The battle to be the ERC Asphalt Master on Barum Czech Rally Zlín is set to be an exciting fight with the current top four all set to tackle round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship.
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, ŠKODA Motorsport’s Esapekka Lappi (pictured) 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.
Peugeot Rally Academy aces Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen will face up to the serious competition ahead in the FIA European Rally Championship when they contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 29-31 August.
Abbring, a podium finisher and multiple stage winner in this year’s ERC with a Peugeot 208T16, took a class victory on the asphalt event in 2010, while ERC Acropolis Rally victor Breen last competed in Zlín in 2011, when he finished seventh overall.
Both drivers were out of luck on their last ERC appearance in Ypres last month so will be aiming for a change of fortune when they compete in Czech Republic next month with their R5 machines.
The FIA European Rally Championship-counting auto24 Rally Estonia proved a huge hit when it took place earlier this month. Here are the key numbers.
6: Ott Tänak’s outright triumph in Estonia made him the sixth different overall winner in this year’s ERC.
2: There were two FIA ERC Production Car Cup contenders in the top four of the final classification: Alexey Lukyanuk and Rainer Aus
2: Lukyanuk’s run to second place earned him the prestigious Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for a second time.
213: On stage four of auto24 Rally Estonia, Lukyanuk reported reaching a top speed of 213kph in his Mitsubishi Lancer.
12: A total of 12 countries were represented on auto24 Rally Estonia.
3: Eli Evans took three flights to get from his native Australia to Estonia for his ERC debut with the JAS Honda team.
30,000: An estimated 30,000 fans attended the auto24-Tartu City stage.
16: Gustav Kruuda became the youngest driver to start a round of the ERC aged 16 years, three months and six days.
40: Esapekka Lappi’s ERC title lead is now 40 points following his fifth-place finish in Estonia.
1: Zoltán Bessenyey moved into first place in the ERC 2WD standings. The Eurosol Racing Team Hungary ace finished third in class in Estonia in his Honda Civic Type R
27: Glamour model Inessa Tushkanova celebrated her 27th birthday on the opening day of auto24 Rally Estonia. Unfortunately a car eligibility glitch prevented her from starting.
1000: Approximately 1000 volunteers helped to ensure the successful running of auto24 Rally Estonia.
3: Estonian Prime Minister, Taavi Rõivas, visited three stages of his country’s inaugural ERC event.
127: Ott Tänak scored 127 ERC Gravel Master points in Estonia to move to the top of the standings.
2: Two members of the Tempestini family were in action on auto24 Rally Estonia: Marco Tempestini and his son Simone. While a mechanical problem prevented Tempestini Jr from finishing, father Marco made it home in 15th position.