Barum Rally Zlin (Czech Republic) (J) - 29-31 Aug 14

Posted: August 30, 2014 12:43 AM - 3587 Hits

Round 9 - 2014 European Rally Championship (ERC)

Live Results: rally-base results
News: iRally | European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Barum Rally Zlin (CZ)
Twitter: @FIAERC

First stage each day Times are Ireland/UK
SS1 - Fri - 20:15
SS2 - Sat - 08:46
SS10 - Sun - 07:38

ERC Peugeot Rally Academy business resumes for Breen.

Posted: August 24, 2014 6:13 PM

It’s hard to believe but its way back in the middle of June since Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen last competed on a rally using the Peugeot 208T16. That was on round six of the European Rally Championship in Belgium at the “Geko Ypres Rally” on asphalt and that’s the surface he’ll make his return to the ERC 2014 on next weekend in the Czech Republic. It’s been a busy summer break for Craig and his co-driver Scott, with the high of winning Craig’s home rally to the low of Craig suffering a back injury in Finland, but showing his usual determination he will arrive in Zlin with a clean bill of health to restart his ERC campaign on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín ( 29th-31st August).

Seeded number one on the road the Peugeot driver is no stranger to the fast asphalt stages that wind their way through a mix of villages, open farmland and forests as he finished an impressive seventh overall in an S2000 car back in 2011 in what was essentially a rookie year for him. The surface can be broken in places and he will be very much hoping his previous experience on the event will in someway keep him on the cleaner lines should the unpredictable weather choose to make driving conditions difficult as it often can there. Celebrating its 44th year the rally is based 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague and for the first time in its history will have a qualifying Stage on Friday morning to determine the starting order for Saturday’s Leg 1. For the huge number of fans that are guaranteed to be there as always there is the treat of the opening SS1 City super special stage on Friday evening to whet their appetite for the real rally action the following day.

The service park for the weekend is located in Otrokovice, 14 kilometres from Zlín and the rally will return there several times throughout its fifteen stages. The event organisers haven’t introduced any new stages for 2014 but have instead made slight changes to the rally’s well known classics. The longest stage gets an all new section never used before that features tricky bends and a big jump. Speaking about the event Craig said
“I’m really looking forward to the rally, I’ve really learned so much as a driver since I was there last” and on returning to his Peugeot 208T16 driving seat said “I really want to prove that I’m fit and that the 208T16 and I have what it takes to win again”

. You can keep up to date with Craig’s FIA ERC 2014 campaign by visiting www.craigbreen.com or www.peugeot-sport.com

ERC STARS TO CZECH OUT ASPHALT PACE IN ZLÍN

Posted: August 24, 2014 6:10 PM

Back from its short summer break and back on asphalt, the all-action FIA European Rally Championship is heading east next week for Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

An ERC ever-present since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín turns 44 this season and takes place around the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague, from 29-31 August.

With 15 stages over a distance of 237.33 competitive kilometres, this is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forest areas and intermittent showers are always a possibility. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of enthusiastic fans are guaranteed to create a carnival atmosphere.

In keeping with Barum Czech Rally Zlín tradition, the competitive action begins with a superspecial stage through the streets of the event’s host city on the night of Friday 29 August. It’s followed by two days of high-speed action with four repeated stages on Saturday and a further three stages used twice on Sunday. The permanent service park is located in Otrokovice, 14 kilometres from Zlín with fans treated to seven visits during the course of the rally.

For the first time in Barum Czech Rally Zlín history, a Qualifying Stage will take place to help determine the starting order for Saturday’s opening leg. Although there are no new stages for 2014, the event organisers haven’t rested on their laurels by introducing several tweaks to the existing stage layouts. The most significant change is to the Troják test, which is used twice on Saturday’s first leg. The rally’s longest stage at 22.82 kilometres gets an all-new 1.6-kilometre section never previously used on the event before featuring many bends and a big jump.

As well as counting as round eight in the overall ERC title fight; the event is the fifth round of the new-for-2014 FIA ERC Junior Championship plus the sixth round of the Mediasport Czech International Rally Championship.

Quality and quantity as 121 sign up

A total of 121 crews have entered Barum Czech Rally Zlín to underline the popularity of the ERC and the all-asphalt showcase. Craig Breen is the top seed in a Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16 and is one of 24 drivers competing for honours in the headlining RC2 category. Ott Tänak, who like Breen is an ERC event winner in 2014, is the second seed at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5. Esapekka Lappi, whose two wins this season have propelled him to the top of the ERC standings, is seeded third for ŠKODA Motorsport. Elsewhere, Robert Consani makes his eighth ERC start of the year, while Neil Simpson enters his third event in his ex-factory ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

No business like show business in the ERC

Four drivers who have appeared on TV or in the movies will be in action in Zlín. Czech singer and actress Olga Lounová and actor David Sucha?ípa will tackle their home round of the ERC for the first time while Mark Higgins, a stunt driver in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, returns to the event following an 11-year absence and will compete in a JRM Subaru WRX STi. Completing the show business quartet is ERC 2WD champion Zoltán Bessenyey. The Hungarian TV presenter will be one of the leading contenders in the two-wheel-drive category in his Honda Civic Type R.

ERC Juniors set for Czech adventure

Thirteen of rallying’s most promising young drivers will chase FIA ERC Junior Championship honours on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. They include local heroes Jan ?erný and Tomáš Pospíšilík, Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre, who like ?erný is a two-time winner in ERC Junior, podium finishers Gino Bux, Andrea Crugnola, Chris Ingram and Alex Parpottas, stage winners Mattias Olsson and Aleks Zawada, ADAC OPEL Rallye Junior Team driver Marijan Griebel, Italian prospect Fabio Andolfi and Norwegian title contender Petter Kristiansen, the lone ŠKODA Fabia R2 representative in the Michelin-supported category.

Home heroes out in force

With Barum Czech Rally Zlín also counting as a round of the Czech championship, several home heroes will be in action. Among the list are former Zlín winners Roman Kresta and Václav Pech, rising star Miroslav Jakeš, former Czech champion Pavel Valoušek and ex-circuit racer Tomáš Kostka. Meanwhile, Czech ERC regulars Jaroslav Orsák, Jaromír Tarabus and Antonín Tlus?ák will also be competing on the asphalt spectacular.

R5 cars in battle for supremacy

All three R5 cars currently eligible for competition use – Citroën DS3 R5, Ford Fiesta R5 and Peugeot 208T16 – will be appearing on the Zlín stages. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, LOTOS Rally Team’s four-time Polish champion, makes a welcome return to ERC action in a Fiesta R5, the car of choice for auto24 Rally Estonia winner Ott Tänak and ERC podium finisher Robert Barrable. Czech drivers Miroslav Jakeš and Tomáš Kostka are armed with DS3 R5s, while Bruno Magalhães will use a 208T16 in the ERC for the first time and will doubtless be cheered by the pace demonstrated by Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen in the new French machine in this season’s ERC.

Support categories to thrill Czech fans

Vitaliy Pushkar heads a hugely competitive ERC Production Car Cup entry from local ace Martin Hudec, category frontrunner András Hadik and three-time British champion Mark Higgins. Polish title winner Sebastian Frycz will also be competing, as will Italian veteran Marco Cavigioli, who has taken the start in Zlín on 15 previous occasions. The ERC 2WD Championship, ERC Junior Championship and ERC Ladies’ Trophy are also big on numbers with the respective title leaders –Zoltán Bessenyey, Jan ?erný and Ekaterina Stratieva – all due to contest the 15-stage event. The ERC Ladies’ Trophy is boosted by the return of Czech Republic’s Martina Da?helová and glamour model Inessa Tushkanova. Elsewhere, Alex Filip, Lukasz Kabaci?ski, Kristóf Klausz, Kornél Lukács, Renato Pita and Simone Tempestini are all back on ERC duty, while ERC tyre partners Michelin, Pirelli and Yokohama will all be represented on the event.

That six appeal for ŠKODA in Zlín

Factory ŠKODA drivers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand will preserve a long-standing record if either one of them can win Barum Czech Rally Zlín. ŠKODA Motorsport hasn’t been defeated on its home round of the FIA European Rally Championship since it unleashed its Fabia Super 2000 back in 2009, when ERC title holder Jan Kopecký claimed victory.

Who will be the Zlín ERC Asphalt Master?

The battle to be the ERC Asphalt Master on Barum Czech Rally Zlín is set to thrill with the current top four all competing. Along with the ERC Gravel Master and ERC Ice Master, the ERC Asphalt Master is a new initiative from European championship promoter Eurosport Events for 2014, to recognise surface specialists competing in the ERC. Points are awarded on a scale of 10-6-4-2-1 for each stage. After three scoring opportunities, Esapekka Lappi tops the table with 188 points from Peugeot Rally Academy duo Kevin Abbring (165) and Craig Breen (123). Lappi’s ŠKODA team-mate, Sepp Wiegand, is next up with 108 points.

Q&A: JAN ?ERNÝ

After claiming ERC 2WD honours on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last season, Jan ?erný tops the ERC Junior standings by one point starting his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship.

What have you been doing to keep busy since your last ERC Junior appearance?
“Our team was busy repairing and preparing our Peugeot 208 after the crash in Ypres. Apart from that I was working on my physical and mental fitness and I also had some time to relax.”

How have you prepared for Barum Czech Rally Zlín?
“Earlier this month we have done EPLcond Rally Agropa Pa?ejov, which is a very nice sprint event here in Czech Republic. We approached this event in a relaxed way trying to get back the confidence and try some set-up options for Barum Rally. We are going to make a long test prior to Barum as well.”

What knowledge do you have of the event?
“We have done this event five times already. I think we know the event quite well and it is one of our favourites. Every year Barum Rally becomes one big celebration of rally sport here in Czech Republic. The atmosphere is really amazing.”

And what is your aim for the rally?
“Considering our current position in the championship and confidence we usually have on Barum Rally our aim has to be the victory. But we know very well that it won't be easy for us and that it will be a big fight. There are at least three other drivers in ERC Junior who can be very hard to beat.”

Q&A: JAROMÍR TARABUS

The FIA European Rally Championship regular finished an impressive third on his home round of the ERC last year and will be aiming for another strong showing in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

As a Czech driver, what does competing on Barum Czech Rally Zlín mean to you?
“Barum Czech Rally Zlín is my home event and almost for my co-driver Daniel Trunkát too. It is the highlight of the season for us and we are really looking forward to it. Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a big sporting event in Czech Republic, every year there is a very strong entry list and there is a big amount of spectators on the stages, which are making an amazing atmosphere.”

How difficult is this rally and what is the hardest thing?
“The stages of Barum Czech Rally Zlín are very difficult for correct set-up of the car because on the stages there is a variety of smooth fast Tarmac and bumpy rough forest parts. It is a very difficult event for the car and it’s not unusual to retire due to technical failure.”

In terms of a result what are you hoping for?
“There are a lot of big names in the start list so it is very difficult to predict the result. Last year we finished in third place but it will be very difficult to gain the same position. We used EPLcond Rally Agropa Pa?ejov as a test because we have not raced on Tarmac since the Acropolis Rally and our win has given us self-confidence. It was great to make tight fights with other crews and it was important to keep the maximum concentration.”

There will be a Qualifying Stage in Zlín for the first time. How crucial will running order be?
“Starting order on Tarmac is not so important like on snow or gravel events. As Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a Tarmac event, it is better to start in front before more gravel from the top crews is brought onto the road, especially in bad weather.”

FIVE FACTS

*Zlín might never have prospered had it not been for one Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894 and watched the town flourish into a university city. Bat’a’s old office still exists in the city’s Building 21, which houses rally HQ.

*Such is the global appeal of Barum Czech Rally Zlín that 25 nations are represented on this year’s event.

*When it comes to event loyalty, Italian Marco Cavigioli is right up there, with the 2013 edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlín marking his 15th appearance on the rally. He was handed the key to the city in recognition of his achievement. *The event itself, which runs for a 44th time in 2014, has been part of the ERC since 1983 and ever-present since the ERC’s restructuring in 2004.

*Fabio Villa is set for a busy trip to Zlín. As well as reporting on the ERC counter for TuttoRally+ magazine, the respected Italian journalist will co-drive compatriot Albano Frassineti in the supporting Star Rally in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth.

EVENT ESSENTIALS (all timings local)

Starts: 17:00hrs, Friday 29 August, Town Hall, Nám?stí Míru square, Zlín
Finishes: 15:55hrs, Sunday 31 August, Nám?stí Míru square, Zlín
Headquarters: Building 21, Zlín
Service park: Barum Factory, Otrokovice
ERC appearances (since the restructuring in 2004): 10
Stages: 15
Stage distance: 236.84 kilometres (127.88 kilometres leg one, 108.96 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 439.88 kilometres
Total: 676.72 kilometres
Surface: All asphalt

Barrable’s four-month rally drought will come to an end on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín

Posted: August 18, 2014 10:25 PM

Robert Barrable will end a four-month rally drought when he contests the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (August 29-31) in his Tunnock’s World Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.

The last event the 26-year old driver from Swords near Dublin contested was the Circuit of Ireland in April, where he finished a magnificent third overall. Since then Robert has been working hard on his fitness and announced his engagement to girlfriend Olivia Leavy – but now he is turning his attention to his return to the FIA European Rally Championship, and his third attempt at the fast and challenging Czech Republic asphalt event.

Robert contested the Barum Rally for the first time in 2011, but wasn’t classified as a finisher after his time card went missing at the final control. The following year he returned and, together with co-driver Stuart Loudon, finished fifth overall in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000.

Robert’s CA1 Sport-run Fiesta R5 has had a full gearbox rebuild and a meticulous overhaul in preparation for the Barum Rally. He also plans to test the car in the Czech Republic prior to the start of one of the country’s biggest motorsport event.

Competition on the Barum Rally will be extremely tough, with 121 crews from 25 countries on the entry list – including 25 R5 or S2000 cars. Along with Robert, the leading drivers include Ott Tänak (Fiesta R5), ERC leader Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand (ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia S2000s), Craig Breen, Kevin Abbring and Bruno Magalhães (Peugeot 208T16s) and Czech champion Václav Pech (Mini).

Robert: “It’s been four long months since our last rally, so I can’t wait to get back into the Tunnocks R5 and have a real crack at scoring a good result. I’ve done the Barum Rally twice before, so I’ve got a pretty good knowledge of the event. It’s certainly not easy, especially as the grip levels change dramatically depending on the weather. Both times I’ve done the rally, it’s been hot on the recce, very wet during the event, and dry again at the finish. That’s makes everything all the more challenging – and not too dissimilar to Ireland, which is perhaps why we’ve always gone well there. Our best result is fifth, and even though the competition from both the European Championship contenders and the very quick local drivers will be very tough, we’ll be aiming to try and better our best result.”

Stuart: “The Barum Rally is one of the toughest events I’ve ever done, because the stages are so demanding. The weather can play a huge part – in 2012 there was torrential rain on the Saturday and we aquaplaned off the road at one point. As a lot of the stages are done twice, Rob will tell me where the mud is during our first run through so we can adjust the pace notes before the second loop. Barum is definitely a rally where you have to drive to the conditions, and if you master that you’ll be in line for a good result. We haven’t been in a rally car together since April, so we’ll need to sharpen ourselves on the test before we hit a hundred miles an hour down those narrow bumpy country lanes!”

The 44th Barum Czech Rally Zlín contains 15 Tarmac stages covering 147.46 miles (237.33kms), with the centralised service park located at the Barum tyre factory in Otrokovice. Following a Qualifying Stage, which will determine the starting order, the action begins with the traditional opening night-time 5.9 mile (9.51km) stage in downtown Zlín on Friday 29 August, with cars doing three high-speed laps in reverse running order – with the top cars finishing at around 23.00.

Leg 1 continues the following day at 08.00, with eight stages including two runs on the Slušovice motor racing circuit and the Troják stage which, at 14.17 miles (22.82kms), is the longest of the rally. Leg 2 on Sunday 31 August gets underway at 07.00 and goes straight into three long stages. The loop of 40 miles (54.71kms) is then repeated after a late morning service, before the finish ceremony in Zlín at 16.00.

The event attracts a huge number of spectators, while 227 journalists from 18 countries attended the event last year. Daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport.

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