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ERC Newsletter #42/15

16 October 2015

New ERC champion receives a hero’s welcome at home

Kajetan Kajetanowicz received a hero’s welcome when the 2015 FIA European Rally Champion arrived back home in Poland after winning the title at the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally. Co-driven by Jarek Baran, Kajetanowicz only needed a steady run to the finish in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 in Greece to secure the ERC title, but he became European champion style – winning the event, setting fastest times on half of the event's stages and scoring 38 out of possible 39 points! Kajetanowicz has scored points on every rally he has contested this year, recording seven podium places in eight rounds and winning the Jännerrallye, Cyprus Rally and the Acropolis Rally. This consistency was paired with impressive pace on the special stages, finishing 104 out of 117 stages in the top three and recording 45 stage wins. Kajetanowicz is also the 2015 ERC Ice Master and ERC Gravel Master. “Probably several long days have to pass until I fully understand what we have achieved together with the whole LOTOS Rally Team,” said an emotional Kajto. “As you might imagine, winning the European Rally Championship after victory in the Acropolis Rally is absolutely terrific. My voice cracks because right now I am thinking about my parents who have always believed in me, they were and they are with me. I want to say thank you to every person who has not doubted that we could achieve this and supported us on so many – also those very difficult – stages of our road to the European Rally Championship title.”

ERC Junior champion Bergkvist to pilot prize-drive R5 in Valais

The 2015 ERC Junior champion, Emil Bergkvist, will make his title-winning prize-drive R5 debut on the Rallye International du Valais (29-31 October), when he contests the final round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship in a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 208 T16. Co-driven by fellow Swede Joakim Sjöberg, the 21-year old driver from Torsåker was a worthy winner of this year’s ERC Junior championship, and against very strong international opposition took his Opel Adam R2 to three victories (Rally Liepāja, Circuit of Ireland and Barum Czech Rally Zlín). He secured the title with second place on the penultimate round of the series, auto24 Rally Estonia. “We are thrilled by the big chance to drive an R5 car at Rallye du Valais,” said Emil. “I am sure it will be as much of a challenge as big fun. A big ‘thank you’ to Opel for making this happen. It’s a reward for what we achieved together in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team. We really appreciate this sign of respect and trust.”

Junior prize-drive highlights ERC spirit, says series co-ordinator

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the Eurosport Event’s ERC Co-ordinator, says that giving Opel Motorsport driver Emil Bergkvist an amazing ERC Junior title-winning prize-drive in a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 208 T16 highlights the fantastic spirit and co-operation that is within the ERC. “We are delighted to organise such a fantastic prize-drive for Emil Bergkvist, our worthy 2015 ERC Junior champion,” said Jean-Baptiste. “The collaboration between Eurosport Events, Opel Motorsport and Saintéloc Racing shows the great spirit that is within the ERC, and how organisations can pull together to make something very special happen to promote a young and very talented rally driver. We look forward to seeing Emil and Joakim Sjöberg on the challenging Valais stages, and fans will be able to see how they get on in Switzerland on Eurosport TV and on various channels in 160 countries around the world.”

Breen the worthy Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy winner

He was the fastest driver on this year’s SEAJETS Acropolis Rally. He pushed hard during the night stage, despite handling issues. He pushed hard in the mud on SS6, despite the open bonnet blocking his view. And he might have won the event, had the final three stages not been cancelled because of extreme weather. So, there was no doubting that Craig Breen was a very worthy winner of the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy in Greece. “I’m really happy to receive the award,” said Breen, after being presented with the trophy by ERC Sporting Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas. “It’s a bit of a shock to be honest. I would like to think we had a little bit of fighting spirit in this rally. Even last night I said to Scott ‘that’s a bit of a McRae style’. The rear of our car was toed in. We managed to fix one side, and we drove the whole of the night stage in crabbing mode. Again today, with the bonnet open we kept on fighting. I wasn’t expecting the award for a moment so I’m very humbled to receive it.”

Athanassoulas gives ERC privateer prize money to charity

A very generous Lambros Athanassoulas gave his ERC European Rally Championship privateer prize money away to charity after the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver won €5000, and gave the money to the local Social Market Shop – which collects food, clothes and money and gives it back to people who need it most. “We wanted to give this money back and help people in need during this very difficult economic situation,” said Athanassoulas. The seven privateer drivers who were presented with the cheques by ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley at the finish in Loutraki were:

First position: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (€7000)
Second position: Lambros Athanassoulas (€5000)
Third position: Jaromír Tarabus (€3000)
Fourth position: Dávid Botka (€2000)
Fifth position: Raul Jeets (€1000)
Sixth position: Dominykas Butvilas (€1000)
Seventh position: Antonín Tlusťák (€1000)

- 12 Daysrallye international du valais 
switzerland ASPHALT

Media accreditation & informations

Rallye international du Valais 
29-31 October 2015

Media planning to attend the Rallye International du Valais (29-31 October) and not in possession of an ERC Permanent Press Credential must apply for media accreditation via the event website: ERC Permanent Press Credential holders planning to attend the event must confirm their attendance by emailing All TV and Radio enquiries must be addressed to Antonios Argyropoulos by emailing:

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Paul Evans
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