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ERC Newsletter #10/14
Posted by: newsla on Mar 06, 2014 - 04:37 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #10/14

Peugeot’s 208 T16 R5 challenger is due to make its FIA European Rally Championship debut on the Acropolis Rally in Greece later this month. And here’s what the eagerly-awaited car looks like in competition trim.


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While Paolo Andreucci’s Peugeot Italia-backed 208 T16 (pictured) is destined for Italian championship events only in 2014, this image gives a flavour of what’s to come when Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen contest the Acropolis Rally in the new-generation machinery for the Peugeot Rally Academy.

The Acropolis Rally, round three of the 12-event ERC season, takes place in Loutraki from 28-30 March with day one using asphalt stages and day two based mainly on gravel roads.

Fans questioning the use of asphalt stages on the legendary Acropolis Rally will be pleasantly surprised by what’s in store, say organisers of the FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Day one of the Greek event (29 March) will use Tarmac stages only with day two (30 March) made up by the event’s more traditional gravel stages with the exception of the all-asphalt superspecial in Korinthos.

The change of format is the result of the rally’s earlier-than-usual March date making some of the mountainous gravel stages unsuitable should there be heavy rain or snow.

“We are more than certain that the three Tarmac stages in the north eastern part of Peloponnese will satisfy even the most skeptical follower of our event and will give to all competitors the opportunity to drive in some exciting landscapes of our country and on stages with a big variety of corners, difficulties and surfaces,” an Acropolis Rally statement said.

Mixed-surface events are nothing new for Greek rounds of the ERC: the ELPA Rally used routes consisting of asphalt or gravel or a combination of the two in the past, while the Acropolis has also used Tarmac tests, such as the Athents Olympic Stadium superspecial in 2005 and 2006 (pictured).

Sepp Wiegand has revealed his secret weapon in his bid for FIA European Rally Championship glory: his enduro motorbike.

German star Wiegand is embarking on a major programme of ERC events in 2014 in a factory-run ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 under the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland banner.

In order to stay in shape between events, the 23-year-old takes to his enduro bike for regular keep-fit sessions. “Because there is not always testing between the rallies I must try to prepare myself in the best possible way without driving,” said Wiegand. “In addition to the usual fitness programme I go on training rides on my enduro. This is very good for feeling, stamina and strength.”

Wiegand finished fifth on his first start in this year’s ERC in Latvia last month. His next event is the Acropolis Rally in Greece from 28-30 March.

FIA European Rally Championship event-winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz reckons lessons learned on Rally Liepāja in Latvia last month will help his cause when he contests the Acropolis Rally in Greece for the first time from 28-30 March.

Although the events differ substantially in terms of format and character, Kajetanowicz is determined to build on the fourth-place finish he registered last time out in the ERC.

“The experience we gained [on Rally Liepāja] will definitely help in the upcoming events,” said the four-time Polish champion, who turned 35 on Wednesday. “We made plenty of good decisions and it allowed us to stay close with Craig Breen. We took a good lesson [in Latvia] – I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”

Kajetanowicz and co-driver Jarek Baran will tackle the Acropolis Rally in their LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.

Robert Consani continued his preparations for the Acropolis Rally with a class-winning performance on Rallye Régional Cathares in his native France at the weekend.

Consani, who will contest round three of the FIA European Rally Championship in Greece later this month in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, was trying out a Peugeot 208 R2 for the first time on the six-stage event, which ran over a competitive distance of 38 kilometres.

He finished fourth overall and first in the R2 class alongside co-driver Vincent Landais. “It was just some entertainment during the break, he’ll be back in his 207 S2000 for the Acropolis,” said Consani’s wife Alexandra.

Crews planning to contest round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, the Circuit of Ireland Rally, can register now.

Event organisers have created an online registration system for the Tarmac showpiece and more details are available by clicking here.

Supplementary regulations and details of how competitors can book discounted ferry crossings through Stena Line are also available at event’s official website, www.circuitofireland.net.

The Circuit of Ireland Rally, which is based in Belfast from 17-19 April, also counts as round two of the FIA ERC Junior Championship and marks the first occasion that ERC competitors will be able to score ERC Asphalt Master points.

Organisers of SATA Rallye Açores, round five of the FIA European Rally Championship, have announced an exciting new award – for the driver demonstrating the ‘bravest spirit’ on the all-gravel spectacular.

To be chosen by a jury consisting of the Chairman of the Organising Committee, a national and international journalist and the ERC and event press officer, the award will be presented on the finishing podium by the President of the Azorean Government.

The trophy will use a stone basis and feature one Açor, a symbol of the Açores archipelago.

SATA Rallye Açores takes place from 15-17 May and also counts as a round of the ERC Junior Championship and ERC Gravel Masters.

The British championship-winning Finn is aiming to contest five rounds of the FIA ERC 2WD Championship in 2014. He explains why, talks about his friendship with ERC star Esapekka Lappi and reveals how he used to drive trucks to earn a living.

Why did you pick the ERC for 2014?
“We were thinking what the next step would be after winning the British championship. The ERC looked the best option for us because there are some really great events and we also wanted to do more rallies on Tarmac because I have been driving mainly on snow and gravel in my career.”

Esapekka Lappi is another Finn flying high in the ERC. Do you know him and have you been following what he’s been up to in the European championship?
“I know him quite well. Two years ago we were part of the same AKK Finnish federation driving academy. We were part of the same school so it will be good to do the same rallies as him. He’s definitely a very talented driver.”

How do you keep busy when you’re not driving rally cars?
“Rallying takes up a lot of my time because I am working to find the sponsors myself. Of course I do some work to bring food into my home. Four years ago I used to drive trucks but I stopped this when my rallying career started.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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