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ERC Newsletter #28/14
Posted by: newsla on Jul 10, 2014 - 04:31 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #28/14

Sébastien Chardonnet’s last-minute auto24 Rally Estonia entry is not only another boost for the high-speed gravel event – it also enforces the FIA European Rally Championship’s Serious Competition Ahead strapline.


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The talented Frenchman, last year’s Citroën Top Driver and WRC 3 champion, is contesting the 2014 WRC 2 category in a DS3 R5. His appearance in Estonia will be his first in the ERC and means that all R5 cars currently eligible for competition use will be represented in the ERC for the second rally in succession.

“It’s a real pleasure and a great opportunity for me to come to Estonia with the DS3 R5 to gain experience and to build my confidence,” said the 25-year-old from France. “My objective here is to progress on each stage and also to prepare for Rally Finland which is the next round of WRC 2. A real rally is always far better than tests to practise. I am very excited to discover the Estonian roads in the ERC and I’m going to try to make the most of it.”

Chardonnet and co-driver Thibault de la Haye are among 65 crews contesting the Otepää-based speedfest from 17-19 July. The full entry list will be published tomorrow (11 July) but here’s a sneak preview of some of the names Chardonnet will be up against:

Martin Kangur (Ford Fiesta S2000): ERC stage winner, WRC 2 contender
Karl Kruuda (Peugeot 208T16): WRC 2 event winner
Esapekka Lappi (ŠKODA Fabia S2000): European championship leader
Siim Plangi (Peugeot 208T16): Chosen to drive works-assisted Peugeot
Ott Tänak (Ford Fiesta R5): Podium finisher in the WRC
Sepp Wiegand (ŠKODA Fabia S2000): ERC podium regular

ŠKODA Motorsport won’t just be celebrating the past on the Czech championship Rally Bohemia this weekend – it will also be looking to its future involvement in the new-generation R5 category.

While Jan Kopecký – the winner of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship – and Sepp Wiegand will drive a pair of Fabia Super 2000s decked out in the same colour scheme that appeared on the firm’s RS models back in 1974, current ERC title leader Esapekka Lappi will use the Tarmac event to trial the basis of ŠKODA’s R5 challenger in public for the first time.

Lappi, who heads the ERC standings by 33 points following standout wins in Latvia and Northern Ireland this season and is one of the favourites for victory on round seven of the ERC in Estonia next week, will drive a Fabia Super 2000 fitted with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine in accordance with FIA R5 rules.

Although Lappi won’t be able to chase times on the Tarmac event from 11/12 July, the outing will mark the first public appearance of ŠKODA’s R5 prototype and the first time it has been run in ‘race’ conditions, albeit on selected stages.

“The development of the Fabia R 5 is progressing nicely – we are on schedule,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The first test under competitive conditions is a big step towards achieving homologation by mid-2015.”

Once homologated for competition use, ŠKODA’s R5 contender is set for action in the ERC in addition to other international championships.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín bosses have launched an exciting new-look website ahead of its FIA European Rally Championship qualifier next month. Available at Czechrally.com, the dramatically enhanced site features all the latest news and information from the asphalt showcase, which takes place from 29-31 August. There’s also an image gallery and social media channel feeds, plus an online store and a section on the event’s illustrious history.

Plans are taking shape for round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship, the Cyprus Rally. Based in Nicosia from 19-21 September, the mixed-surface contest also counts as a round of the Middle East championship. Supplementary regulations will be published on 18 July with entries opening on the same day. Click here for more information.

The exciting route for round 11 of the FIA European Rally Championship, Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, will be revealed shortly and is set to feature several changes from the 2013 running of the legendary island event. The route reveal follows a press conference in Ajaccio on Tuesday where ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley and ERC Sporting Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas were in attendance. The event takes place from 6-8 November. Visit Fiaerc.com soon for more information.

Rising Estonian star and university graduate Siim Plangi will get a dream drive on his country’s FIA European Rally Championship qualifier next week when he lines up in a Saintéloc Peugeot 208T16.

A Peugeot 208T16 on your home round of the ERC – how good is this?
“Of course this is an opportunity of a lifetime for me. Two months ago I just couldn’t dream of trying to be in this car. Then the guys at Peugeot approached me and offered me this chance.”

What’s your target for the event?
“Right now I’m not thinking to win. I want to find my own speed and do as well as I can because I have absolutely no idea how this car is to drive until I do my test on Tuesday. It will be difficult but I try to increase my speed stage by stage although I am not thinking about the result.”

Estonia is hosting the ERC for the first time. What does this mean to you?
“Obviously it’s a big deal in Estonia and for the Estonian drivers so many, many thanks to Urmo Aavo and Silver Kütt for making this possible. It’s really hard to do a rally but they have done an amazing job and given us a great chance to prove ourselves.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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· Rally Edition
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