The ERC’s winter rallies revisited part 3
With the FIA World Rally Championship-counting Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox reaching its climax today, FIAERC.com is looking back to the time when the FIA European Rally Championship included winter events on its roster following its 2004 restructuring.
In part three, FIAERC.com recalls five memorable moments from the most recent ERC winter rallies, Internationale Jänner Rallye and Rally Liepāja.
Alexey arrives: Lukyanuk (pictured) was heading for a sensational fourth place on the first Rally Liepāja in 2013, his ERC debut, when a broken engine put him out on the final stage. His efforts were recognised with the awarding of the coveted Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy.
Brilliant Breen: Irishman Breen scored his first ERC podium on Rally Liepāja in 2013, finishing second overall. Two years later he won the rally outright to begin a three-event winning run in the ERC.
King Kubica: With one stage of the 2014 Internationale Jänner Rallye remaining, Robert Kubica trailed Václav Pech by 11.8s. But he completed the final stage a giant 31.7s faster than his Czech rival to score his first international rally win by 19.9s.
Kopecký leaves it late: The Internationale Jänner Rallye in 2013 marked the start of an exciting new era in international motorsport with Eurosport Events beginning its tenure as promoter of the ERC under a long-term agreement with the FIA. It was a fitting beginning to the alliance with Jan Kopecký cancelling out a 10.6s deficit to Bryan Bouffier to win by 0.5s.
ERC Junior is born: History was made on Rally Liepāja in 2014 when the FIA ERC Junior Championship began. Jan Černý beat his 14 rivals, including Andrea Crugnola, Marijan Griebel and Chris Ingram, to become the first winner.