Rally Around The World #20

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Your latest news on Regional Rally championships.

2019 FIA APRC - Rally Otago - A. Hawkeswood / J. Cress - Photo Geoff Ridder

The various battles for points and titles in the Regional Rally Championships are raging all around the globe as the 2019 season is nearing its conclusion. 

To the East, the rally action will be at its peak this weekend on Rally Longyou, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship’s final in China.

Earlier last week, the FIA European Rally Trophy laurels in the different categories were awarded on the 60th Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland.

And as a foretaste of next year’s event, you will find a glimpse of the 2020 Clio R3T Trophy, the calendar for which is combined with that of the FIA European Rally Trophy Alps series and will allow competitors to participate in both championships.



Seven drivers vie for overall title

This weekend’s China Rally Longyou (26-27 October), the final round of the 2019 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, will decide the overall champion. In a winner-takes-all showdown, any one of the seven teams starting have an equal chance of securing the overall crown.

Standing in their way are 13 special stages, covering 220.82kms of inland rural roads, threaded through the bamboo forest region of Longyou. Competition starts on the Friday afternoon with a 1.82km super special stage, ahead of a repeat loop of three stages on Saturday. Sunday’s repeated loop of three stages culminates in the overall winner and FIA APRC champion being crowned at the RongChang Square ceremonial finish.

Of the seven teams entered, three are from Japan, three from New Zealand and one from China. While Japan’s Katsu Taguchi lifted the title in 2010 and New Zealand’s Possum Bourne in 2000, there exists a real possibility that Chinese Taipei’s Lin Dewei could add his name to the list of champions.

In the Asia Cup – the sub-category to the overall Trophy - New Zealand’s Mike Young is in the lead. With a nearly insurmountable margin, Japan’s Suguru Kawana will be lying in wait for any opportunity to leapfrog Young to the top of the standings. Of the variables for the weekend, weather isn’t likely to be one of them. Temperate conditions of 25 degree Celsius and calm dry weather are predicted.

For more information:
- FIA APRC website
- FIA APRC standings

Photo credits: Andrew Hawkeswood/Jeff Cress, photo Geoff Ridder for Rally Otago 2019



 2019 ERT Final - Rallye International du Valais - O. Bisaha / P. Těšínský - Photo Patrick
Photo credits: Ondřej Bisaha / Petr Těšínský, photo by Patrick for the Rallye du Valais.

The Swiss mountain roads and vineyards of Valais offered a magnificent backdrop to the final showdown of this year’s FIA European Rally Trophy at the Rallye International du Valais on 17-19 October.

After many twists and turns over 213.81 competitive kilometres on a sealed surface, Ondřej Bisaha/Petr Těšínský concluded a thrilling season by grabbing the win in the Hyundai i20 R5. In spite of recurring mechanical issues, the Czechs managed to deliver a consistent performance to finish almost four minutes ahead of their rival Toedtli/Alexandre Chioso.

Among the R2s battling for the FIA ERT 3 title, victory went to Switzerland’s Aurélien Devanthéry/Michaël Volluz in a Peugeot 208, in front of their fellow compatriot Jonathan Michellod/Stéphane Fellay in a similar car. The Italian Enrico Oldrati/Elia De Guio completed the podium in a Ford Fiesta.

Michellod may not have taken the top spot in FIA ERT 3 but the Swiss tasted victory when he claimed the FIA ERT Junior title, a class dedicated to the rally stars of tomorrow aged under 26 years old. Oldrati was second, with a gap of 4min36.2s to the winner, ahead of another Helvetian driver, Clément Piquerez, in third place with a Citroën C2.

For the final classifications, visit the FIA European Rally Trophy standings on fia.com.



Photo Clio R3T Alps Trophy

There’s a new delight for rally amateurs ascending the ranks in 2020: the Clio R3T Alps Trophy run by Renault Sport Racing and BZ Consult Sàrl with Clio R3T cars will offer its participants the unique opportunity to fight for an international FIA title.

Out of five rounds in the heart of Europe – 3 in France and 2 Switzerland - confirmed on the provisional Clio competition’s calendar for 2020, three will be contested as part of the FIA European Rally Trophy Alps series. The four best results will count for the qualification.

Clio R3T Alps Trophy Provisional calendar:
3-5 April (TBC) Rallye Epernay Vins de Champagne (FRA)
8-9 May  Rallye Ain-Jura (FRA) // FIA ERT Alps Trophy
28-30 May Rallye du Chablais (CHE) // FIA ERT Alps Trophy
3-5 September Rallye du Mont-Blanc Morzine (FRA)
15-17 October Rallye International du Valais (CHE) // FIA ERT Alps Trophy

For more information:
- Clio R3T Trophy website
- FIA European Rally Trophy website