D-50: Excitement builds ahead of ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

D-50: Excitement builds ahead of ERC Azores Airlines Rallye

30/01/2018 12:00

The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship fires into life on one of the most spectacular events of them all in 50 days from now.

Based on the island of São Miguel from 22-24 March, the Azores Airlines Rallye is a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster of an event using mainly gravel roads.

Stages criss-cross breath-taking scenery and lush countryside and are characterised by their sandy surface and narrow and undulating nature.

And because the timed tests are often no wider than the width of a car, there is simply no margin for error, particularly on the Sete Cidades test along the rim of a volcanic crater lake.

Changeable weather is also a factor with conditions switching from sunshine to showers and fog patches.

It’s 25 days until the Azores Airlines Rallye opens the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on 22 March. Here’s an update of what’s in store on the all-gravel spectacular in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

Aloísio Monteiro will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship – and ERC ace Bruno Magalhães has been showing him the ropes.

Armindo Araújo, who will contest next month’s FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye, claimed a top-five finish on his return to competition following a lengthy absence.

Catie Munnings is targeting yet more progress when she embarks on her second FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign in 2018.

Jari Huttunen impressed on his first outing in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship, taking two class stage wins and finishing sixth in his division on Rally Sweden last weekend.

Ricardo Moura has laid down the gauntlet to the FIA European Rally Championship title contenders by winning round one of the Portuguese national series yesterday (Sunday).