ERC 2020: Azores Rallye refresher
The Azores Rallye’s spectacular gravel stages provide the first challenge for crews contesting the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship. Here’s a reminder of what’s in store.
When: 26-28 March, 2020
Where: Ponta Delgada, São Migue
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 7 (2013-2019)
The rally in 100 words: Based on the mid-Atlantic archipelago’s largest island of São Miguel, the rally celebrated its half-century in 2015 and remains one of the most spectacular events on the international calendar. 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.
FIA European Rally Championship 2020, round 1 of 8
FIA ERC1 Junior Championship 2020, round 1 of 6
FIA ERC3 Junior Championship 2020, round 1 of 6
Also counting for…
FIA ERC2, FIA ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams
2019: Łukasz Habaj/Daniel Dymurski (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2018: Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Ford Fiesta R5)
2017: Bruno Magalhães/Hugo Magalhães (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2016: Ricardo Moura/António Costa (Ford Fiesta R5)
2015: Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Peugeot 208 T16)
1: When it comes to Azores Rallye success look no further than Fernando Peres, the event’s record-holding seven-time winner.
2: While Ricardo Moura has multiple Azorean championship titles to his name, his Azores Rallye triumph in 2016 was his first on his home round of the ERC.
3: Other winners include WRC stars past and present, such as Craig Breen, Kris Meeke, Andreas Mikkelsen, Juha Kankkunen, Markko Märtin and Bruno Thiry.
4: The Azores archipelago is located roughly equidistant between Lisbon and New York and is made up of nine islands. The fertile soil is perfect for a variety of crops and grazing for livestock.
5: A typical Azorean meal is cozido das fumas stew, cooked in the ground using one pot only.