In just one week the Rallye Casinos do Algarve will get underway with 16 of the 36 car field competing for top honours in the 2018 European Rally Trophy final on the 16/17 November in Portugal. Three of the competing crews will be taking part in the ERT2 class to who can take home the 2018 European Rally Trophy for ERT2 competitors.
The four crews represent the Baltic Rally Trophy, the Celtic Rally Trophy, the Balkan Rally Trophy and the Iberian Rally Trophy regions, with three travelling to Portugal as 2018 champions and the other as vice champion.
Russia’s Sergei Remennik finished the three rally Baltic Rally Trophy season with 39 points after winning the Rally Liepaja in Latvia. He finished in joint first in the ERT category alongside Latvia’s Dmitry Feofanov and Russia’s Alexander Mikhaylov. In Portugal Remennik is joined in the no11 Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X by fellow Russian Marina Danilova. Danilova is a four time Russian Rally Co Driver Champion.
The no12 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX will be driven by William Mavitty, with co-driver Brian Daniels. British driver Willie Mavitty secured the ERT2 class title in the Celtic Rally Trophy with two wins, the first with Irishman Daniels on the West Cork International Rally in Ireland back in March. The second was with Irish co-driver Martin Connolly in August on the Ulster International Rally in Northern Ireland. Willie Mavitty finished the season on 77 points to claim the title 10 points ahead of his nearest rival and returns to the Algarve to compete for the second time.
Turkey will be represented in Portugal by the Balkan Rally Trophy Vice Champions Mustafa Cakal and Mehmet Koleoglu. Former Group N Turkish Rally Champions Cakal and Koleoglu finished the 2018 season with a class victory in Serbia, finishing on 95 points, just five behind the ERT2 Balkan Rally Trophy champions Yordan Atanasov and Yanaki Yanakiev from Bulgaria. The Turkish duo will be competing in the no14 GP-Garage My Team Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. Cakal and Koleoglu are also the only crew to be eligible for the ERT class title as well after they finished fourth in the overall standings on the Balkan Rally Trophy.
Home fans will have a Portuguese crew to cheer on in the ERT2 class with the no15 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X of Ricardo Costa and Rui Vilaça. Costa won the ERT2 class in the final round of the Iberia Rally Trophy, the Rallye Princesa de Asturias Ciudad de Oviedo in Spain. Costa finished the season on 39 points and in joint first with three other drivers.
What is the ERT2 Class?
This class is for Group N cars that are Four Wheel Drive (4WD) conforming to the 2018 Appendix J, Art. 254. Group N is defined as large scale series production touring cars. . At least 2500 identical examples of these cars must have been manufactured in 12 consecutive months and homologated by the FIA in Touring Cars (Group A).
Group N cars can have Normally aspirated or supercharged engines with a maximum size of 3 litre with two valve per cylinder or 2.5 litre for engines of more than two valves per cylinder or supercharged engines.
The FIA European Rally Trophy
The European Rally Trophy is made up of competitors from seven regions, which are the Alpine Rally Trophy, the Balkan Rally Trophy, the Baltic Rally Trophy, the Benelux Rally Trophy, the Celtic Rally Trophy, the Central Rally Trophy and the Iberian Rally Trophy. The top five competitors in each class from the seven regions are eligible to enter the 2018 European Rally Trophy final.
The Rallye Casinos do Algarve gets underway on Wednesday 14 November with reconnaissance over two days. Scrutineering and admin checks take place on Thursday 15 November, with the start of the first leg of the rally taking place on Friday 16 November and concluding on Saturday 17 November.
For more information on the 2018 European Rally Trophy CLICK HERE
For more information on the Rallye Casinos do Algarve visit the website HERE (in Portuguese)
IMAGE COURTESY OF João Viana