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Battle for FIA European Rally Championship to continue in Rally Liepāja

LIEPĀJA, May 20, 2019

Rally Liepāja plays an important role in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) calendar as the best stages in the Talsi and Liepāja regions will be used to hand out points in all nine ERC classes. With that, it is important to look into the championship standings before Rally Liepāja.

Lukasz Habaj, ERC1 ©

In the overall classification, the current leaders are Lukasz Habaj from Poland and the British driver Chris Ingram. In the first two rounds of the championship, taking place in the Azores and Canary Islands, the Polish driver, competing in a Škoda Fabia R5 prepared by Sports Racing Technologies, has been a bit quicker, earning a total of 58 points. To catch him in the standings, Ingram will need to get eight more points than Habaj in Rally Liepāja. Remaining spots in the top five of the standings are taken by Spanish and Portuguese drivers – Jose Maria Lopez (35), Ricardo Moura (18), and Bruno Magalhaes (18), who have earned significantly fewer points and have decided against competing in the Latvian round. Two-time ERC Junior championship winner and German champion Marijan Griebel is currently sixth with 18 points, after facing technical issues in both opening rounds. Hopefully the young German will have more luck in Rally Liepāja – the event where he won the Junior U27 championship. The situation is similar for Hungarian driver Norbert Herczig, who had to retire from the first round and earned 17 points in the second one. Eighth and ninth position is currently taken by drivers who will not be coming to Liepāja – Portuguese driver Ricardo Teodosio and Pierre-Louis Loubet, who have earned 17 and 15 points, accordingly. The top 10 is concluded by the current FIA European Rally Champion, the very quick but often unlucky Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk. His season has begun with an accident and a retirement, but thanks to the bonus points available in each round, he has managed to earn a total of 14 points to get inside the top 10. Rally Liepāja will serve as the R5 class debut for Mārtiņš Sesks, who will use his home event to claim the prize earned for winning last year’s Junior U27 championship.

Chris Ingram, ERC1 & ERC1 Junior ©

Chris Ingram is a clear leader in the ERC1 Junior class, having earned 69 points. Alexandros Tsoulofas from Cyprus is second with 49 points – both frontrunners have opted for Rally Liepāja. Meanwhile Jose Maria Lopez is third, twelve points behind second place. Pierre-Louis Laubet from France and Portuguese driver Miguel Correia have earned, accordingly, 26 and 24 points and are fourth and fifth in the standings.

Zelindo Melegari, ERC2 ©

ERC2 class is currently led by Argentinian driver Juan Carlos Alonso (45) and Alberto Monarri from Spain (38), neither of whom will compete in Rally Liepāja. However, we will see the third placed Zelingo Melegari, who has earned 26 points and is competing with a Neiksans Rallysport prepared car. Latvian Rally Championship competitor Sergei Remennik (24) will also be competing, in a PROSPEED prepared vehicle. Interestingly, Carlos David Garcia has managed to get into the top 5 of the championship standings in an Abarth 124 Rally car. Ralfs Sirmacis will also be competing in this class, with his last start in Rally Liepāja being in 2016, when he won in the overall classification in a Škoda Fabia R5.

Dariusz Polonski, ERC2 & Abarth Rally Cup ©

Abarth Rally Cup, a new one-make series made for 2019, will also be contesting Rally Liepāja, with three entries – Polish driver Darius Polonski, Italian Andrea Nucita and Latvian Reinis Nitišs – all of whom will be driving the exciting rear-wheel drive Abarth 124 Rally cars.

Efren Llarena, ERC3 & ERC3 Junior ©

The most popular class in Rally Liepāja will be the front-wheel drive ERC3. Among drivers in the top 10 of the championship, only the second and fifth placed drivers will not be competing in Latvia. Efren Llarena is the current leader with 58 points, while the second and third place is split shared by two French drivers – Florian Bernardi and Yohan Rossell – who have earned 38 points each. Pedro Antunes from Portugal is fourth (36), just ahead of Norwegian Sindre Furuseth (33).

British driver Nabila Tejpar is the current Ladies Trophy leader with 39 points, ahead of Emma Falcon (29). Neither of them will be competing in Latvia, but we will see British driver Catie Munnings trying to earn her first points of the season.

For Latvia, the most promising results are in the team standings, where our Sports Racing Technologies has earned 40 points and sits in third place, 8 points behind Toksport WRT and just 3 points from second placed Rallye Team Spain.

ERC Nations Cup is led by ACCR Czech Team I with 74 points, followed by Rallye Team Spain (68) and German ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team (53).

A total of 52 ERC eligible crews will tackle the Rally Liepāja stages, 21 of which will be driving R5 class cars. In addition to these, 52 more Latvian Rally Championship crews will be battling in the national championship, bringing the total number of competitors up to 111.

More about the FIA European Rally Championship –

News and other information about Rally Liepāja can be found on the official website at, as well as on social media Twitter @LVRally, Facebook /LVRally, /lvrally, YouTube /RallyLiepāja and Instagram /lvrally.

FIA European Rally Championship round Rally Liepāja is possible thanks to the support of the Latvian government, the rally city of Liepāja, as well as the Talsi region. We would also like to thank our sponsors Neste, Ramirent, and SC Grupa, car rental partner Sixt, and our supporters Canon Business Center – IB Serviss, Liepājas Olimpiskais Centrs, Liepājas Speciālās Ekonomiskās Zonas Pārvalde, Pafbet Score, and Swecon. Informative support is provided by news portal DELFI and media partners Go4Speed, JCDecaux Latvija, Kurzemes Vārds, Talsu Vēstis, and Zebra. Rally Liepāja would also not be possible without our rally friends: adGuru, Baltic Taxi, Dardedze, Flora, FN Serviss, Fristads, Jānis Pūce, Latvijas Pārtikas Ražotājs, Lofbergs, Meža Dārzs, Narvesen, Red Bull, Red Sun Buffet, Scan-Plast, SignTech, Sportland, TN Kurzeme,and Törley. Rally Liepāja is realized with support by the regional councils of Aizpute, Durbe, Priekule, Skrunda, and Vaiņode. A special thank you goes out to the Latvian Automobile Federation.

Rally Liepāja is organized by RA EVENTS and Speed Festival Kurzeme.



17:00     SS QS   3,00          FRISTADS / Dunalka                                 


12:00     SS 1      14,72        TALSI / Ābeļi

12:50     SS 2      14,73        SWECON / Mordanga

14:00     SS 3      28,36        RAMIRENT / Strazde

16:15     SS 4      26,50        SC GRUPA / Mundigciems

17:25     SS 5      15,15        EGP Latvia / Kaleši                                          

SUNDAY, 26 MAY         

08:40     SS 6      6,53          Canon Biznesa Centrs-IB Serviss / Dinsdurbe

09:30     SS 7      18,26        SIXT Rent a car 1 / Priekule

10:45     SS 8      10,29        PORT OF LIEPAJA / Podnieki

11:40     SS 9      18,26        SIXT Rent a car 2 / Priekule

15:00     SS 10    10,81        NESTE 1 / Kalvene

15:45     SS 11    15,77        LIEPĀJA 1 / Vecpils

17:00     SS 12    10,81        NESTE 2 / Kalvene

17:45     SS 13    15,77        LIEPĀJA 2 / Vecpils