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ERC Newsletter #45/15

5 November 2015

2016 FIA European Rally Championship calendar

The provisional 10-round calendar for the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship has been presented to the FIA Rally Commission, with the series maintaining its perfect balance of five Tarmac and five loose-surface events (including one on snow). Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, has ensured there are no clashes with WRC events and has introduced two new rallies for 2016, in Canarias and Poland. There is at least a three week gap between each ERC event, and four to five weeks between the furthest island rallies. The competitive distance for each event will be between 200-230 kilometres, there will be a limit on the number of tyres which are allowed, while further cost-saving measures include generous logistical assistance to help competitors contest the events in Canarias, Azores and Cyprus. The ERC Junior championship will retain the same six rounds that it did in 2015. The full 2016 ERC calendar story is on

2016 ERC calendar (provisional)
5-7 February….Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel/ice/snow)
11-13 March….Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt)
7-9 April….Circuit of Ireland Rally (asphalt)
6-8 May….SEAJETS Acropolis Rally (Greece, gravel)
2-4 June….SATA Rallye Açores (Portugal, gravel)
23-25 June….Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally (Belgium, asphalt)
15-17 July….auto24 Rally Estonia (gravel)
5-7 August….Rajd Rzeszowski (Poland, asphalt)
26-28 August….Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt)
24-25 September….Cyprus Rally (gravel/asphalt)

Lukyanuk takes Valais win after exciting ERC finale

Alexey Lukyanuk won the final round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, Rallye International du Valais, in his Russian Performance Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 by 1m20.6s, after Craig Breen was given a post-event two-minute penalty. Breen had driven brilliantly, leading the spectacular Swiss asphalt event from start to finish in his Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16. Unfortunately, a genuine mistake saw him leave service with 20 marked Michelin tyres instead of the allocated 18, and the penalty dropped him to second place, denying him his fourth ERC win of the season. For Lukyanuk it was his second win of 2015, and his first major win on Tarmac, securing the talented Russian driver third place in the final ERC driver standings, behind champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Breen. OIivier Burri came home top Swiss driver in third in his Citroën DS3 RRC.

Star drive from ERC Junior champion Bergkvist

One, if not the, star drives of the Rallye International du Valais came from Emil Bergkvist – who finished fourth on his first rally in a four-wheel drive car. Co-driven by Joakim Sjöberg, the 21-year old Swede made full use of his opportunity to show the world his amazing potential, having been released from his Opel Motorsport contract for one week to enable him to take up his ERC Junior prize-drive in a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 208 T16. “It was a really good rally, everything went according to plan,” said Bergkvist. “We improved all the time. It was not so easy to do this rally for the first time, and also in an R5 car. I am really happy.”

Lukyanuk takes top ERC privateer prize money in Valais

Alexey Lukyanuk took home the top ERC privateer prize money award at the Rallye International du Valais, picking up a cheque for 7,000 Euros. Florian Gonon was rewarded with 5,000 Euros, while Nikolay Gryazin received 3,000 Euros. The cheques, presented at the finish ceremony by ERC Branding Manager Daniel Zanchetta, where give to:

First position: Alexey Lukyanuk (€7000)
Second position: Florian Gonon (€5000)
Third position: Nikolay Gryazin (€3000)
Fourth position: Dávid Botka (€2000)
Fifth position: Bruno Magalhães (€1000)
Sixth position: Tibor Érdi (€1000)

Q&A with Dávid Botka 

The exciting battle for the ERC2 title went down to the final round, with a truly fantastic second half of the season seeing Dávid Botka overtake arch rival Vojtěch Štajf and become champion. caught up with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driver, following his triumphant return home to Hungary.

You've had a great battle all season with Vojtěch Štajf. Did you think halfway through the year that you would overtake him and win the title?
“Yes, we had a great battle with Vojtěch, right up to the end of the season. He was better on Tarmac and we were better on the gravel events. We were waiting intently for the Barum Rally because this was a Tarmac rally and this was also his home rally, but finally we could win on this event and we were very happy. We didn't think halfway through the year that this fight will be easy for the first title in ERC2, but we decided we will try to do our best to get this title.”

You won three out of the last four rounds of ERC2. What made the difference in those events?
“From the technical side we changed the tyres to Pirelli. We also changed the fuel to Carless, and with this fuel we could run a more advanced ignition system, which meant more torque. We learned a lot about how to make good pace notes from just two recce runs and I learned to trust these pace notes during the stages. At the beginning it was really strange how we can make a well and exact pace note only from two recce runs per stage, especially because we had never been on any of these rallies in the last seasons. Sometimes, we had not even been to the countries where the rallies took place before!”

What, apart from clinching the ERC2 title, has been your 2015 highlight?
“On the Acropolis Rally we set two third overall fastest times on two stages – we are proud of those stage performances and stage results.”

What are your plans for 2016?
“An R5 car. We are working hard on this project and we hope we can find a solution to buy an R5 car for the 2016 season!”

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Paul Evans
Mobile: +44 (0)7710 743 167


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