The driver of the team ASRT Bulantsev has become the runner-up of the class N4 in Latvia.
Last weekend took place the Rally of Latvia, which was the last race of the championship of Latvia. In this rally participated two teams of ASRT, Igor Bulantsev and Sergey Popov. Expectations before the race were high because in several classes we didn’t know who the champion was going to be. Class N4 was one of them, in fact for the first time Janis Vorobjovs and Igor Bulantsev were fighting for the victory.
Vorobjovs started the rally better but in the third stage the driver made a mistake and suffered a serious accident and that is why he had to abandon the race. After he retired from the race the leader of the class N4 was Bulantsev, driver of the team ASRT who was able to keep the first position after ten stages of the first day. In that moment Taras Kravchenko lost 11,87 seconds.
The second day Bulantsev continued being the leader but in the 15th stage of the race suffered a major blow because he had to abandon the race due to the mistake he made. That meant that the champion title was going to the hands of Vorobjovs and Bulantsev finishing this season on the second place of the class N4.
Unfortunately for the second team of ASRT this rally and season didn’t finish as we would have liked because in one of the stages suffered an accident.
"This year the Rally of Latvia for the team ASRT has been a very serious competition because there were possibilities that our drivers Igor Bulantsev/Marina Danilova would have finished in one of the top positions in the clasification board, we prepared thoroughly the race, the mechanical part was done carefully and went through the shakedown quite well to decide what tyres and fittings were the best in the speed stages in asphalt. The target was to keep the second position on the results table, and in the case of beinf lucky, fight for the title. After Janis Vorobjovs accident a real chance came out to get the second position but the weather conditions were so adverse and horrible that Bulantsev commited a mistake and broke the rear right wheel suspension. That meant the retirement off the race for him," say the leader of the team ASRT Marcis Ķenavs.
There is a bit of bitter feeling because the title was in our hands. But above all we have done very well our taks and defended the second position on the standings table of the season of the prestigious class N4.
The second team Sergey Popov/Andrey Galkevich had to abandon the first day because of mechanical problems, but the second day they returned to the race through the system SuperRally(Rally 2) but the drivers couldn’t find their pace. When they were trying to improve their performance they suffered a major blow with an accident in the 15th speed stage. After the tests done by the doctors, the drivers didn’t have any serious injuries but we can not say the same about the cars.
All in all this season has been interesting for the team because has participated in many competitions and done many tests for the cars. We were in a competition in Spain, we have also started to work with the team Citroen Racing, developing a car Citroen DS3 R3. A lot has be done, but looking to the plan and targets of the coming year 2015, is going to be even more exciting.
The team ASRT will inform very soon about their plans and targets.
Ķenavs shows excellent speed and convincingly wins the rally in Spain
On September 20 Mārcis Ķenavs participated in the regional rally competition in Valencia with Mitsubishi Evo X built by the ASRT team. More than 70 crews participated in this stage and had to complete seven special stages - 89 kilometres in total. Ķenavs and his co-pilot Ričards Vīksna participated with starting number 2.
Before the rally both Mārcis and the team admitted that the task is to learn and prepare as much as possible for the big stage of the Spanish Rally Championship that shall take place in a week and provide a fierce competition. Taking into account that this was the first asphalt rally in Ķenavs's career, the goal was to gain experience and reach the finish line. Before the rally Ķenavs and ASRT rally team trained and performed test drives in Spain, especially focusing on car's adjustments and trajectories
"Driving and writing down pacenotes on these roads completely differs from gravel roads. If at the beginning, before getting acquainted with these asphalt roads, I thought I'm in trouble, then after the tests and coach's advice I started to feel comfortable and even like it. Overall we're ready to drive and gain new experience. It's going to be interesting," said the ASRT pilot before the upcoming rally.
Already in the first stage Ķenavs surprised many with his driving and speed since Santiago Carnicer with Ford Fiesta R5, the closest follower in the 15 kilometres long stage, was overtaken by 17.4 seconds. Ķenavs was the fastest in the next stage as well, overtaking the winner of the second place by 32 seconds already after two special stages.
In the following three stages after the service park Ķenavs and Vīksna remained at the top, having accumulated a 49-second lead over the runner-up before the last two special stages. At the end of the rally Ķenavs changed the car's adjustments that failed to provide the expected result, therefore he had the second fastest result at that stage, but he convincingly finished the rally as number one. Carnicer with Ford Fiesta R5 placed second (+42.8), but Javier Polidura with Ford Fiesta R5 (+3:45.7) was in the third place.
"After the test drives, during which we did a good job and gained valuable experience, we could begin to drive fast in the first stage without unnecessary risks. We succeeded at that. I have to say that the competitors were a bit shocked that we had such a big lead from the very beginning," begins Mārcis Ķenavs.
Although they lost to a competitor in the last two stages, Mārcis explains it by the crew trying out new adjustments that, unfortunately, did not have the desired result. "We were adjusting the car constantly during the rally. We studied the management of the car and the wear of the tires. For the last stages we had adjusted the car incorrectly, which failed to provide the desired result, but the competitors had already accelerated and drove very fast."
Mārcis admitted that after finishing the competitors had been very interested in the ASRT team's car. "During technical inspection after the finish they came to watch, weigh the car and measure the turbine restrictor to make sure our car really is a Group N car. Overall we're satisfied. I was very glad to work with a team that includes an engineer specialized in driving on asphalt surface, and Ričards and I also did a great job. The result might even be too good, but we listened to and used every advice and it gave us the desired result. Now we have planned to participate in a Spanish National Rally Championship's stage, which, according to the locals, is the most difficult rally of the whole championship since it is affected by changing weather conditions. But we are well prepared and ready for new challenges," concludes Mārcis, adding that driving on asphalt surface is a 180-degree turn from driving on gravel roads since driving on asphalt requires knowing a lot of nuances.
ASRT rally team's pilot Plangi wins the second place in an exiting battle in Tartu Rally
Last weekend the penultimate stage of the Estonian Rally Championship took place in Estonian city Tartu, where 81 crews stood on the starting line before attempting to complete 12 stages with the total length of 103 kilometres. Four special stages were planned for the first day - two on gravel and two on asphalt, however the first two gravel stages were cancelled due to problems with the timekeeping device.
After two city stages Alexei Lukyanuk, who won over ASRT team's pilot Siim Plangi by 0.9 seconds and Rolandas Muraks by 1.4 seconds, was in the lead.
On the second day very close results were shown by Luyanuk and Plangi, who were able to have identical times in three stages during the whole rally. Egon Kaur was fast as well, but he experienced a severe crash during the seventh stage and withdrew. Despite Plangi's efforts to catch up with Lukyanok, the ASRT pilot did not succeed this time. Thus the victory was claimed by Lukyanuk, Plangi (+9.9) placed second, but on the lowest step of the podium stood Rainer Aus (+30.1). It should be noted that this rally was very fast, since Lukyanok reached the finish line with the average speed of 128 km/h.
"Special stages were extremely fast, many stages having the average speed above 130 km/h. It took great courage to drive fast, as well as a lot of risk in some places," tells Siim Plangi. "Even though this is not our best season, overall this rally was a success for us. This result was exactly what was needed in order to stay motivated. At the beginning our goal was to be persistent during the rally and reach the finish line, but in the end we were fighting for the victory. This time Lukyanuk turned out to be faster, but it might be different the next time. But it will, of course, be hard to beat Lukyanuk, since he is a very, very fast pilot."
When asked about the identical times shown during three stages, Plangi continues. "That is what makes this sport exciting and fun for the audience. I liked showing the same time as Alexei, but I would like overtaking him in the end even more. I believe that in order to do so we have to be even more aggressive, especially at the beginning of the rally," concludes ASRT driver Plangi, adding that his next start will be in Saaremaa Rally, where the goal will be to show adequate results and try to beat Lukyanuk and other drivers to be able to fight for the victory.
On Sunday, September 15, an uphill driving competition took place in Spain, where one of the participants was ASRT rally team's driver Mārcis Ķenavs. The track was very difficult and five kilometres long, containing 72 bends. Being fast was not enough since you also had to have a very good memory to complete this track quickly and precisely. For this reason Mārcis performed many practice drives on Saturday to learn the track.
The official practice drives took place on Sunday morning, where Ķenavs convincingly showed the fastest time. The closest followers were overtaken by almost five seconds. It should be noted that the leading drivers did not take part in these drives, so they could observe the practice and Mārcis to see who he is and how he drives. Seeing the practice drive results, the main question of many was - who is Mārcis Ķenavs?
Before the start Mārcis could tell us that the first part of the track is very fast (the maximal track speed is 190 km/h), followed by very difficult sections with 15 to 20 continuous bends, where the driver's memory and ability to concentrate is very important.
Such cars as Subaru WRC from 1999, fully prepared for asphalt requirements, three to four S1600 class Kit Cars, Nissan 200 SX, as well as several Silvercar cars were seen on the starting line among other participants.
The day's plan included three drives, of which the two best times were taken into account. At the finish line Mārcis placed second overall and second in the class. "I feel very exited and satisfied. Even though the competition was difficult, we completed our goal. Now we are waiting for our team and Mitsubishi Evo X, so we can prepare for the rally sprint and rally in Spain," says Mārcis Ķenavs.
Ķenavs going to conquer Spain
The 2014 rally season in Latvia and the Baltics is slowly coming to an end, but there are still some decisive battles remaining that will determine the final allocation of places in the Latvian Rally Championship (LRC).
While there is still more than a month left until rally "Latvia", ASRT team manager Mārcis Ķenavs after his great performance in rally "Kurzeme", where he placed overall together with Gatis Cimdins, shall go to Spain to participate in several competitions on asphalt surface. Participation in Spain is meant to provide Marcis and ASRT team with new knowledge and experience that will be useful in the upcoming rally "Latvia".
"We shall go to the southern land together with Ricards Viksna to learn to drive on asphalt surface. The gained experience later could be used to increase crew's driving skill and for the team as a whole," driving goals were revealed by the ASRT team manager Mārcis Ķenavs.
"Taking into account the LRC standings, it is still mathematically probable for our team's driver Igor Bulantsev to become the champion, therefore we hope to help him prepare for the last rally with the knowledge we will gain in Spain."
"If we look beyond the boarders of Latvia, both world and European stages of the rally championship take place on asphalt surface, where the accumulated experience could come in handy. I can say that we plan to participate in the competition in Spain for the sake of ASRT team's future, since next year I might participate in some higher level competitions, where I want to be as prepared as I possibly can".
"Within three weeks we plan to attend three competitions, the first of which already takes place this weekend. That will be a high level uphill driving competition, where we will have to complete the same special stage several times. Those will be specially prepared cars that are similar to formula cars. It's something similar to the Pikes Peak competition in America."
Even though neither Marcis nor the team has much knowledge in driving on asphalt, it is known that a very experienced Spanish coach is going to work with our team in Spain. "In Latvia and in the Baltics we are strong drivers on gravel, but, unfortunately, we have no knowledge in driving on asphalt. Before the competition we are going to do test drives so that we can learn various nuances and our partners with extensive knowledge in competing on asphalt surface could help us adjust our car. The multiple time champion of Spanish asphalt rally will be working with us both during the tests and the competition."
After the uphill competition Marcis shall participate in two more competitions - rally sprint and rally. "On September 20 we shall compete in asphalt rally sprint with our ASRT Mitsubishi Evo X. Of course, after the last rally "Kurzeme" this car will be fully prepared in Latvia for asphalt requirements - asphalt brakes, asphalt shock absorbers etc., but all necessary adjustments will be made in Spain. After the rally sprint, on September 27 we shall participate in the large stage of Spanish Rally Championship, where our goal will be to show what we have learned about driving on asphalt," concludes Ķenavs, who says a big thank you to their sponsors and the whole ASRT rally team.
ASRT team pilot Kenavs and Bulancev stand on the
podium in Rally "Kurzeme"
Rally "Kurzeme" concluded on Saturday with a convincing victory by Russian driver Alexei Lukyanuk. The second place was won by Estonian driver Markus Abram, but, as a surprise to many, the third place was earned by ASRT team manager Marcis Kenavs and co-pilot Gatis Cimdiņš, for whom this was only their first big rally steering a wheel-drive car.
Marcis surprised many rally experts by showing the best results already during the first two city stages. If at first anybody thought that these results are just a happy coincidence, then during the remaining stages Kenavs proved that he can still be fast by keeping up with the leading drivers and placing third overall against strong competition.
"We did better than planned," Marcis Kenavs does not hide his joy after reaching the finish. "The goal before the rally was to drive stable and fast in order to fight for Top 5. Many fast drivers participated in the race and we wanted to be among them. We managed to show the fastest result during the first city stage. I became less worried after this drive, where I had to cross both asphalt and gravel, and I could continue driving more freely and relaxed. I became confident that I can drive and fight. Of course we knew it would be difficult to stay on top at all times after the city stages, but we were in the lead in four stages out of eleven."
ASRT pilot Kenavs showed competitive results during the second day as well. "In the first Vecpils stage we decided to drive a little faster, but we made a mistake in one of the bends and slightly drove out of the racetrack. That's when we understood that the pace was a little too fast for us, so we calmed down and continued to drive at our own pace. As it turned out later, by not speeding and driving at our own pace we managed to make Top 3, which of course we are very happy about," continues Marcis, who added that he would definitely like to continue driving, but the current situation requires him to continue leading ASRT team, which leaves little free time.
Kenavs and the rest of the team was happy about the other ASRT drivers, who reached their goals. "Igor Bulantsev drove very well and finished in the second place in Class N4 of the Latvian Rally Championship. It means that before the decisive stage he still has hope for the champion title. During Rally "Kurzeme" Petr Turkin and Dmitry Feofanov gained new experience that both drivers will use in future competitions. It should be noted that during the first day of the rally Feofanov managed to do a very far and impressive jump from the trampolines that broke the car's cooling system. Mechanics were able to fix everything during the night and Feofanov was able to participate again the next day. The withdrawal of Siim Plangi was unfortunate since he definitely would have fought for the victory. His car experienced trouble with the fuel pump."
"Overall I'm very happy for the team - both for the drivers, mechanics and all other team members. All of them did a thorough job that led to these fantastic results. Thanks for the great emotions to all of the supporters and fans as well," concludes Kenavs.
Soon ASRT team will go on to conquer new heights of auto-racing that we will report on a little later.
Bulantsev shows excellent performance and earns the second place
in Class N4 in LRC stage in Lithuania
"300 Lakes Rally", which also was the sixth stage of Latvian Rally Championship, took place in Lithuania on the eighth and ninth of August. A total of 93 crews took part in the rally, among which were three crews from ASRT rally team - Igor Bulantsev (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X), Sergey Popov (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) and Dmitry Feofanov (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII).
Over two days the athletes had to participate in 12 stages that were 87% gravel and 13% asphalt. On the first day, filled both with sunshine and rain, the drivers had to complete only four stages, where the fastest result was shown by Janis Vorobjovs, who later became the winner of the rally.
Bulantsev, who continued to demonstrate fast and stable driving after the recent second place in "Rally Zemaitija 2014", was the seventh fastest after the first day. A pleasant surprise during the third stage was caused by Popov, who showed second best time in total, losing to Samuitis only by 0.76 seconds.
Bulantsev continued to demonstrate great performance on the second day when he showed several Top 5 fastest times, as well as the third fastest time twice. At the rally finish line the Russian driver showed the fifth best time in total and earned the second place in Class N4 of the Latvian Rally Championship (LRC), which is a very good result for Bulantsev in such a complex and difficult rally. Unfortunately, Popov and Feofanov were forced to withdraw due to technical faults and did not reach the finish.
Team leader was very pleased with Bulantsev's results. "I'm extremely satisfied and pleased with Bulantsev's performance, who was able to earn such a great place in such a difficult rally. Even though at the beginning I was a little afraid about how we would perform in such a difficult rally, I must admit that the harder the rally, the better Bulantsev performs. He's a worker as proven by the results of the latest rally. Igor was able to demonstrate great stability, which was awarded by a great result at the end. I'm also happy about Popov's speed, who proved in certain stages that he can be fast in difficult conditions. It is unfortunate that Popov and Feofanov failed to reach the finish line, but that happens sometimes," says Ainars Igavens.
After this stage Bulantsev has strengthened his second place in Class N4 in LRC standings. 23 points were lost to Vorobjovs, but an 18-point lead was established over Siim Plangi and Aleksey Mersiyanov. Two more stages of LRC remain - "Rally Kurzeme" and "Rally Latvia".
The ASRT driver Bulantsev takes the second place in Lithuania
The third stage of the Lithuanian Rally Championship "Rally Žemaitija 2014" took place in Siauliai where the driver of the ASRT team Igor Bulantsev toed the starting line.
In Lithuania Bulantsev drove a new Mitsubishi Evo X prepared by the ASRT team. The weather in Lithuania was as hot as in Latvia and it made the conditions for the sportsmen more difficult, since the air temperature inside the car was extremely high. During the day the sportsmen had to drive 11 speed stages with the total length of 123.7 kilometres. All together, the rally was fast since the average speed of the winner was 112 km/h.
After the fourth speed stage Vytautas Shvedas was the leader while Ramunas Chapkauskas and Igor Bulantsev followed him. At the next stage Chapkauskas lost much time and moved to the sixth place while Bulantsev was the second. At the rally finish Shvedas kept his leading position and for the fifth time became the winner of this rally. Bulantsev was the second in this fast and slippery rally while Chapkauskas was the third.
"I liked this rally very much. At the shakedown stage I felt great difference in the road surface and characteristics. It was very interesting since the road width was different all the time. And in some places it was extremely slippery. Of course, dust also played a major role, therefore, at some moments the stress was great. However, the rally was interesting. I liked its format and the arrangement of speed stages. And I certainly liked the awarding ceremony since this finish was extremely significant for us after a severe accident at the Estonian rally. Now we are ready for 300 Lakes Rally that will take place in August," Igor Bulantsev tells.
The next stage for the ASRT team will be 300 Lakes Rally.
Tanak is the winner of ERC in Estonia,
Turkin takes the 2nd place in the Estonian Championship
ERC in Estonia ends with adventures for ASRT team
Bulantsev suffers a spectacular crash during the ERC in Estonia
Ott Tanak was the leader after the first day of European Rally Championship (ERC) in Estonia. After the first day Igor Bulantsev, ASRT team pilot, took the 16th place in total and the 6th place in ERC Production Class, but Turkin was in the 9th place in RC3 Class. On the second day a stage of Estonian Rally Championship took place alongside ERC, where two more drivers of ASRT team, Dmitry Feofanov and Sergey Popov, participated.
Unfortunately, during the 13th stage Bulantsev's crew crashed. Fortunately, neither the pilot nor his co-pilot was injured during this accident. Bulantsev wasn't the only one dropping out of this difficult rally since a few more crews suffered crashes. An unfortunate debut driving Peugeot 208 R5 was made by Siim Plangi, who crashed in one of the road bends.
Ott Tanak was crowned as the rally winner while the second place was won by Russian driver Alexei Lukyanuk, causing great joy to ASRT team. Timmu Kõrge stood on the lowest step of the podium. Meanwhile the Estonian Rally Championship stage was won by Lukyanuk who beat Tanak by 0.3 seconds.
It should be noted that after the finish Lukyanuk was awarded the prestigious Colin McRae "Flat Out Trophy" that is given to drivers whose speed, determination, perseverance and fighting spirit during the specific rally corresponds to the values of rally legend McRae.
Popov took the 24th place in total and the 9th place in N4 Class, Turkin earned the 37th place in total and the 2nd place in A7 Class, but Feofanov was in the 44th place in total and in the 9th place in E12 Class.
Next stop for ASRT team this week in Lithuania (Rally Žemaitija 2014) with Igor Bulantsev.
ASRT team successfully concludes the first day of European Rally Championship in Estonia
On Friday began the Estonian stage of European Rally Championship (ERS) where athletes had to complete nine stages. There was a total of 61 crews participating in the first day of ERC, including two crews from ASRT team - Igor Bulantsev (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) and Petr Turkin (Citroen DS3 R3T).
The warm and sunny weather was great for both the many viewers and the athletes. Unfortunately the rally began unsuccessfully for two Estonian drivers - Martin Kangur, who was the fastest during qualification, suffered a spectacular crash, but Kaspar Koitla damaged car's radiator during a jump and was forced to withdraw.
Ott Tanak, the main favourite of this rally, already took the lead during the first special stages of the rally, leaving behind Timmu Kõrge and Alexei Lukyanuk at a safe distance. Later Tanak continued to lead, thus confirming his status as the main favourite. The last special stage of the day took place in the centre of Tartu, where, for the joy of thousands of viewers, Tanak continued to be the fastest and became the first day's leader. He was followed by Timmu Kõrge (44.2 seconds) and Alexei Lukyanuk (47.4 seconds), causing great joy to the ASRT crew. After the first day the eight place after is taken by Siim Plangi, who made his debut with Peugeot 208 R5 car during this rally. It should be noted that Plangi broke a car wheel during the first stage, thus losing more than 40 seconds.
Both crews of ASRT team successfully reached the finish line during the first day. Bulantsev, who had Top 5 times during the last special stages of the day, took the 16th place in total and the 6th place in ERC Production Class after the first day. Meanwhile Turkin is in the 9th place in RC3 Class.
Saturday will put even more responsibility on ASRT team since Bulantsev and Turkin will be joined by Dmitry Feofanov and Sergey Popov, who will participate in the Estonian stage of the rally. On Saturday athletes will have to complete six stages (107 km).
ASRT rally team on the podium in the difficult "White Nights" Rally
photo: Dmitry Galchun, "Academy rally"
ASRT rally team has successfully completed the 4th round of the Russian Rally Championship and the 16th round of the Russian Cup "White Nights 2014" and is proud to announce that its pilot Igor Bulantsev has won the third place and Sergey Popov finished as the eighth.
ASRT rally team was represented in this round by two crews: Igor Bulantsev with Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and Sergey Popov with Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. Although the rally turned out very difficult and with many accidents both our crews managed to reach the finish.
Initially it was planned that drivers will take 11 speedways (124 km in total), but later one leg was cancelled. Alexey Lukyanuk was first after five legs, followed by Igor Bulantsev 45 seconds behind. But then after the sixth leg, Grigoriy Tregubov (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) overtook Bulantsev and ranked second. The rally was won by A. Lukyanuk, leaving G. Tregubov and I. Bulantsev behind. The eighth place was won by the other ASRT rally team driver S. Popov.
Marcis Kenavs, head of the team, was satisfied with the results: "This rally was a very difficult one — many accidents and drop-outs. However, it went well for our rally team, as both crews managed to reach the finish line, which we are very happy about, of course. Bulantsev was given task to drive fast and show good result, which he was successful at. Since the last rally for Popov was the European Rally Championship round in Liepāja in winter, his task was to acclimatise. Both drivers are satisfied with their results, as they managed to fulfil their tasks."
photo: Dmitry Galchun, "Academy rally"
ASRT pilot Plangi is going to face a new challenge
After successful rally Viru in Estonia where the ASRT driver Siim Plangi took the third place in the overall ranking and the second place in N4 class, it became known that a young and talented Estonian sportsman would make debut at the Estonian stage of the European Rally Championship (ERC) at the wheel of a new car Peugeot 208 R5.
The driver acknowledges that negotiations about the opportunity of driving Peugeot 208 R5 have been long, however at the moment, when all the problems are solved, the joy and satisfaction are great. "Taking into account long negotiations, in the beginning I was a little bit sceptical about the opportunity of driving Peugeot 208 R5. But after the contract was signed, it was the fulfilment of my dream," Siim Plangi says.
"This opportunity was due to Peugeot Baltic and Peugeot Sport. They offered me to drive at the Estonian stage of the ERC and I accepted this opportunity. I appreciate it very much."
Plangi, who drove many different cars during his career, says that the most difficult thing will be to get used to this car quickly and to drive fast. "The greatest challenge is to get used to this car quickly and to drive fast. I will certainly try to be fast from the very beginning. Peugeot 208 R5 is an undoubtedly fast and powerful car. It is created for rally, therefore, this car must be faster than the N group car. I know that this car goes quickly, therefore, I will also have to drive fast."
Although every sportsman aims at the highest places, Plangi acknowledges that no aims of taking a particular place in this rally are set at the moment. "The aim of this rally is to get used to this car as fast as possible so that after every consequent stage I could increase the speed. Taking a particular place in this rally is not the most important thing, however, we will definitely want to ensure a good fight for our competitors with our driving," Plangi continues and hopes that spectators will like and be satisfied with his driving.
At the end of the conversation the ASRT driver is not sure if it will be the only rally with this car. "I think it will be the only rally with this R5 car, however, you never know, maybe after showing good results I will have a new opportunity. I will do everything possible!"
ASRT rally team has shown great starts
The fourth Latvian and the third Estonian stage of the Rally Championship, rally "Viru 2014" took place in the Estonian city of Rakvere in the middle of June.
About 100 crews were at the starting line, among them three crews of the ASRT team from Latvia, i.e. Siim Plangi, Igor Bulantsev and Vadim Kuznetsov.
In the course of two days the drivers had to drive 11 speed stages with the total length of 112 kilometres. After the four stages of the first day Plangi showed the best result among the drivers of the ASRT team, he was the third in the overall ranking and the second in N4 class. At that moment Bulantsev was the 15th and Kuznetsov was at the 57th place.
On the second day Plangi (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) was also fast, but he could not get ahead of Alexey Lukyanuk (Mitsubishi Evo X) and Timo Korgi (Ford Fiesta R5), therefore, he had to be satisfied with the third place in the overall ranking and the second place in N4 class. At the moment Plangi takes the second place in the overall ranking of the Latvian Rally Championship and the first place in N4 class. And the other pilots of the ASRT team reached the finish successfully: Bulantsev took the eighth place but Kuznetsov was the 31st.
"We had a good rally," Siim Plangi starts. "Our aim was to spend the rally at a high speed and to show good results. Unfortunately, at the fifth speed stage we made a big mistake and hit a tree stump, however, luckily only the visual image of the car suffered in this accident. Later on we spent one and a half speed stage without the centre differential. For this reason at the end we did not try to overcome Alexey Lukyanuk by all means, we just wanted to get to the finish quietly and take the second place in N4 class. At the last two speed stages we reduced our speed so that we could reach the finish for sure. We did it and it was a good result."
At the same time the rally Pohjanmaa (the fourth stage of the Finnish Rally Championship) took place in Finland, the ASRT driver Kaspars Koitla (Mitsubishi Evo IX) took part in this rally. He yielded only to Jukka Ketomäki (Škoda Octavia WRC) and Karl Kruuda (Ford Fiesta S2000), at the finish Koitla took a high third place in the overall ranking and the first place in SM2 class.
"We are very glad," Kaspars Koitla says after the finish. "We picked up the speed at the first stage and managed to keep it till the end of the rally. At the third speed stage, due to braking, we made a mistake that cost us about ten seconds. On the whole, I liked these speed stages very much, they were pleasant to drive. We had a good weekend. I would like to thank my mechanics."
The next start of the ASRT team is planned in the middle of July at the oncoming Estonian stage of the European Rally Championship (ERC) where the team is going to be represented by many drivers.
The team manager Marcis Kenavs makes his debut and wins
The rally sprint "Kalnamuiža 2014" took place in the surroundings of Skrunda at the end of the second week of May and the team manager Marcis Kenavs went to protect the colours of ASRT.
At this rally M.Kenavs made his debut on a four-wheel drive car Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and collaborated with a new co-driver Gatis Cimdiņš.
The fight for the win was hot and the crew was the fastest at 5 speed stages that brought great success, i.e. the 1st place in the absolute ranking.
The crew had test drives before the rally sprint "Kalnamuiža 2014" to get used to the car, however, nobody thought that the next competition would bring so great results! The crew executed all the instructions and arrangements of the ASRT team and the teamwork of both sportsmen was a great step to the win.
"I am extremely satisfied with the results! The beginning was a little bit unconvincing since I tried to get used to the driving style that differed from my previous experience. I got assistance from my co-driver who encouraged me to drive more convincingly. I am satisfied with the speed shown at the race, as for the first time it was not so slow. I would like to thank my team since their work and advice were a great contribution to my win".
The next start of the crew is planned at the rally „Kurzeme 2014” that will take place at the end of August. The team also plans to participate in the stage of the European Rally Championship or any other championship which is likely to take place in Spain.
We should mention that the weekend brought great achievements for the team since the pilot of the ASRT team Siim Plangi took the 1st place in the rally competition "Tallinn 2014".
The ASRT team is preparing for "Masters Show 2014"
In the middle of April the crew of the ASRT team Dmitry Feofanov/Maxim Gordyushkin took part in the trainings and before Easter the sportsmen would go to Moscow to participate in the rally "Master Show 2014".
Trainings in the race track of Biķernieki sports base were held to allow the crew get used to driving on the asphalt surface since the rally "Master show 2014" would be held in the centre of Moscow.
The crew P.Turkin/V.Mirkotan will also participate in the rally, they will have pre-competition trainings on the roads in the surroundings of Moscow.
As for the ASRT team, the competition will be an adaptation to the summer season which will soon start in Latvia.
In response to the question about plans for the summer season the team manager M.Kenavs said: "At the moment we are going to Moscow to prepare for the summer season and after that there will be the stages of the Latvian Rally Championship. If we speak about the plans for the season we want to participate in the competitions in the Baltic States and Russia, we also plan the participation in the stage of the World Rally Championship in Poland and the European stage in Estonia where we, as a team, have the aim of fighting for the highest places in N4 class."
Be good to Your shock absorbers!
There is one part in Your car's suspension That is very important, witch must always be in top condition, to achieve the best results in competitions.
As a official dealers of Proflex and Öhlins shock absorbers, Autostils Rally Technica (ASRT) offers for You all kind of service for shock absorbers (maintenance, repair, spare parts and regulation) for each customer individually.
We also offer the opportunity to buy new shock absorbers for each customer's individually needs.
The ASRT team finishes winter season at the rally "Karelia 2014" 04.03.2014.
This rally was successful both for the team which took the 2nd place as team.The crew of the ASRT team A.Lukyanuk/A.Arnautov took the 1st place at the 3rd event of the Russian Rally Championship and this rally was also successful for the second crew of the team P.Turkin/V.Mirkotan who took the 3rd place in class R3. Unfortunately, the third crew I.Bulantsev/M.Danilova had an accident at the first speed stage and, therefore, was eliminated from the competition.
M.Kenavs tells about the experience: "At this rally Lukyanuk drove convincingly and stably and thus got the advantage over his competitors. At one of the speed stages Lukyanuk’s crew had a technical problem, i.e. the defect of a rear right axle shaft, but in spite of a short 30-minute service stop, our mechanics managed to change the axle shaft and the rear reduction gear for the sake of safety since the crew drove more than 20 km of the speed stage with a broken axle shaft".
After the unsuccessful speed stage A. Lukyanuk managed to keep leading positions in the overall ranking and took the 1st place with a minute advantage. As for the crew, this rally was a revenge for previous failures since they showed the best time at 7 speed stages (in total there were 8 speed stages).
M.Kenavs tells about P.Turkin’s achievements in this rally: "In this rally the crew continued getting acquainted with a new Citroen DS3 R3 and, as the crew said, the car was in a good condition and the only thing they had to do was to learn taking the advantage. Thanks to P.Turkin/ V.Mirkotan’s achievements the ASRT team took the 2nd as team."
The winter rally season is over and the team starts preparing for the summer season which is going to be full of surprises.
Rally team "ASRT" offers the possibility of renting rally cars for the season of 2014. We offer rent services for the period of different rally championships which take place in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine as well as the stages of the World and European championships.
In accordance with every sportsman’s wishes and driving skills we offer to rent the following rally cars:
- Mitsubishi EVO X (N4)
- Mitsubishi EVO X (N4)
- Mitsubishi EVO 9 (N4)
- Mitsubishi EVO 8 (A+)
- Citroen DS3 R3 (R3)
Every sportsman is offered an individual rent set either for the whole season or for separate rally stages. This set includes full rally car service during competitions, recce car, logistics, car insurance, service park equipment and amenities. We can also provide hotel and flight booking.
In addition we offer the possibility of conducting tests, test sessions and training with our coaches and one of the fastest team driver Alexey Lukyanuk.
To get more detailed information about offers and prices you should contact our team manager Marcis Kenavs +371 29341985, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitsubishi EVO 8 Description here: PDF file
Mitsubishi EVO X (N4) Description here: PDF file
Mitsubishi EVO X (N4) Description here: PDF file
Next rally in Karelia 25.02.2014.
The ASRT rally team is preparing to go to Lahdenpohya where the third stage of the Russian Rally Championship "Karelia 2014" will take place at the end of February and on the first days of March. It will be the final stage of the winter season and the crews of A.Lukyanuk/A.Arnautov, I.Bulantsev/M.Danilova and P.Turkin/V.Mirkotan will start in the competition
Every crew has its own aims which the team wants to achieve. The team manager M.Kenavs says: "It will be a difficult rally due to the poor weather conditions the crews could not have test drives which were planned a week before the competition, however, in spite of this, every crew has its aims. We expect the best results from A.Lukyanuk because, despite a bad luck at the first stages, we as a team know that he can drive both stably and fast! We also want to expect great achievements from the other crews".
The ASRT has set its own aim: to be the first in the team scoring and to have a good start in the last winter rally of this season.
Rally "Peno 2014"
1February 14 ASRT rally team attended "Peno-2014", which was the second stage of the Russian Rally Championship. Three crews from the team participated during this stage: A. Lukyanuk/A. Arnautov, I. Bulantsev/A. Bushmeleva and P. Turkin/V. Mirkotan.
During the first special stages A. Lukyanok proved his superiority by showing the best times and increasing the lead over his closest rival by more than minute, but then came the fateful sixth special stage and the crew that were the first to begin the route underestimated the slippery road and experienced an accident.
Following the accident the car could no longer be started, therefore the crew could not continue the special stage. Bulantsev crew drove off the road and damaged their car as well, while P. Turkin/V. Mirkotan finished in the 4th place in Class R3.
During the second stage of Russian Rally Championship ASRT rally team earned the 1st place as a team.
Lukyanuk / Arnautov crew will start in Russia
Many people have asked us about one of the fastest Baltic and World Rally class N4 crews A.Lukyanuk/A.Arnautov
After the rally season of 2013 the crew did not provide any information about their further plans. However, at the moment we have received confirmation that the crew will participate in all 7 stages of the Russian Rally Championship in the rally season of 2014. These stages will be held in cooperation with the ASRT team that has previously led the crew to the victory in the stage of the World Rally Championship in Finland. It was achieved with the help of the car which had been built and serviced at the ASRT base.
In the first competitions the crew will drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to participate in the rally "Gorniy Len" which will take place on 1-2 February in the Urals, in Yekaterinburg. These competitions will be the crew’s first experience in the Russian Rally Championship; however, the ASRT rally team has often taken part in this championship and in the course of several years has serviced other rally drivers during the competitions.
At the moment we have information about the participation in the stages of the Russian Rally Championship but we negotiate the participation in the stages of the World and European Rally Championship where the crew could possibly drive the Citroen R5 car serviced by the ASRT team.
Detailed information about the results of the rally "Gorniy Len" will be available at: http://nrg.ur.ru/
Rally "Alūksne 2014"
Rally "Alūksne" took place in Alūksne at the weekend, on the 18th of January. As the winter was in progress, the ASRT team could not stay aside and opened the rally season there.
The team was represented by three crews and their composition was unusual: the team owner Ainars Igaveņš drove the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X together with the co-driver Uldis Znotiņš, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X was driven by Igor Bulantsev and Marina Danilova.
The rally was successful for both crews: Ainars Igaveņš/Uldis Znotiņš were the 11th at the finish but this time the result was not so important since A.Igaveņš took his place at the wheel of a rally car after a long break and wanted to enjoy the rally. As A.Igaveņš said after the finish: "The rally was very well organized, many thanks to Gatis Cimdiņš! I participated in the rally after a long break and enjoyed the car drivability and capacity."
The second crew was much more successful since I.Bulantsev was the 4th at the finish and he was the fastest of all foreign drivers who took part in the rally: "The rally road surface was unusual – in some places it was ice but in the others it was frozen ground, I liked how the rally was organized and the speed stages chosen. Of course, I am glad to come to the finish and to achieve such results; it’s a good beginning of a new season."
Next time the crew of I.Bulantsev plans to participate in the stage of the European Rally Championship in Liepāja.
The third crew was Artūrs Igaveņš/Ralfs Igaveņš who performed the duties of a safety car, R.Igaveņš participated in the rally for the first time and gained the experience with a rally legend and route maps.
Detailed information about the results is available at: autorally.lv
The next rally which the ASRT team has applied for is the stage of the European Rally Championship in Liepaja (31 January – 2 February) and the rally "Gorniy Len" in Yekaterinburg (1-2 February).
Test with Citröen DS3 R3T
Currently every rally team is actively preparing for the new season of 2014 and for the ASRT team this year will also be full of new changes. As you know, less than a month ago ASRT managers went to the Citröen’s factory to purchase a rally car Citröen DS3 R3T which was the first car of this type in Latvia.
Tuvojoties sezonas sākumam pienāca ilgi gaidītais brīdis, kad visa ASRT komanda devās uz Igauniju, lai veiktu testa ātrumposmus ar nesen iegādāto Citroen rallija automašīnu. Kā pirmais pie Citröen DS3 R3T stūres sēdās komandas vadītājs Marcis Kenavs, kas ir braucis ar priekšpiedziņas automašīnām un ir pieredzējis autorallija braucējs.
Before the beginning of the season the long-sought moment came and the ASRT team went to Estonia to have test speed stages on a newly purchased rally car Citröen. The first person to drive the Citröen DS3 R3T was the team manager Marcis Kenavs who used to drive front-wheel drive cars and was an experienced rally driver.
M.Kenavs told about the tests and their course in detail: "This car is colossal, it cannot be compared with any other rally car which I have driven before – neither Ford Fiesta R2, nor Honda Civic Type-R N3, these cars cannot compete with Citröen which has much bigger capacity. Everything starts with an excellent feeling when you enter the car of this type, further on we should obligatorily mention a turbo engine which allows the car to develop very big capacity and is not found in any other front-wheel drive rally car. The switching system at the steering is worth mentioning, it allows enjoying excellent car manoeuvrability and very late braking which in its turn gives the chance of winning tenths of a second during the rally speed stages. The car is thought both for fast and slow roads since its driveability and capacity are suitable for both types of the road."
This car is planned for the ASRT team driver Pjotr Turkin who will take part in the Russian Rally Championship and will fight for the champion title; however, it is likely that you will see this car at some stage of the rally championship of the Baltic States.
The first competitions which the ASRT team plans to have with the crew Pjotr Turkin/Vasilj Merkotan will take place on 1-2 February in the Urals, Yekaterinburg where the first stage of the Russian Rally Championship "Gorniy len 2014" will be held.
More detailed information about the Russian rally stage "Gorniy len 2014" is available at http://nrg.ur.ru
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014
Your ASRT Team