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ERC Newsletter #22/14
Posted by: newsla on May 29, 2014 - 03:19 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #22/14

Luca Rossetti, a three-time winner of the FIA European Rally Championship, will be back on ERC duty when he contests next month’s Geko Ypres Rally.


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Rossetti, from Italy, won his first European title in 2008 (pictured) before claiming back-to-back accolades in 2010 and 2011. He visited the Belgian asphalt showcase last season and said then that he would relish the chance to make his ERC return in the future.

Known as ROX by his fans and followers, the 38-year-old hasn’t competed regularly since taking the Turkish title in 2012. However, the former Ypres winner will be one to watch when he takes part in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 alongside former long-term co-driver Matteo Chiarcossi.

Geko Ypres Rally organisers said news of Rossetti’s entry was a “huge but very pleasant surprise”, adding: “He is always very fast in Ypres and it’s really great to have Luca with us when we have our 50th anniversary.”


Following confirmation that Sibiu Rally Romania will no longer form part of the calendar, the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship will be contested over 11 rounds. It means that drivers and co-drivers will still count their four best scores from the opening six rounds of the ERC but will now include their best four scores from the final five rallies in their end-of-season totals.

Remaining ERC rounds in 2014

06: Geko Ypres Rally, 19-21 June
07: auto24 Rally Estonia, 17-19 July
08: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 29-31 August
09: Cyprus Rally, 19-21 September
10: Rallye International du Valais, 23-25 October
11: Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, 6-8 November*

*Subject to the signing of event promoter agreement


At least 15 rising stars will be in action when the Geko Ypres Rally hosts round four of the new-for-2014 FIA ERC Junior Championship from 19-21 June. And with the deadline for entries not until Wednesday 4 June, more young talents are set to sign up to take part.

ERC Junior regulations allow drivers to score championship points on four rounds from a possible seven. For four ERC Juniors already entered for the asphalt spectacular, the Belgian event marks their second scoring opportunity of the year.

Mattias Olsson, Tomáš Pospíšilík (pictured left) and Kevin van Deijne are back in action for the first time since the season-opening Rally Liepāja, while Stephen Wright returns to competition after he made his ERC Junior debut on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally last month.


It’s a small world…especially in motorsport. FIA ERC Junior Championship frontrunner Risto Immonen lives just two kilometres away from another huge Finnish star: Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, a pacesetter in this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The two are great friends and both come from the town of Joensuu in eastern Finland, close to the Russian border. “Risto is a fantastic driver,” said Heikkinen, who drives for the Volkswagen-supported Marklund Motorsport team in World RX. “He’s always run his own private cars with not so much budget, but he is able to make up for this with his driving.” Immonen was also full of praise for his friend and neighbour. “What Topi has achieved is fantastic. But most of all, he’s a really nice guy. He’s very busy, but we see each other as often as he can.”

As well as rallycross, Heikkinen (pictured) also has a huge interest in rallying. He’s driven a Ford Fiesta S2000 on rallysprint events in Finland, and also has his own Mitsubishi Lancer Group N car. “I just use it as a practice car, to keep my reactions sharp,” said Heikkinen. “But one day I would like to do a proper rally.”

Finland’s reigning British champion Jukka Korhonen will bounce back from his crash on last month’s Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally by contesting the Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium from 19-21 June.

The ERC 2WD Championship contender and co-driver Marko Salminen will compete in a Citroën DS3 R3T, which has been rebuilt by the Autosport Technology team. “Of course the accident on the Circuit was disappointing, you never want these things to happen, but Marko and I learn from our mistakes and are very much looking forward to getting back onto the Tarmac in Ypres,” said Korhonen. “It’s a rally neither of us have competed on before, but watching some of the footage from last year the stages look awesome. For us, waiting another four weeks seems too long.”

While the event represents unchartered territory for Korhonen, Autosport Technology has previous Ypres experience having run British drivers Robbie Head and Mark Higgins there in the past, while Salminen has visited the rally as a spectator.

Q&A:Chris Ingram
Teenaged Briton Chris Ingram hit back from crashing out of the FIA ERC Junior Championship lead in Northern Ireland last month by scoring his maiden podium finish in the series with a hugely impressive display on SATA Rallye Açores. This is what he had to say afterwards.

How good does it feel to have scored your first ERC Junior podium?
“We’re absolutely over the moon really. We tackled so many problems on such an incredibly difficult rally. To come second we’re so happy. Especially after Ireland leading and then crashing out I wanted to come here and continue with that pace. We’ve had that pace but we’ve had bad luck and good luck with people crashing out. But we survived and got to the finish.”

What problems did you encounter during the event?
“I was struggling for traction at the start but we made some big changes to the set-up for Friday and began to go faster. We understeered into a bank after about four kilometres on Sete Cidades and I was so lucky not to get a puncture but it knocked my confidence for the rest of the stage. We also got a front-right puncture at the start of stage 11 and lost about 40 seconds. When Risto Immonen rolled we were stopped for about 30 seconds then we had no brakes on the final stage.”

Ypres is next. What result can you achieve there?
“We've done it before and hopefully I will have my own Renault Twingo back for that after borrowing my team’s Twingo for the Açores. We'll try to push for the win.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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