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Czech Rally Zlín (J) - 16-18 Aug 19

Posted: August 17, 2019 6:48 PM - 680 Hits

Round 6 - 2019 European Rally Championship (ERC)
J - Counting Round of ERC Junior Championship

Live Results (Czech Rally Zlin 2019) | Results by: rally-base results | Also available at: ewrc-results.com
ERC Rally Radio | European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Barum Rally Zlin (CZ)
Twitter: @FIAERC

First stage each day - Times are Ireland/UK
Free Practice - Fri - 07:00
Qualifying - Fri - 08:35
SS1 - Fri - 21:18
SS2 - Sat - 09:16
SS10 - Sun - 07:43

ERC event preview: Barum Czech Rally Zlin

Posted: August 16, 2019 10:29 AM

Overview
While the battle for the overall FIA European Rally Championship is still wide open with three events left, next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín takes on huge importance for five young hopefuls aiming to prove they have the talent to take title glory in the fiercely competitive ERC1 Junior and ERC3 Junior categories.

The sealed-surface event based in Zlín, the South Moravian university city, from 16-18 August marks the deciding rounds of the ERC’s two young driver divisions when two prize packages, each worth 100,000 euros, will be up for grabs.

Briton Chris Ingram and Czech Filip Mareš will face-off for the ERC1 Junior crown – the class for drivers in R5 cars aged 28 and under. As well as a prestigious FIA title, the winner will get 100,000 euros to contest the season closing ERC events in Cyprus and Hungary where they will bid for overall honours. ERC3 Junior, meanwhile, is a three-way fight for glory between Estonia’s Ken Thorn, Spaniard Efrén Llarena and Norwegian Sindre Furuseth. Drivers aged 27 and under compete in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres.

Ever-present in the ERC since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a sealed-surface test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the roads. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests. Intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. Taking place two weeks earlier than normal, Barum Czech Rally Zlín will also host the Czech championship decider.

Of the major route tweaks, the return of the legendary Pindula after a one-year absence leads the changes, which also include the Qualifying Stage running in reverse direction and the revival of the Kostelany test.

Once again Barum Czech Rally Zlín organisers have attracted a packed entry featuring some of the best drivers in the host country, across Europe and beyond. Fifty-seven crews with priority status appear on the list of registrations, which total 137 entries across all events.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín in 100 words
Ever-present in the ERC since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It 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 forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. The rally has a long-term contract with the ERC.

What’s new for 2019?
Taking place two weeks earlier than normal, Barum Czech Rally Zlín will host the final ERC Junior rounds of the season as well as the Czech championship decider. Of the major route tweaks, the return of the legendary Pindula after a one-year absence leads changes, which also include the Qualifying Stage running in reverse direction and the revival of the Kostelany stage.

Changes to the ERC for 2019 include the renaming of the ERC Junior categories: ERC Junior Under 28 becomes ERC1 Junior, ERC Junior U27 becomes ERC3 Junior with continued support from Pirelli. R4-K and RGT cars are eligible for ERC2 points, the Abarth Rally Cup will be contested over six ERC rounds, while Rally Hungary joins the calendar for the first time as the deciding round in November.

Talking points
*Defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk starts Barum Czech Rally Zlín leading the ERC standings for the first time in 2019. The Saintéloc Junior Team driver’s advantage of six points over erstwhile pacesetter ?ukasz Habaj (Sports Racing Technologies) follows a low-scoring Rally di Roma Capitale for the Polish star, and a fourth-place finish for the Russian.
*Jan Kopecký, winner of the 2013 ERC title, is bidding for a fifth consecutive Barum Czech Rally Zlín victory in his factory ŠKODA Fabia R5, plus a fifth straight domestic crown (he leads the standings ahead of the Zlín-based national season finale). Kopecký is one of six drivers armed with the new Evo version of the Fabia for his home round of the European championship.
*Double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel also has a Fabia R5 Evo at his disposal, as do Tomáš Kostka, Simon Wagner, Albert von Thurn und Taxis and Aloísio Monteiro. See separate sections for more on Kostka’s road cycle racing exploits and Wagner’s step up in performance.
*The battle for the ERC1 Junior crown (and 100,000 euros to use for the final ERC rounds in Cyprus and Hungary) will be a straight fight between Chris Ingramand home hope Filip Mareš, who is backed by his country’s ASN, the Autoklub of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, it’s a three-way fight in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior Championship between Ken Torn, Efrén Llarena and Sindre Furuseth. The winner gets two rounds of next year’s ERC in an R5 car as his prize.
*Nikolay Gryazin is taking up his second of two prize drivers from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the ERC1 Junior Championship in 2018 with Sports Racing Technologies.
*Former ERC Junior regular Jan ?erný returns to European action having finished third on the last two rounds of the Czech championship. He’s third in his domestic table, one place ahead of Václav Pech, the last driver to win in Zlín prior to Jan Kopecký starting his run of success in 2015.
*MOL Racing Team’s Norbert Herczig, the winner of four Hungarian titles, will be hoping to make amends in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 after crashing out in Zlín in 2018. He does so after a strong run in Italy last month. Experienced Czech Vojt?ch Štajfis also reliant on Polo power.
*Mattias Adielsson is switching from a Citroën C3 R5 to a Ford Fiesta R5 run by Orsák Rally Sport, the Sweden National Team driver taking advantage of a more affordable financial package for his limited funds as he bids to finish in the top three of the final ERC1 Junior standings.
*Japan’s Hiroki Arai once sampled the Zlín stages in the back seat of his father Toshi’s recce car before he was old enough to hold a driving licence of his own. He competes in a Yokohama-equipped Citroën.
*Both Adielsson and Arai will come up against Zlín rookie Miko Marczyk, whose ŠKODA Polska Motorsport Fabia is run by Czech rallying legend and three-time Zlín winner Roman Kresta, who is also behind the participation of Filip Mareš.
*Brazil’s Paulo Nobre continues his season-long ERC campaign with Motorsport Italia, but it’s a rare ERC start for a Czech contingent including Miroslav Jakeš, Roman Odložilík, Tomáš Pospíšilík, Jaromír Tarabus and Hyundai i20 R5 drivers Martin Vl?ek and Petr Trnovec. One-time ERC stalwart Antonín Tlus?ák is also returning to European competition.
*Not one but two members of the B?ezík family will be competing in Zlín with Martin B?ezík’s son AdamB?ezík also taking part. Like ERC3 Junior Erik Cais, the younger B?ezík is a former downhill mountain bike racer. Martin B?ezík runs a bakery on the outskirts of Zlín.
*Zelindo Melegari heads to the Czech Republic from his native Italy leading the ERC2 title race having switched to an Abarth 124 rally ahead of last month’s Rally di Roma Capitale. Andrea Nucita, also from Italy, and Pole Dariusz Polo?ski are first and second in the Abarth standings with all three eligible for ERC2 points in their Pirelli-shod machinery.
*Argentine Juan Carlos Alonsowon on his last ERC2 appearance in Poland, while Kuwait’s Mshari Althefiri makes only his second start on a sealed-surface event. Hungarian Mátyás Nagy is set for his category debut. Like Alonso and Althefiri, Nagy will compete in Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs.
*Aside from ERC3 Junior title contenders Torn, Llarena and Furuseth, a number of young talents will be chasing success in the Pirelli-supported category.
*Czechfederation-backed Erik Cais led his class on his Zlín debut last season and starts the event boosted by his breakthrough podium in Italy last month.
*With his regular co-driver Ond?ej Kraj?a committed to Martin Vl?ek, ACCR Rally Team’s Jan Talaš has recruited Tomáš Šmíd to navigate his Peugeot 208 R2.
*Along with ERC1 contender Aloísio Monteiro, Pedro Antuneswill represent FPAK Portugal Team ERC during his first Zlín start, while Gregor Jeets partners Torn in the Estonian Autosport Junior Team line-up.
*Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who won on his ERC3 Junior debut on Rally Islas Canarias, returns in his now-familiar Ford Fiesta R2T.
*Having been forced to withdraw from Rally di Roma Capitale with a trapped nerve in his left arm, Elias Lundberg is back in action for his maiden Zlín appearance. The Swede’s fellow ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver, Grégoire Munster, made his ERC3 Junior debut in Zlín last season and demonstrated his strong sealed-surface pace on the last round in Rome. Since the Italian event, Belgian Munster finished an impressive eighth in class on the world championship-counting Neste Rally Finland, while he’s due to contest an ADAC Opel Rallye Cup round in Germany this weekend.
*Peugeot Rally Academy-entered Frenchman Yohan Rossel will battle Renault-powered compatriot Florian Bernardi in ERC3. However, Rossel’s team-mate Catie Munnings will no longer be including the Czech contest on her 2019 schedule.
*Turkey’s Orhan Avcioglu continues to acclimatise to ERC3 competition in a Toksport WRT Peugeot 208 R2 having rallied at R5 level in 2018. Belgian Amaury Molle partners Avcioglu at Toksport as he makes his first ERC3 Junior start since 2015.
*American Sean Johnston is a Zlín newcomer, as is talented Czech teen Petr Semerád, who gets an Opel ADAM R2 for his second ERC3 Junior start.
*ERC Ladies’ Trophy contender, Nabila Tejpar, is another driver with no previous Zlín knowledge, the Briton linking up with co-driver Hugo Magalhães for the first time.
*Hungarian Kristóf Klausz has previous Zlín experience to call on, as do compatriot Miklós Csomós and Bulgarian Ekaterina Stratieva, who is set for her 11th Zlín start.
*Czechs Adam B?ezík, René Dohnal and Ji?í Navrátil are registered for ERC3 points for the first time.

Views from the ERC Junior title contenders
The battle for the ERC1 Junior crown (and 100,000 euros to use for the final ERC rounds in Cyprus and Hungary) will be a straight fight between Chris Ingram and home hope Filip Mareš, who is backed by his country’s ASN, the Autoklub of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, it’s a three-way fight in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior Championship between Ken Torn, Efrén Llarena and Sindre Furuseth. The winner gets two rounds of next year’s ERC in an R5 car as his prize. Drivers count their best four scores from a possible six. Click here to view the provisional standings and see below for what the quintet have had to say prior to Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Chris Ingram (Great Britain, Toksport WRT), ERC1 Junior, first position (125 points)
“The Barum Rally will be very important as it will decide the ERC1 Junior Championship. I am disappointed I have not been able to drive to my potential on the last rounds of the championship and have taken a step back to see what has happened. In Barum last year we had a strong pace at the end of the rally, setting times faster than rally legends like Kopecký, Lukyanuk and Sordo. I know what we have to do – I need to do my job to the best of my ability in every area. Winning the title would be huge and give us the chance to continue our fight for the overall title but I need to step up the game now.”

Filip Mareš (Czech Republic, ACCR Czech Rally Team), ERC1 Junior, second position (95 points)
“First of all, I have to say we are glad that we even are in the title fight before the Barum, it underlines our good season so far. Now we are 100 per cent ready for the final round, to give everything into the fight for the title and try to make the season even better. Barum will be the highlight of the season in both the ERC and Czech championship. The fabulous stage Pindula is back on the itinerary, while other parts will be new for us. The competition will be very tough, and I am sure we will face many challenges during the rally. Our plan is to present ourselves with good speed, we want to be consistent in every stage and finish the rally with no big mistakes. I am sure, we are able to do it. From the beginning of the season, the motivation is really high as the budget for the last two ERC rounds is in the game. I trust, we can win the championship and I hope the Czech fans will help us to reach it!”

Ken Torn (Estonia, Estonian Autosport Junior Team), ERC3 Junior, first position (116 points)
“For sure it’s a very big thing. At the beginning of the season I didn’t expect to be taking part in the ERC, but every round has gone well, and we have been getting better and better. Now for the final round it’s possible to take the [championship] win. The prize is a very good opportunity because for a young driver to find the budget to compete in an R5 car is not easy, but the champion will get two rallies in an R5 car, which is very good. When I’ve watched the videos of the stages, they are different to what we had in Roma. You see some gravel on the road so maybe it will be one of the hardest rallies I have done.”

Efrén Llarena (Spain, Rallye Team Spain), ERC3 Junior, second position (110 points)
“My aim, obviously, it to win the rally and get the title. We know it's going to be really difficult because we depend on Ken Torn's result. Barum Czech Rally Zlín is always a big challenge for everybody. We have to attack and give the maximum of us from the beginning. Last year we were on the pace, we finished the first loop in third position, and we had planned to attack much more in the following stages, but, suddenly, we had to retire after a mechanical failure in our car. We could restart for the final leg, so we know all the route. It would be a dream to be ERC3 Junior champions, the best reward for the huge work made since last year by the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo(RFEDA) Rallye Team Spain project, the Mavisa Sport team, my co-driver Sara and me, and all the people behind us, supporting our programme.”

Sindre Furuseth (Norway, Saintéloc Junior Team), ERC3 Junior, third position (96 points)
“Barum is a really special and difficult event, with always a lot of unpredictability and things happening. We will attack the weekend as we have done all this year, try to be fast, but stay out of trouble. It would mean a lot to win the title because it really helps on making the step permanently to R5 and provides two great opportunities in 2020. After our mistake in Rome the title looks rather difficult for us, but we will definitely try to do our part of the job and win the rally.”

Head to head: Kopecký v Lukyanuk
The former (Jan Kopecký) and reigning (Alexey Lukyanuk) FIA European champions are expected to engage in a thrilling battle for victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, even though both have their own title aspirations to consider. While Kopecký is going for a fifth win in Zlín, Lukyanuk has yet to triumph but finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018 to underline his pace and potential.

Form guide: Erik Cais
Backed by his country’s national ASN, the former downhill mountain bike racer scored his maiden ERC3 Junior podium on Rally di Roma Capitale following a strong display in his Ford Fiesta R2T. He was leading his class on his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut last season until a puncture struck. Cais, who turned 20 earlier this month, is the son of experienced driver – and Czech class title winner – Miroslav Cais.

How to follow?
On TV and online: Live coverage of selected stages on Facebook. Daily highlights on Eurosport, Eurosport Player. Videos on YouTube. ERC All Access on Eurosport on 20 August. Event highlights broadcast around the world.
Videos, news update and live timing: Available at FIAERC.com
ERC Radio: Live from the end of all stages and selected service park visits. Available at FIAERC.com or download the official ERC App
Social media:Follow the ERC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Daily news feed: Available on request by emailing media@fiaerc.com

Don’t miss! ERC1 Junior champion Gryazin set for second prize drive
Nikolay Gryazin wants to avoid a “pushing race” when he takes up his second prize drive from promoter Eurosport Events for winning the FIA ERC1 Junior title in 2018 on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. After crashing out of the lead on Rally di Roma Capitale last month, Gryazin is back in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín eager to up his asphalt running and refine the set-up of his Sports Racing Technologies-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 for Germany’s world championship rally the following week. “Because we are using this [second prize drive] to prepare for Germany, it will not be like a pushing race for us, but we will try to manage our set-up,” said the Russian, who has graduated to world level for this season following his success in the ERC. “In Rally di Roma Capitale we were trying to push but after our crash we were not able to set up the car so at the start in Barum I will be more cautious to gain some improvements.”

Abarth Rally Cup battle continues on Barum Czech Rally Zlín
The Abarth Rally Cup, which began on Rally Islas Canarias in early May, runs in conjunction with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019, bringing together the hugely exciting one-make series and the leading regional competition promoted by Eurosport Events under a long-term agreement with motorsport’s world governing body. Contested over six rounds of the eight-event ERC, the Abarth Rally Cup is open to competitors using the enhanced-for-2019 Abarth 124 rally, the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscar, which conforms to the FIA’s R-GT category technical regulations. And following the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s decision on 5 December to allow R-GT cars to take part in the revitalised ERC2 category, Abarth Rally Cup drivers are eligible for points in the popular showroom class, while also chasing an attractive round-by-round and end-of-season prize fund. On each round the following prize fund is offered: First position: €12,000;Second position: €10,000; Third position: €8,000;Fourth position: €4,000 plus four Pirelli tyres. At the end of the season the Abarth Rally Cup winner receives a final prize of €30,000. Italian Zelindo Melegari will make his second appearance in the series in Czech Republic following his debut on Rally di Roma Capitale. He will go up against title contenders Andrea Nucita (Italy) and Dariusz Polo?ski (Poland).

Wagner steps up for ERC Junior season decider
Simon Wagner will build on his potential at R5 level when he steps up to the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, a move he hopes will lead to more action in the category for young stars in R5 cars next season. Wagner began 2019 chasing success in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior only for bad luck to strike on the opening two rallies, which triggered a change of focus. After winning back-to-back events in his native Austria in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in May and June, Wagner entered the Czech championship Rally Bohemia last month and beat more experienced opposition to finish a fine fourth overall – and start the process of securing the funding to contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín. “The competition in ERC1 and especially in ERC1 Junior is very high and everybody needs to go to the limit and give everything,” he said.

Founding ERC Junior Pospíšilíkis R5 alive for Zlín
Tomáš Pospíšilík, one of the original FIA ERC Junior Championship intake from 2014, is returning to the category on his home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, only this time he’ll be at the wheel of an R5 car. Pospíšilík, who made his ERC3 Junior debut on Rally Liep?ja five years ago driving an R2-specification ŠKODA Fabia, will be competing in the Czech firm’s R5 equivalent for what will be a rare start in 2019.“I started on only a few races this year because I had two crashes, we had to repair the car and it cost a lot of money,” Pospíšilík explained. “This is my home race and to drive on it is like my dream. I am preparing hard because I will have my sponsors, my girlfriend, family and friends here. Last year we were on the 13th position. Now I want the top 10.”

Molle calls on team-mate Ingram for Zlín advice ahead of ERC Junior return
Amaury Molle has called on Chris Ingram for advice ahead of his return to the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. Belgian Molle has one ERC3 Junior start to his name dating back to 2015 when he contested his home round of the championship, finishing sixth in class. His return four years on will mark his debut on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which he’ll contest in a Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2 entered under the Toksport WRT banner in partnership with Molle’s regular team, Pevatec. With no previous knowledge of the Czech roads, the 24-year-old Molle has enlisted advice from Toksport driver Ingram, who will be bidding for the ERC1 Junior title in Zlín and has started the rally five times. “I only know this rally from watching videos and the stories that it’s fast and bumpy, so I’ve been talking with Chris Ingram. He has experience there and we’re in the same team so he’s helping me.”

From racing Sagan to taking on the ERC’s elite: Kostka is back for home rally
Back in June Tomáš Kostka was in action against pro-riders Peter Sagan and Zden?k Štybar in a national championship cycle race in Trnava, Slovakia. This month he’ll be taking on the ERC’s elite on his home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín. A three-time podium finisher on the FIA European Rally Championship counter, the former circuit racer was unable to secure the funding to compete last season, but returns this year in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 co-driven by Ladislav Ku?era and run by Kresta Racing, the team owned by his brother-in-law and Czech rallying legend Roman Kresta. “I’m glad to be back,” said Kostka, who finished second in Zlín in 2016 and third in 2012 and 2014. “Of course, this was difficult in terms of finances, but everyone has to deal with this. There are two tests ahead of us and everything should be ready to go for the best place again.”

Seven teams battle for ERC Nations’ Cup story
Seven teams will battle for success in the ERC Nations’ Cup on Barum Czech Rally Zlín. ACCR Czech Rally Team I, ACCR Czech Rally Team II, ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, Estonian Autosport Junior Team, FPAK Portugal Team ERC, Rallye Team Spain and Sweden National Team are all backed by their respective ASNs or automobile federations to further underline the appeal of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Five facts:
1: Zlín’s rise from small town to big city is credited to Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894. His old office – located in a moving elevator – is preserved in the Regional Authority Building 21.
2: Now established as a bustling university city, Zlín’s south-eastern Moravia setting is 300 kilometres from the Czech capital Prague and 220 kilometres from the Austrian capital Vienna.
3: Zlín became Gottwaldov from 1949-1990 after the first Czech communist president, Klement Gottwald.
4: Barum Czech Rally Zlín ran for the first time in 1971 and turns 48 this year. Jan Halmažna took the inaugural honours in a ŠKODA 1100 MB.
5: Event sponsor Continental Barum’s giant tyre factory and distribution centre in nearby Otrokovice hosts the rally’s permanent service park.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: August 16, 2019 10:21 AM

Rally Guide / Details / Website

Posted: May 30, 2019 7:24 AM

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