Your latest news on Regional Rally championships.
The first half of September pulsed to the beat of rally events in Sweden, Tanzania and Spain. This weekend, the engines will roar in Slovenia and Japan. Let’s travel across the continents and get a taste of the latest developments in the FIA Regional Rally Championships.
FIA EUROPEAN RALLY TROPHY BALTIC – EAST SWEDEN RALLY, SWEDEN (ROUND 4/4)
The FIA European Rally Trophy’s Baltic series celebrated its final round on September 6-8 with the East Sweden Rally, which took place on the gravel roads around Linköping, 200 kilometers south-west of Stockholm.
Patrick Flodin, navigated by Göran Bergsten, took the lead in the third speed test and managed to maintain the top spot until the finish to claim victory in the Škoda Fabia R5.
Two-time world rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson, codriven by Norway’s Stig Rune Skjærmoen – the only non-Swedish participant in the ERT line-up – missed out on victory by only 4.4 seconds to finish runner-up, despite a strong display in the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and six stage wins out of eleven.
The third place on the podium went to Mattias Monelus and Håkan Palm. The Swedish pair finished 2min23.4s behind Kristofferson in another Škoda Fabia R5.
All eyes are now on the FIA ERT Final at Rallye du Valais on October 17-19 in Switzerland, which will welcome the winners from the Baltic and six other regions. The top five crews in each category (ERT, ERT2, ERT3 and ERT Junior) from each of the seven regional trophies are eligible to enter so expect an exceptional line-up!
FIA AFRICAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – RALLY OF TANZANIA (ROUND 6/7)
Tanzania hosted last weekend the penultimate round of the FIA African Rally Championship.
Dharam Pandya and Ratnaveer Darbar set a stellar performance at the wheel of their Subaru Impreza to win the event after 201.60 competitive kilometers on gravel, around the coastal town of Dar es Salam.
They headed their fellow compatriots Munge Altaaf and Hamoud Ally, who finished runner-up in a Mitsubishi Evo X.
There is one more round to go in the FIA African Rally Championship, with the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally on October 4-6.
FIA EUROPEAN RALLY TROPHY IBERIAN – RALLY PRINCESA DE ASTURIAS, SPAIN (ROUND 5/6)
In the Principality of Asturias, in the north-west of Spain, local hero José Antonio Suárez Cohete, navigated by Alberto Iglesias Pin, celebrated victory in a Škoda Fabia R5 on round five of the FIA European Rally Trophy’s Iberian series.
The Spanish pair finished almost 2 minutes ahead of fellow compatriots Surhayen Pernia and Alba Sánchez González in a Hyundai i20 R5. Roberto Blach Jr and José Murado González completed the podium in a Citroën DS3 R5.
Cohete demonstrated his superiority by setting the fastest time in eight of the eleven stages and claimed his second consecutive win on the event.
The winners of the Iberian series will join their Baltic counterparts at the FIA European Rally Trophy final in Switzerland. Rali Casinos Algarve in Portugal will close the season with the last round of the Iberian competition with from 31 October to 3 November.
This weekend, there’s rally action in Slovenia and Japan!
FIA EUROPEAN RALLY TROPHY CENTRAL – RALLY NOVA GORICA, SLOVENIA (ROUND 6/7)
An intense battle is awaited this weekend at Rally Nova Gorica, the penultimate round of the FIA European Rally Trophy Central.
The asphalt event, based on the east of the country at the boarder to Italy, features an impressive entry with 20 crews including nine R5 at the start. Competitors from across Central and Western Europe will tackle the 13-stage challenge, totalling 151.86 competitive kilometres.
FIA WRC 2 regular Nikolay Gryazin from Russia is one of the event’s favourites in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 but he will face strong competition, coming from Czech Republic’s Ondřej Bisaha in a Ford Fiesta R5, or local hero Rok Turk in a Hyundai i20 R5, to just name a few.
Check out the event website for more details.
FIA ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – ASIA CUP – RALLY HOKKAIDO (ROUND 3/4)
Last but not least, Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido plays host this weekend to round three of 4 of the Asia Cup, as part of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Having long been part of the APRC, the sparsely populated region held rounds of the World Rally Championship from 2004 to 2007.
From the eight entering teams that qualify for the Asia Cup round, six are Japanese locals, one driver pairing is from Taiwan and the other from New Zealand. They will compete on varied roads, from the open sweeping stages near host city Obihiro to the lush green forestry tests that thread their way through the mountain regions to the north.
Mike Young, with co-driver Glenn Macneall, will debut the brand new Toyota C-HR alongside a slew of other competing Toyotas, Subarus and Mitsubishis.
Visit the Rally Hokkaido website for more information.