LIEPĀJA, May 25, 2019
Rally Liepāja, round three of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship, began today with special stages in Mundigciems, Strazde, and Mordanga. Setting the quickest time in four out of five stages, and earning the Talsi city special prize, Oliver Solberg (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) has moved into the lead. After 99.46 stage kilometres, just 9.7 seconds separate him and the 2018 European rally champion Alexey Lukyanuk (Citroen C3 R5). To the delight of local fans, Liepāja native Mārtiņš Sesks (Škoda Fabia R5) is currently in third place overall, 24.9 seconds behind Solberg, despite this being his rally debut in an R5 class car.
Ralfs Sirmacis (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) has shown consistent pace in ERC2 class since the very first stage. While other drivers in his class battled technical issues or made mistakes on the stages, the Latvian won all five stages and has earned a nearly insurmountable lead of 4 minutes and 42.2 seconds.
Meanwhile, Reinis Nitišs continued his learning process in a rear-wheel drive Abarth 124 Rally, improving his pace as the day went on. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire due to an electrical issue on SS4 SC Grupa. The Jēkabpils native will continue competing tomorrow, in accordance with the Rally2 system.
Among the drivers who have come furthest to Rally Liepāja, the most impressive pace was demonstrated by Japanese driver Hiroki Arai (Citroen C3 R5), who sits in fifth place overall after day one, with confident and aggressive driving.
Round three of the Latvian Rally Championship also took place today, with Georg Gross, driving a newest specification Ford Fiesta WRC, coming out on top in the overall classification. Oliver Solberg finished second (+7.9 seconds), and Mārtiņš Sesks was third (+25.0 seconds). Edijs Bergmanis won the LRC1 class, while Emīls Blūms was quickest in LRC2 class, after an exciting battle with Ralfs Sirmacis. LRC3 class was won by Adam Westlund, with Marko Ringenberg (LRC4) and Uldis Lepiksons (LRC5) also winning their classes.
Krišjānis Zintis Putniņš was fastest overall in the rallysprint classification, while Māris Egle was quickest among the Historic Sport classes.
Two special prizes were also given out during the awards ceremony. The Talsi special prize, given for setting the fastest time through SS1 Talsi, was given to Oliver Solberg, and Meža Dārzs sympathy award was handed out to Arvis Vecvagars.
All event results: http://autorally.lv/.
News and other information about Rally Liepāja can be found on the official website at www.lvrally.com, as well as on social media Twitter @LVRally, Facebook /LVRally, draugiem.lv /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.
RALLY LIEPĀJA PROGRAMME
SUNDAY, MAY 26
08:40 SS 6 Canon Biznesa Centrs-IB Serviss / Dinsdurbe (6,53km)
09:30 SS 7 SIXT Rent a car 1 / Priekule (18,26km)
10:45 SS 8 PORT OF LIEPAJA / Podnieki (10,29km)
11:40 SS 9 SIXT Rent a car 2 / Priekule (18,26km)
15:00 SS 10 NESTE 1 / Kalvene (10,81km)
15:45 SS 11 LIEPĀJA 1 / Vecpils (15,77km)
17:00 SS 12 NESTE 2 / Kalvene (10,81km)
17:45 SS 13 LIEPĀJA 2 / Vecpils (15,77km)
19:00 FINISH PODIUM, ERC competitor awards ceremony (Liepāja)
21:00 LRC competitor awards ceremony at the LOC Manēža (Liepāja)
22:00 Rally official afterparty at RED SUN BUFFET (Liepāja)
Oliver Solberg, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Alexey Lukyanuk, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Mārtiņš Sesks, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Ralfs Sirmacis, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Reinis Nitišs, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Hiroki Arai, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Georg Gross, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Krišjānis Zinits Putniņš, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Māris Egle, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds
Arvis Vecvagars, Rally Liepāja 2019 ©ReinisGrinvalds