ERC news in brief

All the information you need


By Olivier Ferret

6 February 2013 - 20:41
ERC news in brief

Tempestini jumps for joy in the ERC

This is Marco Tempestini taking the jump on the final stage of Rally Liepāja-Ventspils last Sunday.

Driving a Napoca Rally Academy Subaru Impreza R4 STI, Tempestini was in a close battle with son Simone. But, for now, here’s what Marco thought of the jump and the Latvian winter showcase.

“It was really fun to go on the last stage and I was surprised how high you can jump,” said the Romanian ERC Production Car Cup competitor. “Everything was perfect there, the rally was nice, but very fast and with all the particularities of an event like this it was difficult for me. You need to be 100 per cent focused on an event like this but I could not do it this weekend. For me and Simone it was a good test and we would like to come back.”

With both Tempestinis reaching the finish in Ventspils, the Napoca Rally Academy operation scored maximum points in the ERC Production Car Cup for Teams.

New leaders in ERC title battles

While Hannes Danzinger continues to head the FIA ERC 2WD Championship standings, there are new leaders in the overall and ERC Production Car Cup following Rally Liepāja-Ventspils.

In the overall classification, Jari Ketomaa tops the table ahead of Jan Kopecký, the winner of the International Jännerrallye last month. As well as scoring 25 points for winning in Latvia, Ketomaa bagged 14 bonus points (seven for winning leg two and seven for leg three). With Kopecký managing one bonus point less in Austria, Ketomaa therefore leads by a single point.

There’s also a new pacesetter in the ERC Production Car Cup: Jaroslav Orsák, who leads Bappo Harrach by four points courtesy of strong results in Austria and Latvia for the GPD Mit Metal Racing Team. Orsák (pictured) placed fourth in the ERC Production Car Cup in Rally Liepāja-Ventspils and also claimed five bonus points.

Meanwhile, Danzinger’s advantage in the ERC 2WD title chase is four points over Risto Immonen, despite his failure to get to the finish in Latvia following water pump failure on the final morning when he was in third place. Elwis Chentre is one point behind Immonen having scored on both rounds so far. Click here more details.

My Rally Liepāja-Ventspils. By Zbyněk Baller

Zbyněk Baller scored FIA ERC 2WD Championship points following a determined run to 29th overall and 10th in the two-wheel-drive section in his Eurosol Honda Civic. This is his story.

“Rally Liepāja Ventspils was something really different to anything we went through anytime before. We are used to race on Tarmac, but in Latvia the roads with ice, snow and gravel were waiting for us. Therefore we didn’t set some targets before the rally, we just wanted to gain some experience with this surface and a very specific rally route.

“Because the characterstic of the stages was also very different from what we are used to, the goal was mainly to enjoy the whole event and reach the finish. Any intensions of making some result were down at the ground, we had by way the least advanced car in the starting field. Competing with our Group N, class nine Honda Civic prepared by the CERS performance team against much stronger Group A and R cars driven mostly by fast local or experienced drivers, gave us no chance.

“But we enjoyed the rally a lot, the Latvian stages and the whole event organisation were absolutely amazing. In the beginning we were struggling with tyres, which were absolutely not working in the icy conditions. But already before the leg two started we got the set of new tyres from Elwis Chentre and since that time the car was working brilliantly. There was just one problem, because our honda has quite small wheel arches, it was tough to fit the big 15-inch studded tyres inside. We usually use 14-inch rims, but tyres with big studs are not produced in this dimension anymore. Therefore with the 15-inch rims fitted on the car, we couldn’t turn the wheels on the maximum lock, because the studs would get into collision with the car body. But it was not a big problem on the stages, it was possible to drive sideways without much steering!

“So although it was really tough event, we generally evaluate our start in Latvia positively. We’ve discovered new locations and stages, we learned a lot about driving on this specific surface, we also improved our pacenotes system and we passed without any big moments or mistakes on the stages. So if possible, we will be back next year. We found out already in Austria at the Jännerrallye, that a second start in new location can help a lot. In Freistadt we appeared in 2012 for the first time and this year we felt much more confident in there. So we expect, that if we do Latvia next year, our performance will be much stronger. And by the end we need to thank the event organisers, who went towards us with their support all the time."

Moynihan: Latvia ERC result was best yet

Leading co-driver David Moynihan already has his sights set on even bigger things in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship.

Moynihan, from Ireland, navigated his countryman Craig Breen to second overall on Rally Liepāja-Ventspils at the weekend, a result he described as the best of his career so far. Now he wants to go one better with Breen and the Peugeot Rally Academy-Saintéloc operation in this year’s ERC.

“For sure this is the very top for me at the moment,” said Moynihan, who was competing with Breen on an international-level event for the first time. “I hope to go better with Craig as the year progresses but to stand on the podium with drivers like Jari Ketomaa, Kaj Lindström and François Delecour it’s been incredible to be here with Craig at this level. It’s what I’ve always dreamt of so it’s a huge achievement for me.”

Why Latvia trip wasn’t all bad for Danzinger

Rally Liepāja-Ventspils wasn’t all bad for ERC 2WD Championship ace Hannes Danzinger.

Despite failing to complete the 15-stage route in Latvia, the Austrian still leads the title standings after two rounds.

Renault Clio R3 driver Danzinger, who is co-driven by Germany’s Kathi Wüstenhagen, was in third place in the two-wheel-division when water pump failure on Sunday’s opening test triggered their premature exit.

However, the five bonus points he secured for claiming third in class for leg two means Danzinger holds a four-point advantage over Risto Immonen.

“Of course we’re disappointed but what can we do?” said Danzinger following his exit on leg three. “I know it was not a mistake from me or my co-driver so this helps me. Now we look forward to the next race which will be in the Açores, we hope, when we will be well prepared.”

Motorsport news