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ERC Newsletter #18/14
Posted by: newsla on May 01, 2014 - 02:44 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #18/14

Not only will SATA Rallye Açores enjoy five hours of live coverage when it hosts round five of the FIA European Rally Championship later this month, it will also remain on the ERC roster for the long term following the signing of a major contract extension.


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The agreement, announced by ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley during the live streaming of the rally’s official launch in Ponta Delgada on Tuesday evening, will mean that SATA Rallye Açores is a round of the ERC until 2016.

“We have developed a very strong relationship with the organising committee and the President Francisco Coelho,” said Ley. “We have decided not to collaborate for 2014, or 2014 and 2015 but I am delighted to announce we would like to continue our collaboration for 2014, 2015 and 2016.”

Four stages of SATA Rallye Açores will be shown live on Eurosport and RTP Açores with a further two stages streamed live on the official ERC website, Fiaerc.com. The event takes place from 15-17 May.

The official video promoting SATA Rallye Açores, round five of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, is now available online.

Featuring dramatic action sequences of last year’s event, stunning shots of São Miguel island from up above, plus behind-the-scenes footage of the Eurosport Events live production team at work, the video has been designed to set the pulses racing ahead of the 49th running of the gravel spectacular from 15-17 May. Click here to view the video.

FIA European Rally Championship leader Esapekka Lappi will take on reigning champion Jan Kopecký on this weekend’s 42nd Rally Český Krumlov.

The factory ŠKODA drivers are contesting the Tarmac event in South Bohemia in a pair of Fabia Super 2000s as they take a break from the campaigns in the European and Asia-Pacific championships respectively.

“We obviously want to be fighting for victory,” said Finn Lappi, a double winner in this year’s ERC. “It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to get some more practice on asphalt. There’s always something special about competing in ŠKODA's home country, even for Janne [Ferm] and me. You can feel the tremendous enthusiasm everywhere.”

Kopecký added: “The APRC is our priority this year. This means that we are looking forward to being able to drive for our home fans all the more.”

Chris Ingram might be able to chase FIA ERC Junior Championship success on the upcoming SATA Rallye Açores after all.

The 19-year-old Briton was leading the new-for-2014 category on last month’s Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally when a heavy crash forced his exit from the event and threw his participation on round three of the series into doubt after his car sustained extensive damage.

However, Ingram’s team, JB Malherbe Racing Spirit from Belgium, has offered him the use of its Renault Twingo R2 EVO for the gravel event from 15-17 May. “I may have a last-minute opportunity to do the Açores – my team are lending me their Twingo for the rally,” said rising star Ingram. “Hopefully we can keep the same pace as Ireland as I need to start getting some results.”

Despite his failure to finish the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, Ingram earned the coveted Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy, becoming the first ERC Junior to clinch the award. Ingram will use a newly-built Twingo R2 EVO from Renault Sport for the Geko Ypres Rally in June.

FIA European Rally Championship regular Ekaterina Stratieva has revealed how she turned to television – and Eurosport’s standout coverage – to get her ERC fix last month.

Stratieva was unable to secure the backing to contest the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally but watched the action from her home in Bulgaria instead.

“For the first time I was front of TV to watch Eurosport and the fourth round from ERC,” said the ERC Ladies’ Trophy contender. “Really I miss the event and the feeling but now when I am watching I can't imagine that some times I am also part of this emotion and I must be a very happy person. It was amazing to see how it looks from the other side.”

She continued: “I never was in Ireland but it looked a wonderful place. It is so green, with a lot of fast parts but also very tricky with this crazy jump. I saw all my friends but unfortunately only on TV. I hope to come back in the game soon.”

ŠKODA’s ace German Sepp Wiegand got his FIA European Rally Championship challenge back on track with second place on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally last month. He told Fiaerc.com how good it felt.

How pleased were you with your second place on the Circuit of Ireland Rally?
“Really, really happy also for the team because they all worked hard. Also for me because after Greece, where I had the speed, I had a retirement and now we have a proper result. I lost a bit of time on the first day because I did not have experience of all the crests but I had good speed on the second day.”

What do you put your speed transformation down to – a good night’s sleep?
“The first day it was more like Finland with all the crests – in Germany we don’t have crests and I don't have experience on this surface. On the second day it was not more easy because the stages were demanding and difficult but we had not so much crests so it was more easy for me. I could push more and it was working and I was enjoying my driving all the time.”

How much of a confidence boost was this result?
“It was really useful to have a finish and a result on the podium especially in second place and with the first two places ŠKODA drivers.”

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Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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