The Organizer of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) round Rally Liepāja has published the first applications received from participants, including the car manufacturer’s team Škoda Motorsport. Within this team with the car Škoda Fabia S2000 in Latvia it will be possible to see the start of the 2nd place winner of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 2013 — the Finn Esapekka Lappi.
- Esapekka Lappi, ŠKODA MOTORSPORT (photo. www.fiaerc.com)
At preset the first 27 applications have been received from participants from 17 European countries. In addition to the above mentioned Škoda Motorsport team, for whom this will be the first rally of the ERC season, additional three S2000 group cars have been applied for participation in Rally Liepāja. In the rally with the Škoda Fabia cars will start the German Sepp Wiegand (6th place in the total valuation of WRC2 2013) and the Czech sportsman Robert Adolf. However, with the car Peugeot 207 S2000 in Latvia it will be possible to see the French pilot Jean-Michel Raoux, who won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge 2WD Cup in 2011.
- Sepp Wiegand, Skoda Auto Deutschland (foto. www.fiaerc.com)
Currently, two applications with the R5 specification Ford Fiesta cars have been received — one of them will be piloted by the Estonian Raul Jeets, who will start in Latvia within the team MM-MOTORSPORTS established by a known Estonian motorsportsman Markko Märtin. The other R5 car will be piloted by the Romanian sportsman with an Italian licence Marco Tempestini, who started in Latvia also last year, when with Subaru Impreza R4 car he took the 20th place.
Currently, the only announced Latvian sportsmen are the participants of the team LMT Autosporta akadēmija Ralfs Sirmacis and Kristaps Feldmanis — they will start with Ford Fiesta R2 cars. For them fierce competition will be ensured by other R2 group crews, 11 in total, representing 9 countries and starting with five different cars: Citroën C2, Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208, Škoda Fabia, as well as Opel Adam, that experienced its first presentation in March 2013. Opel Adam R2 in Latvia will be piloted by Marjan Griebel, who in 2013 won the title of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup Junior Champion. Among the participants we will see also the Norway Rally Champion in the R2 group — Steve Røkland.
- Opel Adam R2 (foto. www.opel.de)
However, in the groups R4 and N4 currently six crews have applied their participation, including the North European Zone (NEZ) Rally Champion 2013 Martynas Samuitis, who in Latvia will start with the car Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution R4.
The list of currently announced Rally Liepāja participants, as of on January 1, 2014 available HERE. We would like to remind that application for participation in Rally Liepāja will continue till January 15, 2014, 6.00 PM.
We would also like to remind that FIA European Rally Championship season 2014 starts today. Its first round Jänner Rallye will be held in Austria from 3rd till 5th January, and 56 crews have applied for participation in this rally. In this round the first start number has been allocated to the Polish sportsman Robert Kubica, however the third start number has been given to Vasily Gryazin and Dmitry Chumak driving under the Latvian licence and participating in the rally with the car Ford Fiesta S2000 prepared by the Latvian team Sports Racing Technologies.
- Vasily Gryazin, Sports Racing Technologies (foto. www.fiaerc.com)