The FIA European Rally Championship is home to a whole array of machinery from the FIA Rally Cars Pyramid.
Just like single-seater racing, in which the most high-performance cars are Formula 1 machines, rallying is adopting a similar nomenclature: the smallest figure is synonymous with the summit of the pyramid, with Rally1 replacing the World Rally Car category at the top of the sport from 2022.
The Groups covers two-wheel drive (Rally5/ Rally4) and four-wheel drive (Rally3/Rally2/Rally1). Furthermore, some categories are based on accessibility (Rally5/Rally3), while others are dedicated to performance (Rally4, Rally2 and Rally1).
It should be noted that the sporting Classes in FIA international rallies will be using the same numbering as the Groups (e.g. the cars from Group Rally2 competing in Class RC2). Given these specific characteristics, Group RGT is not represented on the pyramid, but RGT cars remain eligible for ERC points, as do cars conforming to the Rally2 Kit regulations.
FIA ERC1: For FIA-homologated cars conforming to Rally2 (R5) regulations. That means 1.6-litre turbocharged engines, 32mm restrictors to control performance, four-wheel drive, five-speed gearboxes and price caps to keep design and build expenditure in check. Think Citroën C3 Rally2, Ford Fiesta Rally2, Hyundai i20 R5, Proton Iriz R5, Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and more.
FIA ERC2: Typically for more standard ‘showroom’ spec machinery, albeit with turbocharged engines and four-wheel drive, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and the Subaru Impreza STI. However, in addition to N4, cars built to Rally2 Kit and RGT rules also compete. Rally2 Kit cars come with a ‘kit’ of performance parts from ORECA, such as the Suzuki Swift R4lly S and Toyota Yaris Rally2 Kit. RGT cars include the Abarth 124 rally, Alpine A110 RGT and Porsche 997 GT3 among others.
FIA ERC3: It’s front-wheel-drive hot hatches in essence such as the Ford Fiesta Rally4, Opel Corsa Rally4, Peugeot 208 Rally4, Peugeot 208 R2, Renault Clio Rally4 and Renault Clio Rally5.
FIA ERC Junior: Contested by drivers aged 28 and under on 1 January 2021 in Rally3 cars on Pirelli tyres.
FIA ERC3 Junior: For drivers aged 27 and under on 1 January 2021 in Rally4 and Rally5 cars on Pirelli tyres.
Abarth Rally Cup: The Abarth Rally Cup is for competitors using the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Abarth 124 rally on Pirelli tyres.
Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT: Entry-level, arrive-and-drive category from Toksport WRT using Michelin-equipped Renault Clio Rally5s all run under a central service area on five ERC events.
ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory: Rewards drivers 28 and under on 1 January 2021 in Rally2 cars on MICHELIN tyres with a package of incentives.