30 April 2015: Newsletter #18/15

Entries open for the Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally…

Regulations have been published for round five of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, the Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally.

Following its traditional and much loved challenging two-day format, competition takes place over 17 special stages (nine different) on the fast and flat asphalt roads in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The action begins with seven stages (totalling 83,58 kilometres) on Friday 26 June, starting at 16.15 and finishing well after midnight for many crews. Saturday’s (27 June) leg sees 10 stages (totalling 169,8kms) take place in 10 hours – including two runs over Hollebeke (SS12 and 17) which, at 23,23kms, is the longest of the event. A compact route sees a 50-50 liaison-stage kilometre split.

The start, finish and service area is based in Grote Markt, in the heart of Ypres, and a 4,79km Qualifying Stage – for all ERC registered competitors – will be held on Thursday 25 June, near the village of Nieuwkerke.

Further information, including entry forms, is available from the event’s website: www.ypresrally.com

…and for the auto24 Rally Estonia

Regulations have also been published for round six of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, auto24 Rally Estonia.

The extremely popular fast gravel rally will start on Friday 17 July with a ceremonial start and City Stage in Tartu – the second largest city in Estonia, behind the political and financial capital, Tallinn. From there until the finish in Tartu, the event runs out of the southern town of Otepää, with rally headquarters and the service park located at the Tehvandi Sport Centre.

The event contains 16 special stages, covering 202,86 kilometres. The vast majority of the competition takes place on Saturday and Sunday (18-19 July), with Saturday’s stages accounting for more than twice the competitive distance of the other two days combined.

The auto24 Rally Estonia is a round of the ERC Junior and ERC Gravel Master championships.

Further information is available at: www.rallyestonia.com

Filip returns to the ERC

Alex Filip will begin a new FIA European Rally Championship campaign on the next round of the series, SATA Rallye Açores (4-6 June).

Co-driven by Bogdan Iancu, the double Romanian 2WD champion will drive a Renault Clio in Azores, Barum Czech Rally Zlín (28-30 August) and Rallye International du Valais (30 October-1 November). Since his last appearance in the ERC, Filip has extended his partnership with Orange, Renault, Michelin, BCR Leasing and Mobil 1, as well as attracting a new sponsor Rombat, the Romanian vehicle battery maker.

In a busy season, Filip will also contest the Romanian National Championship – as well as a number of biathlons, triathlons and the Bucharest half marathon, as he prepares himself physically for an Iron Man competition next year!

ERC Junior star Ingram tests Peugeot 208 T16

Peugeot UK star driver Chris Ingram has tested a Peugeot 208 T16.

The 20-year old Manchester-based pilot, who drives a Peugeot 208 R2 in the FIA European Junior Rally Championship, tested the 208 T16 on a section of Col de l’Echarrason, a Rallye Monte Carlo stage near St Jean en Royans.

“My first thoughts were that the Peugeot 208 T16 seemed extremely fast looking out of the side windows! But it actually felt very easy and comfortable to drive at a decent pace,” said Ingram. “I imagine getting the last few tenths out of the car must be the key, and hopefully one day in the near future I will get the chance to compete in the 208 T16 in anger.

“My aim is to have a successful season in the ERC Junior championship and hopefully make my debut in the Peugeot 208 T16 towards the end of the season. I’m sure the T16 would look stunning wearing the Union Flag colours!”

A video of the test can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/peugeotuk/videos/10153281996334883/?pnref=story

Driver profile: Ralfs Sirmacis

It’s been a great 2015 so far for Ralfs Sirmacis – third in the ERC Junior standings after two strong rounds, Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy winner at Rally Liepāja and yesterday he celebrated his 21st birthday. The young Latvian driver is highly regarded as a future rally star, with three R2 titles and a number of junior crowns in the LMT Autosport Academy. This year he has ventured outside Latvia for his first international rally programme, driving a Sports Racing Technologies Peugeot 208 R2 – and, together with co-driver Artūrs Šimins, is a dark horse for victory on the gravel stages of SATA Rallye Açores (4-6 June).