ERC 2016: Remembering the highs

ERC 2016: Remembering the highs

03.01.2017: As 2017 approaches here are 10 of the best memories from an action-packed 2016 FIA European Rally Championship season.

As 2017 approaches here are 10 of the best memories from an action-packed 2016 FIA European Rally Championship season.

1: Down to the wire

The battle for ERC Junior supremacy came down to a final-round decider between Opel aces Marijan Griebel and Chris Ingram. It was close but Griebel just came out on top.

2: Young guns emerge

Several young talents of the future shone in 2016 with Griebel, Nikolay Gryazin and Ralfs Sirmacis among those to impress when they stepped up from ERC Junior to R5 technology.

3: Chuchała shines

Wojciech Chuchała (pictured) underlined his huge potential by claiming the ERC2 spoils thanks to the Pole’s record of five wins from five starts driving for Subaru.

4: Turkish (team) delight

There was plenty of jubilation at the finish of the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally’s Love Cyprus Golden Stage. Not only did Alexey Lukyanuk clinch 32,000 euros in prize money, Murat Bustanci helped to wrap up the ERC3 entrants’ title for Castrol Ford Team Türkiye, while his navigator Onur Vatansever clinched the ERC3 co-drivers’ crown.

5: Opportunity knocks for ERC aces

ERC graduates Craig Breen, Juho Hänninen, Esapekka Lappi and Stéphane Lefebvre all secured factory WRC drives for 2017, underlining the important role played by the ERC in developing future star performers.

6: Tears then cheers in Greece

It was an emotional end to the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally for Lambros Athanassoulas. After discovering he’d taken second place rather than losing it at the end of the final stage, the Greek driver broke down in tears, thrilled he’d done enough to defeat Jaromír Tarabus to the runner-up spot behind maiden ERC winner Ralfs Sirmacis.

7: Rally Islas Canarias returns

Spain hosted ERC action once again when Rally Islas Canarias returned to the schedule for the first time since 2013. Alexey Lukyanuk beat Kajetan Kajetanowicz following a thrilling battle in Gran Canaria.

8: Home hero delivers

After years of trying, Ricardo Moura, São Miguel’s favourite rallying son, finally came good to win the Azores Airlines Rallye, his home round of the ERC. Emotions ran high at the finish in Ponta Delgada when local fans flocked to the finish in their thousands to celebrate Moura’s achievement.

9: Kajto scores when it matters most

ERC 2016 was packed with highs for Kajetan Kajetanowicz but none more so than the double European champion’s victory on Rally Rzeszow in his native Poland.

10: Eleventh heaven for Loix

In a year when ‘Fast Freddy’ Loix announced his retirement following a standout career, it was fitting that he was able to sign-off with a record-extending 11th Ypres win.

- Richard Rodgers -  photo FIA ERC


03.01.2017 / MaP

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