Round four of the FIA European Rally Championship starts later today with a feast of live coverage planned from SATA Rallye Açores.
Tomorrow, Friday, two stages will be shown live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and RTP Açores, with two stages also streamed live on the official ERC website, www.fiaerc.com, a first for the European championship. Meanwhile, ERC Rally Radio will be broadcasting live during the event.
The full live broadcast schedule is as follows*:
Friday 26 April 2013
SS7: Feteiras 1 (7.54kms): 14:00hrs-14:30hrs (www.fiaerc.com)
SS8: Sete Cidades 1 (23.97kms): 14:30hrs-15:30hrs (Eurosport, RTP Açores)
SS11: Feteiras 2 (7.54kms): 18:30hrs-19:00hrs (www.fiaerc.com)
SS12: Sete Cidades 2 (23.97kms): 19:00hrs-20:00hrs (Eurosport, RTP Açores)
Saturday 27 April 2013
SS14: Tronqueira 1 (21.33kms): 12:15hrs-13:15hrs (Eurosport Player, RTP Açores)
SS19: Tronqueira 2 (21.33kms): 19:00hrs-20:00hrs (Eurosport)
* All timings are CET and subject to change
ERC Rally Radio live on-air times
Thursday 25 April: 17:15hrs CET
Friday 26 April: 12:30hrs CET
Saturday 27 April: 11:00hrs CET
ERC hero Kubica goes back to his racing roots
Formula One race winner turned FIA European Rally Championship stage pacesetter Robert Kubica went back to his racing roots during a pre-event test for SATA Rallye Açores on Monday.
Photographer Frantisek Dusek captured the Polish star catching Ekaterina Stratieva on the 5.5-kilometre test stage near Achada das Furnas in the centre of the island of São Miguel where the ERC qualifier will take place from 25-27 April after the gearbox in Stratieva’s Citroën C2 R2 failed.
She said: “Unfortunately again the gearbox is broken. Really I can’t believe the same thing has happened for a third time but I am happy that this happened now and not on a stage. My team will fix the problem and I try to be positive. I hope that we can do our plan for this rally.”
Monday’s test was hit by rain and fog. Several ERC regulars were in action on three separate test roads.
Family Taylor to watch ERC star live on TV
Molly Taylor’s family won’t have to travel far to watch the top Australian female driver begin her FIA European Rally Championship campaign on SATA Rallye Açores – they’ll be watching her live at home on Eurosport.
Taylor’s family live in Sydney and are not able to follow the 24-year-old in action of every rally she contests. Therefore, the live coverage produced by Eurosport Events of her rallies is a vital way for them to stay in touch as Taylor points out.
“The media coverage provided by Eurosport is a crucial element for increasing the profile of rallying worldwide,” said Taylor. “The television coverage is one of the most effective ways to bring the action to a large audience and the live element really raises the excitement for the viewers. Back in Australia my family and friends will be able to watch me competing live, on an island on the other side of the world. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it like that.”
Taylor will be in contention for FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours along with Bulgaria’s Ekaterina Stratieva. Click here for more information about Molly Taylor.
Meeke keen on ERC runs with Peugeot
Never mind simply testing Peugeot’s all-new 208 T16, Kris Meeke wants to tackle rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship in the R5-specification when it’s ready for competition use later this season.
Along with ERC frontrunner Craig Breen, Meeke has been entrusted with testing and developing the striking French machine but would relish the opportunity to put it through its paces on a competitive event and face up to the serious competition ahead in the ERC, which resumes on SATA Rallye Açores this week.
“I’m up for doing any rallies, I just want to get back to competition,” said the British driver. “There’s nothing concrete about doing an event, but it’s sure that Peugeot need to be doing rallies and putting the car in the environment and that’s what they have traditionally done.”
Meeke has covered almost 500 kilometres on gravel in the 208 T16 and will test on asphalt for the first time next month. He has described the car as “exciting”.
ERC aces go hat-trick chasing
Hat-tricks will be the name of the game for Jan Kopecký and Bruno Magalhães in the FIA European Rally Championship this week.
ŠKODA Motorsport driver Kopecký (pictured) is targeting win number three in this year’s ERC and the third for the Czech manufacturer on SATA Rallye Açores, while Magalhães (Delta Racing Peugeot) can become a three-time winner of the gravel event following victories on the mid-Atlantic archipelago in 2008 and 2010.
Kopecký, the current ERC title-leader, said: “We want to continue our success story and achieve the best possible result in the Açores. It will not be simple, because the competition is tough and the stages are tricky. Moreover, the oceanic weather conditions are highly variable. This event is certainly one of the most difficult rallies, but also one of the most beautiful ones.”
Napoca plans big ERC push in Açores
Napoca Rally Academy is mounting a big push for glory on round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, SATA Rallye Açores.
The Romanian organisation is chasing points in the ERC Production Car Cup for Teams with Marco and Simone Tempestini competing in a brace of Subaru Impreza R4 STIs. In addition, Alessandro Bruscheta and ERC 2WD contenders Ekaterina Stratieva and Florin Tincescu will also carry the Napoca colours on the gravel event.
“When we decided to enter our team in the ERC our goal was to help also other drivers to start in the ERC,” said Marco Tempestini. “For Açores also we have Florin Tincescu with a Dacia Logan and Ekaterina Stratieva and Alessandro Bruscheta in our colours and we are proud to support them. It’s amazing what Eurosport achieved in such a short time and for us it is very important to have live coverage form the stages. The live broadcasting for this event is amazing and I hope that all our fans in Romania will support us.”
Members of the Napoca Rally Academy took part in the International Marathon of Cluj last Sunday (pictured).
In the spotlight: Bruno Magalhães
A three-time Portuguese champion, Magalhães switched to the IRC in 2010 and impressed by winning SATA Rallye Açores with Peugeot Sport Portugal. His 2011 campaign was littered with retirements and ultimately masked the Lisbon driver’s obvious talents. He was reunited with former co-driver Carlos Magalhães on a one-off basis for the 2012 IRC season-opener in Açores and was challenging for a podium when he crashed heavily. Financial constraints kept him out of action until Rali Vinho Madeira in August 2012, his last event prior to his outing on Rally de Portugal earlier this month. The 32-year-old hopes to contest more rounds of the ERC this season following his outing on this week’s SATA Rallye Açores.
SATA Rallye Açores in 100 words
Based on the Atlantic archipelago’s largest island of São Miguel, the event is famous for stunning countryside and narrow and undulating gravel stages. Changeable weather is a factor with rain and fog adding to the challenge. The event begins with the non-competitive City Stage in Ponta Delgada on the night of Wednesday 24 April followed by the Qualifying Stage on Thursday morning, which will be used to determine the starting positions amongst the ERC and FIA priority drivers for the first of three legs on Thursday afternoon. Eurosport and RTP Açores will show the Sete Cidades and Tronqueira stages live.
Starts: 20:30hrs, Wednesday 24 April, Praça Gonçalo Velho, Ponta Delgada
Finishes: 19:15hrs, Saturday 27 April, Praça Gonçalo Velho, Ponta Delgada
Entries received: 42
ERC appearances: None (from restructuring of championship in 2004)
Stage distance: 240.79 kilometres (34.74 kilometres leg one, 94.90 leg two and 111.15 leg three)
2012 winners: Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)/Ola Fløene (NOR) ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000