The focus will be on Craig Breen when the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship concludes in Switzerland next week as he attempts to land the coveted runner-up spot in the final standings.
Peugeot Rally Academy ace Breen starts Rallye International du Valais on 7 November 26 points behind Bryan Bouffier in the race to finish second to ERC champion Jan Kopecký*.
With Bouffier not able to compete in Switzerland after he was unable to secure the necessary funding, Breen can demote his French rival to third place if he wins the mainly asphalt-based event, which runs between Sion and Martigny.
Rallye International du Valais features 18 stages over a competitive distance of 287.84 kilometres. More than 70 crews are expected to take part on the event, which also counts as the final round of the Swiss championship. *Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA
Coverage boost for ERC Rallye International du Valais
The final round of this year’s FIA European Rally Championship will benefit from extensive coverage in Le Matin, the number one newspaper in French-speaking Switzerland.
A long-term partner of Rallye International du Valais, Le Matin has recently announced the continuation of its support of the event until 2016.
“Le Matin aims at being a high quality popular newspaper that informs and gives food for thought while offering a moment of relaxation,” a statement from the event organisers read. “In tune with its readers‘ preoccupations, it puts forward subjects of actuality, tells the story of the stars, offers practical advice for everyday life and decodes the sport behind the scene.
“With 317.000 readers, Le Matin is a privileged vector to promote the Rallye International du Valais. In addition to the numerous spaces that are devoted to the event during the weeks ahead of the race, a 32-page supplement printed at about 200,000 copies is inserted in Le Matin Dimanche (nearly 500,000 readers), which is issued on the Sunday preceding the start.”
Rallye International du Valais takes place between Sion and Martigny from 7-9 November.
Success keeps on coming for ERC fast lady Taylor
Having secured the inaugural FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy* on the back of a highly impressive campaign in 2013, Molly Taylor added to her run of success with a strong performance on the Ronde della Val d’Orcia, a gravel event in Italy last weekend.
Featuring one 11-kilometre stage run four times, Taylor and stand-in co-driver Giacomo Ciucci set the pace in the two-wheel-drive category before going on to finish second in class in 12th overall.
Molly said “Giacomo did a fantastic job adapting to the conditions and calling English pacenotes for the very first time.”
Taylor’s next event is the world championship-counting Wales Rally GB from 14-17 November when she’ll be reunited with regular co-driver Seb Marshall in their United Business-backed Citroën DS3 R3T. *Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA
ERC ace Orsak reveals new car and new look for Valais
This is how Jaroslav Orsák’s ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 will look when he contests round 12 of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, Rallye International du Valais, next week.
Orsák has missed the last two rounds of the ERC in Croatia and Italy through injury but is now back in action, only this time the GPD Mit Metal Racing Team star has swapped his regular Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX R4 for a pacesetting Fabia S2000 for the Swiss event, which takes place between Sion and Martigny from 7-9 November.
“Due to a road accident we were forced to miss some events in the ERC and lost the chance to fight for the Production Car Cup title,” Orsák explained. “We wanted to get back into a rally car as soon as possible, so we will start on Rallye du Valais with a new car in our garage – a ŠKODA Fabia S2000. Our main target is to get back into a rhythm and test this car before next season."
Major recognition for ERC 2WD star Pita
Renato Pita, a regular competitor in the FIA ERC 2WD Championship, has been named by the Portuguese government as the country’s new Ambassador for Ethics in Sports.
Pita has combined his ERC programme in a Peugeot 208 R2 with promoting a major road safety campaign in his homeland, Etapa Segura.
His efforts have now been recognised with this important new role, details of which have been outlined in a statement from the Portuguese driver’s representatives: “Renato will give his personal testimony in several initiatives and promote values as fair play, the respect for rules and regulations, responsibility and friendship, tolerance and mutual aid, wellbeing and volunteering, as well as the importance of lifelong learning. The role is aimed mainly at children and teenagers living in Portugal.”
Internationale Jannerrallye 2014 plans take shape
The planned opening round of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship*, the Internationale Jännerrallye, will feature 18 stages over a competitive distance of 245.60 kilometres, when it takes place from 3-5 January 2014.
Next year’s event, which will once again be based in the town of Freistadt near Linz in Upper Austria, runs from Friday until Sunday.
A copy of the rally guide, itinerary and several useful maps are available for download from the official event website, www.jaennerrallye.at or by clicking here. *Subject to ratification by the FIA World Motor Sport Council
In the spotlight: Sebastian Barbu
Sebastian Barbu, a 29-year-old rising star from Romania, made an instant impact in the FIA European Rally Championship when he claimed ERC 2WD honours on the Sibiu Rally in his native Romania back in July. He impressed on his return to the series in Croatia in late September, setting the third fastest time overall on the event’s rain-hit second stage only to crash out in the closing stages following a rare error. He also impressed when he took part on Rallye Sanremo for the first time earlier this month.