October 4, 2017
This weekend, from October 6 to 8, the final round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) will take place on the roads in and around Liepāja. Unfortunately, that last year’s Rally Liepāja winners and bronze medallists in ERC Ralfs Sirmacis / Artūrs Šimins had to withdrawn from the rally.
Multiple time Latvian rally champion Ralfs Sirmacis attended the pre-event press conference, saying that he expects to fight for a victory in Liepāja. However, today, on October 4, the crew has withdrawn from the event.
“Our crew made this difficult decision together with the main sponsor and our management team from Finland, V&V Sport Management. Looking back at this season, we have worked on taking the next step in our career and stepped back from competing in order to fulfil a larger goal,” comments Artūrs Šimins.
“The decision to withdraw from our home event was extremely difficult, but, looking at next year, it seems to be the right one. Money that was to be spent for Rally Liepāja will be used for extensive training so that our fans, sponsors, and families can see us competing in the WRC2 class of the World Rally Championship. However, we want to thank the SRT team, our sponsors, families and supporters who have believed in us and keep on hoping for the best, regardless of the situation,” concludes Šimins.
Ralfs Sirmacis: “This was a tough decision, and we considered multiple options right up to the last moment. Unfortunately, as difficult as it is, sometimes you have to abandon something in order to be better in the future. I wish the best to all the competitors! Rally Liepāja definitely is not an easy event, so they will need endurance and skill to reach the finish.”
Sports Racing Technologies manager Ģirts Krūzmanis: “The team had not expected this turn of events, and I have to admit that this was a very unpleasant decision for me. We had expected to do serious preparation, the car is ready to compete at the highest level, and we looked forward to new and beautiful victories. Having said that, I respect the decision made by the crew as I understand that sometimes you have to make tough choices in order to set yourself up for the future, and I wish the guys luck in reaching their goals. Anyhow, we expect to have a thrilling event this weekend, and we will put all our resources and knowledge into helping Nikolay and Oliver! See you in Liepāja!”