Unlike most other forms of motorsports, rally racing is already in full swing for the 2015 season. There is no need to wait for good weather as difficult winter conditions are prime territory for the fire breathing, crest jumping, beasts of rally. Last month already saw the Internationale Jännerrallye in Austria for the ERC, Rally Monte-Carlo for the WRC, and the Sno*Drift Rally in Rally America. This weekend we get even more championships underway with the Middle East Rally Championship, Canadian Rally Championship, and the ERC is already into round two with Rally Liepāja. Meanwhile testing is underway for round two of the WRC in Sweden which takes place in just one more week. No rest for rally fans!
First on deck is the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) which is already underway. Friend of OpenPaddock Colin Clark is covering this event as part of a newly established Pace-Maker Media and is on sight for the first round in Qatar. The MERC will be an all out battle between top drivers Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi. Follow @voiceofRally on Twitter and subscribe to Colin Clark on YouTube for updates.
Here’s a Preview Video:
And here’s Colin Clark’s Day 1 Recap:
Next up is Round 1 of the Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) which has it’s first round at Rallye Perce-Neige in Maniwaki, QC. Perce-Neige is like Sno*Drift in that it is a winter rally where competitors do not use studded tires. Antoine L’Estage makes his debut as the factory driver for Subaru Rally Team Canada. L’Estage who is now a 7 times Canadian Rally Championship drivers champion will pilot a new 2015 WRX STi with co-driver Alan Ockwell readng the notes. Although L’Estage doesn’t have any big factory rivals for this new season, the conditions at Rallye Perce-Neige makes a win difficult for anyone and it is probably the best opportunity for another driver to get close. Follow @CRCrally and @PerceNeigeRally on Twitter for updates.
Check out this video of Antoine L’Estage testing in the new Subaru Rally of Canada 2015 WRX STi:
Finally there is also the European Rally Championship (ERC) that has round two underway at Rally Liepāja, in Latvia. This is the second winter rally on the ERC calendar and conditions look like snow mixed with gravel. Here’s a clip from the qualifying that took place earlier today. You can follow the @FIAERC on Twitter on http://www.fiaerc.com and they have live radio from stage ends here http://www.fiaerc.com/radio.html
As you can see, there is plenty of racing action to satisfy the doldrums for circuit racing fans still waiting for their seasons to get going. Rally FTW!