BACK ON TRACK: MAGALHÃES RARING FOR ERC START AFTER INJURY
A fully recovered Bruno Magalhães says there’s no reason why he can't begin his 2018 FIA European Rally Championship campaign in the Azores this week (22-24 March) by repeating the shock victory he scored on São Miguel 12 months ago. Despite being a two-time winner of the Azores Airlines Rallye, Magalhães wasn’t expected to pose a significant threat last season having not competed on gravel for two years. But he defied the odds to register an unlikely triumph that would ultimately lead to him challenging Kajetan Kajetanowicz for the title until his event-ending crash on Rally Liepāja left him with back injuries and forced him to settle for the runner-up spot in the standings. Click here for full story.
RFEDA MAKES LLARENA’S ERC JUNIOR DREAM COME TRUE
New ERC Junior Under 27 recruit Efrén Llarena has spoken about how the support of the Rally Team Spain initiative has enabled him to take the step up from national to international level for this season’s FIA European Rally Championship. Llarena won Spain’s Beca Júnior R2 title in 2017, which carried a funded drive in ERC Junior U27 this season as its top prize through the support of the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA). Click here for full story.
KREIM BEGINS ERC JUNIOR U28 BID THINKING OF INDIA
Fabian Kreim will look to his outing on the Asia-Pacific championship-counting Coffee Day India Rally in 2016 when he begins his ERC Junior U28 bid on the Azores Airlines Rallye. That’s because the Indian event marked the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver’s last competitive outing on grave ahead of this week’s all-gravel contest in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Click here for the full story.
R5 BIDS FOR ERC JUNIOR EXPERIENCE GRADUATES MAREŠ, BEDORET
Two ERC Junior Experience training programme graduates, Sébastien Bedoret and Filip Mareš, have both been handed huge opportunities for 2018. Mareš will contest the Czech championship in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 backed by Autoklub of the Czech Republic, with Bedoret being handpicked by rallying royalty Freddy Loix to compete in Belgium with support from his country’s ŠKODA importer. Click here for full story.
SESKS TO OVERCOME NERVES IN ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27
Mārtiņš Sesks admits his lack of knowledge of his Opel ADAM R2 is making him a “little nervous” as he prepares for his Azores Airlines Rallye debut. The Latvian, a product of the ERC Junior Experience, has been handed a dream opportunity for his first full season of FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship action by signing for the triple title-winning ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team. Click here for full story.
VITA CONTINUES FAMILY TRADITION IN ERC JUNIOR
There will be no shortage of parental guidance for Mattia Vita when he embarks on his maiden international campaign in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in 2018. Vita’s father won the Targa Florio during his successful career as a rally driver, while his mother was a co-driver in the past. His own career has been varied with stints in karting and Formula 3, making the asphalt rounds of ERC Junior particularly attractive for the 21-year-old, who has never competed on gravel before. Click here for full story.
ALONSO ABOARD FOR ANOTHER ERC ADVENTURE
Juan Carlos Alonso is hoping he can be competitive against the established ERC2 stars when he returns to the FIA European Rally Championship. Alonso embarked on a three-event ERC2 campaign in 2016. His comeback will begin on the Azores Airlines Rallye with fellow Argentine Juan Pablo Monasterolo co-driving his RMC Motorsport-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Click here for full story.
HABAJ STRIVES FOR THE ERC TOP FIVE
Łukasz Habaj plans to make the most of the experience he gained in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2017 when strives to finish in the top five in this season’s standings. The former Polish champion is targeting a seven-event campaign from the Azores Airlines Rallye. Click here for full story.
MONTEIRO REVEALS ERC COLOURS, PLOTS AZORES FINISH
Aloísio Monteiro is targeting experience over silverware on the FIA European Rally Championship season opener. And this is the car in which he’ll being doing exactly that. Monteiro, who will be co-driven on the Azores Airlines Rallye by fellow Portuguese André Couceiro, is graduating to a top-of-the-range ŠKODA Fabia R5 for what he hopes will be an expanded number of events in 2018. Click here for full story.