Reigning German champion Mark Wallenwein will begin his FIA European Rally Championship bid in front of live television cameras when he contests SATA Rallye Açores from 25-27 April.
Wallenwein hopes to contest as many as six ERC rounds in 2013 at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 although his exact schedule beyond the gravel event remains unconfirmed.
“I want to take the next step in my career and the ERC gives me this opportunity,” said the 25-year-old. “For sure we will do four events but we would like to do more. I don’t have the experience to fight for podiums but if I can be in the top eight in Açores I will be happy and, of course, the live television coverage will be very important for my sponsors and partners.”
Eurosport and RTP Açores will show four stages of the event live.
Renault team gets ready for ERC start in Canarias
With 20 days to go until the FIA European Rally Championship resumes on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés, the Renault Sport Technologies squad is gearing up for its first outing of 2013.
Renault Sport Technologies is entering a brace of Mégane Renaultsport N4s for Germain Bonnefis and Robert Consani on seven rounds of the ERC, starting with the island event from 21-23 March.
“Rally has been in Renault’s genes for more than 80 years, and we are proud and thrilled to present this ambitious project,” said Renault Sport Technologies Team Manager Eric Balondrade. “With the Mégane Renaultsport N4 and the teams we’ve got in place, we’re aiming to add even more race wins and titles to the make’s long list of triumphs.”
Mouton supports new FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy
FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President Michèle Mouton is backing the new-for-2013 FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy, which begins on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés next month.
Mouton remains the most successful female rally driver in history having won four rounds of the world championship in the past.
“We want to do all we can to encourage more women to participate in motorsport and really welcome this initiative by Eurosport Events,” said Mouton. “Hopefully this will encourage more women on to our rally stages and give a clear message that motorsport is open to all.”
FIA heads attend ERC meeting in Zagreb
FIA Rally Director Jarmo Mahonen joined Michèle Mouton, the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President, in attending a meeting of European Rally Championship event promoters in Zagreb last week.
Mahonen visited Rally Liepāja-Ventspils earlier this month (pictured) and plans to attend a number of further rounds in 2013 as part of his commitment to help the ERC grow in partnership with promoter Eurosport Events, which he underlined by travelling to the Croatian capital.
François Ribeiro, Eurosport Events’ Motorsport Development Director, said: “The meeting gave us an opportunity to update them on the promotional activities we’ve done since we signed our contract with the FIA last September, such as international TV distribution and some of the promotional upgrades to come from Canarias onwards.”
Tree-planting event planned on Gran Canaria
Organisers of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés are planning a tree-planting programme on 17 March. Drivers, co-drivers – even members of the public – are being invited to support the initiative, which is being designed to lessen the environmental impact of the asphalt event.
Germán Morales, President of the Organising Committee of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés, said: “It will be a great opportunity to prove that motorsport and environmental conscience go together. This tree planting will remind the public attending this event how important it is to preserve the environment.”
Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés counts as round three of the 13-event ERC season.
Outline Tour de Corse details revealed
Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse organisers have revealed outline details of the route of round five of the FIA European Rally Championship in May.
Starting in the picturesque harbour town of Calvi on Friday 17 May, the asphalt rally will feature 11 stages over a competitive distance of 248.08 kilometres.
Friday’s route consists of six stages with a stop in Corte and an overnight halt in Ajaccio. The itinerary for day two, Saturday 18 May, which will be based around Ajaccio, includes five stages. The popular rally, known as the Rally of 10,000 Corners due to the high frequency of twists and turns, is celebrating its 56th anniversary in 2013.
In the spotlight: Robert Consani
French talent Robert Consani emerged on the international stage in 2012 when he won the IRC Production Cup crown after narrowly missing out on the IRC 2WD Cup accolade. And the 30-year-old will be hoping to continue that momentum when he embarks on a seven-event ERC Production Car Cup campaign in a Renault Sport Technologies-run Mégane N4. With new co-driver Thibaut Gorczyca by his side, Consani will begin his bid on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés next month when he will be expected to challenge for class victory.