Fantastic entry for ERC finale in RALLYE DU Valais
A fantastic entry for the final round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, Rallye International du Valais (29-31 October), has been received, with no fewer than seven different types of ERC1 cars – including FIVE Peugeot 208 T16s! The R5 Peugeots will be driven by Craig Breen, Bryan Bouffier, Bruno Magalhães, top Swiss seed Jonathan Hirschi and ERC Junior champion Emil Bergkvist. Alexey Lukyanuk and Raul Jeets will each drive a Ford Fiesta R5, Miroslav Jakes has entered a Citroën DS3 R5, Nikolay Gryazin will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 and Antonín Tlusťák will be at the wheel of his familiar Fabia S2000. Florian Gonon, who claimed a dominant ERC Production Car Cup victory last year in a Subaru, returns in a Peugeot 207 S2000, while eight-time Valais winner Olivier Burri will drive a Citroën DS3 RRC. A total of 90 crews have entered the event, among which 80 will compete in the last rounds of the European and Swiss rally championships.
Russian teenager plans full ERC season in Fabia R5
Russian teenage sensation Nikolay Gryazin will make his debut in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 on next week’s Rallye International du Valais (29-31 October), ahead of a full FIA European Rally Championship programme next year in the car. Nikolay only turned 18 on October 7th, but he has already gained a lot of motorsport experience and is hotly tipped to be future rally star. Last year Nikolay raced a Peugeot 208 in the Russian Touring Car Championship, and this year he contested the Latvian Rally Championship – finishing second to Sports Racing Technologies team-mate Ralfs Sirmacis in the R2 category in an identical 208.
ERC2 title battle does down to the wire
The ERC2 title will be decided in Switzerland, with Hungary’s hard-charger Dávid Botka and Czech ace Vojtěch Štajf going head-to-head in a Mitsubishi verses Subaru finale. Štajf had led for most of the season in his Subaru Duck Czech National Team Impreza WRX STI, but Botka has outscored him on the last four rallies to head the category by 18-points going into the final round. A change of co-driver and a switch to Pirelli tyres has helped the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driver, and when Štajf missed the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally to honour a long-term commitment to contest the La Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, another win by Botka – his second in three rallies – saw a switch for the lead and the guarantee of an exciting title showdown next week.
Delecour and Porsche set to thrill ERC senses
The sight and sound of François Delecour thundering through the Swiss stages in a Porsche 997 will thrill the senses next week, when the rally legend contests Rallye International du Valais. The final round of the ERC is also the fifth and final round of the inaugural FIA R-GT championship. Delecour has already become FIA R-GT champion, but that’s not going to stop him and co-driver Sabrina de Castelli delighting the spectators with their spectacularly driven Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT rally car.
Final ERC day of 2015 will be thriller
The final day of competition in the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship is set to be a thriller, with two very long and challenging stages to end the Rallye International du Valais. The event starts a week today (Thursday 29 October) from Sion, with the first of 17 stages totalling 233.63 kilometres, while the rally will finish on Saturday (31 October) in Martigny. The event builds up to a dramatic finale, with 32.95kms of competition on Leg 1, 86.02kms on Leg 2 and 114.66kms on Leg 3. The sting in the tale is a blast over the 33.07km Les Cols (Etiez-Charrat) stage on Saturday morning, while the final stage of the event – and the 2015 ERC season – is the challenging 25.15km Col des Planches (Etiez-Arbarey).