Lukyanuk confirms maiden Cyprus Rally appearance
Alexey Lukyanuk will contest the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally (25-27 September) for the first time in his Ford Fiesta R5. Co-driven by fellow Russian Alexey Arnautov, Lukyanuk will arrive in great form, having scored 62 points with a win and a fourth-place finish on the last two rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship, which has moved him into a strong third position in the series. Lukyanuk is able to contest the Cyprus Rally thanks to the continued support of Russian Performance Motorsport, the Czech H-Racing team and Pirelli tyres. The event could throw open the battle for the ERC title, as ERC leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz (LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5) is also expected to contest the event, while Cyprus is not part of second-placed Craig Breen’s (Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16) programme.
All aboard, as 90 guests attend SEAJETS Acropolis Rally press conference
Ninety guests boarded a SEAJETS Champion Jet2 boat in Greece this week for the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally press conference, which announced more details of what promises to be a fantastic penultimate round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship. The press conference, which was attended by 60 journalists and 30 VIPs and officials, was the perfect time to officially welcome SEAJETS as the event’s title sponsor and to outline what will be a typically challenging and exciting Acropolis Rally route. Following what is sure to be a spectacular ceremonial start at the Acropolis in Athens (10 October), crews will go straight into the opening stage – the massive 43.41 kilometre SEAJETS Kineta-Loutraki test. Following service in Loutraki, the second and final stage of leg one will be the 24.33km EKO Racing Kineta test. Leg two the following day promises to be as tough and demanding as any previous editions of the event, with seven stages totaling 135.11kms. After a total of nine stages and 202.63kms of competition, the finish ceremony will be in Loutraki at 18h00 on Sunday 11 October. Pictured (from left to right) are: Mr. Marios Iliopoulos, owner of the SEAJETS shipping company, Mr. Dimitris Michelakakis, President of the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally 2015 Organising Committee and President of the Hellenic Motorsport Federation (OMAE) and Nikolaos Manolis, Clerk of the Course.
571 sign up to become ERC bone marrow donors
The Rally for Marrow campaign, which ran during the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, attracted 571 new bone marrow registrations. Rally fans were able to give a quick blood sample in the main square in Zlín and in the service zone in Otrokovice, and the response exceeded the expectation of the campaign organisers. Statistically, this means that five more patients will be helped, because on average each 120th registered person becomes a donor.
Štajf hopes to defend ERC2 lead in Cyprus
Vojtěch Štajf is hoping to contest this month’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally 2015 (25-27 September), as his appearance on the La Carrera Panamericana means that the ERC2 leader cannot contest the penultimate round of the ERC, the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally (10-11 October). Co-driven by František Rajnoha, Štajf settled for another strong points-scoring finish on his home Barum Czech Rally Zlín to maintain his ERC2 lead in his Subaru Duck Czech National Team Impreza WRX STI. Rival Dávid Botka (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX) won in Zlín to close the gap to just 12 points at the top of the ERC2 leaderboard, and with the Hungarian driver already entered for Cyprus, Tarmac expert Štajf is keen to go too, for fear of risking losing his season-long lead. Dominykas Butvilas (Subaru Poland Rally Team Impreza WRX STI) is third in the series, and could also still win the title. “Our competitors Butvilas and Botka also won points in Zlín, which, by the system of including seven results out of ten competitions, did not clear up the situation in the battle for the European title,” said Štajf. “Our original plan before the season counted on five starts abroad, plus the Barum Rally of course, however, now we do not intend to give up the fight and we are looking for funds to cover the start in Cyprus so that we do not lose the chance to get the championship crown. Due to the La Carrera Panamericana competition, I definitely cannot race in Greece, so the decisive fight for the title will take place in Switzerland in October, where we do not want to be missing."
Stratieva takes outright ERC Ladies’ Trophy lead
Defending ERC Ladies’ Trophy champion Ekaterina Stratieva has taken the outright led in this year’s series, after an impressive debut in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. Co-driven by Hungary’s Julianna Nyirfas, the Bulgarian was driving a Tlusťák Racing-run car on the fast and challenging Tarmac event – and whilst the big, heavy and powerful Mitsubishi could not have been more different to the small, light and nimble Citroën C2 R2 she is used to, Stratieva did a great job. “Without this person my dream would never have come true – I want to thank Antonín Tlusťák so much, and also Petr Linhart, for making this event happen for us,” said Stratieva. “It was amazing to be there and to be a part of this team.” Stratieva had arrived in the Czech Republic tied for the ERC Ladies’ Trophy lead with Martina Danhelová and Inessa Tushkanova, and left with a three-point advantage.