The third stage of the FIA European Rally Championship takes place in Latvia – Liepaja has been honored to host this racing series since 2013. In old days this race was exclusively a winter stage, but after several unsuccessful years for the organizers, when the weather was warm in January, it was decided to postpone the race for the autumn period and convert it to the gravel rally.
This year the Rally Liepaja is held in spring for the first time and it seems that all participants are satisfied with warm and sunny days here on the Baltic Sea coast.
The combination of the famous Baltic races – Rally Talsi and Rally Kurzeme – traditional special stages is among this year innovations. The best rally roads in the vicinity of Talsi will test the racing cars and nerves of drivers on Saturday, 25 May; and on Sunday the event will move back to the Liepaja area, where the final sections and the finish ceremony will be held.
There are 13 special stages with a length of 208 kilometers; a total rally distance is 852 kilometers!
Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov start at the Rally Liepaja not for the first time. Lucas took part in races in this region, when he drove the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in the Latvian National Championship.
Alexey Lukyanuk, “160 kilometers of non-repeated roads — we drove here in 2013 for the first time, but we still remember a lot. It’s curious, interesting, fast. Even too fast in places. I haven’t been here for a long time; we were here two years ago and sometimes it seems that the notes are too fast, but let’s see how it will be during the race. The roads are exciting, even though I like those parts where it’s narrow. It’s going to be interesting!”
Tomorrow, the drivers get to Talsi themselves, where the vehicles will be delivered on trailers and car carriers, and it is there that the struggle will begin at the first special stages.