Kajetanowicz wins ERC as Rovanpera stars again
- 18th September 2016, 11:35pm
Fourth place was enough for reigning European champion Fiesta R5 driver, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, to retain his title at the penultimate round of this year’s ERC series, held at Rally Liepaja in Latvia.
The championship’s Junior title was decided in favour of Marijan Griebel, beating his Opel Adam teammate Chris Ingram. Star of the event, however, was 22 year old Latvian Ralfs Sirmacis, who scored his third win of the season.
The event was run at short notice as a summer event, having been postponed as a winter event due to inclement conditions. Second overall was Alexey Lukyanuk, back again driving his familiar Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X instead of the Ford Fiesta R5 used earlier this year.
Another Mitsubishi driver was third, the Estonian Siim Plangi, who got ahead of Kajetanowicz when the Polish driver lost time with an engine problem. Latvian Mitsubishi driver driver, Jānis Vorobjovs, retired from fifth with an engine problem.
There was thrilling battle between Griebel and Ingram. Whoever beat the other would will the Junior title. After the first stage of the final day, they were exactly equal, but Ingram lost time with a small off-road incident and then stopped with an electrical problem and was out.
Griebel won the championship prize of a Fabia R5 drive in the final round next month in Cyprus. Fourth place in the Junior category went to local 16 year old driver Martins Sesks.
Wojciech Chuchała won the ERC2 title in Latvia, despite going off the road on the final stage.
One of the highlights of the Rally Liepaja came from a driver who was not eligible for the ERC, but was instead competing on the national section of the rally: 15-year-old Kalle Rovanpera (the son of former WRC event winner Harri Rovanpera).
Despite the fact that he is so young that he is not even allowed to drive on the road sections – which are completed by his co-driver – the teenager set times that were equal to or faster than those of the overall rally winner: one of the reasons why Rovanpera is currently leading the Latvian championship.
The young Finn picked up the ERC Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy.
TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 13 stages, 203.60 kilometres)
1. Ralfs Sirmacis (LVA)/Arturs Šimins (LVA) ŠKODA Fabia R5….1h43m11.2s
2. Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Roman Kapustin (RUS) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X….+1m04.3s
3. Siim Plangi (EST)/Marek Sarapuu (EST) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X….+1m48.3s
4. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/Jarosław Baran (POL) Ford Fiesta R5….+2m25.7s
5. Raimonds Kisiels (LVA)/Arnis Ronis (LVA) ŠKODA Fabia R5….+5m03.7s
6. Māris Neikšāns (LVA)/Anrijs Jesse (LVA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX….+5m53.9s
7. Martinš Švilis (LVA)/Ivo Pūķis (LVA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X….+5m54.1s
8. Tomasz Kasperczyk (POL)/Damian Syty (POL) Ford Fiesta R5….+6m52.6s
9. Dávid Botka (HUN)/Péter Szeles (HUN) Citroën DS3 R5….+6m52.6s
10. Vytautas Švedas (LTU)/Žilvinas Sakalauskas (LTU) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX….+7m02.9s
FIA ERC2: Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Roman Kapustin (RUS) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
FIA ERC3: Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Pirmin Winklhofer (DEU) Opel Adam R2
FIA ERC Junior: Marijan Griebel (DEU)/Pirmin Winklhofer (DEU) Opel Adam R2
SUBSCRIBE BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires. If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period. You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.