Marijan Griebel gets podium place in Poland and extends ERC Junior U28 championship lead
ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers impressed once again in the fifth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), with the ERC Junior U28 competitors performing especially well at the Rajd Rzeszowski (4th to 6th August) in Poland. Marijan Griebel and co-driver Stefan Kopczyk were the highest placed finishers as they came home in third place overall and first in the ERC Junior U28 standings in a FABIA R5 prepared and run by BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing team.
They drove a composed and consistent rally and thoroughly deserved a place on the podium. Griebel is prioritizing the ERC Junior U28 championship this season and this result saw him extend his lead at the top of the overall standings. He also now sits third in the main ERC standings too.
The reigning French Tarmac Rally Champion Sylvain Michel and co-driver Jérôme Degout finished second in the ERC Junior U28 standings and fifth overall in their 2C Compétition FABIA R5. Michel is also prioritizing the ERC Junior U28 championship and he is now third in the overall standings.
Polish crew of Grzegorz Grzyb / Bogusław Browiński finished one place ahead of Michel in fourth overall at their home rally. Grzyb, who was driving a FABIA R5 prepared by the MM Rally Team for the Rufa Sport, is the reigning Polish rally champion and - whilst this event was also the third round of that championship - this season his focus is on the Slovakian Rally Championship. He is also driving selected rounds of the ERC and this result followed up his third place at the Acropolis Rally earlier this year.
Portuguese driver Bruno Magalhães led the ERC standings coming into this rally. He had never driven at this event before and knew it was going to be one of the toughest challenges of the year. And so it proved to be as Bruno and co-driver Hugo Magalhães could only finish in ninth place overall in their FABIA R5 prepared and run by ARC Sport.
The result secured them two championship points and means they now sit second in the overall standings, thirteen points behind new leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz with three rounds remaining.
In the Polish championship standings, mention too must go to Filip Nivette / Kamil Heller. In a FABIA R5 prepared and run by Kresta Racing, they finished eleventh overall, but sixth in the Polish standings and this result means they retain the championship lead.
The ERC and ERC Junior U28 championships will continue with the Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 25th to 27th August. Meanwhile, the Polish Rally Championship will continue with the Rajd Dolnośląski from the 7th to 9th September.
2017 Rally Rzeszow
Manvir Baryan wins Rally of Tanzania to open up African Rally Championship lead
Having not previously won a round of the African Rally Championship, ŠKODA now has two victories from two events after Manvir Baryan enjoyed his second successive win at the Rally of Tanzania (4th to 6th August). Kenyan driver Baryan, who was driving for the Multiple Racing Team alongside British co-driver Drew Sturrock, didn’t have everything their own way though, as Jaspreet Chatthe ended the opening day in the lead. But he hit a rock in the opening stage of the second day and was forced to retire, which opened the way for Baryan to take advantage. He dominated the second leg and ended up with six stage victories out of eight to end up a comfortable 6 minutes and 17 seconds ahead of their closest challengers.
Baryan led the African championship by just two points coming into this event, but leaves it with a nineteen points advantage and a real opportunity to claim the title at the penultimate round, the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally, which takes place from the 8th to 10th September.
2017 Rally of Tanzania
Fabian Kreim back on top in Germany after Thüringen Rallye victory
The Thüringen Rallye (4th to 5th August) was the sixth round of the German Rally Championship and saw Fabian Kreim return to the top of the championship standings with another dominant victory. Kreim, who was driving alongside co-driver Frank Christian in a FABIA R5 for the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team, won all of the ten special stages to claim victory by a comfortable margin of 56.6 seconds. They showed terrific speed throughout the rally and look in fine form ahead of their participation in the WRC Rallye Deutschland next weekend.
It was a third victory in a row and a fifth in six rounds so far this year for the reigning German champion, who now holds a 27 point advantage over their closest challengers in the overall championship standings.
There was more good news for ŠKODA too as Dominik Dinkel and co-driver Christina Kohl finished in second place for the Brose Motorsport team. They too performed extremely well, finishing all ten stages inside the top 3 and sitting in the runners-up spot for all but the opening test of the rally.
Dinkel has now finished on the podium four times this season and sits third in the championship standings, just five points behind René Mandel in second place. And with the race:pro motorsport FABIA R5 of Sandro Wallenwein / Markus Poschner finishing in a comfortable fourth place here and sitting joint fourth in the championship, it is shaping up to be a very successful season for ŠKODA in Germany.
The season continues with the Rallye Niedersachsen which takes place on the eighth and ninth September.
2017 Thüringen Rallye
Miguel Barbosa up to second in Portugal after Rali Vinho da Madeira success
The Rali Vinho da Madeira (3rd to 5th August) was the seventh round of the Portuguese Rally Championship. It was Miguel Barbosa and his co-driver Miguel Ramalho who finished in first place in the Portuguese standings in the FABIA R5 for the BP Ultimate Vodafone ŠKODA Team. They were 54.5 seconds clear of their closest challengers in the Portuguese championship standings as they secured their first ever victory in the national series. It was a result which moves them up to second in the championship standings.
Whilst Barbosa claimed the Portuguese championship points, he was not actually the highest finishing FABIA R5 driver. That accolade went to Miguel Campos / António Costa. They finished in fourth place overall in their AR Vidal-run FABIA R5 in what was just their second drive of the year after the Rally de Portugal.
In the Portuguese championship, drivers must choose to opt out one of the nine rounds which make up the season, while their seven best results from the eight remaining rounds count towards the final championship classification. As a result, FABIA R5 driver Pedro Meireles was not taking part in this event, but he retains his lead in the championship standings, ahead of Miguel Barbosa.
The next and penultimate round of the Portuguese Rally Championship will be the Rali de Mortágua which takes place on 22nd and 23rd September.
2017 Rali Vinho da Madeira
NEWS IN BRIEF
There was more success for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the French Cup last weekend. At the Rallye National de Fourmies en Avesnois (5th to 6th August), Yves Saint Requier / François Gilbert finished first in the R5 class and second overall. It was only Saint Requier’s third rally in a FABIA R5, but was his third class victory and also his third overall podium finish.
In another French Cup event, the Rallye Régional du Trièves (5th to 6th August), Michel Giraldo / Méryl Giraldo finished first overall in a FABIA R5 prepared and run by Roger Tuning. Giraldo now has two wins from two rallies in the FABIA R5 under his belt.
Salvatore Riolo / Gianfrancesco Rappa won the Rally del Tirreno (5th to 6th August) in Italy. The rally was part of the Italian National Series (Zone 8) and the Italian Cup (Zone 4) and Riolo was driving his first rally in a FABIA R5, which was prepared and run by the P.A. Racing team.
Elsewhere in Italy, at the Rally Internazionale della Ciociaria (4th to 6th August), Emanuele Giannetti claimed victory in what was just his second rally in a FABIA R5. He was driving alongside co-driver Marco Lepore in a car prepared and run by Colombi Racing team.
Alessandro Perico / Mauro Turati, driving a FABIA R5 for the Team Autoservice Sport A.S.D., finished fourth at the Milano Rally Show (4th to 5th August), but managed to win the Milano Master Show, a one stage event held on the Saturday evening (5th August).
In Northern Ireland, Joe McGonigle / Ciaran Geaney finished second at the Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally (5th August), just one second behind the overall winner.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
|11-12 Aug||Rally Malaysia||Asia-Pacific Rally Championship||Round 3||Gravel|
|11-13 Aug||Rally Acosta Ñu||Paraguay Rally Championship||Round 6||Gravel|
|12 Aug||Grampian Stages Rally||Scottish Rally Championship||Round 6||Gravel|