D-25: ERC Azores entry builds, Sete Cidades is on!

D-25: ERC Azores entry builds, Sete Cidades is on!

24/02/2018 12:00

It’s 25 days until the Azores Airlines Rallye opens the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on 22 March. Here’s an update of what’s in store on the all-gravel spectacular in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

ERC Juniors on show: Fabian Kreim, Frank Tore Larsen, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Laurent Pellier are among the drivers set to go up against ERC Junior Under 27 champion Chris Ingram in the battle for ERC Junior U28 honours.

Champions battle in ERC Junior U27: Tom Kristensson and Efrén Llarena will take up their prize drives for winning the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup and Beca Júnior R2 title in Spain respectively. Catie Munnings and Simon Wagner will be among their competition.

Moura on top form: Home hero and multiple Azorean champion Ricardo Moura will be one of the drivers to beat following his victory on the recent Portuguese championship opener, Rali Serras de Fafe.

Hungary for success: Norbert Herczig (pictured) is tackling his maiden ERC campaign, starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye. The Hungarian title holder his highly regarded in his homeland.

Super Sete Cidades: One of the world’s most iconic – and challenging – stages will once again play a starring on the Azores Airlines Rallye. A blast along the rim of a volcanic crater lake the undoubted highlight, Sete Cidades covers a distance of 23.87 kilometres and will be used twice during the event.

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.