Latvia’s round of next year’s FIA European Rally Championship will include a stage through the streets of host city Liepāja when it takes place from 6-8 February 2015.
The exciting spectacle, a rarity on winter events, is one of a number of changes being planned by Rally Liepāja organisers for round two of the 2015 ERC season.
Raimonds Strokšs, Director of RA Events, the event promoter, explained: “We are planning to finish the rally with a super special city stage taking place in the rally city. This is a very ambitious plan and there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am confident in the knowledge and abilities of my team and, together with the city of Liepāja and their experience with hosting rallies in the past, we will make this idea a reality and have a fantastic ending to the event in February.”
Other changes planned for the third running of Rally Liepāja, which takes place in Latvia’s Kurzeme region and uses mainly high-speed forest stages on snow and ice, include the creation of a central service area in Liepāja rather than using remote service halts, which was the case previously.
Rally Liepāja will also count as the opening round of the second ERC Junior Championship season, while drivers will be able to score ERC Ice Master points. The event also forms two rounds of the popular Latvian Rally Championship.
ŠKODA Motorsport’s FIA European Rally Championship future became clearer – and even more exciting – today when the Czech manufacturer releases images of its Fabia R 5.
The striking new challenger will be on display in concept form at the Essen Motor Show in Germany later this week.
And ŠKODA has underlined the significance of the car by promoting its presence as “the highlight” of its activities at the event, which it has described as being “packed with emotion”.
ŠKODA’s Fabia R 5 is set to compete in next year’s ERC. The firm has claimed the last three drivers’ titles courtesy of Juho Hänninen, Jan Kopecký and Esapekka Lappi.
The Qualifying Stage provided action aplenty on each round of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship. It’s back for 2015 but who were the Qualifying Stage winners of 2014? See below for a reminder.
31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich (Austria): Robert Kubica (Ford Fiesta RRC)
Rally Liepāja (Latvia): Sepp Wiegand (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
Acropolis Rally (Greece): Kevin Abbring (Peugeot 208T16)
Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally: Robert Barrable (Ford Fiesta R5)
49 SATA Rallye Açores: Craig Breen (Peugeot 208T16)
Geko Ypres Rally (Belgium): Luca Rossetti (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
auto24 Rally Estonia: Martin Kangur (Ford Fiesta S2000)
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: Esapekka Lappi (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5, pictured)
Rallye International du Valais (Switzerland): Craig Breen (Peugeot 208T16)
Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse (France): Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5)
ERC stat attack:
Most Qualifying Stage wins (drivers): Breen and Kajetanowicz (2)
Most Qualifying Stage wins (cars): Ford Fiesta R5, Peugeot 208T16 and ŠKODA Fabia S2000 (3)