R5 x 35 for Azores ERC season opener!

R5 x 35 for Azores ERC season opener!

09/03/2018 18:00

A staggering 35 R5 cars are entered for the Azores Airlines Rallye, the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship from 22-24 March.

Underlining the popularity of the ERC, the R5 entry marks a seven-car increase over last season’s Azores Airlines Rallye and is just two shy of the 2017 record of 37 R5 cars, which was set on Barum Czech Rally Zlín in Central Europe during the summer.

In addition, 12 drivers are entered for the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship, which caters for young stars in R5 cars, while 11 will line up in ERC Junior Under 27 for drivers in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres.

Among the leading names taking part are Bruno Magalhães, the 2017 ERC runner-up and last year’s Azores winner, ERC Junior Under 28 and ERC Junior Under 27 champions Marijan Griebel and Chris Ingram, ERC event winner Alexey Lukyanuk, German title winner Fabian Kreim, Portuguese champion Carlos Vieira, multiple Azorean champion Ricardo Moura and Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig.

Azores Airlines Rallye 2018 entry: key facts and figures
35: R5 cars entered
12: drivers in ERC Junior Under 28
11: drivers in ERC Junior Under 27
60: entries for international event
54: registered ERC drivers
22: nationalities represented
9: cars from nine manufacturers in action

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Attracting such a big entry, particularly from drivers in R5 cars and in the ERC Junior categories, demonstrates the appeal of the FIA European Rally Championship. While the Azores is one of the most spectacular rallies on the international calendar, its mid-Atlantic Ocean setting makes taking part somewhat of a logistical challenge. Despite this and the earlier date, drivers and teams have entered the rally and registered for the ERC in big numbers. The prospects for a highly competitive and exciting start to the 2018 ERC have increased significantly.”

Click here to view the entry list.

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.