Alonso aboard for another ERC adventure

Alonso aboard for another ERC adventure

12/03/2018 06:00

Juan Carlos Alonso is hoping he can be competitive against the established ERC2 stars when he returns to the FIA European Rally Championship this season.

Alonso embarked on a three-event ERC2 campaign in 2016, claiming a third, fourth and fifth in the category for standard production cars.

His comeback will begin on the Azores Airlines Rallye later this month with fellow Argentine Juan Pablo Monasterolo co-driving his RMC Motorsport-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

“I have chosen the ERC because I found it to be a really good championship with beautiful rallies and fantastic media coverage,” Alonso explained. “When I was competing in 2016 I really felt very comfortable and the ERC staff were very friendly with us all the time.”

Of his objectives for the season, Alonso said: “The most important challenge for me is to try to be competitive. I know this year a lot of very good drivers will be in ERC2. I will try to win some rallies and for sure I will try to get to the finish of the season with a serious chance to fight for the ERC2 title.”

Alonso has been keeping rally-ready by testing his own Lancer Evolution X in his homeland. “I have been trying to keep a good rhythm and feeling with the car,” he said.

The 48-year-old placed third in ERC2 on his previous Azores Airlines Rallye outing in June 2016. This year’s event takes place from 22-24 March and counts as the opening event of the 2018 season.

So far, Alonso has confirmed he’ll compete in the Azores and on May’s Rally Islas Canarias. “After Canarias I will be able to confirm the rest of the rallies for our ERC season,” said the Argentine.

Defending champion Tibor Érdi Jr from Hungary, Italy’s Zelindo Melegari and Russia’s Sergei Remennik have all confirmed their plans to return to ERC2 in 2018.

Mārtiņš Sesks has regained first place in the FIA European Rally Championship’s Under 27 category on Azores Airlines Rallye, following adjustments to stage times awarded in SS8 and SS9 related to incidents causing delays for multiple drivers.

Tamara Molinaro continues to head the ERC Ladies’ Trophy category on the Azores Airlines Rallye, while Emma Falcón retired with back pain before midday service.

Sergei Remennik has resumed his lead of Azores Airlines Rallye’s FIA European Rally Championship ERC2 category, following an unfortunate retirement for nearest challenger Zelindo Melegari with clutch failure.

Diogo Gago took on the might of ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team’s pair of FIA ERC Junior Under 27 factory drivers on the Azores Airlines Rallye’s Friday stages and succeeded aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2, moving from third to first over the course of a dramatic multi-way battle.

Chris Ingram and Martin Koči traded places throughout Friday’s Azores Airlines Rallye stages in a tight battle for FIA ERC Junior Under 28 victory.

The Azores Airlines Rallye once again showed why it is such a formidable opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship, but as others hit trouble, Russian Performance Motorsport’s Alexey Lukyanuk held steady out front.