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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.

José Suárez completed his maiden season of FIA European Rally Championship action by finishing second among the ERC Junior U28 contingent on Rally Liepāja to secure third in the final class reckoning.

Krisóf Klausz’s strong end to the 2017 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship continued when he finished sixth in class on Rally Liepāja.

Aleks Zawada says there were “a lot of positives” after his bid for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship – and the 100,000 euros prize fund – ultimately ended in disappointment in Latvia earlier this month.

Kalle Rovanperä says Nikolay Gryazin is the ultimate rival after the talented young guns locked horns on the closing round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship recently.

Jari Huttunen has spoken of his disappointment after losing out on the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 title to Opel team-mate Chris Ingram in a final-round decider in Latvia earlier this month.

Łukasz Habaj wishes his first podium in the FIA European Rally Championship had come in happier circumstances.