Rally Liepaja (J) - 6-8 Oct 17

Posted: October 7, 2017 4:46 AM - 2172 Hits

Round 8 - 2017 European Rally Championship (ERC)
J - Counting Round of ERC Junior Championship

Live Results (Liepaja 2017) | Results by: rally-base results
Rally Radio / News | European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Liepaja-Ventspils (Latvia)
Twitter: @FIAERC

First stage each day - Times are Ireland/UK
Qualifying - Fri - 13:30
SS1 - Sat - 08:00
SS8 - Sun - 07:00


Posted: October 2, 2017 8:02 AM

The race to win the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship will go down to the wire in Latvia next week (6-8 October) when Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Bruno Magalhães face-off for title glory on Rally Liep?ja.

Magalhães, in a SEAJETS-backed ŠKODA, must cancel out a 24-point deficit to Kajetanowicz and hope his Polish rival falters in the Baltics to become Portugal's first ERC champion. But if LOTOS Rally Team-run Kajetanowicz can maintain status quo, then he will claim an historic third consecutive European crown.

After seven all-action events on gravel and asphalt from the Azores in Europe’s outermost reaches to Cyprus in the continent’s south-east corner, ERC season 64 reaches its climax on the high-speed loose-surface stages in Latvia's Kurzeme region close to the Baltic coast, where several highlights await and a number of other title scraps – and big prizes – must be settled.

They include the epic four-way battle for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship and the 100,000 euros career progression prize handed to the winner for an ERC Junior U28 campaign in 2018 when they will step up to an R5 car. There’s also the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams – streamlined for 2017 to increase competition – to be decided with three entrants locked in combat for first position.


*Five FIA titles are up for grabs on the 2017 season closer with the championship back on gravel after three events on sealed surfaces.

*Latvia will host the ERC for the fifth time in 2017 a handful of weeks after it staged another major FIA competition – the World Rallycross Championship – for the second year running.

*Home hero Reinis Nitišs, currently P14 in the World RX standings, took part in the event in Riga and makes his second ERC start on Rally Liep?ja for what will be his third ever rally.

*Highly-rated Kalle Rovanperä has chosen the ERC finale for his international debut. The 16-year-old Finn, who turns 17 on Sunday (1 October) is one of 32 drivers competing with ERC priority status in Latvia.

*Top Latvian driver Ralfs Sirmacis, last year’s Rally Liep?ja winner, is back to chase more ERC success after being sidelined for much of the season by a lack of finance.

*Super-spectacular Alexey Lukyanuk is set to wow fans with his flat-out driving style that has earned him the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy on seven previous occasions.

*Red Bull athlete Tamara Molinaro will complete a 'rally of honour' as ERC Ladies' Trophy title winner.

*Liep?ja’s spectacular Great Amber concert hall will host end-of-season awards ceremony.


*While Kajetan Kajetanowicz – who lost victory on the last in Italy by 0.3s – and Bruno Magalhães will do battle for the overall ERC crown, Alexey Lukyanuk can finish third providing he scores 12 points or more.

*Zelindo Melegari and Tibor Érdi Jr are four points apart in the ERC2 title fight. With no scores to drop, it’s a case of best man wins in the production category.

*Five drivers can win ERC3 with defending champion Chris Ingram leading the march, albeit a solitary point ahead of Filip Mareš.

*Ingram is one of four drivers embroiled in an epic battle to win the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship and the 100,000 euros career progression prize handed to the winner (please refer to separate press release coming soon for more information). He’s two points behind Mareš with Hyundai Motorsport’s new world championship recruit Jari Huttunen and Aleks Zawada firmly in contention.

*Spanish Peugeot Rally Academy pair Pepe López and José Suárez will battle Nikolay Gryazin for the runner-up spot in ERC Junior U28.

*Three entrants will dice for the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams with Castrol Ford Team Turkey tinkering with its line-up in a concerted bid to land the top prize. Murat Bostanci will bring his expertise from ERC1 to ERC3 with Ümi?tcan Özdemi?r returning to the line-up that also includes Bu?ra Banaz. ACCR Czech Team and Opel Rallye Junior Team can also win.


The battle for the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship is between Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Bruno Magalhães. This is what they’ve had to say and some key facts ahead of the season-closing Rally Liep?ja.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz: “The gap is big but Bruno and Hugo [Magalhães] are not so far behind and we have to keep a good speed, pedal to the metal and we will see. I hope we can be first after this season but it’s a long way to go. We saw on the last round in Italy that victory can be decided by the blink of an eye and the tiny margins prove the competitiveness and closeness of the ERC. The whole LOTOS Rally Team works with great passion and this gives me plenty of strength.”

Bruno Magalhães: “This season is very different for me. I am sure Kajto did not expect to fight with me this year because we are a very small team and in the last years I didn’t make so many rallies. I was only meant to do one rally at the start of the year and what is happening to me and my team is amazing. We are going to try to make the next step. Our chances are not so big but if I go to Latvia just to congratulate the champion then of course I am happy. If I win I am much happier for sure.”


Posted: October 2, 2017 7:57 AM

Rally Liepaja, the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), is set to take place from October 6 to 8 in Liepaja and its nearby Durbe, Aizpute, and Priekule regions. European champions in nearly all classes will be determined here in Latvia, as will the winners of the Latvian Rally Championship.

With Latvia hosting the final round of the ERC, the crews will not be able to postpone anything until the next event – they will have to show their very best here, in order to finish the season on a strong note, or even come away with the championship title. Before the last event, the only title that has been settled is in ERC Junior U28, which was won by Marijan Griebel. This means that champions in five more categories – ERC, ERC 2, ERC 3, ERC Junior U27, and the ERC team championship – will be determined in Rally Liep?ja.

Lotos Rally Team driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz is very close to winning his third European championship in a row, having earned 145 points, which is 24 more than the second placed Bruno Magalhaes (121 points). Even though the lead is formidable, Rally Liep?ja will not be just a victory parade for Kajetanowicz. With 39 points on the line – 25 for winning the rally, and 7 more for winning each of the two legs – the championship is still in play. However, Magalhaes’ task will be a bit more difficult due to the fact that this will be Kajetanowicz’s fourth Rally Liep?ja, while the Portuguese driver will compete here for the first time. As a reminder – the ERC standings take into account the six best scores in the eight events.

Since Bryan Bouffier will not compete in Rally Liepaja, Alexey Lukyanuk has a chance to finish the season in third place – to do that, he will have to earn at least 12 points in Liep?ja. We would like to remind you that two Latvian drivers, Ralfs Sirmacis and J?nis Ber?is, will also be competing in the ERC class, as will Kalle Rovanpera and Nikolay Gryazin, both of whom are racing with licences issued by the Latvian Automobile Federation. The last two meeting for the first time in one classification since Gryazin grabbed an 0,74sec win at Rally Talsi earlier in May.

ERC 2 class (group N4) is sure to have some entertaining battles as well, with Italian Zelindo Melegari (152 points) doing his best to keep the top spot in the standings, despite being just 4 points ahead of Hungarian Tibor Erdi (148 points). It is expected that the experienced Latvian J?nis Vorobjovs will also be fighting for a victory here, with FIA World Rallycross Championship driver Reinis Nitišs looking to do the same.

Front-wheel drive class ERC 3 championship will also be settled here in Liep?ja. Last year’s champion Chris Ingram (120 points) will need to beat four drivers to retain his title – Czech driver Filip Mares (119 points), newest member of Hyundai Motorsport Jari Huttunen (104 points), Turkish driver Bugra Banaz (102 points), and Polish driver Aleks Zawada (98 points). Liep?ja native M?rti?š Sesks will also be competing in this class, trying to use his familiarity with the stages to get as many points as possible, to the delight of local fans!

Rally Liep?ja will also serve as the conclusion of the six event long ERC Junior championship, where the four best results count toward the championship. Even though the ERC Junior U28 champion is already known, Nikolay Gryazin (who races with a licence issued by the Latvian Automobile Federation) still has some work to do – he must battle with two Peugeot Rally Academy crews (Jose Antonio Suarez and Pepe Lopez) for second place in the championship. With most of ERC 3 entrants also competing in the ERC Junior U27 class, the fact that four events count towards the championship have slightly rearranged the standings. Czech driver Filip Mares (117 points) is currently leading, followed by Chris Ingram (115 points), Jari Huttunen (106 points), and Aleks Zawada (99 points).

Castrol Ford Team Turkiye will arrive in Liep?ja as the current leaders in the team championship. Battle for the title will be tough, as ACCR Czech Team has won the last three events, decreasing their deficit from 86 to just 17 points – making for an exciting battle at the top. Opel Rallye Junior Team is just 14 points behind them, with their Opel Adam R2 equipped crews battling not just for individual glory in Liep?ja. In the Latvian Rally Championship, Rally Liep?ja will host the final two rounds, making it possible to earn a total of 78 points. Even though Kalle Rovanpera (173 points) will arrive at the event having already won the championship, the battle for second place is sure to be exciting between Nikolay Gryazin (92 points) and J?nis Ber?is (84 points). With two events’ worth of points available this weekend, a total of 10 more crews have a theoretical chance to fight for a podium spot in the championship. In LR?2 class, the current leader Alexander Mikhaylov (111 points) will do his best to thrill the spectators, but will not be battling with current second place holder Alexander Gorelov (85 points). Meanwhile, Linas Vaškys (third place, 67 points), J?nis Vorobjovs (fourth, 46 points), and Reinis Nitišs (fifth, 39 points) will surely be looking to improve their position in the standings. In LR?3, the battle for the title has come down to Liep?ja native M?rti?š Sesks (116 points) and Oliver Solberg (93 points), son of legendary driver Petter. Both drivers are also competing for glory in the LR? Junior class, with the Liep?ja native currently holding a 34 point advantage. Petr Turkin will try to retain the lead in RK1 class. Winners of the team championship will also be determined in Liep?ja, with Sports Racing Technologies (131 points) trying to hold off TGS Worldwide (118 points).

FIA European Rally Championship standings: https://www.fiaerc.com/standings/
Latvian Rally Championship standings: http://www.autorally.lv/?m=5

We would like to remind you that a single ticket price, if bought on or before September 30, will be 18.00 EUR. The price will increase to 25.00 EUR starting from October 1. Children up to 10 years of age, as well as people with disabilities, can attend the rally free of charge, if they can show a document stating their age and/or a valid disability certificate to the ticket controller at the stage entrance. Those who attended Neste World RX of Latvia can also get a Rally Liep?ja ticket for a decreased price of 15.00 EUR, by entering the code listed on the rallycross ticket in the Bi?ešu Serviss system. During Rally Liep?ja, at the stage entrances it will only be possible to buy single stage tickets, at a price of 12.00 EUR per ticket.

Rally Liep?ja spectators should remember that tickets bought in Bi?ešu Serviss must be exchanged for wristbands before heading out to the rally – it will not be possible to get into the stages without a wristband. All information about ticket exchange locations can be found on the rally website at www.lvrally.com. When exchanging you ticket for a wristband, you will also receive a spectator safety information leaflet.

All information and news about Rally Liep?ja are available on the official website at www.lvrally.com, as well as on social media - Twitter @LVRally, Facebook /LVRally, draugiem.lv /lvrally, YouTube /RallyLiep?ja, and Instagram /lvrally.

FIA European Rally Championship round Rally Liep?ja is possible thanks to the support of the Latvian government and the rally city of Liep?ja. We would also like to thank our sponsors Neste and Optibet Sporta B?rs, and our partner LDz Cargo. Thanks to the provider of official cars Autobrava, as well as supporters Baltijas Helikopters, Castrol, Canon ibServiss R?ga, Liep?jas Olimpiskais Centrs, Liep?jas SEZ, NPK Expert, Ramirent, and SweCon. Informative support is provided by news portal DELFI, rally radio Kurzemes Radio, as well as Go4Speed and Zebra. Rally Liep?ja would also not be possible without our rally friends: Dardedze, Esi Draugs, FN Serviss, J?nis P?ce, Maksikoms, N&J, Red Bull, SidusNet, SignTech, Sixt, Sportland, Törley, and Venden. A special thank you goes out to the Latvian Automobile Federation. Rally Liep?ja is organized by RA EVENTS and ?truma festiv?ls Kurzeme, with support by the regional councils of Durbe, Aizpute, and Priekule.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: October 2, 2017 7:42 AM


Posted: October 2, 2017 7:36 AM

Highly-rated teenager Kalle Rovanperä has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship season-closing Rally Liep?ja for his international event debut.

The high-speed Latvian gravel rally from 6-8 October begins five days after the Finn, the son of ex-world championship factory driver Harri, turns 17 and will mark his first outing in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5.

“I’m looking forward to good competition and, of course, it’s my first rally with the Fiesta so I’ll concentrate on the set-up of the car and to get to know the car better,” said Rovanperä, who turns 17 on 1 October and tackled the national section of Rally Liep?ja in 2016. “I think I have gained some speed and made my pacenotes better [since then]. I only have pressure from myself because I always push to be better.”

Rovanperä, who is being touted as a future world champion, made his competition debut in Latvia – where drivers are allowed to rally before they are old enough to hold a driving licence under a special permit – in 2013. He claimed the country’s LRC1 title in 2016 – his first season in R5 machinery – and spent 2017 competing in the Italian championship in addition to events in Latvia and his native Finland.

He will be one of 32 drivers holding ERC priority status entered on Rally Liep?ja and one of 11 competing in a top-of-the-range R5 car. And while his programme for 2018 will focus on a world championship campaign, selected ERC events are under consideration as Rovanperä builds his experience of high-level competition against fellow young talents and more experienced drivers. “For sure the ERC has been on the calendars of many Finnish drivers and it’s a great place to race. I am going to drive next year in WRC and maybe in some ERC races,” said Rovanperä, who will be co-driven by compatriot Jonne Halttunen.

And of the comparisons in the media with Max Verstappen, the youngest winner of a Formula One grand prix aged 18 years and 227 days, Rovanperä said: “I have heard that and I think it’s quite funny. For sure we doing great in our own cars.”

Commenting on Rovanperä’s ERC debut in Latvia, M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE said:
“We are delighted to have rally’s newest sensation in our car. We are looking forward to seeing his performance against the regular ERC competitors. Despite this being his first time in the Ford Fiesta R5, his Latvian experience should help him to perform well.”

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley added:
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Kalle to the ERC. We have followed Kalle’s performances since his participation on Rally Liep?ja last year and were already impressed by his pace, rewarding him with the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy. Adding the name of Kalle Rovanperä to the list of young ERC talents starting their international career at R5 level is a reward for all the efforts we put behind training young drivers to climb to the top of the sport.”

Entries Received / Rally Guide / Website / Details

Posted: August 24, 2017 6:48 AM

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