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ERC Newsletter #33/14
Posted by: newsla on Aug 14, 2014 - 06:31 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #33/14

While August is traditionally holiday time across much of Europe, for the stars of the FIA European Rally Championship there's no such thing as taking time off.


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With the all-action 2014 ERC season heading to its final four rounds, the focus is very much on the upcoming special stages rather than a trip to the beach.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz (pictured), a podium finisher for the LOTOS Rally Team in the ERC, says: "If we take the word holiday literally, as an extended period of recreation when no work is done, then it does not concern me! Summertime is very busy. I have many commitments with my sponsors; I take part in many road safety events and meetings with journalists. Maybe I will relax with some old friends but I don't need to go anywhere because I live in a beautiful part of Poland. Also, driving in rallies gives me enormous pleasure, so you can say that my whole life is like being on busy holidays as this is what I associate with pleasure."

Like Kajetanowicz, Peugeot Rally Academy's Craig Breen is also too busy to go on holiday: "I've not had a break since 2011. There's always something going on in the background and I can't stop. My life evolves completely around rallying whether it's taking part or watching a rally near my home. I'd rather be on a rally than on holiday any day."

ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland's Sepp Wiegand is no different. "I have lots of things to do with my business to earn money between rallies," says the German. "I am happy when I have a weekend of free time but I cannot think about holidays. My wish is to be busy with rally driving and for this reason I don't need holidays. Hopefully in the future I can do more stages and more testing."

The entry list for Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be published on Monday 18 August and event organisers are promising a huge turnout for round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship.

A mainstay of the ERC since its restructuring in 2004 and for several years beforehand, Barum Czech Rally Zlín regularly attracts big numbers of crews and the 44th running of the asphalt showcase from 29-31 August promises to be no exception.

The entry list will be published at 18:00hrs CET on Monday and will be available at Fiaerc.com.

Jaromír Tarabus and Daniel Trunkát warmed up for Barum Czech Rally Zlín in style with victory on EPLCond Rally Agropa Pačejov last weekend. The FIA European Rally Championship regulars were using the event to prepare for their home round of the ERC from 29-31 August.

Competing in a Kresta Racing-prepared ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, they beat Matthias Kahle and Christian Doerr (ŠKODA Fabia WRC) to victory by 0.3 seconds after winning the final two stages of the Czech Rallysprint event.

"The main aim, which was to get use again to the Tarmac roads, was met with the nice bonus of the first place overall," said Tarabus. "At the end of the rally we went to our maximum, although we certainly did not want to take the risk here. However, as everybody knows, the border between relatively safe driving and taking risk is very thin in competition."

Several other ERC regulars were in action on EPLCond Rally Agropa Pačejov. They included Jaroslav Orsák and Antonín Tlusťák, who finished fourth and 13th overall respectively in their Fabia S2000s, while ERC Junior ace Jan Černý won the R2 category in 18th position at the wheel of his Peugeot 208.

Jan Kopecký, the winner of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, has taken to wearing his overalls in the sauna as he prepares to contest the Malaysian Rally from 16/17 August.

The event in Johor Bahru is famous for its punishing humidity and ambient temperatures that can exceed 40 degrees centigrade. Kopecký, who leads MRF team-mate and defending Asia-Pacific champion Gaurav Gill by 39 points after three rounds, is expecting a tough physical test.

"The tropical temperatures in Malaysia represent a real challenge," said Kopecký, part of the factory ŠKODA Motorsport set-up. "That is why we have been in the sauna - with our racing overalls on - on numerous occasions in recent weeks. That is what the conditions will be like in the cockpit of our Fabia Super 2000 when we are pushing ourselves to the limit on the rally. This way we are doing everything in our power to ensure we are well prepared for this adventure."

To get you in the mood for round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, here are five facts about the event's host city.

1: Zlín might never have prospered had it not been for one Tomáš Bat'a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894 and watched the town flourish into a university city. Bat'a's old office still exists in the city's Building 21, which houses rally HQ.
2: Such is the global appeal of Barum Czech Rally Zlín that 20 nations were represented on last year's event.
3: When it comes to event loyalty, Italian Marco Cavigioli is right up there, with the 2013 edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlín marking his 15th appearance on the rally. He was handed the key to the city in recognition.
4: The event itself, which runs for a 44th time in 2014, has been part of the ERC since 1983 and ever-present since the ERC's restructuring in 2004.
5: As well as hosting a round of the ERC, Zlín is big on culture with the Zlín Municipal Theatre and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra among its many attractions.

Podium finisher Chris Ingram will resume his bid for more ERC Junior glory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month. He spoke to Fiaerc.com.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín is coming up soon. How have you been preparing?
"It looks like a very challenging rally so I have been watching a lot of videos and spent a lot of time in the gym. We will test at the start of the rally week to get confidence."

So you have no knowledge of the event?
"Unfortunately not and the rally looks very different to anything else I've done before. But it was a similar story in Açores and that turned out well when we finished second in ERC Junior, so I'm not too worried about it."

What result can you achieve?
"It will be difficult to beat local hero Jan Černý but anything can happen in our sport. There is still a chance we could win the ERC Junior Championship so we have to push hard."

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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