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ERC Newsletter #24/14
Posted by: newsla on Jun 12, 2014 - 04:51 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #24/14

WTCC TRIP FOR ERC GEKO YPRES RALLY WINNERS The winning driver and co-driver of round six of the FIA European Rally Championship, the Geko Ypres Rally, will receive VIP tickets to the FIA World Touring Car Championship races at Spa-Francorchamps the following day, Sunday 22 June.


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Eurosport Events promotes the WTCC and ERC and is using the Belgian double-header to underline the close links between the two championships, which enjoy extensive television coverage on Eurosport and benefit from the expertise of the Paris-based organisation.

The Ypres winners will be handed the tickets on the podium on Saturday 21 June and will receive a heroes’ welcome at Spa the following day with a grid walk part of their prize.


Former European champion Bruno Thiry will be going back in time when he contests the Geko Ypres Rally next week.

The Belgian rallying legend and two-time Ypres winner, will be returning to the Opel marque for a rare competitive start on the all-asphalt spectacular, which counts as round six of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship season and takes place from 19-21 June.

Thiry, who has performed course car driving duties in Ypres in recent years, will compete in an Opel ADAM R2. He said: "Opel was the brand that gave me the chance when I started so I’m looking forward to being back in an Opel in Ypres."

Now 53, Thiry won the European championship title in 2002 and was the last Belgian driver to clinch the coveted crown.


There will be several sons of famous fathers in action when the FIA European Rally Championship heads to Belgium next week for the 50th Geko Ypres Rally.

Counting as round six of the ERC, the event takes place from 19-21 June. Sons of famous fathers in action include Max Vatanen, whose father Ari (pictured right) won the 1981 World Rally Championship and Guillaume de Mévius, the youngest son of Belgian rallying legend Grégoire. Both Vatanen Jr and de Mévius Jr will chase ERC 2WD Championship points.

Meanwhile, the fathers of ERC frontrunners Kevin Abbring, Craig Breen and Chris Ingram all competed regularly in the past.


Hyundai Shell World Rally Team star Thierry Neuville has tipped his fellow Belgian Freddy Loix to win the Geko Ypres Rally, round six of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Neuville, who will be attending the Tarmac showcase from 19-21 June as a guest of ERC promoter Eurosport Events, believes Loix has what it takes to make it a record-extending nine wins in Ypres this season.

"I think nobody can beat Freddy Loix," said Neuville. "Okay, last year in the R5 [VIP] car we were very fast and could have won the rally had we been competing and not had a puncture, but Freddy is still unbeatable because he knows the roads very well and has always been very fast there, especially when it’s wet. He knows the danger places so this makes him the favourite to win."


Craig Breen will take a break from chasing success in the FIA European Rally Championship to contest the world championship rounds in Finland and Germany in the summer.

Breen and co-driver Scott Martin have been given special permission by Peugeot Rally Academy to take part on the non-clashing rallies in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, which will be the same Kel-Tech Engineering-run car he used on Rally Sweden in early February.

"Firstly I am very grateful to Peugeot Sport for once again allowing me to compete on these two very different events outside the ERC," said Breen, whose career is managed by the V&V Sports Management organisation and is currently second in the ERC standings to Finland’s Esapekka Lappi. "It's a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself at the top level of the sport and this time with two consecutive events I feel we can show some real pace. I’m so excited."


Luca Rossetti’s co-driver Matteo Chiarcossi has revealed that their return to the FIA European Rally Championship on next week’s Geko Ypres Rally might not be a one-off.

The triple champions will be back in action on the Belgian asphalt counter, which celebrates 50 years in 2014 when it takes place from 19-21 June. They will drive a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 for DP Autosport in what could be an expanded programme of events.

"Probably we also have two or three other rallies in the ERC this year," said Chiarcossi. "DP has a budget for this and I am very excited for this because I am tired to stay at home!"

Asked whether this could lead to a full campaign in 2015 and a shot at a record-breaking fourth ERC title, Chiarcossi said: "At the moment it’s very difficult with a private budget so I don’t know for 2015. I like too much this championship but the young drivers are very fast with a very high potential."

Rossetti and Chiarcossi scored their first win on a European championship event in Ypres back in 2007. They were European champions in 2008, 2010 and 2011.


All six cars built to the FIA’s R2 regulations will be in action when the Geko Ypres Rally hosts round for of the FIA ERC Junior Championship.

The Citroën C2R2 Max, the Ford Fiesta R2, the Opel ADAM R2, the Peugeot 208 R2, the Renault Twingo R2 EVO (pictured) and the ŠKODA Fabia R2 all appear on the entry list for the asphalt spectacular and have all proved highly competitive in ERC Junior.

A total of 15 ERC Juniors will contest the Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium from 19-21 June. A special group photocall to mark the occasion will take place on the podium in Ypres’ Grote Markt at 12:4hrs local time on Friday 20 June.


Flying Finn and former European champion Juho Hänninen on when the Geko Ypres Rally was kind and not so kind to him.

What did winning the Ypres Rally mean to you? "It’s one of my best victories. That year, 2012, I had three really good ones: Barum, Ypres and Ireland. Until that it was not my favourite rally for sure. It’s not easy when you are there for the first time. But we had a very good car and a very good set-up."

Is set-up key to success in Ypres? "I remember well we had a two-day test before the rally and I said after the two days that the car Freddy Loix drove the year before was very good and I said to the guys in the team with this car we can win, I was very confident before the rally. But then finally when I realised I could beat Freddy on his home soil with a Belgian engineer in my team it was a very nice result to achieve."

But it’s not an easy rally, right? "No it’s not easy and being there for the first time I was really lost. I didn’t know how to use the road and the cuts. It’s quite a unique Tarmac rally with all those cuts on the grass, how much you cut and where. In 2009 I was first car on the road for some reason. Jan Kopecký [former ŠKODA team-mate and ERC champion] was a bit behind on the road and he asked me who was taking the handbrake all the time and I said I am. He said there’s no point, just turn."

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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