ERC big names head to SEAJETS Acropolis Rally next week
All the top six drivers in the FIA European Rally Championship standings will contest next week’s SEAJETS Acropolis Rally (10-11 October), with Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Craig Breen going head-to-head in their fight for the title. Polish ace Kajto leads the series in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 with two rounds to go, but Irishman Breen won the Acropolis Rally last year in his Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16 and will target nothing less than victory again. Russia’s Alexey Lukyanuk (Fiesta R5) and France’s Robert Consani (Citroën DS3 R5) will resume their fight for third place in the ERC, while Portugal’s Bruno Magalhães (Peugeot 208 T16) and Czech Republic’s Jaromír Tarabus (ŠKODA Fabia S2000) will also take part. The strong line up of international stars continues with France’s Charles Martin (Peugeot 208 T16), Estonia’s Raul Jeets (Fiesta R5) and Czech Republic’s Antonín Tlusťák (ŠKODA Fabia S2000). Local driver Lambros Athanassoulas will be a strong contender for victory in his ŠKODA Fabia R5. He’s fast, knows the roads and dominated the FIA Production World Rally Championship category on the Acropolis Rally in 2009. Hungary’s Dávid Botka (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX), Lithuania’s Dominykas Butvilas (Subaru Poland Rally Team Impreza WRX STI) and Greece’s Labros Kyrkos (Mitsubishi) will battle for ERC2 points, while Russian-based model Inessa Tushkanova will be aiming for ERC Ladies’ Trophy points in a Renault Clio RS. A total of 29 crews have entered the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally, which is also a round of the Greek rally championship. 73% of the event will be run on gravel, with 27% of the stages on Tarmac.
Kajetanowicz on a roll heading to Greece
The destiny of the FIA European Rally Championship title is far from decided, but there is little doubt that Kajetan Kajetanowicz is on a fantastic run of form going into the penultimate round of the series. The Polish driver leads the series by 62 points, having scored his second victory – and his sixth podium finish of the season – on the recent CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally in his Pirelli-shod LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5. Co-driven by Jarek Baran, Kajto has also reclaimed the ERC Gravel Master title in Cyprus, to go with the ERC Ice Master title he won early in the year, and has set the fastest time on 42 out of the 99 stages run so far this year.
ERC privateer prize money winners in Cyprus
Seven privateer ERC European Rally Championship drivers were rewarded with big cash wins at the finish of the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally, as 20,000 Euros were given out in the form of prize money by series promoter Eurosport Events.The cheques, presented by ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley, went to:
First position: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (€7000)
Lukyanuk wins Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy in Cyprus
For his truly magnificent never give up spirit, Alexey Lukyanuk received the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy after a problem-filled drive on the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally. Having set the fastest time on the event’s opening stage, the Russian driver then had power steering problems (for almost 100kms), broken rear roll bars, an engine misfire and finally broken rear shock absorbers on his Russian Performance Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5. Yet, despite all these problems, the Russian driver never gave up and finished fifth overall! ERC Sporting Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas presented him with the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy. Lukyanuk has confirmed that he will appear on both the remaining rounds of the 2015 ERC – next week’s Acropolis Rally (10-11 October) and the Rallye International du Valais (30 October-1 November).
ERC2 title fight wide open
The ERC2 title is unlikely to be decided until the final round of the series, as Vojtěch Štajf and Dávid Botka are separated by just five points going into the final two rounds. Botka had provisionally won the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally, temporarily giving the Hungarian Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driver a three point lead in the series. However, a misunderstanding regarding tyre allocation saw him receive a two minute penalty in Cyprus, which dropped him to second on the event. Vojtěch Štajf still leads the ERC2 category, but the Subaru Czech National Team driver will miss next week’s SEAJETS Acropolis Rally, as he is contesting the La Carrera Panamericana. So Botka has another chance to take the lead in Greece next week, meaning the title cannot be decided until the ERC2 shootout on the Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland (30 October-1November).