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ERC Newsletter #34/14
Posted by: newsla on Aug 21, 2014 - 03:00 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #34/14

A total of 121 crews have entered round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The huge turnout underlines the popularity of the ERC and the all-asphalt showcase, which takes place for a 44th time from 29-31 August.


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Craig Breen is the top seed in a Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16 and is one of 24 drivers competing for honours in the headlining RC2 category. Ott Tänak, who like Breen is an ERC event winner in 2014, is the second seed at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5. Esapekka Lappi, whose two wins in 2014 have propelled him to the top of the ERC standings, is seeded third for ŠKODA Motorsport.

Czech champion Václav Pech (MINI John Cooper Works S2000) is the fourth seed with Kevin Abbring next up for Peugeot Rally Academy. LOTOS Rally Team’s four-time Polish title winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz is seeded sixth on his first ERC start since mid-May. Sepp Wiegand (ŠKODA Fabia S2000) is the seventh seed with Bruno Magalhães seeded eighth on his first ERC start in a 208T16.

Roman Kresta, who announced his retirement after finishing fifth in Zlín last season, will tackle his first full rally since calling time on his driving career and is seeded ninth in his self-run Fabia S2000. Irishman Robert Barrable is the 10th seed in a Fiesta R5.

The ERC Production Car Cup, ERC 2WD Championship, ERC Junior Championship and ERC Ladies’ Trophy are also big on numbers with the respective title leaders – Vitaliy Pushkar, Zoltán Bessenyey, Jan Černý and Ekaterina Stratieva all due to contest the 15-stage event. Click here for a copy of the full entry list.

The entry list for round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, has been published and here are some of the key numbers.

121: Barum Czech Rally Zlín organisers have accepted entries from 121 crews for round eight of the 2014 ERC season.
16: Confirmation of Marco Cavigoli’s entry will mean the Italian will tackle his 16th Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
2003: Triple British champion Mark Higgins starts Barum Czech Rally Zlín for the first time since 2003.
25: A total of 25 different nations will be represented on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
1: Bruno Magalhães will make his first start in the ERC in a Peugeot 208T16.
3: Roman Kresta, who will start his first full rally in 12 months after he reversed his decision to call time on his driving career, has won Barum Czech Rally Zlín three times. His new co-driver Petr Starý is a two-time winner of the event.
13: There will be 13 ERC Juniors competing on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
8: Barum Czech Rally Zlín will mark French ace Robert Consani’s eighth start in this year’s ERC.
3: All three R5 cars currently eligible for competition – Citroën DS3 R5, Ford Fiesta R5 and Peugeot 208T16 – will be in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
2: Czech singer and actress Olga Lounová and actor David Suchařípa will bring the number of show business celebrities contesting Barum Czech Rally Zlín to two.

ADAC OPEL Rallye Junior Team driver Marijan Griebel will go from wowing his home fans on Germany’s round of the world championship this week to taking the fight to his FIA ERC Junior Championship rivals when he contests Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 29-31 August.

The 25-year-old, winner of the 2013 ADAC OPEL Rallye Junior Cup in Germany, came close to a podium on his last ERC Junior appearance in Ypres in June at the wheel of an OPEL Adam R2. He hopes the Czech event will mark his first finish in the highly competitive young driver-training category, a new addition to the ERC for 2014.

“I hope I will arrive in Zlín in good shape,” said Griebel. “After the Ypres Rally I had no rallying for a few weeks. During this time I tried to achieve my fitness with a new coach from Austria. Because of Rallye Deutschland I can’t have a special test for Barum, but I have seen a lot of onboard videos, and I think the rally with it’s fast and bumpy roads is a bit similar to some German special stages, so we should have quite a good set-up, too.”

Barum Czech Rally Zlín is Griebel’s third appearance in ERC Junior. His target is simple: “The championship points don’t matter for me. I want to show again the OPEL Adam R2 is a really good car, set some good stage times and reach the finish line.”

Griebel is one of 13 ERC Juniors in action in the Czech Republic. A total of 121 drivers will contest the eighth round of the European championship season.

Mark Higgins is more than just a contender for FIA ERC Production Car Cup honours on Barum Czech Rally Zlín – he’s appeared in two James Bond movies as a stunt driver.

The three-time British rally champion has performed stunt-driving duties in the films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. However, he says piloting his JRM Subaru WRX STi in the Czech Republic from 29-31 August will be a world away from his other job.

“When you’re rallying you've got you, your co-driver and your pace notes and away you go,” Higgins told Redbull.com. “Doing [stunt driving], you’ve got hundreds of people around you and you’re working to a camera, not a clock. It’s really interesting and a very good experience.”

Higgins, who is also a highly-respected test driver, explained how he got his break in the movies: “There was a quarry scene in Quantum of Solace and the ideal choice was to bring in a rally driver for the gravel-driving scene. I got asked and it went from there. We spent three months on that film and then got asked back to do Skyfall, which was great. In the meantime, we did Fast & Furious 6.”

Higgins is due to tackle three ERC events for the British JRM squad, which is using the European championship to showcase its all-new Subaru WRX STi.

Robert Barrable has put his absence from the FIA European Rally Championship to good use by getting engaged.

Barrable will start his first competitive event since finishing in third place on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally four months ago when he tackles Barum Czech Rally Zlín in a Ford Fiesta R5. During his time away from competition, as well as keeping up his fitness programme, the 26-year-old Irishman asked his girlfriend, Olivia Leavy, to marry him.

Co-driven by Stuart Loudon in his Tunnock’s-backed entry, Barrable has competed in Zlín on two previous occasions and finished fifth there in 2012.

Factory ŠKODA drivers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand will preserve a long-standing record if either one of them can win Barum Czech Rally Zlín next week.

ŠKODA Motorsport hasn’t been defeated on its home round of the FIA European Rally Championship since it unleashed its Fabia Super 2000. And here’s the proof:

2013: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
2012: Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
2011: Jan Kopecký/Petr Starý (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
2010: Freddy Loix/Frédéric Miclotte (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
2009: Jan Kopecký/Petr Starý (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)

Twelve months after calling time on his driving career, Roman Kresta is back in the FIA European Rally Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

The hugely popular Czech driver, whose Kresta Racing team runs Jaromír Tarabus in the ERC, will drive a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 under the Adell Mogul Racing Team banner.

Kresta, a three-time winner of the event, has recruited Jan Kopecký’s former navigator Petr Starý for the all-asphalt contest and will start as the ninth seed. Petr Gross previously partnered Kresta but has now linked up with another Kresta Racing driver, Robert Adolf, who will also be competing in Zlín.

Several drivers will be using experience gained from competing in the FIA European Rally Championship when they contest the WRC-counting Rallye Deutschland this week.

Sam Moffett, a stage winner on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally in April, is one such driver with the Irishman due to contest the headlining RC1 class in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

“I really enjoyed competing on the Circuit of Ireland against professional drivers this year as part of the European Rally Championship and it’s given me the confidence,” said the 24-year-old.

Moffett’s fellow Irishman Craig Breen will also be competing in Germany ahead of his return to ERC action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín the following week with the Peugeot Rally Academy. Breen has recovered from a back injury sustained in a heavy landing during Finland’s WRC counter earlier this month.

Rising German star Sepp Wiegand has impressed in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship. The ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver spoke to Fiaerc.com.

Five appearances, two podiums and second in the standings: how pleased are you with your ERC season so far?
“I think that we did the very best with our possibilities so I am quite happy! Second place in the actual standings is good for us.”

What's the most important thing you have learned this year?
“The trust in myself. Sometimes it’s really difficult to know where you are with not so much rallies and only sometimes a pre-event test. But we saw during the season that we have a good speed with not so much driving. Sometimes it’s better to drive clever than crazy.”

ŠKODA’s home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, is next. What result can you achieve there?
“I expect the local Czech drivers to be very fast because they know the road quite much and the Czech Tarmac is also very special! But I think we can do some good times and maybe we can finish on the podium. I want to have good points for the championship as well.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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