With the FIA World Rally Championship-counting Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox reaching its climax today, FIAERC.com is looking back to the time when the FIA European Rally Championship included winter events on its roster following its 2004 restructuring.
In part four, FIAERC.com looks back on five drivers who shone on the most recent ERC winter rallies, Internationale Jänner Rallye and Rally Liepāja, and reflects on their achievements subsequently.

Craig Breen:The 2015 Rally Liepāja winner graduated to the world championship on a full-time basis in 2016. He’s taken three podiums during that time, including a standout second place finish with the works Hyundai squad on Rally Estonia in 2020. He’s also lent his vast experience and expertise to Team MRF Tyres’ development programme in the ERC.

Jan Kopecký:After scoring back-to-back Internationale Jänner Rallye victories in 2012 and 2013, top Czech Kopecký entered the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 2014 as the reigning ERC champion. He lifted the crown before embarking on a multi-year World Rally Championship 2 campaign, which culminated in the 2018 title.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:It was a case of starting as he meant to go on for the LOTOS Rally Team’s perfect Pole with his 2015 Internationale Jänner Rallye the platform to a dominant spell in the FIA European Rally Championship, which culminated in a third consecutive title at the end of the 2017 season. He’s since gone on to forge a strong reputation in the World Rally Championship 2 category.

Robert Kubica:His Internationale Jänner Rallye in 2014 (pictured) was the springboard to an impressive two-year World Rally Championship career. Despite what he described as his “physical limitations”, the legacy of a devastating crash on a rally in Italy in 2011 when he was at the peak of his powers in Formula One, Kubica won a long and arduous battle to return to the sport with Williams in 2019 and scored a point at the German Grand Prix that year.

Esapekka Lappi:Won Rally Liepāja in 2014, the year of his ERC title triumph. Stepped up to the sport’s top tier for 2015 and claimed the World Rally Championship 2 title in 2016. He scored his breakthrough world championship victory on Rally Finland in 2017 as part of the factory Toyota squad. Stints at Citroën and M-Sport have followed.
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