PREVIEW: ERC 2017 – Seajets Acropolis Rally

Credit: Jorge Cunha / DPPI

Bruno Magalhães goes into round three of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship, the Seajets Acropolis Rally, aiming to extend his championship lead after taking a victory and third place so far this season.

After the opening rounds in Portugal and Spain, round three of the 2017 ERC sees the championship enter Greece and the Seajets Acropolis Rally with three days of gravel action awaiting the crews.

Championship leader Magalhães, driving a Skoda Fabia R5 leads the field into round three of the eight-round calendar by 17 points ahead of Alexey Lukyanuk. Round two winner Lukyanuk will not take part this weekend however after a recent accident in testing means that the Russian is unable to compete in Greece.

Defending champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz, third in the standings this year, will be hoping to build on a strong result last time out in Spain and continue to mount a strong championship challenge in 2017 and again enters this weekend in a Ford Fiesta R5.

Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Former WRC driver Nasser Al-Attiyah enters his first round of the 2017 ERC this weekend aboard a similar spec Fiesta R5.

Because of only six of the eight rounds of the calendar counting for points this season, various drivers including Marijan Griebel and Josh Moffett are not in attendance this weekend in the R5 class of the championship.

In total 10 R5 cars are entered, with drivers including Nikolay Gryakin, Murat Bostanci, Grzegory Grzyb, Anotin Tlustak, former GT racer Albert von Thurn und Taxis and Yorgo Phillippedes also all due to compete this weekend.

It’s a similar story in ERC2, where championship leader Luis Pimmentel will sit out this weekend, meaning Tibor Erdi has the chance to take the championship lead in his Mitsubishi Evo X. Third and fourth in the championship, Sergei Remmenik and Zelindo Melegari, round out the entry in the class this weekend and will be hoping for strong results.

Three cars are also entered in ERC3 for the trip to Greece. As the event does not count towards the ERC Under 28 Championship, the vast majority of the field including U28 leader Chris Ingram will not take part this weekend. This leaves just Bugra Banaz the only driver to have competed in a round this season to enter this weekend and the Turkish driver will be joined by Umit Can Ozdemir and Ismet Toktas in a trio of Ford Fiesta R2T’s