AM
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ERC Newsletter #06/14
Posted by: newsla on Feb 07, 2014 - 06:02 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #06/14


The new-for-2014 ERC Junior Championship began with a bang on Rally Liepāja last weekend with several stage winners and a host of promising performances by some of Europe’s best young rally drivers. Here are five facts.

 

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1: Six drivers took stage wins in four different makes of car
2: All six R2 car-producing manufacturers were represented
3: The 15 ERC Junior drivers competing in Latvia were from 11 different European countries. At least four more drivers are expected to sign up soon
4: Eurosport’s daily highlights programme and Inside ERC show included dedicated five-minute slots devoted to ERC Junior
5: Three manufacturers and several national federations are actively supporting ERC Junior drivers

And here’s what ERC Junior Championship Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said following the inaugural event in Latvia: “There were 15 different competitors, all six manufacturers of existing R2 cars represented, and 11 different nationalities so it was a very strong start that shows this championship is already a very big success. But this success didn’t arrive without reason and the reason is all the competitors putting their confidence in this new championship and our partner Michelin, without whom nothing would be possible. We are expecting another four or five competitors and we will work hard all season to provide a very high level of media coverage with a dedicated TV programme broadcast on EUROSPORT in order for ERC Junior to be one of the best known junior championships that exists.”

Grand prix winner Kubica is the first ERC Ice Master

GRAND PRIX WINNER KUBICA IS THE FIRST ERC ICE MASTER

Robert Kubica is the inaugural ERC Ice Master following his standout performance on the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich at the start of the season.

A new initiative for 2014, the ERC Ice Master is one of three new awards that recognises surface specialists competing in the FIA European Rally Championship. It takes in the results of the Jännerrallye and Rally Liepāja.

Points are awarded on the basis of 10-6-4-2-1 to the fastest five drivers on each stage of a rally. Driving a Ford Fiesta RRC, Kubica scored 122 points from 18 stages in Austria, a total that Rally Liepāja winner Esapekka Lappi was unable to beat on the 12-stage event in Latvia, which he contested in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

Václav Pech finished second on 110 points with Lappi next on 93. Raimund Baumschlager, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Vasily Gryazin complete the top six.

Next month’s Acropolis Rally will mark the first opportunity for European championship drivers to score ERC Gravel Master points. The first ERC Asphalt Master event is the Circuit of Ireland Rally in April. The final ERC Ice Master standings are available by clicking here.


NEXT STOP: THE ACROPOLIS RALLY

It’s less than 50 days until the ERC resumes with the Acropolis Rally, one of the most famous and legendary rallies in the world.

The event, which is based in Loutraki from 28-30 March and celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014, features two legs: one on asphalt and the other on gravel, with a total of 13 stages over a competitive distance of 238.84 kilometres. The Qualifying Stage for priority drivers is scheduled for 12:53hrs local time on Friday 28 March followed by the ceremonial start overlooking the Corinth Canal at 18:00hrs.

A copy of the entry form, itinerary and event programme is available by clicking here and scrolling down. Entries close at the reduced rate on 20 February with the final deadline on 12 March.

POWER TO LISBURN PEOPLE ON THE CIRCUIT OF IRELAND RALLY
FIA European Rally Championship stars will tackle the Lisburn Power Stage when they contest the Circuit of Ireland Rally in April.

The Circuit of Ireland Rally will visit Lisburn on Saturday 19 April for the all-action Power Stage, which will run through the city’s streets as one of the highlights of the asphalt contest.

A popular feature of the Circuit of Ireland Rally since 2011, organisers are also planning family-focused entertainment for rally fans and visitors to the city yet to be captivated by the sport.

The Mayor of Lisburn, Cllr Marget Tolerton (centre) and Circuit of Ireland Event Director Bobby Willis (right) are pictured with Rallye Monte-Carlo legend Paddy Hopkirk at the official announcement of the Lisburn Power Stage recently. The Circuit of Ireland Rally is based in Belfast, the Northern Irish capital, from 17-19 April.

STAGE TWEAKS FOR SATA RALLYE AÇORES
Some of the most famous stages on SATA Rallye Açores will be revamped for 2014, event bosses have confirmed.

At the launch of 49th running of the spectacular island rally held at the Hotel Marina Atlantico, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Antonio Andrade, the Clerk of the Course, outlined the event route.

He confirmed that the São Brás/Vila Franca stage and the landmark Sete Cidades test would be modified for this season, while the Super Special Stage Grupo Marques would also be adapted at the behest of the Marques Group, which owns the quarry where the spectator stage is run.

The other stages included on the event are Coroa da Mata, Batalha/Golfe, Feteiras, Graminhais and Tronqueira. Eurosport will broadcast Graminhais and Tronqueira live and more details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The event takes place from 15-17 May and begins with a demonstration stage on the Ponta Delgada seafront on 14 May, which is set to be more spectacular than ever before following changes to the layout.

YPRES BOSSES PLAN A SPECIAL CHALLENGE

Bosses of the Geko Ypres Rally will mark the 50th anniversary of the Belgian asphalt showcase with “one of their most challenging routes ever”.

Rally Manager Alain Penasse has revealed how he wanted to create a high-tempo event with the focus firmly on competition.

“We wanted to make our 50th edition very special and attractive, both for drivers and fans,” he said. “We have opted for a compact rally with 20 special stages totalling 325 kilometres. On a total distance of 610 kilometres, 53 per cent of the rally will be run against the clock, something participants will like as it makes for a high-paced event.”

Click here and scroll down for a copy of Rally Guide 1, which includes a copy of the draft itinerary.

The rising star from the Czech Republic discusses becoming the first driver to win a round of the FIA ERC Junior Championship.

How does it feel to be the first winner in ERC Junior?
“I am really happy because before the race we really wanted to win this rally in the new ERC Junior championship and it’s a dream come true. It was a very good rally. A big thank you to Eurosport and the FIA to make this great project. Also to my team and the biggest thanks to my co-driver. He was really good and without him I couldn’t be so fast.”

What was the key to your success in Latvia?
“We made no mistakes and looked after the tyres when the surface was not perfect for the studded tyres. But we also kept our speed, this was important and made the difference.”

And for the rest of the ERC Junior season, what does this result mean?
“I don’t know. For sure it will be a little bit easier to find the budget for the rest of the season. But I also have to continue at the same speed, maybe a little bit faster.”

AND FINALLY… GRYAZIN GETS READY FOR THE WINTER OLYMPICS
The Winter Olympics will be held in FIA European Rally Championship sensation Vasily Gryazin’s native Russia from this weekend. And the 20-year-old will be keeping a close eye on the ice hockey action from Sochi. “I really like ice hockey,” he said. “But rally must be in Olympic Games.”

PaddockTalk Perspective



Also in WRC Rally News 2010:



 
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