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ERC Newsletter #19/14
Posted by: newsla on May 08, 2014 - 04:33 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #19/14

Two brothers will contest the FIA ERC Junior Championship after Fabio Andolfi became the 20th driver to sign up for the new-for-2014 category.


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Andolfi, the younger brother of Fabrizio Andolfi Jr, will make his ERC Junior debut on SATA Rallye Açores from 15-17 May driving a Peugeot 208 R2.

However, ERC fans will have to wait until Belgium’s Geko Ypres Rally from 19-21 June to see the Andolfi brothers go head-to-head. That’s because Fabrizio Andolfi Jr hasn’t included next week’s gravel event on his ERC Junior schedule.

Fabio Andolfi, 20, began competing in 2012 following a career in motocross in his native Italy. SATA Rallye Açores will mark only his second event competing outside of his homeland.

Fifty-four crews will contest round five of the FIA European Rally Championship – an increase of 12 over the figure that entered last year’s running of SATA Rallye Açores.

The large list consists of several ERC regulars including Kevin Abbring, Craig Breen, Vasily Gryazin, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Bruno Magalhães. Bernardo Sousa and Ricardo Moura will join Magalhães in flying the flag of host nation Portugal when the event runs from 15-17 May.

Elsewhere, 11 ERC Juniors will be competing including newcomers Fabio Andolfi and Guillame Dilley, plus title leader Jan Černý, while a total of 16 nations will be represented. ERC Production Car Cup pacesetter Vitaliy Pushkar will also be taking part having missed the previous round in Northern Ireland.

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. Click here for a copy of the approved entry list.

ŠKODA confirms ERC return in Ypres

ŠKODA Motorsport will continue its chase for yet more success in the FIA European Rally Championship on next month’s Geko Ypres Rally.

The Czech squad is focusing its efforts on the Belgian asphalt showcase after it elected not to include SATA Rallye Açores, which will be broadcast live on Eurosport and RTP Açores, on its busy schedule of events.

“Our next outing in the ERC will be in Belgium, where our young drivers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand will be in action at the Ypres Rally,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

After three appearances in this year’s ERC Lappi has claimed two wins, while Wiegand scored his first podium finish with second on last month’s Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally.

Bouffier gets SATA Rallye Açores role

Despite being unable to secure a drive on SATA Rallye Açores due to sponsorship shortages, Bryan Bouffier will still play an active role on round five of the FIA European Rally Championship.

The runner-up in last year’s ERC standings will join the Eurosport France commentary team to provide his expert knowledge and opinions.

Viewers will be able to hear Bouffier’s commentary on the two Sete Cidades stages on Friday 16 May and the two runs through Tronqueira on Saturday 17 May.

Meanwhile, Bouffier still hopes to make his competitive return to the ERC this season. Following his second-place finish on the Acropolis Rally, the 35-year-old Frenchman said: “We need to push for the budget to do more events and maybe we can do a good result at the end of the year.”

Trophy helmet up for grabs on ERC auto24 Rally Estonia

There will be even greater incentive for FIA European Rally Championship stars to win auto24 Rally Estonia this summer.

Not only will victory on round seven of the ERC ensure a healthy haul of championship points and the honour of winning one of the Baltic region’s fastest rallies, the victor will also receive the coveted trophy helmet, which has been handed out to the event winner every year since auto24 Rally Estonia was first held in 2010.

Designed and painted by Estonian artists from Tribilia Design, previous winners include Markko Märtin (2010), Mads Østberg (in 2011 and 2012) and Georg Gross, who took top spot last season.

This year’s auto24 Rally Estonia, a new addition to the ERC for 2014, takes place from 17-19 July in Otepää and Tartu. It will cover 15 stages run almost entirely on gravel.

Q&A: Bernardo Sousa

Top Portuguese driver Bernardo Sousa will return to the FIA European Rally Championship on SATA Rallye Açores next week. He spoke to Fiaerc.com about his preparations for the event and his hopes of success behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RRC.

How confident are you of a strong result?
“The main goal is to fight for the victory and to show we have the pace to be there. This year’s entry will be more competitive than last year because we have the new R5s from Peugeot and some local drivers with the Fiesta R5 also. It’s going to be a big fight but I have some good knowledge of the roads and a good rhythm after doing one WRC event already this year. Everything is planned to do the Monday test with the other teams. For the rest I just go to the gym to do my physical training.”

This is no easy rally, right?
“It’s quite tricky, especially with the weather. We never know what we can expect. You have stages with plenty of sun, dry but then on the next stage you have fog and rain. That’s the tropical climate you have on the island. Most of the time the stages are inside the forests. You have very narrow sections with corners where you cannot cut the road. But depending on the season of the year you will have more bushes or the trees will be more grown. The stage surface is also quite soft.”

Six stages will be broadcast live. How important is that for you and your sponsors?
“Live coverage is always good. For our sponsors it’s very important. They are paying and they need to have some proper coverage. The European championship on Eurosport is a very good example of all the rallies. The coverage for sure is, at this moment, the best one. Because the rally is on an island and because the economy in Portugal is not that good some people can at least see the rally at home.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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