ERC news in brief before Latvia Rally

Qualifying to signal start of Latvia’s ERC debut

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By Olivier Ferret

31 January 2013 - 19:55
ERC news in brief before Latvia (...)

Qualifying to signal start of Latvia’s ERC debut

Qualifying comes to the FIA European Rally Championship in Latvia this week when Rally Liepāja-Ventspils hosts the first Qualifying Stage of the 2013 season.

All five loose-surface events on the ERC calendar will feature a Qualifying Stage to determine the starting order of the nominated priority drivers for the first leg of the rally.

At 09:30hrs local time on Friday 1 February following a period of Free Practice, 12 priority crews get one run over a 5.89-kilometre course to set their best time. At 13:00hrs local time during the pre-event press conference, the quickest driver in qualifying will select their starting position for later in the day first with the second fastest driver next to choose and so on until all drivers have made their selection. Non-priority drivers will start leg one in seeded order.

The priority crews who will contest the Qualifying Stage are as follows:

1 Ketomaa/Lindström (FIN) Ford Fiesta RRC

2 Breen/Moynihan (IRL) Peugeot 207 S2000

3 Delecour/Savignoni (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000

4 Černy/Kohout (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia S2000

5 Tlusťák/Vyoral (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia S2000

6 Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

7 Plangi/Sarapuu (EST) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X R4

8 Orsák/Šmeidler (CZE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX

9 Švedas/Sakalauskas (LIT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

10 Kisiels/Ronis (LAT) MINI John Cooper Works RRC

11 Puskádi/Gódor (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia S2000

12 Gryazin/Chumak (RUS) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX R4

Breen a fan of Rally Liepāja-Ventspils stages

Craig Breen says he’s a fan of the Rally Liepāja-Ventspils stages after completing reconnaissance for the FIA European Rally Championship round today.

Breen, who has signed up for an eight-event ERC campaign with Saintéloc Peugeot Rally Academy, has driven through all eight different stages that will be used on the winter event to prepare his pacenotes with co-driver David Moyinhan.

After returning to the event headquarters in Liepāja, the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 driver spoke to www.fiaerc.com: “They’re nice stages,” said the 22-year-old Irish talent. “The stages on Saturday and Sunday, which we did today, are more in the forests but they’re very fast in places but a bit more narrow. They have a nice flow to them, they’re undulating with rolling crests rather than sudden jumps.

“The stages on Friday, which are closer to Liepāja, a more open and it’s easier to read the road although that will be quite difficult in the dark when you don’t have the landmarks visible. In general the roads are wide and fast, undulating with long corners on what is quite a sandy surface [underneath the ice]. It will be interesting to see how fast the Regional Rally Car and Group N cars will be compared to me because they won’t struggle for pace on the flowing sections.”

Rally Liepāja-Ventspils: weather update

Preparations are continuing today ahead of Rally Liepāja-Ventspils, round two of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Although freezing conditions and heavy snow have formed the backdrop to the event’s exciting build-up, rally organisers have received several enquiries about the weather conditions and the effect they might have on the rally schedule.

In order to allay fears about the event not running to its full 243-kilometre length, Raimonds Strokšs, the Rally Director, said in a statement: “We have located several possible problem areas in stages but since the weather forecast says there will be more frost tonight we have not planned any changes to the rally schedule.”

The statement added that if, for any reason, there will be any need to make any changes to the rally schedule, the organisers will immediately publish updates on their website, www.lvrally.com and their Twitter account @lvrally. They will also be available on Kurzemes Radio and ERC Rally Radio.

Tushkanova looks to Rally Poland instead

After securing the funds to contest Rally Liepāja-Ventspils, glamour model Inessa Tushkanova endured the disappointment of having to withdraw her entry from the FIA European Rally Championship counter earlier this week.

The 25-year-old from Ukraine was contesting the Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland recently to prepare for the Latvian event. Unfortunately a crash on the second stage left her Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX damaged beyond immediate repair.

Despite missing out on a much-anticipated appearance on Rally Liepāja-Ventspils, Tushkanova will still be in action in the ERC this season when she contests Rally Poland in September.

Preparation key to ERC joy, says Tempestini

Marco Tempestini says better preparation will be key to improved fortune when he contests eight rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship in 2013.

The vastly experienced Tempestini, who was born in Italy but now lives in Romania, will pilot a Subaru Impreza R4 STI in the ERC Production Car Cup. He will get his campaign underway on Rally Liepāja-Ventspils from this Friday.

“My target is the same like list year in the IRC,” said Tempestini. “I want to finish on the podium at the end of the season in ERC Production Car Cup. Last year we had a lot of bad luck and it was not possible to finish in the top three, but for this year I think we are better prepared. We start the campaign in Latvia and I hope the season begins with a good result.”

Tempestini, whose son Simone will campaign a second Subaru for the Napoca Rally Academy operation in 2013, could increase his schedule to nine rounds by adding the season-closing Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland should his podium ambitions depend up on it.

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