35 R5’s Ready For European Season Opener

by Steven Batey

A huge 35 R5-specification cars will contest Azores Airlines Rallye, the opening round of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship.

Up seven on the number of R5 machinery entered for the opening round last season, the Portuguese event will see a total of 55 registered ERC competitors take on the event later this month.

With the championship split into several classes including ERC1, ERC Junior Under 28 and ERC Junior Under 27 a huge entry list sees several big names enter the championship for 2018.

Runner up last season Bruno Magalhães joins drivers such as defending Under 27 champion Chris Ingram, British Rally frontrunner Fredrik Ahlin and young German drivers Marijan Griebel and Fabian Kreim on the entry list and all in R5 cars.

The Junior Under 27 class, designed for drivers in R2 machinery and using Pirelli tyres also sees another big entry for 2018, with drivers such as Opel Rallye Junior pair Martins Sesks and Tom Kristensson amongst the 11-strong entry.

ERC Coordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said on the number of entries: “Attracting such a big entry, particularly from drivers in R5 cars and in the ERC Junior categories, demonstrates the appeal of the FIA European Rally Championship.”

The Azores Airlines Rallye takes place between March 22-24.


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