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Rally Liepāja to open (and close) the rally summer season in Latvia

LIEPĀJA, May 21, 2019

Rally Liepāja, taking place on the final weekend of May, will be the first summer round of the Latvian Rally Championship, following two winter events in the eastern part of Latvia. Traditionally, the summer season began with Rally Talsi but this year, from May 24 to 26, it will be done in Rally Liepāja, which is set to begin in Talsi, but conclude in Liepāja. Rally Liepāja to serve as the last rally of 2019 in Latvia, as the conluding events of the Latvian championship set to take place in Estonia.

Valerii Gorban ©MVFoto

As opposed to the European Rally Championship competitors, the Latvian Championship will count each day as a separate event, meaning that there will be two rounds taking place over the weekend. First rally of the summer season has always been the one where the championship competitors can showcase their new cars to fans. In addition to that, we can see some new faces in the entry lists, as some drivers choose to skip the winter rally season. To get a better understanding of who is battling with whom, it is a good idea to check in on the current season standings.

Oliver Solberg ©Edgars Leonovs

Latvian Rally Championship overall classification is led by Oliver Solberg in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, who has earned a total of 33 points in a very successful winter season. Positions two through four (with 14 points) are shared by LRČ2 class leaders Emīls Blūms and Denis Rostilov, as well as Nikolay Gryazin, who will not be competing in Rally Liepāja this year. Ukrainian Valerii Gorban (Mini Cooper WRC, 12 points) and Polish driver Lukasz Habaj (Škoda Fabia R5, 11 points) are planning to not only compete, but improve on their current fifth and sixth positions in the standings. Seventh place is currently occupied by Egon Kaur, who will not be taking part in Rally Liepāja. Of special note is the eighth placed Liepāja native Mārtiņš Sesks, the current leader in LRČ3 class – Rally Liepāja will be his debut in an all-wheel drive Škoda Fabia R5. Top 10 of the standings is concluded by Radik Shaymiev and Edijs Bergmanis. We also expect that Estonian Georg Gross will shake up the standings quite a bit, as he will be competing in a current generation Ford Fiesta WRC.

Edijs Bergmanis ©MVFoto

Edijs Bergmanis is leading the LRČ1 class, having earned 24 points. However, Kristaps Sarma (19 points) and Krišjānis Zintis Putniņš (18 points) are not very far behind. Unfortunately, Ronalds Baldiņš (16 points) is planning to skip this round. Top 5 in the class standings is concluded by Mikolaj Kempa, who will do his best to fight for a spot on the podium.

Emīls Blūms ©MVFoto

LRČ2 class leaders were noted when discussing the overall classification above – Emīls Blūms and Denis Rostilov have split the maximum number of points in the first two rounds, each earning a total of 30 points. It is expected that both crews will be ready for a thrilling battle in Rally Liepāja. Edgars Balodis (16 points) is currently in third place, while Dmitry Feofanov and Jonas Sluckus are currently sharing fourth and fifth place, with 13 points each. It is expected that Ralfs Sirmacis, competing in an N4 group Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, will definitely join the battle for a podium spot in this class.

Changes are expected in the LRČ3 class standings, where Mārtiņš Sesks is currently leading with 34 points, but, as mentioned above, he will be moving to an R5 machinery car for Rally Liepāja. Second placed driver, Robert Virves (24 points) will be skipping Rally Liepāja, so this will be a great opportunity for Adam Westlund (22), Kaspar Kasari (16) and Gregor Jeets (10) to improve their position in the standings.

Jēkabpils native Reinis Nitišs will bring some international flavour to the LRČ4 class battles, competing in the exciting Abarth 124 Rally car. The current class leader is Estonian Marko Ringenberg (30 points), followed by Lithuanian Martynas Samsonas (17 points) and Estonian Raiko Aru (10 points). The only Latvian to have earned points in this class (8) is Jānis Strazdiņš, who reached the finish in the first round but had to retire in the second.

There will be lots of changes in the LRČ5 class standings, as only two of the top five crews will be competing in Liepāja – the leader Karel Tolp (34 points) and fifth placed Uldis Lepiksons (13 points), who will definitely do everything possible to overtake Kristo Subi (23 points), Agris Upītis (14 points), and Jānis Cielēns (14 points).

The Junior classification is currently led by Mārtiņš Sesks with 48 points, while the team championship has an intense battle between Sports Racing Technologies (57 points) and Rallyworkshop-ERST Finance (52 points).

Ivars Velme ©MVFoto

On Saturday, we will also see the Rallysprint and Historic Sport crews tackling the stages, increasing the total number of national championship participants to 69, with that number going up to 111 if we include the FIA European Rally Championship competitors.

More information about the Latvian 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.

2019 Latvian Rally Championship calendar:

  1. RALLIJS ALŪKSNE – LATVIA – 18-19 January
  2. RALLIJS SARMA – LATVIA – 9 February
  5. RALLY ESTONIA – ESTONIA – 13-14 July
  6. RALLY LÕUNA-EESTI – ESTONIA – 23-24 August