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Kalle Rovanpera quickest on Rally Liepāja Qualifying

Liepāja, Latvia
October 6, 2017

Rally Liepāja, last round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship and the Latvian Rally Championship, began today with a Qualifying in Dunalka. Kalle Rovanpera (Ford Fiesta R5, co-driven by Jonne Halttunen) set the fastest time through, in his international debut.


Other than Rovanpera, five more representatives of Latvia tackled the LATVIA CELEBRATES 100 YEARS Qualifying Stage, with Nikolay Gryazin (Škoda Fabia R5, co-driven by Yaroslav Fedorov) being the fastest among them, the Sports Racing Technologies driver finishing just 1.2 seconds behind Rovanpera to claim second place. Alexey Lukyanuk (Ford Fiesta R5, co-driven by Alexey Arnautov) was third. Another Latvian, Jānis Berķis (Ford Fiesta R5, co-driven by Edgars Čeporjus) made it into the top 10, setting the eighth fastest time, 6 seconds behind Rovanpera.

The Qualifying Stage began in dry conditions, but that did not last throughout, with some crews having to tackle it with rain pouring down. Latvians Jānis Vorobjovs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, co-driven by Ivo Pūķis, eleventh position), Reinis Nitišs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, co-driven by Māris Neikšāns, thirteenth position), and Mārtiņš Sesks (Peugeot 208 R2, co-driven by Andris Mālnieks, fifteenth position) are also ready to fight for the top spots in their categories.


This evening, next to the Great Amber concert hall, the Speed Festival Kurzeme and Rally Liepāja opening ceremony, as well as Rally Liepāja start position selection, will take place. The event will continue tomorrow, with the first seven of thirteen special stages. In parallel with the FIA European Rally Championship, spectators will also be able to see the Latvian Rally Championship, the UPB ENERGY Kauss Powerboat race on the Tirdzniecības canal, as well as LADA RX Kurzeme on the Liepāja city stage.

Three special prizes will also be given out on Saturday – Optibet prize will be given to the crew that will set the best total time over the SS1/SS4 Optibet stages, LDz Cargo prize will be given to the crew that sets the quickest total time over SS2/SS5 LDz Cargo stages, while the city of Liepāja will give a special prize to the crew with the fastest total time through SS6/SS7 Liepāja City Stage stages.


Live event results will be available on the official website of the Latvian Rally Championship,, which also has a mobile-friendly version ( The results and driver commentary will also be available on the website of the FIA European Rally Championship, at News can also be followed via the FIA ERC mobile app, which is available on both Google Play and the App Store. All information and news about Rally Liepāja are available on the official website at, as well as on social media - Twitter @LVRally, Facebook /LVRally, /lvrally, YouTube /RallyLiepāja, and Instagram /lvrally.

FIA European Rally Championship round Rally Liepāja is possible thanks to the support of the Latvian government and the rally city of Liepāja. We would also like to thank our sponsors Neste and Optibet Sporta Bārs, and our partner LDz Cargo. Thanks to the provider of official cars Autobrava, as well as supporters Baltijas Helikopters, Castrol, Canon ibServiss Rīga, Liepājas Olimpiskais Centrs, Liepājas SEZ, NPK Expert, Ramirent, and SweCon. Informative support is provided by news portal DELFI, rally radio Kurzemes Radio, as well as Go4Speed and Zebra. Rally Liepāja would also not be possible without our rally friends: Dardedze, Esi Draugs, FN Serviss, Jānis Pūce, Liepājas Datoru Centrs, Maksikoms, N&J, Red Bull, SidusNet, SignTech, Sixt, Sportland, Törley, and Venden. A special thank you goes out to the Latvian Automobile Federation. Rally Liepāja is organized by RA EVENTS and Speed Festival Kurzeme, with support by the regional councils of Durbe, Aizpute, and Priekule.