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FIA ERC 2013 event preview: Rallye International du Valais

Rallye Sanremo (ITA) 11-12 10 2013

4 November

EVENT PREVIEW: 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, round 12 of 12
Rallye International du Valais, 7-9 November (Switzerland)

ERC crews ready and waiting for season finale in Switzerland

After 11 all-action rounds, the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship is set for a thrilling climax in the mountains of southwest Switzerland next week (7-9 November) when Rallye International du Valais brings the curtain down on a dramatic season.

The mainly asphalt-based event is a regular feature on the ERC calendar and takes place between the towns of Sion and Martigny in the canton of Valais close to Lake Geneva. Running for the 54th time in 2013, Rallye International du Valais is ranked as the biggest event in Swiss motorsport and also hosts the closing round of the country’s national rally championship in conjunction with the headlining ERC.

While Jan Kopecký has already clinched the coveted ERC drivers’ title for ŠKODA Motorsport*, the prestigious runner-up spot remains up for grabs with Craig Breen bidding to overhaul Bryan Bouffier in the final standings. The event will also provide an opportunity for several young stars to stake claims for ERC campaigns in 2014 with the new season due to begin on the Internationale Jännerrallye in Austria from 3-5 January, subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council ratification.

Second place in sight for Peugeot driver Breen
Craig Breen will make his Rallye International du Valais debut knowing that victory would be enough for second place in the final championship table. The Peugeot Rally Academy talent currently trails Bryan Bouffier by 26 points but with Bouffier unable to secure the financial backing required to compete in Switzerland, Irishman Breen has a gilt-edged opportunity to move ahead. If Breen and Belgian co-driver Lara Vanneste did win then it would be their first outright triumph in the ERC. Jérémi Ancian, from France, will compete in a second Peugeot Rally Academy 207 S2000 and will be looking to make an impact having endured a frustrating run of results.

Valais king Burri back for more
He’s won Rallye International du Valais a record eight times and now he’s back for more having skipped the event in 2012. Burri, who scored his maiden Valais win in 1993, will be competing in a Ford Fiesta S2000 for the first time. Although he’s better known for his exploits in production-based Mitsubishi Lancers and Subaru Imprezas, Burri spent the 2009 season in an Abarth Grande Punto S2000. And the 50-year-old won’t be the only member of the Burri family competing: son Michaël, a regular in the Junior WRC, will also be in action with the 25-year-old driving a Ford Fiesta R2.

Champions on show in Switzerland
Two notable champions will be competing on the 18-stage event next week: ERC Production Car Cup champion* Andreas Aigner will be at the wheel of his familiar Subaru Impreza R4 STI, while Grégoire Hotz starts the rally he won in 2009 having secured his seventh Swiss title in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 this season. Aigner will use the event to test the new-pattern Yokohama tyres, which were used in competition for the first time on last month’s Rallye Sanremo.

Flying the champions’ colours in the ERC
With Czech Republic aces Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler having completed their ERC schedule for 2013, Finns Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will bid to bag ŠKODA’s first win in Valais. Lappi was second on his most recent ERC appearance in Sanremo last month and will travel to Switzerland directly from China where he’s currently contesting the Asia-Pacific championship finale, the China Rally Longyou.

Orsak steps up as GPD Mit Metal Racing Team doubles up
Having missed the last two ERC rounds through injury, Jaroslav Orsák is back in action only this time he’ll be competing in a second GPD Mit Metal Racing Team ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 alongside team-mate and fellow Czech Antonín Tlusťák. Orsák has been a frontrunner in the ERC Production Car Cup this season and has experience of the Fabia S2000 from the 2010 Rallye Monte-Carlo. GPD Mit Metal Racing Team is the winner of the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams for 2013*.

Consani bids to end 2013 on a high for Renault
Robert Consani will be hoping to sign off from his 2013 ERC Production Car Cup campaign in style with a strong result in his Team Renault Sport Technologies’ Mégane R.S. N4. The talented Frenchman has often been out of luck this season but has the pace to shine. However, he will have to outgun several rivals to secure category spoils including Andreas Aigner and Lugano Racing Team Subaru drivers Urs Hunziker and Florian Gonon, a former Swiss champion.

Swiss juniors to battle ERC star Lefebvre
ERC 2WD Championship ace Stéphane Lefebvre will be braced for a tough battle with several rising Swiss stars. In addition to Michaël Burri, Lefebvre, who competes in a Peugeot Rally Academy 208 R2, will face opposition from Renault Twingo drivers Kim Daldini and Mathias Kaufmann. Daldini currently tops the Swiss Junior and Twingo R1 Trophy standings with a 252-point lead over Kaufmann. However, with 280 points still on offer, the titles are undecided. Last year’s winner, Laurent Reuche, will also be a favourite for ERC 2WD glory in his Renault Clio R3.

Social media campaign saves the day for Stratieva
Ekaterina Stratieva will complete her FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy bid on Rallye International du Valais after ERC fans responded to her appeal on Facebook for additional funds to compete in Switzerland. The Bulgarian driver didn’t have enough sponsorship to take part so launched a campaign to encourage fans to contribute to an online bank account. She will now compete in her regular Citroën C2R2 as she looks to cement her second place in the final ERC Ladies’ Trophy standings behind Molly Taylor.

Valais: no ordinary asphalt rally
While it’s billed as a Tarmac event, Rallye International du Valais features sections on gravel on all three days, including 35.48 kilometres on Saturday’s closing leg, the longest at 146.3 kilometres. The stages vary in layout from narrow and twisty to wide and flowing. Weather can also be a factor with the ambient temperature forecast to drop to as low as four degrees centigrade during the rally. Ice and snow have been an issue in the past, particularly with one stage, the first Crans-Montana test, taking place 1800 metres above sea level.


Subaru’s ERC Production Car Cup champion* gets set for his rally of honour in Switzerland

As we approach the final round of the 2013 ERC season, looking back, how satisfied are you with what you have achieved?
“I’m very happy with the season for sure. I am also really satisfied with the performance of the team because we had absolutely no problems with the car – it was working really well. What was also important is that I did some quite good results overall and that’s what makes me really happy.”

You mentioned the team and car but what about your own performance?
“I was very consistent and this was important. I didn’t push really hard because it was not necessary. My R4 car is not able to compete against the Super 2000 cars. I just had to look at the competition in Production and there was no point taking maximum risk against the faster cars.”

What was the best moment for you and what was the worst?
“For sure on the last stage on Rallye Sanremo when it was sure we were winning the ERC Production Car Cup was a special moment after a long gap from when I won the PWRC title in 2008. In Croatia, where I led overall, it was a nice feeling but it was a big surprise for me. I wasn’t pushing quite hard, I just wanted to go to the finish and I was surprised about the stage times. The Yokohama tyres are very good in damp conditions and that helped. The bad moment was in Ypres where we hit the tree and we lost the lead. Luckily we were able to go to the service park.”

You’re seeded number two for Rallye du Valais. What experience do you have of this event and how confident are you of finishing on the podium?
“I’ve never been to the rally before but I’ve heard a lot about it and the nice stages. It’s a long rally, 284 kilometres. But the main target is to test the new Yokohama tyres on a completely different surface than it was in Sanremo. In Sanremo it was abrasive Tarmac and it was still quite warm. In Switzerland it will be completely different so we will look how the tyres are working then. It depends on the conditions how hard we push. In difficult conditions on stages under 15 kilometres it’s possible to be 1.2 seconds per kilometre off the Super 2000 cars but when the stages are longer and more twisty it’s difficult to be that close.”

With 2014 getting close, what’s your target and how are your plans progressing?
“It’s quite difficult to say something now because it’s too early to have a clear idea. There are many options and [team boss] Manfred Stohl is helping me a lot and looking for my future. We will check our options and hopefully we can find a strong package for 2014.”

*The Valais canton doesn’t just contain 11 of the best special stages in Europe it’s also home to 40 luge tracks as it’s one of Switzerland’s leading winter sports regions
*Two of Switzerland’s best rally drivers will be competing on Rallye International du Valais: Grégoire Hotz is a seven-time Swiss champion, while Olivier Burri is an eight-time Valais winner
*The history of Rallye International du Valais dates back to 1960 and the running of the Rallye du Vin, which was organised to allow competitors to discover the region and its wines
*Martigny is not only the joint host town of Rallye International du Valais, it’s also home to the Saint Bernard dog museum where the region’s favourite four-legged friend is celebrated
*Valais is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland where fondue, made from local Swiss cheese, is a speciality

Starts: 13:30hrs, Thursday 7 November, Casernes, Sion
Finishes: 16:30hrs, Saturday 9 November, CERM Expo, Martigny
Headquarters: Hôtel Vatel, Rue Marconi 19, 1920 Martigny, Switzerland
Service park: Casernes, Sion (7-8 November), CERM Expo, Martigny (9 November)
Facts and figures:
Entries received: 72
ERC appearances: Four (since restructuring of ERC in 2004)
Stages: 18
Stage distance: 287.84 kilometres (30.89 kilometres leg one, 110.74 kilometres leg two, 146.30 kilometres leg three)
Liaison: 315.02 kilometres
Total: 602.86 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt (30.47 kilometres leg one, 107.54 kilometres leg two, 110.82 kilometres leg three) and gravel (0.33 kilometres leg one, 3.20 kilometres leg two, 35.48 kilometres leg three).






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Rally Report Magazine Argentina
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español

WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


29 de Diciembre 2013

Cuando todo indicaba que la firma inglesa que distribuye y arma en sus instalaciones de Cumbria, los autos que representan a la compañía norteamericana del ovalo en el WRC, o sea Ford desde 1997 con la responsable gestión de Malcom Wilson, en el día de ayer surgió la versión que su empresa habría acordado un contrato de tres años con Vodafone para participar cómo patrocinador principal de la escuadra británica en el campeonato del mundo de rallyes que organiza la FIA a partir del mítico Rally de Montecarlo a mediados de enero.
Pero al parecer no es tan concreta la opción cómo se vislumbraba para la sustitución del patrocinio de Qatar, tras la determinación del príncipe qatarí, Nasser Al-Attiyah, de dejar de lado por un año la actividad rallística y centrarse al certamen ecuménico de Rally Raid con el equipo alemán que conduce Sven Quandt, X-Raid Team. Mirando el objetivo máximo la edición del Dakar Argentina, Bolivia y Chile 2014 con el MINI ALL4 Racing.
Con esta incertidumbre comenzará M-Sport, el año en el Rally Mundial, si o no Vodafone en los laterales de los competitivos Fiesta RS WRC del finlandés Mikko Hirvonen, el inglés Elfyn Evans, en el día de su cumpleaños número 25 y el polaco Robert Kubica, quien entreno en esta jornada en Europa con vistas a su debut en el ERC Janner Rally con la Fiesta versión RRC by M-Sport con el apoyo del lubricante de su país, Lotos.








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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




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FIA ERC 2014 event preview: 31 Int. Jannerrallye, Oberosterreich


28 December 2013

EVENT PREVIEW: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, round one of 12
31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich, 3-5 January 2014 (Austria)

ERC Ice Masters to chase success on 2014 season-opener in Austria

Some of Europe’s best drivers will prove their worth as Ice Masters when the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship powers into action on the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich from 3-5 January 2014.

The asphalt showcase, which first ran in 1969 and attracted 100,000 spectators when it hosted the opening round of the 2013 ERC, is based in Freistadt, 40 kilometres north of the city of Linz in Upper Austria. The stages in the spectacular Mühlviertel region use fast, undulating country roads, with ice and snow adding to the challenge facing the crews.

As well as counting as the first event of the 12-round ERC schedule, which will enjoy extensive coverage on Eurosport, the rally is also the opening event of the Austrian and Czech championship seasons. It provides the first opportunity for drivers to chase ERC Ice Master points, an exciting new initiative developed by ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

Close on 50 cars are entered for the international section of the Jännerrallye with Formula One race winner turned rallying superstar Robert Kubica the top seed in his Ford Fiesta RRC. The entry list also includes Austria’s ERC Production Car Cup champion Andreas Aigner, his ERC 2WD title-winning counterpart Zoltán Bessenyey from Hungary, plus the national champions from Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), Czech Republic (Václav Pech) and Poland (Kajetan Kajetanowicz).

The event features 18 stages over a competitive distance of 245.60 kilometres. A Qualifying Stage, held on the morning of Friday 3 January, will be used to decide the starting order among the priority drivers.


ERC aces to make performance step
Several ERC regulars will be taking a step up in performance in Austria. Andreas Aigner, Robert Consani and Hermann Neubauer are among those sampling more advanced machinery than they used in 2013, with Aigner and Consani both competing in Peugeot 207 Super 2000s and Neubauer armed with a Subaru Impreza R4 STI for the first time. Meanwhile, ERC 2WD runner-up Kornél Lukács will switch to a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX having campaigned a Citroën C2R2 in 2013.

R5 cars out in force in the ERC
Three new-generation Ford Fiesta R5s are entered with Czech drivers Roman Odložilík and Pavel Valoušek, plus top Pole Kajetan Kajetanowicz all competing in the M-Sport-built cars. Valoušek scored the first ERC stage win for an R5-specification car last season, while Kajetanowicz bagged the car’s maiden outright victory in the ERC.

Young ERC hopefuls out to impress
Several future stars will be in action including young Latvian promise Vasily Gryazin, emerging Czech talent Jan Černý, rated Hungarian Kornél Lukács, rising Ukrainian Vitaly Pushkar, German hope Raffael Sulzinger and Simone Tempestini, the current Romanian Junior champion. Černý, Lukács, Pushkar and Tempestini will all be in contention for ERC Production Car Cup honours, where rapid Austrian Beppo Harrach is expected to provide their strongest opposition.

Tarabus to start ERC adventure in Austria
Jaromír Tarabus, a frontrunner in the Czech championship for several seasons, will begin his ERC campaign on the Jännerrallye, one of as many as eight rounds that Tarabus is due to tackle in his Kresta Racing-prepared ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Compatriot and European championship regular Antonín Tlusťák is also expected to contest several ERC rounds in 2014 in a Fabia.

Danhelová and Stratieva to chase ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours
Martina Danhelová and Ekaterina Stratieva will battle for ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours in Austria. Stratieva finished runner-up to 2013 champion Molly Taylor, while Danhelová made a one-off ERC appearance in her native Czech Republic last term.

What’s new in the ERC in 2014?
New rallies, new categories and new awards are all in store for the ERC in 2014. The Acropolis Rally, the Circuit of Ireland Rally, auto24 Rally Estonia and the Cyprus Rally are all new for the upcoming season, while Sibiu Rally Romania becomes a winter event. The FIA ERC Junior Championship will get underway on Rally Liepāja in late January; the ERC Manufacturers’ Cup begins in 2014, while surface specialists will be rewarded with the creation of the new ERC Asphalt, Gravel and Ice Master accolades.


ERC Production Car Cup champion steps up for home rally

A new year and a new car – how much experience do you have of your Peugeot 207 Super 2000?
“Not so much. I did some kilometres in a Race of Champions-style event on a rallycross track in Austria but for sure we will do a test before the rally because it is very important to prepare for the wet, icy and snowy roads you get on this event so you can get the confidence.”

So it sounds like the weather will be a big factor?
“It means there cannot be one real favourite for the victory because it is so easy to make a mistake and go off the road or to make the wrong tyre choice and lose one minute. The weather is changing all the time and it is not easy to be on the right tyres at the right time.”

Your choice of car gives you the chance to start the 2014 ERC season with an overall victory…
“Although it’s my home event I don’t have so much experience on these roads and there are a lot of good drivers doing this rally, including really strong drivers from Austria and Czech Republic. They know the stages very well and will be very fast.”

Is this a one-off drive or is there a chance that you will do more ERC events in this car?
“We don’t know yet. I am very happy to be at the start in this car and I will look forward to this but we are still waiting on decisions from some sponsors before we can look ahead for the rest of the season.”

How crucial will a strong result be in your efforts to secure more backing?
“Of course a good result is important but I don’t think it will make a big difference. The most important thing is to compete in the European Rally Championship when it comes to your country.”

*History was made on the Jännerrallye in 1981 when a four-wheel-drive car was used in competition for the first time. Driving an Audi Quattro, Franz Wittmann won by a margin of more than 20 minutes.
*Speaking of iconic rally cars, event regular Stig Blomqvist will drive a Quattro course car as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of his world rally title triumph in 1984.
*The first Jännerrallye took place in 1969 but a lack of finance meant there was no event between 1986 and 2001. The event didn’t run in 2010 due to a permit issue.
*Ernst Haneder is a baker in Jännerrallye host town Freistadt when he’s not competing. A brush with a telegraph pole ended his hopes of a finish last season.
*Apple strudel and Wiener schnitzel are two popular Austrian dishes. In Upper Austria, dumplings are a favourite, while the Linzer Torte is a cake made from ground nuts and raspberry jam.

ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký claimed what would be the first of six ERC victories during his title-winning season by repeating his Jännerrallye triumph of 12 months previously. In a dramatic finish, Kopecký beat Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot 207 S2000) to victory by half a second after he fought back from a late puncture. Multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager finished third. Austria’s Beppo Harrach clinched the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for his performance to win the ERC Production Car Cup. Hannes Danzinger recovered from a puncture to win ERC 2WD in a Renault Clio.


Starts: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Finishes: 17:28hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Headquarters: Messehalle, Stieranger 8, 4240 Freistadt
Service park: Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Facts and figures:
Entries received: 49
ERC appearances: Three (since restructuring of ERC in 2004)
Stages: 18
Stage distance: 245.60 kilometres (138.40 kilometres leg one, 107.20 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 579.26 kilometres
Total: 824.86 kilometres
Surface: Snow and ice-coated asphalt

Media accreditation and media centre:
Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt
Accreditation times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
Media centre opening times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Sunday 5 January

Free Practice (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 09:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg (1.99-kilometre stage approximately three kilometres from the event service park)
Qualifying Stage (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 10:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Shakedown (for all other drivers): 11:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Driver photo/interview opportunity: 14:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Pferdeeisenbahn Museum, Kerschbaum 61, 4261 Rainbach (eight kilometres from service park)
Presentation of competing cars: 16:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Start order selection: 16:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
FIA Action for Road Safety photocall: 16:40hrs approx., Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Pre-event press conference: 17:15hrs, Friday 3 January, Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt (200 metres from the service park)
Ceremonial start: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Post-event press conference: 18:30hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt, Austria. Top-three drivers and co-drivers in attendance
Event media contact: Armin Holenia,, +43 6642012700
Television coverage: Daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport. Go to the Watch it on TV section of for more information
ERC Rally Radio: Live throughout the event at or through the ERC app
Results, standings, live timing and text commentary:





Media FIA ERC 2014

Admin and Translation:


Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español

WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


28 de Diciembre 2013

Vodafone será el patrocinador oficial de M-Sport a partir del Rally blanco de Suecia, valido por el FIA World Rally Championship 2014 en el mes de febrero en los Ford Fiesta RS WRC de Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans y Robert Kubica.


Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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