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Apr 11, 2014 - 06:25 AM
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ERC Newsletter #15/14
Posted by: newsla on Apr 11, 2014 - 06:24 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #15/14


NEUVILLE: BUX HAS BIG CHANCE TO SHINE IN ERC JUNIOR
Factory Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville says he will be on hand to give advice to new FIA ERC Junior Championship recruit Gino Bux.

 

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Bux, 23, will make his ERC Junior debut on next week’s Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally as part of a five-event campaign with the Belgian motorsport federation’s RACB National Team.

Neuville, a multiple podium finisher in the WRC, received RACB support early in his career, which he said was invaluable.

“He has a good chance to make a career but he has to realise this,” said Neuville. “He has the potential but now it’s the way he works to get to the end. I am always supporting young drivers, especially from my country, so I can be available to give him some good advice. Without the RACB I wouldn’t even have started my career, let alone got to where I am now. Gino now has a chance like I did.”

Bux is one of nine ERC Junior drivers in action on the asphalt showcase, which is based in Belfast from 17-19 April. He will drive a Peugeot 208 R2 for DG Sport.

WILSON CONSIDERS ERC REINFORCEMENTS
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson is considering bolstering his company’s presence in the FIA European Rally Championship by fielding one of his WRC stars in a Ford Fiesta R5 on selected events.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz is flying the flag for M-Sport’s Fiesta R5 project in the ERC and has shown great pace on his three appearances so far this season, landing a podium on the most recent round in Greece.

However, Wilson wants to ensure that the Fiesta R5 continues to run at the head of the field in the face of opposition from Peugeot’s 208T16, so is looking into the possibility of getting another star name into one of his cars alongside Kajetanowicz, the four-time Polish champion.

“I’ve no plans to at the moment but there’s nothing to say that we won’t put Ott Tänak out,” said Wilson. “I need to make sure our cars are winning wherever possible so we will probably do something.”

With Kajetanowicz not including the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally on his schedule for 2014 with the LOTOS Rally Team, Robert Barrable will be the lone Fiesta R5 representative when the ERC resumes in Belfast from 17-19 April.

THE CIRCUIT IS SPECIAL, SAYS LOCAL HERO MEEKE
Kris Meeke has described the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally as “something pretty special” ahead of the FIA European Rally Championship extravaganza next week.

Meeke, a works driver for Citroën in the WRC, was a regular visitor to the Circuit of Ireland as a child and also took part in his own right back in 2007.

“It’s something pretty special,” said Meeke, who hails from Dungannon in Northern Ireland. “I have only done it the once actually. I was leading with a few stages to go when, unfortunately, my engine expired in the Subaru.

“But I grew up with the Circuit of Ireland through my father’s involvement running the late, great Bertie Fisher. I travelled, watched and worked on the Circuit with my father for many years. It’s got the tradition and it’s fantastic to see it back in the European championship after the work put in by the organising team. It’s a pity I won’t be able to do the rally this year but obviously my priorities lie elsewhere. But I will be out there supporting the rally.”

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS ALL SET FOR NEW ADVENTURE
FIA European rally champions Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler are currently in New Zealand preparing for the opening round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

The Czechs are tackling the six-round series for the first time but will do so in a car that’s more than familiar to them: a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

“New rallies with completely different racing conditions are obviously an exciting prospect for me,” said Kopecký. “We had a fantastic season in 2013 and we now want to pick up where we left off, together with the ŠKODA MRF team. I have a great car and a highly professional team. And obviously I’m hoping that my ŠKODA team-mate Gaurav Gill will be able to give us lots of tips.”

The International Rally of Whangarei, which is based in New Zealand’s North Island, covers 14 stages over a competitive distance of 241.29 kilometres from 11-13 April.

INTERNATIONAL ERC STARS FLOCK TO THE CIRCUIT
Fourteen nations will be represented when the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, gets underway next week (17-19 April).

The world-famous event, first run in 1931, has attracted a bumper entry with 37 crews signed up for the international section and a further 84 chasing honours in the national contest.

Star names include Peugeot Rally Academy duo Kevin Abbring (pictured) and Craig Breen, ŠKODA Motorsport pair Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand, home talents Robert Barrable and Sam Moffett, French privateer Robert Consani, ERC 2WD champion Zoltán Bessenyey, plus nine ERC Junior drivers including title leader Jan Černý and newcomers Gino Bux, Alex Parpottas and Stephen Wright.

Circuit of Ireland Event Director Bobby Willis said: “I am delighted so many nations will be represented when the European Rally Championship comes to Northern Ireland. We are also honoured that so many talented drivers will be taking part in a wide range of machinery and particularly pleased that so many stars of the future will be showcasing their talents.”

The full entry list is available by clicking here.

ERC ACES GO RACING IN MUNICH
Sepp Wiegand and FIA European Rally Championship co-driver Frank Christian were among a number of star guests at the annual Eurosport Germany Motorsport Launch event in Munich on Thursday 3 April.

Joined by ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team member and ERC Junior contender Marijan Griebel, Wiegand and Christian met various invitees, took part in a question and answer session and were interviewed by journalists and TV crews. The also took part in a simulator race with Christian (pictured foreground) demonstrating plenty of pace on a rare appearance behind the wheel. François Ribeiro, Motorsport Director, Eurosport Events, was also in attendance.

Wiegand and Christian were in Munich just a handful of days after making their Acropolis Rally debuts in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

SATA RALLYE AÇORES ENTRIES OPEN ONLINE
Entries for SATA Rallye Açores are now available at the official event website. The FIA European Rally Championship event, which is based on São Miguel, the largest island of the Portuguese archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, takes place from 15-17 May and will be one of the highlights of the 2014 season. As well as counting as round five of the ERC, the gravel contest marks the third round of the new-for-2014 FIA ERC Junior Championship, which has attracted a total of 19 registrations since its launch on Rally Liepāja at the start of the February. Registrations close on 30 April and more information is available by clicking here.

GEKO YPRES RALLY REGISTRATIONS ALSO AVAILABLE
Entries have opened for the Geko Ypres Rally, round six of the FIA European Rally Championship, with demand already high for registrations, according to the event organisers. Celebrating 50 years in 2014, rally bosses have been inundated with enquiries from teams running new-generation R5 cars, including several from host nation Belgium. In addition, a number of privateers are also planning to take part with several registrations already received. The event takes place from 19-21 June and more information is available by clicking here.

PaddockTalk Perspective



Also in WRC Rally News 2010:



 
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