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ACI Team Italia to back three young talents in ERC

ACI Team Italia to back three young talents in ERC

10/07/2017 06:00

The Automobile Club d’Italia, in partnership with the Motorsport Italia team, has become the latest national federation to invest in an FIA European Rally Championship campaign.

Under the ACI Team Italia umbrella, it will provide three young talents selected by ACI Sport with the opportunity to tackle a round of the ERC in a Toyota GT86 CS-R3.

Luca Bottarelli will contest Rally Rzeszow in Poland from 3-5 August, Riccardo Canzian will get his chance on Barum Czech Rally Zlín (25-27 August), while Gianandrea Pisani’s turn will come on Rally de Roma Capitale from 15-17 September.

ACI Team Italia stated: “It is a great opportunity for young drivers to improve and implement their experience in a Toyota GT86 CS-R3 with technical support from Motorsport Italia. While the financial support from the federation is important, we also have to thank Toyota’s promotion and Pirelli’s support.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “ACI Team Italia’s announcement is more good news for the ERC and for young prospects hoping for the chance to prove their talent in a prestigious and long-established international championship. We will follow the progress of Luca, Riccardo and Gianandrea closely and hope they will be able to convert their one-off drives into full ERC campaigns in 2018.”

The ACI becomes the fifth federation to support a young driver development programme in the ERC this year with ACCR (Czech Republic), ADAC (Germany), EASU (Estonia) and RFEDA (Spain) all investing in activities in ERC Junior, which provides a clear ladder of progression from national to international level.

Starting out by completing the ERC Junior Experience training programme, drivers progress to the ERC Junior Under 27 Championship for competitors in R2 cars using Pirelli tyres. The champion receives 100,000 Euros to use for an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign the following season, when drivers step up to R5 machinery, with the winner handed a drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship the next year, thereby giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent on a global stage.

Established in 1953, the ERC is made up of eight events on gravel and asphalt. Cost-cutting measures limit scoring opportunities while helping to ensure strong competition. Extensive television coverage and social media activation are among the many benefits on offer to ERC participants.

ACI Team Italia trio Bottarelli, Canzian and Pisani are pictured from left to right.

Szeja brothers in ERC debut

22/07/2017 12:00 - 2017

Brothers Jarek and Marcin Szeja will make their FIA European Rally Championship debuts when Rally Rzeszow hosts the fifth event of the all-action ERC season next month.

Austrian Simon Wagner has become rising star number 23 to sign up for the FIA European Rally Championship’s hugely successful Junior category in 2017 and will contest the upcoming ERC Junior Under 27 rounds in Poland and Czech Republic.

FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship leader Chris Ingram won’t be holding back when it comes to committing big on next month’s Rally Rzeszow.

TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH will use the FIA European Rally Championship to showcase its uprated GT86 CS-R3 to potential customers.

Emerging prospects from the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship will get the chance to prove their talent against a World Rally Championship event-winning driver when Mads Østberg contests Rally Rzeszow in Poland next month (3-5 August).

Nikolay Gryazin will complete his two-event practice rally schedule ahead of his return to FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship action on Rally Rzeszow next month when he competes in Austria this weekend.