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ERC Newsletter #47/15

19 November 2015

ERC champion gives 2016 calendar seal of approval

The new FIA European Rally Champion, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, has given his seal of approval to the 2016 ERC calendar. Together with co-driver Jarek Baran, ‘Kajto’ became the first Polish driver in 18 years to lift the ERC title, after scoring three wins and seven podiums this year. The LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 driver also set a top three fastest time on 88% of the stages he started. “I fell in love with FIA ERC because rounds of this championship are so diverse,” says Kajto. “This is particularly great for every driver, not only the young ones, because variety of conditions boosts development of their skills. This way drivers can improve their performance on many different kinds of Tarmac, gravel and in tricky winter conditions. What is more, there is a good balance between rallies run on loose surfaces and rounds held on paved roads. The two new events – Rally Islas Canarias, which returns to the ERC, and championship-newcomer Rajd Rzeszowski – will definitely add a thrilling and tempting perspective.”

ERC Circuit of Ireland promises to be even bigger and better

Now established as one of the top five sporting events in Northern Ireland, next year’s Circuit of Ireland Rally (7-9 April) is gearing up to be an even bigger and better event in 2016. Following another hugely successful year when spectator numbers increased by 7% to over 78,000 and the direct economic impact for Northern Ireland was recorded at £1.8 million, the 2016 Circuit of Ireland will not only be once again part of the prestigious FIA European Rally Championship but has also been selected for inclusion in the 2016 British, Irish Tarmac and Northern Ireland championships. “The past two years have seen the Circuit of Ireland growing in stature and reclaiming its legendary position as a world class event,” said Event Director, Bobby Willis. “It has been a fantastic experience being part of the European Rally Championship. To now be included as part of the British Rally Championship as well, demonstrates our ability to deliver an event of the highest professional and sporting standards.”

Tarabus targets ERC return in ŠKODA Fabia R5

Jaromír Tarabus has confirmed that he will contest next year’s FIA European Rally Championship in a Kresta Racing team ŠKODA Fabia R5. The Czech driver finished fifth in the drivers’ standing this year, after five starts in a Fabia S2000 and one event in a Fabia R5. “The fourth places we scored in Austria, Cyprus and Greece were definitely enjoyable successes,” said Tarabus. “We are happy about the final result of the season, and hope to be able to profit from the experience we have gained next year.”

Sjöberg pays tribute to “amazing” ERC Junior champion

Joakim Sjöberg has paid tribute to the “amazing” talent that is ERC Junior champion Emil Bergkvist – and nobody is better placed than the co-driver to voice an opinion! The Swedish pair dominated the ERC Junior championship, winning the hotly-contested title with three wins and a second place in their ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Adam R2. Their prize was a drive in an R5 car on the Rallye International du Valais, and despite this being Bergkvist’s first event in a four-wheel drive car, he finished fourth in a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 208 T16. “The feeling to put themselves in an R5 car together with Emil is indescribable, the boy has an amazing talent to adapt to any car,” says Sjöberg. “It was the first time Emil drove an R5 car, or any four-wheel drive whatsoever, so his performance was amazing. We didn’t push very hard and didn’t take any risks, because we wanted to complete every kilometre and gain the maximum amount of experience, yet we still achieved a very good result. Emil is born to rally – he is unique.”

Scattolon plans long-term ERC programme

Former Italian Junior Rally Champion Giacomo Scattolon will contest the FIA European Rally Championship next year, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X in the ERC2 category. The 26-year old driver from Voghera has started 47 rallies, finishing 45 of them and scoring 16 class victories. One of his most impressive results came with fifth overall on the 2014 Sanremo Rally in a Peugeot 208 R2. His plan is to move into an R5 car for the 2017 ERC. Co-driven by the experienced Paolo Zanini, Scattolon is planning to contest at least the five asphalt rounds of the 2016 ERC – namely, the Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés (11-13 March), Circuit of Ireland Rally (7-9 April), Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally (23-25 June), Rajd Rzeszowski (5-7 August) and the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (26-28 August).

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Paul Evans
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