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Dacia Cup 2015 – With two rounds before the final, the battle for the Dacia Cup podium is re-launched

  • Viorel Ivan gains his second victory in Dacia Cup 2015
  • Norbert Major wins the beginners dispute
  • Two rounds before the end of the season, the fight for the final podium remains open

Round 6 of Dacia Cup 2015 ended with another victory for the crew Viorel Ivan / Dumitru Gheorghe, which returned to competition after an absence of two rounds. This is the second success of the season after Delta Rally for the most experienced crew in Dacia Cup, the couple Ivan / Gheorghe being present from the first season of this single brand competition, which started nine years ago.

Sibiu Rally Challenge, which inherits the former Sibiu Rally competition, offered the six teams which entered in Dacia Cup an 100% asphalt route. In addition, for most crews, six of the eight special stages of the rally were seen for the first time. Also, of the entire rally, only the special stages from the first day, which were held after dark on the way to Păltiniș, were an official part of this round in the past competitions. The route chosen by the organisers for 2015 proposed two special stages on Transfăgărăşan, between Balea Waterfall and Balea Lake (10 km each) – a sector that was to be traveled four times, twice hillclimb and twice downhill – and also the very technical and fast stage called „Baraj”. Thus, besides the navigation issues (writing the pace notes etc.) inherent to any new route, competitors in Dacia Cup which enrolled in Sibiu Rally Challenge also had to tackle difficult weather conditions, fog and rain, especially on the downhill stages.

In these conditions the crew Viorel Ivan / Dumitru Gheorghe had the best evolution, managing to win six out of the eight special stages. Ivan, certainly the most experienced pilot of Dacia Cup, managed to exploit the potential of his Dacia Logan and DMACK slick tires – distancing themselves from other competitor, especially in the downhill stages. This new victory brings Ivan into a challenger position to the Dacia Cup title, with two rounds remaining in the current season. His victory was also facilitated by the defensive approach of the crew Bogdan Talasman / Andrei Mitrasca who, having a substantial advance in the top hierarchy, pushed only on a few stages, their goal being a place on the podium. The pair finally managed a third place after a tight duel with Adrian Dragan / Vali Brădăţeanu, crew who finished fourth, the points they gained propelling them to the podium area, a short distance from Ivan.

“Junior” Norbert Maior had a surprisingly good and mature evolution who, along co-driver Alina Pop, succeeds a smooth rally without problems, finishing with a second place in the overall ranking and first place in Beginners.

comunicat-cupa-dacia-Maior-Pop

Thus Norbert Maior chose an extremely important option for gaining his career’s first title. The only question remains the presence on the last two gravel stages of the season of crew Gabriel Ene / Ciprian Solomon, who also gained points in this category, this season.

In the Beginners standings the crew Andrei Mitre / Mihai Capet also had a promising development, finishing another good rally and gaining important points.

Crew Adrian Teslovan / Imre Cseh had a less successful rally, receiving a penalty of over 1 minute at the end of the first day because of the delay in one of the checkpoints zones, due to a small incident. Finally, the crew won the fifth position.
DMACK Trophy, awarded by the DMACK tires supplier – Colina Motor Sport – to the fastest pilot in the crew, was won by crew Viorel Ivan / Dumitru Gheorghe who have won 6 of the 8 special stages of the rally.

comunicat-cupa-dacia-Ivan-Gheorghe

Now, after six rounds, crew Bogdan Talasman / Andrei Mitrasca remain the leaders of Dacia Cup, with only one victory obtained in Brasov. Viorel Ivan / Dumitru Gheorghe come back very determined, climbing to the second step of the podium after the victory in Sibiu, the third place going to Adrian Dragan / Vali Brădăţeanu. The points difference between the top two places, almost 30 points, makes it hard to believe that it could be changed, still the fight for the second place remains open. Ivan is separated by Drăgan by only 1.5 points. Of course, the good evolution suggests that Norbert Maior is also a good candidate for the podium, expecting however that in the last two rounds the crews which were absent at Sibiu will return in the battle: Adrian Teslovan / Imre Cseh, Vlad Miculici / Rares Fetean and Peter Kelemen / Gyula Molnar.

Next round, Cotnari Iasi Rally (10-12 September), proposes a 100% gravel route, perhaps the most spectacular and fastest in the calendar, with almost 150km of special stages and three days of competition. Moreover, Cotnari Iasi Rally has a 1,2 coefficient to which the points gained are multiplied in the end.

Dacia Cup 2015 has as main partner UNIOR and relies on the support of its technical partners: DMACK tires – importer COLINA Motorsport, Oreca – security equipment supplier.
For more details about Dacia Cup you can visit Dacia Cup – Rally facebook page.
Photo Credit: Sorin Pop

* Dacia Cup 2015 Standings after 6 rounds:

* Dacia Cup 2015 Standings after 6 rounds:
1. B. Talasman/A.Mitrașcă 108
2. V. Ivan/G. Dumitru 78,6
3. A. Drăgan/V. Brădățeanu 77,6
4. V. Miculici/ R. Fețean 76,6
5. P. Kelemen/G. Molnar 71
6. A. Teslovan/I. Cseh 65,4
7. N. Maior/A. Pop 55,4 (Loc 1 Debutanți)
8. A. Mitre/M. Căpeț 50,4
9. G. Ene/C.Solomon 50
10. A. Mirea/D. Despinoiu 29

* 4p bonus for participating.

Radu Necula and Adrian Temeș – five podiums in a row

The Bella Casa crew – Radu Necula and Adrian Temeș – returns from Sibiu Rally Challenge with a new podium: 3rd place in Class 9. It is the 5th consecutive podium of 6 rounds held in one of the most disputed classes of the 2015 National Rally Championship.

“Sibiu Rally Challenge was a completely unique experience. Transfăgărăşan represents, for many of us, a source of pride and is recognised as one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. Taking part in a stage of NRC on this route gave us a great feeling, but participating and managing to reach the end with a good result in extremely difficult conditions, with very low visibility due to dense fog and misleading adherence due to rain and low temperatures, is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.” said Radu Necula.

Friday did not start as well as the crew expected, as they only achieved a distant 6th position in the rankings after the first two stages. The result was the same after the hillclimb stages in the second day of competition, but the podium was saved by the two downhill stages that took place on Transfăgărăşan, where they had two of the best times in their class.

„On the sporting level I am not very happy with our evolution on the hillclimb stages and it’s not clear yet why we were not able to achieve better results. I must admit I was also surprised when I saw the results after the two downhill stages from Bâlea Lac, where I hesitated long enough over the gas pedal because of poor visibility and did not take any risks. And yet, there we were able to make a difference and reach the podium.” added Radu Necula.

Next there is a short period of preparation for the most important rally of the second half of the championship – Iasi Rally – with a rally coefficient of 1,2. The competition material will be prepared by GoRace Motorsport, a team led by Șerban Coman, who ensured until now 6 of 6 rallies without any technical problems.
The crew Radu Necula / Adrian Temeș is supported in NRC by their main partner, Bella Casa, a distributor of construction materials for interior design, such as doors, flooring, shower, tiles, with stores throughout the country, a leading supplier for DIY networks and property developers, as well as by their technical partners, Comex-Ro and Rombelt Trade.

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„Training” on Transfăgărăşan and a European Rally in Czech Republic

After “training” on Transfăgărăşan at the Sibiu Rally Challenge, Alex Filip and Bogdan Iancu left straight to Czech Republic, where this weekend is scheduled a new round of the European Rally Championship.

The most spectacular road in the world no longer has any secrets for Alex Filip after running on it, biking on it, and especially after racing on it with his Renault Clio R3.

After the Transfier triathlon, Alex Filip participated in Sibiu Rally Challenge, a motorsport festival and also one of the competitions in the National Rally Championship, as part of his training programme for the European Rally Championship.

“I couldn’t have missed meeting the Romanian supporters who come in large number every year at Sibiu. And then there was the temptation of racing on Transfăgărăşan. Sibiu Rally Challenge was a perfect preparation for the next stage challenge in ERC.” said Alex Filip.

At the shakedown session, the last official test before the rally, Alex Filip was joined by Octavia Geamănu, TV star from Antena 1, who learned how it feels to be a co-driver in a Renault Clio R3.
“Although I knew what to expect, I still was a little sick. However I enjoyed it very much and would go again.” said Octavia Geamănu after stepping out of the race car.

Alex Filip and Bogdan Iancu secured their victory in the Open standings at Sibiu Rally Challenge and are ready for the next challenges in Czech Republic. “It was a difficult rally because of the weather, but it’s a perfect training for us, so we are now prepared to fight for a place in top 10 in the two-wheel drive competition at the Czech rally.” continued Alex Filip.

Barum Czech Rally Zlin, the seventh round of the European Rally Championship, will take place between August 28th and August 30th, on the asphalt special stages around Zlin and Otrokovice cities. There will be a total of 229.21 km divided into 15 special stages. “We expect a strong competition from local crews, and also from the pilots competing in Junior ERC. Last year we gathered important information about this rally and I hope our mission will be a little easier this time. I thank all the partners who are with us in this adventure and I cannot wait to start in Czech Republic “, added Alex Filip.

Alex Filip and Bogdan Iancu 2015 are supported by Orange, Renault, Rombat Batteries, Michelin, BCR Leasing and Mobil 1 by Star Lubricants and their technical partners – sportsbusiness.ro, TopGear Romania, Colina Motorsport, PowerBar, Felt Bicycles, Hotel Hilton Sibiu, Ludicass Translations and Romanian Automobile Club.

MINI once again alongside Sibiu Rally Challenge

Bucharest/Sibiu. MINI, a legendary brand in motorsport, was present this weekend at Sibiu Rally Challenge, a festival dedicated to motorsport which offers some of the most spectacular roads in Romania, including the famous Transfăgărăşan. The weekend included a round of the National Rally Championship, an Open competition and a Regularity Rally for vintage cars. There was a total of 80 crews enrolled in all three competitions.

At the end of the weekend, victory was once again gained by the crew Simone Tempestini (ITA) – Dorin Pulpea (RO), who won the sixth round of the National Rally Championship, by winning seven out of a total of eight special stages scheduled.
MINI, through the official dealer Automobile Bavaria, was the official car of the event. A fleet of 9 MINI Countryman All4 models were available for the organisers as assistance vehicles. The first all-wheel-drive model in the history of the brand represents the fundaments for the brands’ success in the last four editions of the Dakar Rally.

Meanwhile, the new MINI John Cooper Works participated in the Regularity Rally with a demo crew of journalists, thus experiencing its official „baptism” on Transfăgărăşan.
MINI John Cooper Works is the most powerful and fastest production model of the brand. Completely new, the 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology offers a maximum power output of 170 kW / 231 hp, which makes it the most powerful propeller that was ever available in a MINI series-production vehicle.

Developed using the experience gained from motorsport, where MINI Challenge competitions have played an important role, it has technological details for the suspension, bodywork and cockpit which are perfectly harmonised with a high level of performance. The general package for extreme performance includes sports suspensions with Brembo sport braking system, exclusive John Cooper Works alloy wheels, John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit, very large air intakes and a specific interior with a sports car ambience. The new MINI John Cooper Works sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. With the steptronic six-speed transmission, available as an alternative to the manual six-speed transmission, a 6.1 seconds sprint is achieved. Moreover, in combination with the automatic transmission, fuel consumption of the new MINI John Cooper Works, according to the EU test cycle, is reduced to 5.7 l / 100 km (CO2 emissions: 133 g / km).

MINI in motorsport
In the 60s, the British brand and John Cooper made history – Mini Cooper and afterwards Mini Cooper S dominated the rally scene. Mini stands out from the beginning with style: a woman won the first title in an international rally: Pat Moss in 1962 at the Tulip Rally. Other famous victories include the 1965 RAC Rally, the Rally of the 1000 Lakes in 1965, 1966 and 1967, Acropolis Rally in 1967, Alpine Cup in 1963 and 1967 and the Austrian Alpine in 1966. The most famous performances remain the three titles of Monte Carlo, obtained in 1964, 1965 and 1967 by Paddy Hopkirk, Timo Mäkinen and finally, Rauno Aaltonen.

In the 60s, the car has also demonstrated its potential outside rallies. In April 1968, Niki Lauda attended his first hillclimb driving a Mini, which brought him the second place. After just two weeks, he would gain his first victory, announcing a promising career for the future world champion. Just like Niki Lauda, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Jochen Rindt and James Hunt are just a few of the Formula 1 world champions who have experienced their first competitive experience at the wheel of the classic Mini.

Now, the presence of MINI in motorsport is centred on rally raids. MINI won the last four editions of the legendary Dakar Rally, last time in January 2015 after over 9,000 kilometers driven in the toughest endurance rally in the world. Behind this performance there is a new special chapter in the history of the brand: the first model with all-wheel drive and four doors – MINI Countryman.

Show and legendary cars in the regularity competition at Sibiu Classic Challenge

  • After starting in the Acropolis Rally, Stefan Vasile has competed in the competition at Sibiu and won the classic car race.
  • Greek Gerasimos Katochianos, who raced a Ford Escort RS2000 MK1, won the sport regularity class.
  • 20 cars participated in both categories

A veritable motorsport festival, Sibiu Rally Challenge also included in the schedule a regularity competition, Sibiu Classic Challenge, which had two categories: classic regularity and sport regularity which has achieved a real success in both terms of number of participants and competitiveness level since its very first edition.

Former athletes, some of them with high performances in their career and others just passionate about motorsport, more or less familiar with this kind of competitions. This was the set of competitors at Sibiu Classic Challenge, the regularity competition held as part of Sibiu Rally Challenge. The common points were the competitive spirit and the determination with which they struggled to cross the finish line in the best position, attributes that have paved the way for some intense disputes over the victory.

The classic regularity race was won by a couple of reference names in the Romanian motorsport, Stefan Vasile and Dacian Banca, who competed with Dacia 1310 Sedan model. The fight for the second place showcased a MG TD and a VW T2 Westfalia driven by two foreign competitors, Belgian Louis Bertrand and Englishman Neil MacDonald. Victory went to the former, but with a difference of only 25.1 points, extremely tight one for such competitions.

The sport regularity competition had at the start models produced between 1971 and 1983, and the victory went to Gerasimos Katochianos on a Ford Escort RS2000 MK1, which climbed on the podium together with Gabriel Red (VW Golf GTI) and Gheorghe Nedelcu (Fiat 124 Sport Coupe) and their co-drivers.

“The first collaboration between the Sports’ Commission of Retromobil Club Romania and the team from Sibiu Rally Challenge was a real success, both as organization and in terms of competition. George Ioannides, FIVA Vice President at the event, had only high praise and was impressed by the beauty of the route and the warmth with which he has been welcomed by local officials. As for the competition, Sibiu Classic Challenge managed to attract famous names from the world of historical motorsport at the two competition categories, which brought a nice feeling throughout the rally route. The route in general and Transfăgărăşan in particular have been a unique challenge for the old ladies who managed to climb to 2000 meters without any help from modern technologies. We are confident that next year the historical cars will also fill the Small Square in Sibiu.” Georgios Ladopoulos said, President of Sports Commission, Retromobil Club Romania.

Gerasimos Katochianos and Stefan Vasile, winners of the two categories, were awarded at the end Tissot watches by KALA Koncept. In addition there were awarded the following special prizes: ladies Cup for the crew Mirela Bucovicean / Ioana Vulpescu who drove a Porsche 911E (1969), the oldest car for the crew Louis Bertrand / Cristina Panek with a MG TD (1952) and the car with the smallest engine for the crew Adrian Mihai Cernat / Roxana Cernat with a Fiat 850 (1967).

Sibiu Rally Challenge, a motorsport festival, is scheduled between 20 – 23 of August and includes Sibiu Rally, the sixth round of Dunlop National Rally Championship held under the aegis of the Romanian Motorsport Federation (FRAS). Sibiu Rally Challenge is an event co-financed by the Sibiu City Council and Sibiu City Hall and supported by Orange Romania.

Second place for Shark Racing in the beginners class in Sibiu Rally Challenge

Transfagarasan, the most spectacular road in Romania, was the main stage for the National Rally Championship’s competitors during this last weekend. Sibiu Rally Challenge, the sixth round of the National Championship, represented for the Shark Racing crew, consisting of Gabriel Laurentiu ENE and Ciprian SOLOMON, another excellent evolution completed with the second place on the beginners podium.

After the first stage behind the wheel of Peugeot 208 R2, when technical problems have prevented a complete evolution of crew #441, Sibiu Rally Challenge was the long awaited round for Gabriel Laurentiu ENE. “As we said before, we were looking forward for the beautiful round in Sibiu. I’m happy for the result and especially for the fact that everything worked perfectly, without any technical problems, thus managing to concentrate only on driving. The tests we did in the week prior to the rally mattered a lot, making it possible to get adjusted with the new car. I fulfilled my dream of competing on the famous Transfagarasan, but it was extremely demanding due to difficult weather conditions characterized by rain and dense fog. On this occasion I want to thank all our fans who were present on Transfagarasan in the early morning hours at temperatures of 4-5 degrees Celsius and endured rain and wind to support us.” said Gabriel ENE.

Ciprian SOLOMON said after Sibiu Rally Challenge: “It was a difficult round due to weather conditions on Transfagarasan. With all my experience in rallies I can say that the dense fog which appeared on SS7 was extremely dangerous in terms of safety for the competitors. It’s good that everything ended well and we are satisfied with the result. We really liked the stages Paltinis and Baraj and we are already looking forward for the upcoming edition of the Sibiu round. We think that the spectators deserve a special prize from us, the competitors, because they have endured extreme cold and harsh weather conditions to encourage us on stages on Transfagarasan. I bow in front of them and I thank them for the support they show each stage. See you in Iasi. „

Iasi Rally, the seventh round of the National Rally Championship, will take place 11-12 September.

Shark Racing receives support from sgmarket.ro during the entire 2015 racing season.

Model dedicated to the Romanian pilots who competed with BMW, at Sibiu Rally Challenge

Bucharest/Sibiu. Sibiu Rally Challenge, held between 20-23 August, offered a full menu to motorsport enthusiasts: special stages held on legendary Transfăgărăşan and the sixth stage of the National Rally Championship. BMW entered a special model in this event, dedicated to the Romanian pilots who have performed with the brand throughout a racing history of nearly 80 years. With a crew made of Radu Gurămultă (journalist AutoExpert, 4×4 Adventure) and Alexander Şeremet (Communications Manager BMW Romania) BMW 2 Series model participated in the regularity rally, without gaining points for the official standings.

The design was dominated by the portraits of Petre Cristea and Marin Dumitrescu, two of the most important Romanian racing drivers in history. Their stylized images, reproductions of photographs taken after some of their most important victories with BMW (Eifelrennen 1939, respectively Sinaia 1950), were placed on the side of the car, on the rear wings. Also, the doors were engraved with the names of pilots who have performed with BMW over time in various competitions – rally, hillclimb, speed circuit or historic cars competitions. The design was completed with the BMW Motorsport stripes, the famous red-purple-blue tricolor. They covered the entire length of the car – from the front bumper on to the hood, roof, over the trunk and rear bumper.
The project motto was to „Let’s make history!” It is intended as a token of appreciation for all of the Romanian race drivers who have performed with BMW and who marked the brand image. At the same time it is an approach to better know the brand’s history motorsport.

The history of Romanian race drivers’ performance who competed with BMW started in the second half of the ’30s. It was a time when BMW 328 made a career on circuits all around the world, including in street racing in Brasov, Bucharest or at Feleac International Hillclimb Competition. Petre Cristea is certainly one of the most important drivers that competed with BMW 328. His most memorable victory with this model was to be achieved in 1939, in the famous Eifelrennen race at Nürburgring in front of the BMW factory drivers. A decade later, Marin Dumitrescu marked the first important moments in his career with a BMW 328, modified in the early 50s at the Vulcan Factory. It was the model with which he has dominated the circuit races of the period. The hillclimb victory in Sinaia, 1950, would remain in the memory of Marin Dumitrescu as one of the greatest successes of his long career.

The communist period has brought a long break in motorsport and made it very difficult to participate in competitions with models manufactured outside the iron curtain. But there are some exceptions, including Marin Dumitrescu competing briefly with a BMW 2002. Perhaps the most remarkable appearance is that of Laurentiu Borbely who becomes national rally champion with a BMW 2002. Today, exactly 40 years apart, Lorinz Borbely, his son, drives the same car, refurbished, in the historic and hillclimb races.

The present has brought participants in rally racing, hillclimb or speed circuit, with champions in various categories. Historical models are a constant presence also in motorsport events in Romania. In addition, more and more pilots are participating in the Formula BMW program with notable performances.

Statements about the project

Radu Gurămultă, race driver of the crew, journalist: “Sibiu Rally Challenge was a noble challenge for us. The starting point for this project was a special one, which is to honor Romanian pilots who competed with BMW; and not just because we accepted the challenge of racing on Transfăgărăşan aboard a BMW, but because I do not think there are many brands that can boast of having participated in the automotive competitions in Romania and other countries, consistently, from the 30s up nowadays.

Regarding the experience I had with Alex, I can say it was downright crazy – from ecstasy to agony, sometimes. Although we weren’t gaining any points in the category in which we participated, we took it quite seriously (maybe too seriously at times) and we tried to be as competitive as we could. For me, as an occasional participant at rallies in the co-driver position, the experience of sitting behind the wheel and listen Alex’s indications will be very important. I like to think that I’ve learned a lot of small things which I will apply from now on and I hope that this issue will come as a support for my teammate.

About Sibiu Rally Challenge we have only good things to say, it was a rally made out of sensational ingredients, except the demanding weather on Saturday. I would like to thank all those who made our madness possible! I would also like to send a good thought to all the Romanian pilots who have made history with BMW and gave us good reason to dream and live our amazing story on Transfăgărăşan. ”

Alexander Seremet, co-driver of the crew, communications manager: “I must admit that the original idea belonged to Radu, both of us being under the strong influence of the documentary < About BMW history in car racing.< From our discussion about the film emerged the motto of our project - << Let's make history! >>”.

I think we were both a bit overwhelmed by all the names we had on the car and we took our participation very seriously, although we was a demonstrative team. I fought for every second and I felt a little of what it means to participate in a motorsport competition.
I took it very seriously and with great emotion because we were carrying a very valuable << load >>, which we respect a lot. Fortunately Sibiu Rally Challenge gave us the perfect ingredients for such a project. I’ll never forget the Great Square, full of people who greeted us, it was a very special moment for me. And then I had the opportunity to drive, in the contest, on a legendary road – Transfăgărăşan. It was a memorable moment for our personal history.

I want to thank everyone who supported us and especially to all who stopped to read the names on our car. And most importantly, I want to thank all the Romanian pilots who competed with BMW over time, whether or not engraved on our car – they made our brand history! ”

Pilots’ names written on the BMW Series 2 “Let’s make history!”

The interwar period
Petre Cristea, Marin Dumitrescu, Alexander Papan, Dan Tătuşescu, Alexe de Vassal, Constantin Voluntaru, Vintilă Frumuşanu Ion Bolony Valentin Tantareanu Alexander Uta, Jean Calcianu, Ion Luca Niculescu, H. Rosenauer, Marin Butculescu.

Rally, hillclimb, historical cars competitions
Lawrence Borbely Borbely Lorinz, Eugen Ionescu Cristea Horatiu Ionescu Cristea, Horst Graef, Gunther Graef, Dorin Toma, Eduard TONTSCH Michael Beldie, Costi Stratnic Adrian Bort.

Speed circuit, Formula BMW
Ovidiu Mazilu Mihai Marinescu Doru Sechelariu, Mihnea Stefan

Bogdan Talașman increases his lead at the top of Dacia Cup 2015

  • Dacia Cup podium at the end of round VI of 2015, Sibiu Rally Challeng
  • The lead at the top of Dacia cup increases to over 30 points
  • Strategic approach for the end of the season

Arriving in Sibiu as leaders of Dacia Cup 2015, Bogdan Talasman and Andrei Mitrasca agreed over a weighed pace for the following race. The plan included a place on the podium and a race without incidents on the most beautiful road in the world.

Thus, after the first day, crew number 85 were exactly on the desired position and decided to defend their place in the next six stages on Saturday. Although the weather sorely tested the crews, conditions were similar for all competitors and did not favour anyone. Fog made the second descent on Transfagarasan one of the toughest stages in the whole championship. Bogdan kept his concentration, including on the last stage which he also won, managing to maintain his position on the podium and get even closer to the Dacia Cup title.

“We made great efforts to come. I gave up a lot for Sibiu because I fixed what I ruined in Cluj. I wanted more than just to be present, so I fought on the special stages, enough as to not risk going off the track. Transfagarasan is indeed a spectacular road. The atmosphere in the center of Sibiu is also unique and I always leave with nice memories. There still are two more rounds and nothing is settled until we cross the finish line at Harghita, the last rally of this year. „ said Bogdan Talasman at the end of the race.

“Last year I competed for the first time as a rally driver, right here in Sibiu, and it was extraordinary. I didn’t think that last year’s nervous feelings will return but I had an empty stomach throughout the whole weekend. I ran at the Moonlight Run, I climbed again on the podium, I had a correct strategy which worked, so I cannot be anything but pleased.” added Andrei Mitrasca.

After six rallies held in 2015, Bogdan Talasman gathered 108 points at the lead of Dacia Cup, which brings him 30.4 points ahead of Adrian Dragan, who becomes, after Sibiu, the main pursuer in the standings. Next round is Iasi, where crew number 85 will try to keep their advantage and to leave as little as possible in fate’s hands for the last round of this year. In 2015, Bogdan Talasman is supported by Miras, the main partner of the pilot for several seasons. Bogdan and Andrei would like to congratulate the organisers of the Sibiu round for the extraordinary sporting event and they hope it will remain in the calendar for the next years.

Audi TT-RS by MTM opened the road on Transfăgărăşan at Sibiu Rally Challenge 2015

Held between 20-23 August 2015, Sibiu Rally Challenge was a festival of motorsport and included the sixth round of the National Rally Championship, among two other competitions reserved for classic cars and more. The highlights of the weekend certainly were the four rally stages on Transfagarasan, the most famous road in Romania, with Team Devil Motors accepting the challenge to participate in the modern version of the race in Sibiu on board of the Audi TT-RS powered by MTM.

National champions at group N in 2003, Emanuel Ilina and Flavius ​​Câmpeanu, kicked off Sibiu Rally Challenge as forlighters, opening the race for the other crews from the national competition over the eight special stages which summed up to 83 kilometres.

The chosen car was the Audi TT-RS from Devil Motors’s garage, the Romanian representative of German tuner MTM. The famous roadster, produced in 2010 by Quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm division, has a 2.5 liters 5-cylinder engine, which originally had a power of 340 HP and 450 Nm torque, available between 1600-5300 rpm. Following modifications, the engine can now deliver 424 HP at 6,600 rpm, while the torque increased to 560 Nm, with the manual six-speed transmission and permanent full traction. The maximum speed of the car is now 292 km/h and it sprints from 0-100 km/h in only 4.1 seconds.

“I am very glad we decided to participate in Sibiu Rally Challenge. Although I am a fan of gravel rallies, I felt great on the asphalt special stages at Sibiu. Transfăgărăşan is certainly the most spectacular road in Romania and Audi TT-RS by MTM did an excellent job on this road, given the fact that the start was at an altitude of 1,350 meters and the finish was at over 2,000 meters. We were also helped by the performance of Dunlop tires, made available by the Romanian representative of the brand, thus experiencing the race without being nervous! „ said Emanuel Ilina, manager of Devil Motors, the official representative of MTM in Romania.

With an atypical weather for August, Transfăgărăşan greeted the Devil Motors crew with extremely low temperatures on Saturday, rain, fog and very low visibility. Besides the improvement of the engine, the MTM package also included an upgrade to an all-wheel-drive Haldex traction system with an ECU which reached its fourth generation, so the Audi TT-RS by MTM responded very well even in the unfavourable conditions found on Transfăgărăşan. “We met all our objectives at Sibiu Rally Challenge, we completed all the kilometres of the special stages without technical problems and we had fun like we haven’t had in ages!” said  the co-driver, Flavius ​​Câmpeanu.

Devil Motors is the official representative of the German tuner MTM in Romania and performs a wide range of upgrades (especially technical) on all production models of Volkswagen group brands. The most important upgrades consist of software modifications to the engine, brake system, exhaust, etc.

After participating in Sibiu Rally Challenge 2015, Emanuel Ilina, manager of Devil Motors, decided to start an ambitious project of building a rally car based on RS model from Audi’s range. We hope that the audience will enjoy the evolution of Devil Motors crew on the special stages, starting as soon as next season.

Simone Tempestini wins Sibiu Rally Challenge

  • Simone has won seven out of the eight stages scheduled and imposed in the duel with his colleague from Napoca Rally Academy, Bogdan Marișca, while Gergo Szabo climbed on the last step of the podium
  • Bogdan Marisca climbed to second place in the championship standings, with an advance of 0.4 points from Edwin Keleti
  • Raul Badiu won the duel with Sebi Barbu in the two-wheel drive category and secured the title of national champion at this category

Sibiu Rally Challenge, motorsport festival and the sixth round of Dunlop National Rally Championship, ended Saturday night at the end of a day which had as a main attraction the special stages scheduled on the most beautiful road in Romania, Transfăgărăşan. Leading after the first day, Simone Tempestini has won all the stages and achieved his fifth victory this year.

On the second day of Sibiu Rally Challenge, Transfăgărăşan greeted its guests with an atypical weather for August. Extremely low temperatures, slightly above freezing, dense fog and rain. Obviously, in these conditions, the task has become even more difficult for the drivers, as choosing the right tires could have made a difference in the fight for victory. Even more, all the pilots have complained about the lack of visibility in the second downhill on Transfăgărăşan, which affected their performance on the stage.

In terms of sport, on the first loop of day two, Simone Tempestini and Bogdan Marișca, the first two pilots at the end of day one with 2.6 seconds between them, finished all three stages in the same order, in the top of the hierarchy. Simone was able to increase his advance to 24 seconds, but has not lifted his foot from the gas pedal, and ticked the best time on the last three stages, followed by Marișca (PS7) and Szabo (PS6 and PS8). Thus, at the end of a rally where, on the first special stage, only Bogdan stole his chance to have a percentage of 100% “scratch”, the championship leader has won the fifth time this year and his success put him in the absolute top of the hierarchy. “There was a second where I went as we wanted and, as a result, we have achieved the objective we have set in this race – victory. It was not an easy rally, but everything went very well and we are glad we took another step towards the title.” Simone said at the end of the day.

Second place went to Bogdan Marișca, who finished at 56.2 seconds after the winner. Content, Bogdan said at the end: “The route was very competitive and I’m glad everything worked perfectly, I managed to climb next to Simone on the second position in the overall standings of the season.”

If at the end of the first day Raul Badiu and Sebi Barbu, the pilots in dispute for supremacy in the two-wheel drive category, took places 3 and 4 in the overall standings, after only the first stage of the second day the drivers with four-wheel-drive cars proved the superiority of the contest material. Thus Marco Tempestini and Dan Gîrtofan became the pilots who were fighting for the third step of the podium, while Gergo Szabo moved up to 6th place, and was interposed between Badiu and Barbu. One stage later, Szabo took Raul’s place, and it was clear that the battle for the third step of the podium will be between Tempestini Sr, Gîrtofan and Hungarian pilot.

The decisive factor would have been stage number 5, the first pass on „Baraj” special stage. A blown fuse at the demisting system forced the Marco Tempestini to go 4 km blind. “I am unlucky. As long as we had no problems I had a rhythm that made me think that we will repeat the achievement from Transylvania Rally, where we had a full podium with Napoca Rally Academy. Unfortunately, the failure on PS5 and then losing the fourth gear on the transport stage has forced us to settle for less.” said Marco. He only took the 10th place on SS5 and reached an overall 5th place, on which he also finished the race.

Ranked ahead of Gîrtofan, Szabo managed to climb on the 3rd place, which he kept until the end, imposing on Gîrtofan with 17 seconds in advance. Finally, Szabo said: “There were just over 80 kilometers of special stage, but with a lot of challenges, especially because of the weather, making the rally extremely intense. We decided to climb the podium, I managed to make a good choice of tires, the car worked perfectly and we achieved our goal. ”

Edwin Keleti, second place in the overall standings of the season before this race, came in 6th place, with Marișca now 0.4 points ahead in the absolute hierarchy. Keleti left from Sibiu Rally Challenge as the winner of Class 3, category whose podium was also occupied by Rares Tomiță and Horatiu Savu.

Raul Badiu and Sebi Barbu duelled until the end, as mentioned previously, for the two-wheel drive category and 5/6 classes. Barbu, who came with a new car, admitted at the end, with fair play, that his opponent had a superior pace and that the victory was well earned. A victory which, in the context of Adrian Raspopa’s absence, earned Badiu, mathematically, the national title of the category. “He deserves to be champion. But in the future I will try to give our duel a higher pace.” Sebi Barbu said as he entered the service park. Number 3 was ranked Mihai Manole, who was in this competition the fastest of the beginners of Dunlop National Rally Championship.

Vlad Cosma, Alex Ardelean and Radu Necula occupied the top three places in Class 9 and in Suzuki Cup, while Viorel Ivan, Norbert Major and Bogdan Talasman took the podium of the other single brand competition, dedicated to Dacia cars. Finally, in Class 11, Thomas Abraham beat Romulus Preda by 19.5 seconds, while Andrei Pop imposed in Class 15.

In the Challenge competition, Jean Tatu won the category C1, Alex Filip won C2 and Lorincz Borbely won C3.

Sibiu Rally Challenge, a motorsport festival, is scheduled between 20 – 23 of August and includes Sibiu Rally, the sixth round of Dunlop National Rally Championship held under the aegis of the Romanian Motorsport Federation (FRAS). Sibiu Rally Challenge is an event co-financed by the Sibiu City Council and Sibiu City Hall and supported by Orange Romania.