Latest news on the regional rally championships.
FIA EUROPEAN RALLY TROPHY CENTRAL – VALASSKA RALLY VALMEZ, CZECH REPUBLIC (ROUND 1/7)
The seven-round FIA European Trophy Central launched last weekend with Valašská Rally Valmez in Czech Republic. Local rally hero Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler dominated the event and claimed a resounding victory aboard their Škoda Fabia R5. Poland’s Grzegorz Grzyb and Jakub Wróbel took second place with the same machinery as the rally winners, while the Czech Jaroslav Orsák, navigated with style by his female co-driver Jindřiška Žáková, completed the podium with their Ford Fiesta R5.
The ever popular “Valašská”, which celebrated its 38th edition, took the crews to the fast tarmac roads around Valašské Meziříčí and Kopřivnice over 164 competitive kilometres. The rally kicked off on Friday night with the first 3.51 km stage through the center of Valašské Meziříčí, which was won by Kopecký and Dresler in front of a large crowd.
Under sunny temperatures, the Czech crew controlled the field through the seven special stages of Saturday and confirmed its dominance on Sunday as well, increasing their lead to almost a minute after six tests. In the end, Kopecký and Dresler won all 14 special stages and snatched a crushing victory, almost three minutes ahead of their closest rivals.
In the Central European series, the action will then move to Zagreb, Croatia, for the 45th INA Delta Rally on June 7-8.
FIA R-GT CUP – RALLYE OF FRANCE, TOUR DE CORSE (ROUND 2/8)
Last weekend, the Tour de Corse hosted not only the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, but also the second stop of the R-GT Cup after Rallye Monte-Carlo. Enrico Brazzoli and Manuel Fenoli from Italy claimed their second win this season aboard their Abarth 124 RGT, scoring a stunning victory on the car’s 70th anniversary. Czech Republic’s Petr Nešetřil and Černoch Jiří placed second with a Porsche 997 GT3 RGT, over eighteen minutes behind the winners, while another Abarth completed the podium with the Italian crew of Alberto Sassi and Fabio Cangini.
Brazzoli & Fenoli dominated their rivals, winning all the special stages to extend their lead in the overall standings with maximum points in the FIA R-GT Cup after two events out of eight.
The next round will take place mid-April on the 66th Rally di Sanremo in Italy.
The provisional FIA R-GT Cup standings can be consulted here.
UCOMING: FIA CODASUR RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – RALLY TRANSITAPUA, PARAGUAY (ROUND 2/5)
Coming up this weekend is round 2 of the FIA CODASUR Rally Championship! Rally TransItapùa will start this Thursday, 4th of April with the opening ceremony in the town of Encarnación in South-East Paraguay, not far from the Argentinian border.
The gravel event features a mix of surfaces varying from dirt, gravel, stone pavement and a Super Special stage on the asphalt-covered circuit of Sanbodrome, for a total of 176.94 competitive kilometres.
With 39 cars entered for the event & competitors coming from Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil, this year’s edition is set to be an intense and action-packed battle! Among the event’s favourites, Gustavo Saba, the 2018 FIA CODASUR champion, navigated by the Argentinian Fernando Mussano, will be determined to come out on top with his Volkswagen Polo R5 after his retirement on the season opener as he made a driving mistake and went off in a plantation.
But the Paraguayan will face intense competition with a strong field of angry fellow country rivals, including Rally de la Tierra Colorada’s Top 3 winners, Diego Dominguez aka “El Patrón” driving a Hyundai i20 R5, Luis Maldonado Jr with a Škoda Fabia R5 and Augusto Bestard with a Ford Fiesta R5.
Follow more on the FIA CODASUR website.