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ERC Newsletter #36/14
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2014 - 02:14 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
ERC Newsletter #36/14

The FIA European Rally Championship’s strapline is Serious Competition Ahead and that was certainly the case on round eight of the all-action season in the Czech Republic when just two-tenths of second decided the battle for the runner-up spot.


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Sepp Wiegand eventually took the place on Barum Czech Rally Zlín ahead of Tomáš Kostka following the final-stage decider but it was a close call as Wiegand acknowledged.

“With second place I am really, really happy especially on the last stage when we won by 0.2s in front of Tomáš Kostka,” said the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver. “It was a surprise after a difficult rally for us but we did no mistake.”

Wiegand’s co-driver Frank Christian added: “I have to say thank you to Tomáš Kostka. He unfortunately lost the second place. It was lucky for us but he was a real sportsman and he congratulate us immediately.”

FIA ERC Junior Championship stars Marijan Griebel and Aleks Zawada both had reason to celebrate on Barum Czech Rally Zlín after they landed their maiden podiums in the Michelin-supported series.

Griebel finished the asphalt event in second place in his ADAC OPEL Rallye Junior Team entry with Zawada close behind for MSZ Racing.

“This result is absolutely amazing on a really nice rally,” said German driver Griebel, who was competing in an OPEL Adam R2. “The speed on day one was good but on day two it was even better and I am completely happy with second place.”

Polish driver Zawada added: “It’s been an awesome rally and thank you to my parents. Without them this would not be possible. Also thanks to my team who really deserved this. The podium is really good motivation for the next round.”

Marco Cavigioli said his 16th Barum Czech Rally Zlín, round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, was one of his hardest. The Italian veteran was competing in a Yokohama-shod Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX but retired the penultimate stage when he went off the road.

Cavigioli, who was chasing ERC Production Car Cup honours, said: “I am happy because I love this rally. But it’s also such an unlucky rally for me. Most of the time I am lucky because I am still in race but from the second stage on Saturday we had a big, big problem with the electronics. The first stage the car was good but in the final of the first stage there was an electronic problem again and in the last two stages it was catastrophic and I cannot drive. The electronic cut and continue to cut and maybe I had less than half power in the car. The objective had been to finish but for sure we will come back to try again next year – Czech Republic is my second country.”

His loyalty to the Tarmac event was rewarded with a key to the city of Zlín prior to last year’s rally.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz described his sixth-place finish on Barum Czech Rally Zlín as a good start to the second half of his FIA European Championship season, which will continue on the Cyprus Rally later this month.

The four-time Polish champion, who drives a Ford Fiesta R5 for the LOTOS Rally Team, was competing on an ERC round for the first time since May’s SATA Rallye Açores. His result, as the second-highest non-Czech driver on the event, means he is now fifth in the ERC points.

Kajetanowicz, who is co-driven by countryman Jarek Baran, said: “It is a good beginning of the second part of the season. I am happy that we could fight with local and factory drivers and after the rally our position in the ERC is satisfying. The whole team performed in excellent way, so big thanks to them. And lots of spectators from Poland made me feel as if I was at home.”

Kajetanowicz will compete next on the Cyprus Rally from 19-21 September. “It’s a different environment, temperatures, road surface and atmosphere,” he said. “These are the next challenges brought to us by the ERC.”

Michelin equipped the top three finishers on Barum Czech Rally Zlín with Václav Pech claiming the company’s sixth win in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship. Michelin’s Hugues Pierron explains just how it was done.

“We had four types of tyre: R01 for rain, R11 when it's cold and damp, R21 is a medium compound and R31 for warm conditions. Most of the drivers have been choosing the R21, the medium compound for high-speed sections and also for damp sections in the forest. Most of the drivers stayed with the R21, but they have spare wheels fitted with R11 or R01. The drivers prefer to take some extra weight in the car and maybe they won't use the spares, which would have been used in case of rain. In case it would be raining hard, they would use the R01.

“We collaborate closely with our partners to stay in touch with the evolution of cars and rules, in order to present them with competitive and durable tyres. We discuss with engineers and drivers. Afterwards we have a debriefing to evaluate if the tyres were suitable for the stages, but there's always the weather and that we can't control.”

Michelin is also the official tyre partner of the FIA ERC Junior Championship.

Three-time British champion Mark Higgins returned to FIA European Rally Championship action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín and impressed in JRM’s all-new Subaru WRX STI, scoring three class stage bests before an electrical issued forced his exit on the final morning.

A great start but then a disappointing end…
“The brief was to get the car to the finish and not do anything silly, but the whole package was working incredibly well on the first day and that allowed us to push our way up the leaderboard to second place and 15th overall. We’re all disappointed that we didn’t get to finish the job we started but I really enjoyed the car and I think this event has shown the performance gain that can be had from the newest Group N car to be introduced to the class. Running second in the ERC – on the car’s first-ever event – is something we can all be proud of.”

What was the car like to drive?
“We seemed to lose a bit in the point and squirt stuff because it’s a big car. We’re just getting the feel of it, learning and making a few changes. It’s a long way to go and we have to look at it as getting this one under our belt and going from there. The first time we drove the car was on shakedown but the guys have done a good job and it’s a lovely package. It will be a great Group N car, it looks different and is nice to have something a bit new.”

How pleased were you with your own performance?
“I was very happy. We were able to push hard but we’re up against R4 cars and local heroes so I say ‘let them come to the Isle of Man where I’m from and I’ll get them back!’ We had a moment on one stage when we filled the rear wheel with mud. It got on a bit of loose gravel and the back dropped into a ditch so it could have been a lot worse. But we still set a good time and I really enjoyed the rally.”

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

Related links
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· More about WRC Rally News 2010

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