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ERC – Austrian winter spectacular to open new ERC season waiting will soon be over and the high-speed action will begin. A little more than 50 days since Esapekka Lappi secured the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, the race for ERC success in 2015 starts with the Internationale Jännerrallye powered by GaGa Energy from 4-6 January.

Having hosted round one of the ERC for the last three seasons, the Austrian event offers a tough test for drivers and their teams, with the high possibility of ice and snow adding to the challenge and placing a large onus on car set-up and tyre choice. As such studded covers are permitted in accordance with the event regulations.

Unusually, the 2015 Jännerrallye will start on a Sunday and finish on a Tuesday to take into account the Austrian Bank Holiday weekend, which helps to ensure huge numbers of fans will visit the fast and undulating asphalt stages in the spectacular Mühlviertel region.

01314801_005_The last two editions of the Jännerrallye have been decided by final-stage showdowns to underline the ERC’s ‘Serious Competition Ahead’ strapline. After former ERC champion Jan Kopecký claimed a dramatic victory in 2013, ex-Formula One racer Robert Kubica famously came out on top in 2014 for his first major international rally win. And plenty of star performers will be aiming to emulate the Pole’s achievement.

They include his compatriot Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Ireland’s Craig Breen, Robert Consani and Jean-Michel Raoux from France, Russia’s Alexey Lukyanuk, Czech aces Václav Pech, Jaromír Tarabus and Antonín Tlusťák, promising Swiss newcomer Jonathan Hirschi, rising Austrian star Hermann Neubauer, plus ERC Junior champion Stéphane Lefebvre.

Based in Freistadt, 40 kilometres north of Linz in Upper Austria, the Jännerrallye will mark the start of an exciting new era for the ERC. And as well as counting for ERC points, the event is the opening round of the Austrian championship, won for a record-extending 12 th time in 2014 by Raimund Baumschlager, who will contest the national section of the Jännerrallye.

Entry list Leg 1 Leg 2  Press release ERC, pictures : Sébastien Moulin, ERC ]]>

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