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Rally Liepāja favourites prefer lower start positions

Today a 4.19 km long qualification stage for the priority competitors opened the second round of FIAEuropean Rally Championship Rally Liepāja. In the press conference following later, first starting position was chosen by French crew Robert Consani/ Vincent Landais (Peugeot 207 S2000), who finished today as the 13th. Winners of the qualification phase, German racers Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (Škoda Fabia S2000) will start the competition at position number seven.

- (Viesturs Lācis,

Racers choose the starting sequence depending on the qualification time, and the fastest team has priority rights. Second result in the 4.19 km long special qualification stage was achieved by the Irish crew Craig Breen/Alistair Scott Martin (Peugeot 207 S2000), to be taking the 14th start position tomorrow. Rally Liepāja will be the first race together with Alistair Scott Martin. So far we have participated together in the tests only, but we get on well. We are a good team and we are hoping for huge success.”

The third fastest crew was from Finland: Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Škoda Fabia S2000) to be starting the competition as the 10th. “Roads in Liepāja region are very interesting and with similar configuration as to the special stages of Finland, wherewith I know how to drive there and this will be my advantage. I have never participated in winter rally without snow, though. That will be interesting.”

Bryan Bouffier (Citroen DS3 RRC S2000), who won the high second position in the first round of World Rally Championship (WRC) in Monte Carlo, was the 8th fastest participant of the qualification, staying 3.19 seconds behind the winner of the qualification race and will take start position number 16 tomorrow. “Special stages are very beautiful, and impression regarding the organization of this rally is very good so far. If high results will be reached in the rally, the organizers of rally will do a good job.”

- (Viesturs Lācis,

Russian crew participating with Latvian licence Vasily Gryazin/Dmitry Chumak (Ford Fiesta S2000) was the fourth fastest and chose the 17th start position, but the main Polish hope Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Jaroslaw Baran (Ford Fiesta R5) finished in the fifth position and would start the competition from position number 15. Fastest of the Latvian racers, Jānis Vorobjovs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4) was the seventh fastest in qualification race and would start the competition from position number 12.

Start of the first special stage of Rally Liepāja SS1 Sporta bārs OPTIBET 1 is scheduled on Saturday, February 1 at 10:55 near Kuldīga. Racers will have to cover six special stages during the day, including also the 32.03 km long SS6 Kuldīga 2 scheduled for the dark part of the day. Start of the special stage – at 17:30.