Lightning-fast Latvians of the ERC
Latvia has produced a number of lightning-fast FIA European Rally Championship drivers. Here are five who have what it takes.
Emils Blūms (photo 4)
Blūms came through the same LMT Autosporta Akadēmija scheme that helped to nurture the early careers of compatriots Ralfs Sirmacis and Mārtiņš Sesks (see below). Although his ERC opportunities were limited, Blūms has claimed several four-wheel-drive titles, including last season’s LRC2 crown in Latvia.
Reinis Nitišs (photo 2)
The former FIA World Rallycross Championship star had little trouble adapting to rallying, a fact he emphasised when he won ERC2 on Rally Liepāja in 2017 and placed third in the Abarth Rally Cup on the event 12 months ago.
Mārtiņš Sesks (photo 1)
Liepāja’s very own rallying sensation captured the ERC3 and ERC3 Junior titles during a magnificent 2018 when he also demonstrated that he was as quick on asphalt as he was on gravel. Sesks was a podium finisher on his step up to Rally2 level on his home round of the 2019 ERC, part of his prize for winning the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior award.
Ralfs Sirmacis (photo 3)
Three ERC wins during a standout 2016 season should have signalled career lift-off for this rapid rally star. Sadly, budgetary issues have held him back ever since although he did claim a dominant ERC2 victory on his return to European level on Rally Liepāja last season.
Jānis Vorobjovs (photo 5)
Vorobjovs was the driver to beat in the ERC Production Cup on Rally Liepāja in 2014. His co-driver for the occasion was the highly capable Andris Mālnieks, who has also achieved success with Nitišs and Sesks.