First five 2015 ERC events reach 102 million viewers
Eurosport Events, the promoter of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), is delighted to announce that the first five rounds of the 2015 championship has extended television coverage and reached a global television audience of 102 million of viewers, with 381 hours of broadcast time. The figures have been published in a report by Repucom, the global leaders in sports marketing research, and shows an audience increase of +28% across key markets compared to the previous year. Eurosport (Pan-Europe) remains at the top of the market viewership, with an increase of 800,000 viewers over the same period in 2014. The audience in Portugal has increased by a massive 3.8 million viewers (to 4.2 million) against the same period in 2014. In addition, Pan-regional broadcasters such as Eurosport Asia, Turbo in Latin America, Velocity in USA and Fox Sports Asia all show the ERC highlights and magazine programmes as an extension of the total of 60 broadcasters reaching 160 countries around the world. Steve Troon, Head of Motorsport at Repucom, said: “Our analysis shows that 2015 is shaping up to be another strong year for the ERC. This is especially evident when we isolate dedicated coverage on the Eurosport network itself, where the cumulative audience for these programmes has risen by almost +50% year-on-year.”
Kajetanowicz’s golden ERC chance in Cyprus
Kajetan Kajetanowicz heads a quality FIA European Rally Championship field on next week’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally 2015 (25-27 September). With the mixed surface event not on Craig Breen’s (Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16) schedule, the Polish LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 driver has a great chance to extend his 23-point lead over his nearest rival. Kajto, who finished second in Cyprus last year, will have tough competition – not least from Alexey Lukyanuk (Fiesta R5), Robert Consani (Citroën DS3 R5), Bruno Magalhães (Peugeot 208 T16), Jaromír Tarabus (ŠKODA Fabia R5), Raul Jeets (Fiesta R5) and Antonín Tlusťák (Fabia S2000). The top three ERC2 drivers go head-to-head, with leader Vojtěch Štajf (Subaru) up against Dávid Botka (Mitsubishi) and Dominykas Butvilas (Subaru). They’ll face three hard-charging Cypriot Mitsubishi drivers, Christos Demosthenous (who won the ERC Production Car Cup last year), Stavros Antoniou and Panikos Polykarpou.
Consani bounces back with new car and co-driver for Cyprus
Following his monster roll last time out on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, Robert Consani will contest next week’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally 2015 in a new Citroën DS3 R5 – and with a new co-driver. The Frenchman will be co-driven in Cyprus by Lara Vanneste, who navigates for Robert’s brother Stéphane. The experienced Belgian lady has also co-driven for ERC event winners Craig Breen, Freddy Loix, Kevin Abbring and Bryan Bouffier. Consani will arrive in Cyprus fourth in the FIA European Rally Championship standings, and is in a fight for third with Alexey Lukyanuk. “The fight for third won’t be an easy one for sure, but I will give everything I have to get it, and that should be my target for this season,” said Consani, who is backed by ESAF, RSUD Medical, Infogest, AdHoc Interim, Puma, Dermaphex, LSF, GVF TP, Pirelli, Railmat and Delta Rally.
Nicosia super special stage returns to the buffer zone
Next Saturday’s (26 September) CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally super special stage in Nicosia will once again include a section through the United Nations-controlled buffer zone between the historic city’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas – as pictured by ERC Radio’s Julian Porter. Last year’s super special stage was such a success that it broke the boundaries of sport after being referenced within the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations as ‘the most successful measure in the building of trust between the communities since 1974’. 65,000 fans turned up to watch the Nicosia super special stage last year, and tickets can be purchased in advance from: http://cyrally.com/2015/09/07/pre-sale-tickets/
A week before Cyprus, and ERC registrations reach 122
With a week to go before round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, the promoters of the series, Eurosport Events, have received 122 registrations. The latest drivers to register are all Cypriots, with three new registrations in ERC2 – namely, Christos Demosthenous, Stavros Antoniou and Panikos Polykarpou – and “Dimi’ in ERC3. In terms of class breakdown, 56 drivers are now registered for ERC1, 20 for ERC2 and 46 for ERC3 – 27 of which are ERC Junior entries.
ERC Juniors treated to Peugeot 208 T16 taster
Four ERC Junior drivers swapped their normal Peugeot 208 R2 for a 208 T16 recently, after being been invited by Peugeot Sport to a customer test day. Chris Ingram, Ralfs Sirmacis, Mattias Adielsson and Steve Røkland all travelled to the French Alps to drive Peugeot’s awesome R5 car, with the test taking place on the Plateau de Nyon road, close to the Mont-Blanc ski resort of Morzine. For Ingram, it was the second time he had driven the 208 T16, having tested it earlier in the year on a section of Col de l'Echarrason, a Rallye Monte Carlo stage, near St Jean en Royans. And it was good for the 21-year old Peugeot UK driver to get back behind the wheel, after his nasty shunt on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin. “It was great to get back into a Peugeot rally car so quickly, and obviously fantastic to add a few more kilometres to my experience in the amazing 208 T16,” said Ingram.
Tushkanova set to glam up Rallyday
ERC Ladies’ Trophy challenger Inessa Tushkanova will make her first appearance at the UK’s premier rally car show, Rallyday, this Saturday. The Russian-based glamour model has been invited to the event by Rallying History, and is scheduled to drive a number of historic rally cars, including the famous Golden Wonder Rover 3500 Vitesse. The event takes place at Castle Combe racing circuit in Wiltshire and further information is available on the event’s website: www.rallyday.com