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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.

Filip Mareš has earned the support of one of Czech Republic’s best ever rally drivers following his impressive maiden season in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Romain Dumas is swapping the stages of the FIA European Rally Championship for the 6.120-kilometre Circuito da Guia, venue of this week’s FIA GT World Cup.

Dávid Botka continued his strong end-of-season run with fifth place on Rallye Waldviertel in Austria last weekend.

Castrol Ford Team Turkey’s run of success in the FIA European Rally Championship is set to continue in 2018 when the Istanbul squad embarks on its third successive ERC campaign.

Julian Wagner had not one but three reasons to celebrate at the finish of Rallye Waldviertel on Saturday evening.

Raimund Baumschlager, who guided Marijan Griebel to the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship crown this season, has extended his record-breaking tally of Austrian rally titles to 14 following his success on Rallye Waldviertel today.