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Latvia set for big ERC party

Latvia set for big ERC party

10/01/2017 12:00

Rally Liepāja boss Raimonds Strokšs is braced for a big celebration when the FIA European Rally Championship visits Latvia for a fifth time later this year.

The popular high-speed gravel rally, which joined the ERC schedule for the first time in 2013, has the honour of hosting the season-closing round from 6-8 October.

With drivers counting their best six scores from a possible eight in 2017, it’s highly likely the winner of the overall ERC crown, plus the ERC2, ERC3, ERC Junior U27 and ERC Junior U28 titles won’t be known until the finish in Liepāja on Latvia’s Baltic coast.

“I am very happy that Latvia is one of just three countries which has hosted a FIA European Rally Championship round each year since Eurosport Events took over [for 2013],” said Strokšs. “With two events less than last year every round will be even more important and possibly have more crews competing. Rally Liepāja will be on the back end of the championship calendar, adding a bit of intrigue to the results, as we could determine the European champions right here in Latvia.”

ERC season 2017 gets underway with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 30 March-1 April.

Drivers with FIA European Rally Championship experience starred on Rallye Monte-Carlo last weekend with eight of the top 10 having competed in the ERC in the past.

Giandomenico Basso bettered his runner-up spot in 2005 to claim the FIA European Rally Championship in ’06, still with co-driver Mitia Dotta but this time in an Abarth Grande Punto S2000.

Three drivers who achieved career lift-off by shining brightly in the FIA European Rally Championship have been marked out as ones to watch in 2017 by respected French motorsport magazine AUTOhebdo.

Competitors in the FIA European Rally Championship will once again go up against leading runners from Portugal’s domestic series when the Azores Airlines Rallye takes place from 30 March-1 April.

A number of drivers with FIA European Rally Championship experience will be in action when Rallye Monte-Carlo gets underway this evening.

Rally Islas Canarias will celebrate two notable firsts when it takes place from 4-6 May.