Newsletter #31/15
30 July 2015

ERC night stages planned for exciting Acropolis Rally

This year’s Acropolis Rally route is currently being finalised by the Greek Motorsport Federation (OMAE), but we can exclusive reveal that the penultimate round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship is likely to contain stages run at night – offering a real test of bravery and skill to drivers and co-drivers alike. Subject to the route being approved by the FIA, scruntineering is scheduled to take place on Friday 9 October, the ceremonial start and opening stages will take place the following day, while the final gravel stages will be held on Sunday 11 October.

Breen stays positive in ERC title chase

Craig Breen says that it’s “important to stay positive” in his chase for the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship title, and feels the remaining four rallies will give him a good chance to retake the series lead. Despite winning three rallies in a row (in Latvia, Ireland and Azores), retirements in Ypres and Estonia has seen the Peugeot Rally Academy driver slip to second in the series. Kajetan Kajetanowicz now leads the ERC overall drivers’ standings again, with victory on the opening round in Austria and three fantastic second place finishes (in Ireland, Azores and Estonia) giving the LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 a five point lead after six rounds. “It was my second retirement in a row [in Estonia] and that’s not good for the championship,” said Breen. “I’m obviously disappointed but it’s important to stay positive and there are still several events where we will be able to continue our challenge for the title.”

Kasperczyk takes the Tiger to Barum Czech Rally Zlín

Tomasz Kasperczyk will contest the next round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín (28-30 August) in his Tiger Rally Team Fiesta R5. The Polish driver contested Rally Liepāja in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI, but has been concentrating mainly on the Polish rally championship this year in his Fiesta R5. He took the Fiesta R5 to auto24 Rally Estonia, but lost his chance of a good result after rolling it on a deceptive corner on day one. Co-driven by Damian Syty, it will be Kasperczyk’s first attempt at the Czech round of the ERC.

Ingram gets ERC advice from a Peugeot rally legend

Peugeot UK-supported ERC Junior driver Chris Ingram has been getting some advice from someone who knows the ups and downs of rallying, and the workings of Peugeot Sport, better than most – non-other than rally legend, Ari Vatanen. Ingram has met Vatanen many times. In fact, when the British driver made his FIA European Rally Championship debut on the 2013 Ypres Rally, Ingram was team-mate to Ari’s son, Max Vatanen. “It’s always a great pleasure to talk to Ari, because he’s the most passionate person I know when it comes to rallying,” said Ingram. “He has so much experience, everything he says is valuable to a young driver like me.”

Q&A with Emil Bergkvist

Opel works driver Emil Bergkvist became 2015 FIA European Junior Rally Champion with his second-place finish at the auto24 Rally Estonia. We asked the 21-year-old Swede about his sensational season in the Adam R2.

Congratulations on winning the ERC Junior title. How does it feel to be ERC Junior Champion?
“Absolutely fantastic! When I drove into our service park [in Estonia] after crossing the finish line and saw the team members beaming with joy – that was a very special moment. At least as great was waking up the next morning and really realising for the first time that we achieved our big goal.”

What was the key to success?
“There were a few. First of all, the car, which was super-competitive across the board on all surfaces. I have no doubt that the Opel Adam R2 is currently the best car in its category. Then of course the entire ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team that was incredibly professional with its passionate dedication and fantastic team spirit. And last but certainly not least, my co-driver Jocke Sjöberg – without perfect work from the right seat a success like this is simply not possible.”

But the guy in the left seat wasn’t bad either…
“Thank you! I am happy with my performance. At this high level, we managed to stay at the front of the field while making very few mistakes. This can only be done when you are comfortable in the cockpit and in your team.”

You created a solid foundation right at the start of the season by scoring the maximum points at the first two rounds in Latvia and Ireland.
“Yes, that was of course a big boost for our confidence. The wintry conditions in Latvia were certainly right up my alley. But when you win again a few weeks later on asphalt, it shows how good the whole package is. We had a strong starting point at all the rallies and always found a good rhythm very quickly. That way you don’t lose time trying to identify the problems, you can dedicate yourself to settle up good pace notes and find the limit.”

The level within the ERC Junior is extremely high, making consistency all the more important.
“Exactly. There were always rivals who were very strong at a given rally – Jon Armstrong in Ireland, Chris Ingram in the Azores and Ralfs Sirmacis in Estonia. We were at the front of the field with the Adam R2 under all weather and track conditions. Not only does the car deliver superb performance, it also has very predictable driving behaviour. And it reacts very precisely and logically to changes to its set-up, which really builds trust.”

– 28 DAYS BARUM CZECH RALLY ZLIN 
CZECH REPUBLIC TARMAC
Media accreditation & informations
Barum Czech Rally Zlin 
Czech Republic
28-30 August 2015

Media planning to attend the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (28-30 August) and not in possession of an ERC Permanent Press Credential must apply by following this link: http://www.czechrally.com/en/24898-media-info. ERC Permanent Press Credential holders planning to attend the event MUST confirm their attendance by emailing media@fiaerc.com. All television/radio enquiries must be addressed to Antonios Argyropoulos by emailing fia_erc_accreditations@eurosport.com.

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Paul Evans
Mobile: +44 (0)7710 743 167
media@fiaerc.com

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