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ERC Newsletter #48/15

26 November 2015

Lukyanuk’s ERC Estonia win nominated for FIA Action of the Year

Alexey Lukyanuk’s dramatic two-wheel moment on the final corner of the 2015 auto24 Rally Estonia has been nominated for the FIA Action of the Year award. Within sight of the finish line, Lukyanuk put his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X high up on two wheels. Despite this, the Russian driver still manages to wave to the crowd, as he skilfully avoids rolling and instead scores his first ERC victory. The amazing footage, captured by the Eurosport cameras, is one of nine spectacular video clips nominated for the FIA Action of the Year – the others coming from F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX, Formula E, European F3 and Karting. To cast your vote, please go to #FIAAction #VoteforERC

ERC2 champion moves up to a Citroën DS3 R5

ERC2 champion Dávid Botka has bought a Citroën DS3 R5 for the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship. The rapid Hungarian driver won three out of the last four rounds to clinch the ERC2 title in a dramatic final round showdown. After a highly successful season behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, Botka will return to the ERC next year with his sights on overall success. Botka will debut the Citroën on the forthcoming Santa Claus Rally in Hungary.

Tlusťák considers R5 options for 2016 ERC

Antonín Tlusťák, who contested all 10 rounds of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000, is planning to move to an R5 car in 2016 – but he hasn’t decided whether it will be a Ford Fiesta R5 or a ŠKODA Fabia R5 yet. The Czech driver recently drove a Fabia R5 to victory on a small rallysprint called The Most Rallysprint Exhibition. That car is owned by Mark Wallenwein, and is the same Fabia R5 that Tomas Kostka drove on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. "The R5 category is the future of rallysport for privateers,” said Tlusťák. “We are doing maximum for having R5 car for next year. In the last few years we were starting with ŠKODA, so for us it should be easier to continue with the same brand, but there is also a possibility to buy a Ford Fiesta R5. We will see in the next weeks."

Greensmith aims for ERC Circuit of Ireland return

Gus Greensmith is aiming to return to the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2016, after making an impressive FIA European Rally Championship debut on the event earlier this year. The 2014 British Junior rally champion made a fantastic start on the Circuit of Ireland and was up to fifth on his ERC Junior debut when he skidded his Ford Fiesta R2 into a ditch. It highlighted the 18-year old Englishman’s huge potential, and indeed in 2015 he went on to become the youngest ever Drive-DMACK Fiesta Trophy rookie champion. “My plans are set firm for the Drive-DMACK Fiesta Trophy in 2016, but this still leaves the Circuit of Ireland as a possible extra rally,” said Greensmith. “It's a rally I enjoy and I would like to do again. It’s definitely on my wish list!”

Niinemäe aims for ERC Junior programme

Estonian youngster Miko Niinemäe hopes to contest the FIA European Junior Rally Championship next season, having finished third on his ERC Junior debut on his home round of the series this year. The Peugeot 208 R2 driver looked set to finish second in Estonia, until a crankshaft sensor problem cut the engine on the final stage, costing him a position. “I will try to manage competing in ERC Juniors next season,” said Niinemäe. “I only did one rally this year, but it was great working with the whole ERC team.”

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Paul Evans
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