A total of 121 crews have entered Round Eight of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The huge turnout underlines the popularity of the ERC and the all-asphalt showcase, which takes place for a 44th time from 29-31 August.
Craig Breen is the top seed in a Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16 R5 and is one of 24 drivers competing for honours in the headlining RC2 category. Ott Tänak, who like Breen is an ERC event winner in 2014, is the second seed at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5. Esapekka Lappi, whose two wins in 2014 have propelled him to the top of the ERC standings, is seeded third for Skoda Motorsport.
Czech champion Václav Pech (MINI John Cooper Works S2000) is the fourth seed with Kevin Abbring next up for Peugeot Rally Academy. LOTOS Rally Team’s four-time Polish title winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz is seeded sixth on his first ERC start since mid-May. Sepp Wiegand (Skoda Fabia S2000) is the seventh seed with Bruno Magalhães seeded eighth on his first ERC start in a 208 T16.
Roman Kresta, who announced his retirement after finishing fifth in Zlín last season, will tackle his first full rally since calling time on his driving career and is seeded ninth in his self-run Fabia S2000. Irishman Robert Barrable is the tenth seed in a Fiesta R5.
The ERC Production Car Cup, ERC 2WD Championship, ERC Junior Championship and ERC Ladies’ Trophy are also big on numbers with the respective title leaders – Vitaliy Pushkar, Zoltán Bessenyey, Jan Černý and Ekaterina Stratieva all due to contest the 15-stage event.
The entry list for round eight of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, has been published and here are some of the key numbers:
• 121: Barum Czech Rally Zlín organisers have accepted entries from 121 crews for round eight of the 2014 ERC season.
• 16: Confirmation of Marco Cavigoli’s entry will mean the Italian will tackle his 16th Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
• 2003: Triple British champion Mark Higgins starts Barum Czech Rally Zlín for the first time since 2003.
• 25: A total of 25 different nations will be represented on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
• 1: Bruno Magalhães will make his first start in the ERC in a Peugeot 208 T16.
• 3: Roman Kresta, who will start his first full rally in 12 months after he reversed his decision to call time on his driving career, has won Barum Czech Rally Zlín three times. His new co-driver Petr Starý is a two-time winner of the event.
• 13: There will be 13 ERC Juniors competing on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
• 8: Barum Czech Rally Zlín will mark French ace Robert Consani’s eighth start in this year’s ERC.
• 3: All three R5 cars currently eligible for competition – Citroën DS3 R5, Ford Fiesta R5 and Peugeot 208 T16 – will be in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
• 2: Czech singer and actress Olga Lounová and actor David Suchařípa will bring the number of show business celebrities contesting Barum Czech Rally Zlín to two.