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ERC Newsletter #31/14
Posted by: newsla on Jul 31, 2014 - 02:57 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #31/14

Peugeot Rally Academy aces Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen will face up to the serious competition ahead in the FIA European Rally Championship when they contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 29-31 August.


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Abbring, a podium finisher and multiple stage winner in this year's ERC with a Peugeot 208T16, took a class victory on the asphalt event in 2010, while ERC Acropolis Rally victor Breen last competed in Zlín in 2011, when he finished seventh overall.

Both drivers were out of luck on their last ERC appearance in Ypres last month so will be aiming for a change of fortune when they compete in Czech Republic next month with their R5 machines.

The battle to be the ERC Asphalt Master on Barum Czech Rally Zlín is set to be an exciting fight with the current top four all set to tackle round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Along with the ERC Gravel Master and ERC Ice Master, the ERC Asphalt Master is a new initiative from European championship promoter Eurosport Events for 2014, to recognise surface specialists competing in the ERC.

Points are awarded on a scale of 10-6-4-2-1 for each stage. After three scoring opportunities, ŠKODA Motorsport's Esapekka Lappi (pictured) tops the table with 188 points from Peugeot Rally Academy duo Kevin Abbring (165) and Craig Breen (123). Lappi's ŠKODA team-mate, Sepp Wiegand, is next up with 108 points.

Top Pole Kajetan Kajetanowicz, a winner of the Polish championship on four occasions, will resume his bid for FIA European Rally Championship honours on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Driving a Ford Fiesta R5 for the LOTOS Rally Team, Kajetanowicz will be making his debut on the asphalt spectacular from 29-31 August, and will be one of the contenders for a top finish.

The event, which counts as round eight of the ERC season, marks the rapid 35-year-old's first appearance in the European championship since SATA Rallye Açores in May. And following Zlín, Kajetanowicz is planning to contest the remaining three rounds of the ERC in Cyprus, Switzerland and Corsica.

As well as hosting round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is the venue for round five of the new-for-2014 FIA ERC Junior Championship.

Twenty drivers aged 25 and under are registered to score points in the category for R2-specification cars, using control Michelin tyres. They include local hero Jan Černý, who holds a slender title lead despite failing to finish the last two rounds in his Peugeot 208 R2.

Other drivers set for the asphalt encounter are RACB National Team's emerging talent Gino Bux, promising Polish driver Aleks Zawada, Czech autocross convert Tomáš Pospíšilík and rising Norwegian star Petter Kristiansen.

FIA European Rally Championship stars contesting the penultimate round of the season, Rallye International du Valais, will face 260 kilometres of competitive action when the event runs from 23-25 October.

Taking place on mainly asphalt mountain roads in the canton of Valais, close to Lake Geneva, the event enjoys a rich history in the ERC. Current European championship title leader Esapekka Lappi won the event in 2013 driving for ŠKODA Motorsport.

Once again, the event includes service halts in the towns of Sion and event base Martigny in southwest Switzerland, and will be one of the highlights of ERC 2014.

Double Australian champion Eli Evans made a big impression when he made his FIA ERC 2WD Championship debut on auto24 Rally Estonia, winning stages and leading the class, before damage caused by a heavy landing forced him to retire his JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R.

Australia to Estonia - that can't have been easy?
"It took me three flights and 30 hours of travel non-stop to get here but once I arrived the excitement kicked in and I felt fresh for the rally."

How did the opportunity to compete in Estonia come about?
"We've got a great relationship with JAS Motorsport from the Australian championship, and for two years running we won every rally we entered, so it was kind of a thank you gift from JAS."

What was it like competing in your first event in Europe?
"Just walking around the service park gave me butterflies with excitement. Seeing all the cars and drivers was a big step up for me."

Any chance of more ERC rounds in the future?
"I don't want this to be the last time I compete in Europe and the ultimate goal would be the ERC next year but we'll have to see."

How do you keep busy when you're not driving rally cars?
"I'm an electrician by trade back at home in Melbourne. It's my business that I started three years ago. It's going well and if it's successful in the future I plan to send my little son rallying and go and watch him."

And speaking of family, you are not the only Evans family member involved in rallying are you?
"My older brother Simon is a four-time Australian champion and raced for Toyota. I'm not sure if I learned from him but I was always chasing him. I supported him and he supports me now. We always like to see each other do well even if we want to beat each other out on the stages."

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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