2017 ERC Rally Rzeszow – Preview: Magalhaes aims to extend championship lead in Poland


Photo Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Round five of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship takes place this weekend in Poland with the Rzeszow Rally and championship leader Bruno Magalhaes will be aiming to extend his 14-point lead over Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

214 stage miles await the crews with 11 stages set to take place this weekend in Poland as the event appears on the calendar for its second time after its debut last season.

The duo at the top of the standings won’t have things their own way this weekend as Alexey Lukyanuk is set to return after missing the previous two rounds in Greece and Cyprus after a testing accident back in May.

The Russian’s title assault is still in full swing despite his set back as each ERC driver is able to drop two scores throughout the course of the season.

ERC1 also sees Bryan Bouffier, four-time winner of the Polish event compete for overall honours alongside WRC driver Mads Østberg who competes this weekend in a Ford Fiesta R5 in preparation for the asphalt of Rally Germany later this month.

Photo Credit: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

The FIA ERC Under 28 championship returns this weekend after not being part of the previous two ERC rounds in Greece and Cyprus and sees Marijan Griebel and Pepe López set to battle it out again with the pair separated by just three points; the pair having one round each so far this season.

Despite their battle at the top, drivers including Josh Moffatt, Sylvain Michel and Tomasz Kaspercyzk lead the chasing pack ready to take on Griebel and López this weekend.

The ERC Junior U27 category, open to R2-spec cars using Pirelli tyres, sees Chris Ingram leading the way after taking two victories in the opening two events in 2017. Similar to the U28 championship for R5 cars, the class re-joins the ERC this weekend after not being part of the championship in the last two events.

Photo Credit: Jorge Cunha / DPPI

Despite the break, Ingram has been keeping race sharp by competing in Ypres Rally, part of the British Rally Championship. However he will be hoping to move on from his mistake in Belgium where he rolled out of the lead.

Second in the U27 class going to Poland is Aleks Zawada with Ingram’s teammate Jari Huttunen in third in a sister Opel Adam.

ERC2 is led by Zelindo Melegari in a Mitsubishi Evo IX going into the tarmac event in Poland, while Buǧra Banaz leads ERC3 with his Castrol Ford Team Turkey leading the way in the FiA European Rally Championship for Teams.

The Rzeszow Rally take place this weekend between August 3-5.