ERC 2017 Rally Liepāja: Preview – Kajetanowicz v Magalhães For Championship Glory

by Steven Batey

The 2017 FIA European Rally Championship goes down to the wire this weekend with Rally Liepāja and will go the way of either double and defending champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz or title rival Bruno Magalhães.

24 points separate the pair with one round remaining, with Kajetanowicz aiming for a record third ERC title and Magalhães looking to become the first Portuguese winner of the ERC in history.

Rally Liepāja takes place over 13 loose gravel stages, with 2017 seeing six extra stages being added to the schedule ahead of this weekend’s deciding round.

Ralfs Simins is the defending Rally Liepāja winner- Photo Credit:@Jorge Cunha / DPPI

The two championship contenders lead the entry list that also includes drivers including defending Rally Liepāja winner Ralfs Sirmacis, who returns to the ERC this weekend after having financial issues across the season and World Rallycross star and local hero Reinis Nitišs who enters just his third rallying event.

Along with the overall ERC title still to be decided, four other championships are still yet to be concluded. The ERC3 and Junior Under 27 classes see five and four drivers battling for glory respectively, with drivers including Britain’s Chris Ingram and teammate Jari Huttunen in with a shot of claiming the top prize in both series’.

Photo Credit: @Jorge Cunha / DPPI

Finnish driver Huttunen goes into this weekend on the back of receiving the news that he is to become a Hyundai development driver where he beat drivers including Ingram to the prize and the pair will go up against Filip Mareš, who leads the U27 standings and Aleks Zawada for the championship honour this weekend.

ERC2 meanwhile is a two-horse race going into the final round this weekend with Zelindo Melegari battling for the title against Tibor Érdi Jr with the pair separated by just four points.

Photo Credit: @Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

And as well as four drivers titles to be decided in Latvia, the ERC Teams Championship is also set to go all the way with Castrol Ford Team Turkey leading the way ahead of ACCR Czech Team and Opel Rallye Junior Team also in contention.

Rally Liepāja takes place this weekend between October 6-8.

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