ERC Rally Liepaja - event preview

ERC Rally Liepaja - event preview

05.10.2018: ERC EVENT PREVIEW: RALLY LIEPĀJA, 12-14 OCTOBER FIA European Rally Championship round 8/8 FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship round 6/6 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship round 6/6 The battle for the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Champions

ERC EVENT PREVIEW: RALLY LIEPĀJA, 12-14 OCTOBER
 
FIA European Rally Championship round 8/8
FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship round 6/6
FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship round 6/6
 



The battle for the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship – and the prize drive on offer to the eventual champion – will take centre stage when Rally Liepāja brings the curtain down on another action-packed European season from 12-14 October.





As well as the chase for success between young stars in R5 cars, Nikolay Gryazin, Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim, the high-speed gravel event marks ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr’s first European championship outing in an R5 car, while Emma Falcón and Catie Munnings are equal first in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy standings heading to southwest Latvia.
 
 






RALLY LIEPĀJA IN NUMBERS:



6: Rally Liepāja has formed part of the European championship roster since 2013, making this year’s edition its sixth and counting.



4: The challenge will increase for crews contesting the combined ERC and Latvian championship finale with four stages all new for 2018.



12: Twelve gravel stages over a competitive distance of 205.83 kilometres make up this year’s route. Up first is Neste (Pērbone), which kicks off the action at 10h00 local time on Saturday 13 October.



24.99: Rally Liepāja’s closing stage, Liepāja (Tebra), is the event’s longest at 24.99 kilometres, which could result in a late twist with a number of ERC titles and finishing positions remaining up for grabs.


20: Nikolay Gryazin turned 20 during his winning Rally Liepāja weekend in 2017. Other winners include factory world championship stars Craig Breen (2015) and Esapekka Lappi (2014), plus inaugural victor Jari Ketomaa from Finland.
 





FAST FACTS:



*This year is a big one for Latvia. As well as following Mārtiņš Sesks’ exploits in winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship*, the country is preparing to celebrate turning 100 on 18 November.



*Rally Liepāja forms part of the Festival of Speed Kurzeme, which brings speedboat racing to the city’s Tirdzniecības canal, plus other motorised attractions to the local area.



*Liepāja can claim to be the only Latvian city outside the capital Riga to offer air, land and seat transport options, while its city council chairperson, Uldis Sesks, is a former rally driver of note and father of Mārtiņš.



*Rally Liepāja is the brainchild of rally driver turned promoter Raimonds Strokšs. Originally run in the winter, the event switched to the autumn for 2016. The new date effectively made for an all-new rally as crews adjusted to gravel stages free of snow and ice.



*Liepāja residents will get easy access to the service park this year with organisers bringing it back to the city-centre Jaunliepāja market square, located a short walk from the event headquarters.




And in other news…



*Toksport WRT’s Orhan Avcioglu, from Turkey, will continue his learning mission when he makes his Rally Liepāja debut having shown plenty of promise in the ERC thus far.



*Former Polish champion Łukasz Habaj will make his third start in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 having switched from a Ford Fiesta R5. He finished on the podium on Rally Liepāja in 2017.



*Sergei Remennik returns to ERC2 duty in Latvia armed with a new livery on his Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer. The new look keeps tradition with Remennik’s traditional black and green colour scheme but is now more refined.



*Austrian Niki Mayr-Melnhof makes his ERC debut in a Ford Fiesta R5, while Paulo Nobre will complete his season-long campaign in a Motorsport Italia Fabia R5, having travelled from Brazil for each event.



*Romanian Simone Tempestini will make his second start in a Fiat 124 Abarth RGT on gravel having tried the car on loose surfaces for the first time on Rally Poland last month.
 




Watch and listen



Highlights from both legs will be shown on Eurosport and available on Eurosport Player. ERC Radio will broadcast live from stage finishes and selected service park visits.
 


ERC statistics



ERC rally wins in 2018: Lukyanuk 3, Galatariotis, Gryazin, Kopecký and Magalhães 1



ERC stage wins in 2018: Lukyanuk 30; Gryazin 12; Magalhães 8; Al-Attiyah 7 and Huttunen 7; Basso, Campedelli, Jakeš and Nordgren 3; Botka, Herczig and Kreim 2; Åhlin, Avcioǧlu, Brynildsen, Ingram, Mareš, Moura, Pellier, Ptaszek and Tsouloftas 1
 


*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA.

 
 
 

Richard Rodgers, photos FIA ERC
        

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/erc-rally-liepaja-event-preview---181601.html

05.10.2018 / MaP

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