ERC14 Rnd 2 Rally Liepāja - Latvia Jan 31 -Feb 2 talk/results spoiler **
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    Cool ERC14 Rnd 2 Rally Liepāja - Latvia Jan 31 -Feb 2 talk/results spoiler **

    Rnd 2: Rally Liepāja - Latvia - Gravel/snow 31 Jan-02Feb.



    ERC newcomer in 2013, the snow rally will now focus on stages around Liepāja having ventured north up the Baltic coast to Ventspils this year.

    Official Website: lvrally.com/eng

    Listen Live: rallyradio.com/


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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 03-30-2014 at 04:20 AM.

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    Wiegand sets ERC Liepāja Qualifying Stage pace

    Sepp Wiegand has begun his 2014 FIA European Rally Championship campaign in style by going fastest on the Qualifying Stage for Rally Liepāja.

    Driving a factory ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 under the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland banner, Wiegand took 1m41.490s to complete the 3.58-kilometre stage. He now earns the right to choose his starting position for Saturday's opening leg first.

    Co-driven by fellow German Frank Christian, Wiegand was 1.060s faster than Craig Breen (Peugeot Rally Academy) with Wiegand’s Finnish team-mate Esapekka Lappi third fastest, 0.70s slower than his Irish rival.

    Russian Vasily Gryazin, who competes on a Latvian licence, was fourth quickest, with multiple Polish champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz fifth best in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5. Estonian Timmu Krge, a late addition to the Qualifying Stage entry, was sixth fastest in another Fiesta R5.

    Elsewhere Jānis Vorobjovs was the top Latvian and top ERC Production Car Cup runner in seventh with Bryan Bouffier eighth, Marco Tempestini ninth and Vytautas Švedas completing the top 10.

    The 17 priority drivers will now select their starting positions at Liepāja’s Olympic Centre from 17:00hrs local time.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2831



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    After SS1: Bouffier flies in a Latvian winter wonderland

    Bryan Bouffier leads Rally Liepāja following a sensational start to round two of the FIA European Rally Championship, earning 10 ERC Ice Master points in the process.

    Competing in Latvia for the first time and making his debut in a Citron DS3 RRC, the Frenchman flew through the snow-coated Sports Bārs Optibet test in 5m38.08s to gain an early advantage on the winter spectacular.

    “It was very difficult because the snow was changing from hard to soft and the settings of my car made it a little bit nervous,” said Bouffier. “But I am happy and the time is good.”

    While Bouffier, who was running 16th on the road, celebrated his first ERC stage win of 2014, 20-year-old Russian driver Vasily Gryazin impressed with the second fastest time in his Ford Fiesta S2000. The Latvian-licenced driver completed the 10.54-kilometre run in 5m38.23s. “I’m really surprised by this time because I was not happy with the settings,” he said. “But it’s cool.”

    Esapekka Lappi was third fastest for ŠKODA Motorsport in a time of 5m43.76s with Kajetan Kajetanowicz next up in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5. The four-time Polish champion completed in 5m43.86s with Craig Breen fifth fastest in 5m45.10s for the Peugeot Rally Academy.

    Elsewhere Vytautas Švedas’ hopes of a repeat ERC Production Car Cup victory in Latvia ended when the Lithuanian’s Mitsubishi Lancer suffered a driveshaft failure. Meanwhile, Robert Consani admitted he struggled for grip running first on the road, while Qualifying Stage winner Sepp Wiegand reported fluctuating snow levels had compromised his ultimate pace.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2856



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    After SS2: Bouffier out, Gryazin leads amid gearbox concerns

    Vasily Gryazin is the new leader of round two of the FIA European Rally Championship following Bryan Bouffier’s exit from Rally Liepāja.

    The Frenchman stopped midway through the 32.03-kilometre Kuldīga test in his Citron DS3 RRC, which appears to have suffered a mechanical failure.

    While Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies Ford Fiesta S2000) now leads the ERC winter extravaganza after going 14.8s faster than closest rival Esapekka Lappi managed in his ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, the Russian confirmed all was not well with his car at the remote service halt in Kuldīga, 80 kilometres north of the event base in Liepāja.

    “Sometimes we don’t have fifth gear and now on road section coming to service second gear has a strange sound,” said Gryazin. “This is only a remote service and we cannot change the gearbox. We have to go with this.”

    Despite the gearbox issue troubling him through stage two, Gryazin was able to make the most of his lowly starting position of 17th, which he selected in Liepāja yesterday afternoon.

    Heavy overnight snow has made it difficult for the drivers running further up the order to find grip and traction with several runners suffering significant time loss as they struggled to stay on the road.

    “I have never seen anything like that,” said Breen, who was third quickest on the stage and holds the final podium spot in the overall standings, 3.3s down on second-placed Lappi and 26.3s behind Gryazin. “You get into a rhythm and then the car throws you off. It is such deep snow, it is really difficult.”

    ERC Production Car Cup runner Mārtinš Svilis impressed with the fourth fastest time in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX with Kajetan Kajetanowicz setting the fifth best time in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.

    Leading ERC Junior Jan Čern also impressed by following up on his opening stage win in the category by going sixth fastest of all at the wheel of his Peugeot 208 R2. After stage two, the Czech leads Swede Mattias Olsson by 20.3s.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2858



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    After SS3: Kajetanowicz up to third, Gryazin goes fastest again in Latvia

    Vasily Gryazin has made it two stage wins in succession on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship to open up a lead of 30.2s heading to stage four of Rally Liepāja.

    Despite fears of a gearbox issue prior to the 26.34-kilometre Ecorent test, Gryazin was 9.9s faster than Esapekka Lappi as the Russian continued to capitalise on his lower road position on the snow-covered stages in Latvia.

    “I am surprised about myself,” said the 20-year-old Sports Racing Technologies Ford Fiesta S2000 ace. “It was very slippery and very hard conditions to drive. I am pushing very hard.”

    ŠKODA Motorsport driver Lappi, who is running six cars ahead of Gryazin, said: “It is the same. Maybe now there was a 50 per cent clean line, they are learning in the front. It feels very slippery when you try to drive in the lines.”

    Kajetan Kajetanowicz was third quickest, 19.8s down on Gryazin, in his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5. He demotes Craig Breen for third overall as a result. “The time is good, is better. I am here because I want to find some grip, some feeling and this is important for me.”

    Vitaliy Pushkar was fastest in the ERC Production Car Cup category in fourth overall with Siim Plangi fifth and Breen in sixth for Peugeot Rally Academy. “I do not know what I can do,” said Breen, who admits he is struggling through the heavy snow. “I can't push anywhere. Anytime I try to push I end up off the road. Perhaps it is something that I can do with the set-up."

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2860



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    After SS4: Breen finding his confidence in Latvia

    Craig Breen says his confidence is slowly being restored following the second run through the Sporta bārs Optibet stage on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship.

    Breen was second fastest on the 10.54-kilometre test in his Peugeot Rally Academy 207 Super 2000 and now trails Kajetan Kajetanowicz in the battle for third place on Rally Liepāja by 1.1s.

    With the stage surface more stable on the second pass now that a more obvious line has been created, Breen was able to up his pace as a result. “I just had no confidence before but that stage was a hell of a lot better,” said Breen. “It was much more enjoyable and it should be a lot easier now to move forward.”

    Esapekka Lappi was fastest through the stage, 7.8s quicker than Breen, in his ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000. Lappi’s team-mate Sepp Wiegand was third quickest and also far happier than he was after the first run through the test. “You can drive in a proper rhythm now, rather than like a grandma,” said the German.

    Out front, Gryazin’s lead is down to 18.4s after going sixth quickest, which brought an end to his run of stage wins for Sports Racing Technologies.

    Timmu Krge stopped in the stage with Andris Mālnieks, co-driver to Jānis Vorobjovs, reporting the bonnet of the Estonian’s Fiesta R5 was up.

    Crews head next to Kuldīga for a 15-minute remote service halt. SS5, the repeat of the 26.34-kilometre Ecorent test, goes live at 16:25hrs local time.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2864



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    After SS5: ERC lead battle intensifies in Latvia

    The battle for victory on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship continues to intensify with Esapekka Lappi edging closer to Vasily Gryazin.

    Lappi, in a ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, was 1.9s faster than Gryazin through the repeat of the 26.34-kilometre ecoRent stage. As a result, Gryazin’s overall advantage in his Ford Fiesta S2000 has been trimmed to 16.5s with one stage of day one remaining.

    Sepp Wiegand was third fastest in the second works Fabia with Craig Breen fourth quickest for Peugeot Rally Academy, 12.6s down on Lappi. Kajetan Kajetanowicz was fifth quickest with Siim Plangi sixth and the leading ERC Production Car Cup contender. Risto Immonen set the pace among the ERC Junior runners as Steve Rkland (Ford Fiesta R2) moved ahead of Jan Čern in the overall standings.

    Hermann Neubauer lost approximately four minutes stopping to change a punctured tyre, the result of the Austrian cutting a corner too tightly in his Stohl Racing Subaru Impreza R4 STI.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2870



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    End of Day
    After SS6: Lappi grabs top spot on ERC Rally Liepāja


    Esapekka Lappi has snatched first place on Rally Liepāja with a blistering run through the day-closing Kuldīga test.

    The Finn, a two-time winner in the FIA European Rally Championship, started the 32.03-kilometre test 16.5s behind Vasily Gryazin. However, by going 19.1s faster than the Russian, Lappi is in front by 2.6s heading to end-of-day service in Liepāja.

    “Vasily has been doing a great job but I have been trying to come to the front,” said ŠKODA Motorsport driver Lappi, who was a whole 15.1s quicker than the next fastest driver. “It’s quite enjoyable when there is a clean line and it’s a wider road. You can push and this is nice. The front tyres lost some grip but this is the same for everyone.”

    Gryazin, who was fourth fastest behind Sepp Wiegand and Craig Breen, said: “It’s been a brilliant day, I’m happy and I think I will sleep well tonight. I am trying to push and that’s the main thing. Tomorrow I will keep pushing and I will try to do my best.”

    Kajetan Kajetanowicz was fifth quickest with Jaroslav Orsk sixth. Meanwhile, Wiegand’s performance means he moves into fifth overall ahead of Siim Plangi.

    Jan Čern is back in front in ERC Junior after Steve Rkland lost time tyre stud loss issues. The Czech is 7.5s ahead of Risto Immonen, who was fastest in class through the stage.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2872



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    Latvia Photos:
    fiaerc.com/photogallery/

    Latvia Videos: fiaerc.com/videogallery/


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    Day 2

    After SS7: Gryazin back on top on Latvian ERC thriller


    Vasily Gryazin is back in front on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship following Sunday’s opening stage of Rally Liepāja, the 10.29-kilometre Rallyofchampions.com test.

    The 20-year-old from Russia, in a Sports Racing Technologies Ford Fiesta S2000, outgunned overnight leader Esapekka Lappi by 3.4s to take a lead of 0.8s to stage eight, the 16.14-kilometre LDZ Cargo run, which gets underway at 09:10hrs local time. “There were some places where it was very slippery so we will see what we can do,” said Gryazin. “The important thing is to be at the finish and stay concentrated.”

    Lappi, who started day two leading by 2.6s in his ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, insisted his stage had been trouble-free, despite only managing the fifth fastest time. “I wanted to take it carefully to see how the guys are pushing behind,” said the Finn. “There is no point pushing too hard on the first stage and going off before you find the feeling.”

    ERC Production Car Cup driver Siim Plangi impressed with the fastest time of all in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X R4. Unfortunately for the young Estonian, his delayed departure from the first time control this morning has resulted in his exclusion after he exceeded the maximum lateness permitted under the event rules.

    Behind Plangi, Kajetan Kajetanowicz was third fastest for the LOTOS Rally Team, 0.8s down on Gryazin in his Fiesta R5 with Sepp Wiegand fourth best following a “big moment in a high-speed place” in his factory Fabia. However, Kajetanowicz is still more than 30 seconds down on Craig Breen, who was seventh fastest behind the ERC Production Car Cup contender Vitaliy Pushkar.

    Breen, who is celebrating his 24th birthday today, bemoaned his decision to use the 7.0-milimetre studded Michelin tyre rather than the 6.5-milimetre version. “Our information was there would be much more snow but the first part was gravel,” said the Peugeot Rally Academy driver. “The 7.0 works well in heavy snow but it moves around a lot more on loose gravel.”

    Hermann Neubauer admitted starting third on the road was far from ideal in his efforts to close up to the ERC Production Car Cup leaders in his Subaru Impreza R4 STI. Antonn Tlusťn, running at the head of the field, was similarly frustrated.

    Despite almost going off the road one kilometre from the stage finish, Steve Rkland set the pace among the ERC Juniors, 0.1s quicker than Risto Immonen, who is now 2.3s behind overnight leader Jan Čern. Čern was fourth fastest after he struggled to find a rhythm. Mattias Olsson stopped after the stage finish to remove a build up of snow from the front of his Fiesta R2 following an off-road moment in the run.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2890



    ----------------------------

    After SS8: Lappi flies to reclaim ERC lead in Latvia

    The sensational battle for victory on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship has taken another twist after Esapekka Lappi retook the lead from Vasily Gryazin on Rally Liepāja.

    Lappi, from Finland, was 4.1s quicker than his Russian rival through the 16.16-kilometre LDz Cargo stage. It means the ŠKODA Motorsport driver is now back in front by 3.3s with four stages remaining.

    “It’s good, it’s a good fight and I’m really enjoying it,” said Lappi. “Yesterday we had a different reason why we were slower but this stage was nice and everything is okay.” Gryazin said: “Lappi is fast, I think my time is good and I do my best.”

    Craig Breen was third quickest for Peugeot Rally Academy, despite reporting a loss of studs from his Michelin tyres. Kajetan Kajetanowicz set the fourth best time in his Ford Fiesta R5.

    A suspected power issue slowed Hermann Neubauer’s Subaru Impreza, Robert Consani recovered from an off-road moment close to the start, while Jaromr Tarabus overshot a hairpin. Meanwhile, Vitaliy Pushkar went off in a slippery fast right-hander and damaged the left-rear of his Mitsubishi Lancer.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2891




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    After SS9: Lappi spins and wins on Rally Liepāja

    Esapekka Lappi has extended his lead on round two of the FIA European Rally Championship despite spinning his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

    The Finn won the 24.99-kilometre Liepāja test by 9.6s despite the moment and leads Vasily Gryazin in the overall classification by 15.1s with three stages remaining.

    “We had a spin and we had to do a 360 turn,” said Lappi. “There is some scary places with a lot of snow. Some times you have big slides, it’s okay.”

    Gryazin reported his Ford Fiesta S2000 hit the rev limiter on a number of occasions but remains in contention for his maiden ERC victory.

    Craig Breen, who was second fastest, extended his gap over Kajetan Kajetanowicz in the battle for third place but said a warning light on his Peugeot 207 S2000 was a concern. The Irishman also suffered a big moment nearing the stage finish.

    Oleksii Tamrazov damaged his Fiesta’s exhaust going off the road, while Jaromr Tarabus crashed out. Elsewhere, Jan Čern has extended his lead in ERC Junior after Risto Immonen said he was “sliding too much”.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2896



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    After SS10: Birthday boy Breen goes slow to keep third

    Craig Breen continues to hold third place on Rally Liepāja – by going slowly. The Irishman thought he’d punctured a tyre after clipping an object nearing the finish of the rerun of Rallyofchampions.com and dropped his pace as a result.

    “I clipped something about two and a half kilometres from the finish so I drove quite slowly, I thought I had a puncture,” said Breen, who reached the stage finish with mud lodged in the right-rear wheel of his Peugeot 207 S2000.

    Despite his cautious finish to the stage, Breen still recorded the second fastest time to increase his advantage over Kajetan Kajetanowicz in the battle for the final podium spot.

    Out front, Espaekka Lappi bagged his sixth stage win of the rally for ŠKODA Motorsport. It means the Finn’s lead ahead of Sports Racing Technologies’ Vasily Gryazin is now 19.8s.

    “It’s a good time,” said Lappi. “We had good grip and a good feeling so why not push? I am not at 100 per cent. I am at 90 per cent so I don’t make any mistakes.”

    Mattias Olsson was fastest in ERC Junior, 0.7s quicker than Petter Kristiansen. Jan Čern, who was third quickest, has built his category lead to 24.6s ahead of Risto Immonen. Kristiansen moves into third after Stphane Lefebvre retired on stage nine when his Peugeot 208 R2 reportedly caught fire.

    Latvian driver Jānis Vorobjovs, who inherited the ERC Production Car Cup lead on stage nine, was quickest in class and leads Vitaliy Pushkar by 29.1s. Oleksii Tamrazov lost time with a puncture and bent wheel on his Fiesta S2000.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2899



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    After SS11: Wiegand quickest, problems for Gryazin

    Vasily Gryazin has completed stage 11 of Rally Liepāja with his Ford Fiesta S2000 stuck in fourth gear.

    The 20-year-old Russian started the run still in contention for victory on the FIA European Rally Championship event but his time loss through the 16.16-kilometre LDz Cargo test means he now trails leader Esapekka Lappi by 25.7s with one stage remaining.

    “We just have only fourth gear, something is wrong with the gearbox,” said Gryazin. “It happened in the middle section.”

    Lappi’s ŠKODA Motorsport team-mate Sepp Wiegand won the stage, his first of the event. Lappi was second fastest, 2.8s down on Wiegand with Craig Breen third quickest in his Peugeot 207 S2000.

    "The handbrake was not working, the front wheels were locking and not the rear, there were a couple of hairpins where the handbrake was not working,” said Breen, who was 4.8s slower than Wiegand. “We did not plan for so much snow, so we just decided to stick with the podium today.”

    The final stage, Liepāja 2, goes live at 15:00hrs.

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2900




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    After SS12: Lappi wins final stage to take ERC gold in Liepāja

    Esapekka Lappi has won round two of the FIA European Rally Championship, underlining his impressive performance with the fastest time on the final stage.

    Lappi was 9.0s quicker than Vasily Gryazin to win Rally Liepāja by 34.7s. “It’s a really good start to the season and a really nice rally,” said the ŠKODA Motorsport driver. “If we can continue like this then we will be very pleased. Yesterday was difficult because of the snow so I had to be careful and cautious not to make stupid mistakes. Our Michelin tyres have been very good.”

    With his faltering gearbox replaced in service by his Sports Racing Technologies mechanics, Gryazin was able to finish the final stage to secure his first podium in the ERC. “Dreams come true and I’m very happy,” said the Russian. “I was pushing a lot on the final stage and my experience is getting bigger and bigger. Maybe I need more Tarmac experience but on gravel I have good experience.”

    Craig Breen secured the final podium spot on what is likely to be his final appearance in a Peugeot 207 S2000 before he switches to the 208 T16 for the Acropolis Rally at the end of March.

    Oleksii Tamrazov endured a frustrating end to his Rally Liepāja after he went out of the road. “The spectators helped us back on the road so we are lucky to finish,” said the Ukrainian driver. Raul Jeets also suffered on the final run when his Fiesta R5 developed a water pressure issue.

    Jānis Vorobjovs claimed ERC Production Car Cup honours with Jan Čern landing top spot in the opening ERC Junior round.

    ....and Congratulations to Inessa Tushkanova on winning the Ladies Trophy !

    click: fiaerc.com/news/2904



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    Latvia Photos: fiaerc.com/photogallery

    Latvia Videos: fiaerc.com/videogallery

    -----------------------------

    Next Rnd 3: Acropolis Rally Greece - Gravel and asphalt 28-30 March 2014




    Turning 60 in 2014 and back in the ERC after lengthy WRC stay with a mixed-surface route. Based in Loutraki beside the Gulf of Corinth

    Official Website: acropolisrally.gr/EN/2014/

    Listen Live: rallyradio.com/

    ....
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 03-23-2014 at 03:14 PM.

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    jonny5, thanks for posting the vids

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