ERC Rallye du Valais entry highlights

Eighty-two crews will line up for round 10 of the FIA European Rally Championship. And here are just some of the many highlights from the Rallye International du Valais entry list.
Rally du Val

ERC title contenders four contenders for the 2014 ERC title will be in action in Switzerland. Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen, currently fourth in the standings, is the top seed followed by championship leader Esapekka Lappi, second-placed ŠKODA Motorsport team-mate Sepp Wiegand and LOTOS Rally Team’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who holds third spot.

Newly-crowned Swiss champion Sébastien Carron is the top Swiss seed in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000. Other recent title winners in action include Polish champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz, reigning ERC 2WD champion Zoltán Bessenyey, and last year’s Romanian two-wheel-drive champion Alex Filip.

Turbocharged Renault Clios for ERC debut. Renault’s all-new Renault Clio R3T will be making its ERC debut with young Swiss driver Michaël Burri and two-time Valais winner Laurent Reuche competing in the French machines.

Switzerland gets set for a Czech invasionFive drivers from Czech Republic will be competing on Rallye International du Valais: Martin Hudec, Tomáš Kurka, Jaroslav Orsák, Jaromír Tarabus and Antonín Tlusťák, who scored top ERC points on the event in 2011.

Multiple Valais winner Burri returnsWith eight Rallye International du Valais wins under his belt, veteran Swiss Olivier Burri (pictured) will be aiming for more success in a Ford Fiesta R5, which the 51-year-old is using in competition for the first time.

Local heroes to challenge ERC Production Car Cup regularsSeveral leading Swiss drivers will chase ERC Production Car Cup honours including Florian Gonon, Urs Hunziker and Reudi Schmidlin. They will be going up against title chasers Vitaliy Pushkar and Martin Hudec, plus top Hungarian Andràs Hadik and three-time British champion Mark Higgins.

ERC Juniors aiming to shineSeveral ERC Junior Championship contenders will be aiming to shine with Andrea Crugnola and Chris Ingram still in the title hunt. Aleks Zawada, Alex Parpottas, Fabio Andolfi and Florin Tincescu all have the talent to impress in their Michelin-shod R2-specification cars.

Four up for ERC Asphalt Master awardFour drivers are firmly in the mix to become the inaugural ERC Asphalt Master. Esapekka Lappi leads the way with 238 points followed by Kevin Abbring (195), Craig Breen (134) and Sepp Wiegand (124).

Portuguese pair a class actTwo Portuguese ERC regulars will be competing on Rallye International du Valais: multiple national champion Bruno Magalhães, who competes in a pacesetting Peugeot 208T16 and ERC 2WD runner Renato Pita.

Ten in a row for Consani.  Robert Consani will be making his 10th consecutive ERC start in Switzerland. The Frenchman, who will carry a message of support to his injured compatriot Jules Bianchi, is tackling the event in a Delta Rally Peugeot 207 S2000.