Sports Racing Technologies (SRT) team plans to participate in all of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) Junior Championship events and is going to fight for the highest forged awards. Rally Liepaja next weekend is the first event in Junior Championship and team's objectives are the highest - to fight for the victory.
- Ralfs Sirmacis / Artūrrs Šimins, Rallijs Sarma 2015 (©Jānis Asaris)
One of the contenders for the victory in the Junior Championship is triple Latvian R2 class champion Ralfs Sirmacis. This year he has a new co-driver Arturs Simins and the crew has already proved its pace on Latvian snowy roads at the very beginning of the season. Sirmacis/Simins crew won a beautiful victory in the debut race with a four-wheel drive car in “Alūksne 2015”, while on the 1st event of the Latvian Rally Championship "Sarma 2015" - a convincing victory in R2 class in debut race with this year's European campaign vehicle, "Peugeot 208 R2".
"The car is brand new and it requires a slightly different driving style than I was accustomed to in previous years, when I raced "Ford Fiesta R2”. At first it was difficult to get used to, but with each special stage it became easier and easier to drive. Before the "Rally Liepaja", we are going to have some tests and I am sure we will be fully ready to compete with other countries' best young drivers. Competition in Junior Championship is very high, but we are looking forward to showing our best," says R. Sirmacis.
Also, Vasily Gryazin/Dmitry Lebedik ("Peugeot 208 R2”) has been applied for the ERC Junior Championship. V. Gryazin has already successfully demonstrated his ability on European rally tracks - he finished second overall on “Rally Liepāja” last year driving a “Ford Fiesta S2000” but switches to ERC Junior in 2015 and is fighting his teammate R. Sirmacis for Junior Championship prizes.
"Driving front-wheel drive car is different and requires adaptation, but I believe we are well prepared for the upcoming rally in Liepāja. The key is to find my own rhythm at the very beginning of the rally - then the result must be good at the end," says V. Gryazin.
Fans are eagerly waiting to see what Monster Energy FIA World Rallycross Championship Bronze medalist in the most prestigious “Super Car” class Reinis Nitiss will be able to show in the rally. The new Latvian rallycross star has completed a serious training program with Latvian rally champion and multiple Latvian rallycross champion Maris Neiksans. Nitiss/Neiksans is going to race in front-wheel drive “Ford Fiesta R2” and will compare their pace to other European rally juniors.
"We had just a little more than a month for coaching and training, and it is a big challenge to prepare a driver for his first rally in such a short period," says M. Neiksans. "It is very easy to work with R. Nitiss, because he very quickly perceives what has been said and is able to perform it immediately - it helps us to learn the skills of many elements of the rally in the allotted period of time."
The SRT team is going to bring four rally cars to Liepaja next weekend, and 17-year-old Nikolay Gryazin and his co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov will participate Latvian Rally Championship. This is the first season in rally for N. Gryazin, but on rally “Sarma 2015” he already proved he can be very fast.
"This is the first rally season for me, and the main task is to gain experience. In rally “Sarma” we managed to increase the pace with each special stage, and before the “Rally Liepāja” we are analyzing our performance and errors to go even faster,” says N. Gryazin.
"Rally Liepāja” will be held on 6 to 8 of February, and it is the first of six European Junior Championship rally events.
© Sports Racing Technologies, www.srt.lv