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Nine reasons why Rally Liepāja will thrill the ERC

With 9 days to go until the all-action FIA European Rally Championship resumes on the Latvian ice and snow, here are 9 reasons why Rally Liepāja will be an event not to be missed.

- (Aigars Tīdmanis,

1: ERC Junior is go
Not only is Rally Liepāja round two of the FIA European Rally Championship, it’s also the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Championship counter with 15 young stars in action in R2-specification machinery.

2: Ice, ice baby!
Rally Liepāja provides the second opportunity for European championship aces to chase ERC Ice Master points, a new accolade for 2014 that rewards surface specialists competing in the ERC.

3: Regional to be cheerful
Following Jari Ketomaa’s victory in a turbocharged Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Car when the ERC made its first visit to Latvia in 2013, Bryan Bouffier will be armed with an RRC model for his Latvia debut with the French ace using a Citroën DS3 RRC.

4: Night fever in store
While most stages will take place by day, the final stage of the opening leg will be run in the dark. And it’s a monster too at 32.03 kilometres in length.

5: A qualified success
As on all rounds of the ERC in 2014, a Qualifying Stage will be used to determine the starting order among the FIA and ERC priority drivers. Rally Liepāja’s Qualifying Stage covers a distance of 4.19 kilometres and takes place at 14:45hrs on Friday 31 January.

6: A true winter wonderland awaits
Crews contesting Rally Liepāja will tackle some truly spectacular stages in stunning countryside in the west of Latvia in the Liepāja and Kuldīga regions. Don’t miss Eurosport’s coverage of the event to see for yourself!

7: Star names to do battle
Rally Liepāja organisers have attracted a hugely impressive entry for their ERC counter with 56 drivers due to take part. They include ŠKODA Motorsport twins Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand, Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen, local hero Vasily Gryazin and multiple Polish champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

8: Like father, like son in the ERC
Father and son pairing Marco and Simone Tempestini will be making their second appearance in Latvia for the Romania-based Napoca Rally Academy organisation.

9: Czech mates head to Latvia
No fewer than seven drivers from Czech Republic have entered Rally Liepāja. They include Jaromír Tarabus and ERC event winner Antonín Tlusťák.

 - Source: