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ERC Newsletter #11/14
Posted by: newsla on Mar 14, 2014 - 05:30 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #11/14

A new accolade will be up for grabs in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship, the ERC Promoter of the Year Award.


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All 12 rounds of this season’s ERC will be under consideration with points awarded to each event based on a set of criteria. This includes spectator attendance, local promotion, service park facilities and feedback from the competing teams.

Representatives of ERC promoter Eurosport Events, competitors, manufacturers and members of the media will be asked to vote, while posts on the ERC’s official social media channels will also be considered.

Meanwhile, the all-action 2014 ERC season resumes in Greece from 28-30 March with the legendary Acropolis Rally.

Jaromír Tarabus will be carrying a revised colour scheme on his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 when he contests round three of the FIA European Rally Championship, the Acropolis Rally.

The Czech, who is co-driven by Daniel Trunkát, has secured a new partnership with Ekomilk, whose Kinder Land Surprise yoghurt drink will be promoted on the legendary Greek event.

And Tarabus won’t be the only beneficiary of the exciting new deal: a competition for fans is being run on official Facebook pages of the Tarabus&Trunkat Rally Team.

Tarabus, who impressed with a fifth-place finish on the season-opening Jännerrallye, will be playing catch-up on the Loutraki-based Acropolis Rally following his retirement on the previous round, Rally Liepāja.

FIA European Rally Championship crews will be taking a trip to the seaside quite literally when the Acropolis Rally runs from 28-30 March.

As well as being based in Loutraki on the banks of the Gulf of Corinth, the event includes an all-asphalt special stage in the town of Korinthos, which runs beside the sea.

The 1.18-kilometre test, titled Super Special Korinthos, is a new addition to the Acropolis Rally route for 2014 and will take place on Sunday 30 March with the first car heading into battle at 13:06hrs local time. It’s the 10th of event’s 13 stages and will provide an added challenge for the crews because it’s the only asphalt stage on the otherwise all-gravel second leg.

FIA ERC Junior Championship star Marijan Griebel and his fellow ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team colleague Fabian Kreim (pictured) were on impressive form on last weekend’s ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rallye in Germany.

Driving their identical Opel ADAM R2s, Griebel finished in sixth position with Kreim one place behind in seventh. The event was the opening round of the ADAC Rallye Masters series.

Griebel is contesting the ADAC Rallye Masters series alongside his ERC Junior campaign in 2014 with fellow young gun Kreim set to make at least one appearance in the ERC this season.

Meanwhile, Griebel’s fellow ERC Junior competitors Chris Ingram, Jean-Mathieu Leandri and Stéphane Lefebvre will be in action on Rallye le Touquet in France this weekend. All three will drive Peugeot 208 R2s.

Australian champions Eli Evans and Glen Weston will experience serious competition of an FIA European Rally Championship kind when they contest auto24 Rally Estonia this summer.

The ERC newcomers will compete in a J.A.S Motorsport Honda Civic Type R on the high-speed gravel event – a new addition to the ERC for 2014 – and come armed with a strong reputation to uphold having claimed back-to-back Australian 2WD titles in a Honda Jazz.

“Both Glen and I are very excited about testing our skills against European drivers and teams," said Evans. “We will do our utmost to achieve good results and will apply the lessons we have learnt from our success in Australia in the hopes of matching this in Europe." 

Evans and Weston made history last year when they made it a record 12 wins from 12 starts on rallies in their native Australia. They will conduct a test in Europe ahead of auto24 Rally Estonia, which takes place from 17-19 July.

JRM, the UK-based motorsport preparation specialist, has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship to showcase its all-new Subaru WRX STI.

Conforming to the FIA’s RC2 category rules and eligible for ERC Production Car Cup honours, the JRM-developed machine was launched in January as part of an official partnership between JRM and Subaru Tecnica International.

It will be in action on the Geko Ypres Rally in June, Barum Czech Rally Zlín in August and Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse in November. The identity of the driver will be revealed later this month.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from drivers and teams around the world,” said James Rumsey, the JRM Executive Director. “The next step for us is to show the capabilities of the car in a competitive situation and there’s no better arena than the FIA European Rally Championship.”

The JRM Subaru is the first in Europe to be built in a sedan configuration. According to JRM, this offers improved aerodynamics, traction and balance over the alternative hatchback WRX STI.

Priority status drivers contesting the Circuit of Ireland Rally next month will be “massively impressed” by the venue chosen for the event’s Qualifying Stage, according to Event Director Bobby Willis.

Scheduled for Thursday 17 April, the Qualifying Stage will be based at Ballycultra Village in the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, where a temporary 4.15-kilometre course will be prepared in the Hollywood Hills area of North Down Borough Council.

The action begins with two runs of Free Practice from 11:00hrs on Thursday 17 April before the Qualifying Stage begins at 13:03hrs. Crews competing without priority status can undertake a period of shakedown at the same venue from 13:45-16:00 to finalise their car set-up for the following day’s action.

As always, the fastest driver in Qualifying will earn the right to select their starting position for Friday’s opening leg first followed by the second fastest driver and so on until all priority drivers have chosen where they will run on the road on day one. The selections will be made as part of the ceremonial start activities outside Belfast City Hall from 18:00hrs on Thursday.

Ekaterina Stratieva is one of the top female drivers competing in the FIA European Rally Championships. Here she talks about what made her get behind the wheel in the first place and her season so far.

What made you become a rally driver?
“It was my childhood dream! One day, maybe when I was around five or six years old I saw one French female crew in Bulgaria on an international event. This was the moment that I say to myself that one day I want to be also like them.”

What's the best thing about the ERC?
“The challenge that I face. Every time there is a new place! Every rally is completely different than the other! People work very good and think about the crews. Every year the ERC and Eurosport try to find something new and to grow in rally sport. Also I meet a lot of new friends and visit amazing places with great roads for driving, Czech Republic, Açores, Corsica...”

How has your season gone so far?
“This year my season didn't start so good. The Jännerrallye was not our best event and in Latvia unfortunately the car was with problem from the first part. But we never give up! Like I like to say: things that don't kill me make me stronger! We are positive with Carmen and we hope for better luck on the Acropolis Rally.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

Related links
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· More about WRC Rally News 2010

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