Why ERC 2013 will thrill
13 reasons why the upcoming season is one not to be missed
The new-look FIA European Rally Championship bursts into life in Austria this week with the 30th running of the International Jännerrallye. Here are 13 reasons why the upcoming season is one not to be missed.
1: There’s serious competition ahead…
Thirteen rounds, three different surfaces, rising stars against experienced professionals and rallying legends, wide variety of cars, city centre starts, night stages, day bonus points, Qualifying Stages and lots, lots more: welcome to the ERC in 2013.
2: …starting with the Jännerrallye
Four national champions plus a number of other star drivers will be in the fight for victory on the season-opening International Jännerrallye from 3-5 January.
3: Fabulous François
He might have turned 50 last summer but François Delecour still has what it takes in a rally car and a planned 10-event campaign in a Kronos Racing Peugeot 207 Super 2000 will allow him to demonstrate his legendary speed and determination.
4: R5 category revs up
New-generation R5 cars from M-Sport (Ford) and Peugeot will break cover this season, providing significant performance levels at a reduced cost. Other makes are waiting in the wings to confirm their programmes.
5: ERC live on TV
Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, will produce live television coverage from at least two rounds in 2013. Stand by for stunning action!
6: Fantastic fans
Wherever the ERC goes in 2013 thousands of fans will be there to watch the drama unfold with some event organisers expecting upwards of 200,000 spectators.
7: Teams to do battle
There will be overall, 2WD and Production Car Cup teams’ championships so it won’t just be the drivers and co-drivers who will be battling for honours.
8: Champion eyes more success
Double European champion Giandomencio Basso wants to make it a hat-trick of triumphs and is hard at work putting together a drive to chase ERC glory.
9: Support categories to the fore
It’s not just the hunt for overall honours that will write the headlines in 2013: the FIA ERC 2WD Championship and FIA Production Car Cup will both be hotly contested.
10: Kubica could compete
It’s by no means official but Formula One race winner Robert Kubica continues to be linked to an ERC campaign as he steps up his involvement in rallying away from circuit racing.
11: Blending the old with the new
As well as showcase events such as the GEKO Ypres Rally and Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the revamped ERC calendar includes several newcomers – in the current era – including Rallye Sanremo, Tour de Corse and the Sibiu Rally in Romania.
12: Drivers to go flat out for Colin McRae
The Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy is new for the ERC in 2013 and will be of for grabs on each round to the driver whose performance best embodies the spirit of the rallying legend.
13: An ERC for all
Changes to the registration system for 2013 mean that provide they’re using a car conforming to FIA Regional Rally Car regulations, any driver can score ERC points, which will ensure thrilling contests on each round as local heroes go up against ERC regulars.