ERC drivers who’ve raced: pt. 1
FIA European Rally Championship history is full of stories of drivers who not only rallied but also raced. Here are 10 who crossed the divide.
Kevin Abbring: As well as being rapid on eight ERC appearances, Dutchman Abbring has shown form in circuit racing, finishing fourth overall in TCR Benelux in 2017, sharing a DG Sport-run Peugeot with Aurélien Comte.
Nasser Al-Attiyah (pictured): When the FIA World Touring Car Championship visited his native Qatar for the first time in 2015, ERC event winner Nasser Al-Attiyah was on the grid at the wheel of a Campos Racing-run Chevrolet Cruze. He finished both races.
Markku Alén: Best known for his exploits driving Fiats and Lancias in the world championship, Alén made 34 starts at ERC level and notched up six wins in the process. But his Lancia links took him to the Le Mans 24 Hours, while he also raced in the DTM and the Porsche Carrera Cup.
Toshi Arai: Although Japan’s one-time ERC event-winner’s rallying pedigree is well documented, back in 2011, Arai took part in his home rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, scoring a best result of P13 at Suzuka.
Romain Dumas: The Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Pikes Peak record-breaker made his class-winning ERC debut on Tour de Corse in 2014.
Vic Elford: Versatile Briton Elford made his Formula One debut one year after clinching the ERC title in 1967. He also raced at Le Mans and won the Daytona 24 Hours.
Nikolay Gryazin: The 2018 ERC1 Junior champion actually raced in Russia before he rallied.
Sean Johnston: Johnston was enrolled into the Nissan GT Academy in North America as one of the USA’s fastest five Gran Turismo 5 video game racers, then claimed the 2012 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge title at this first attempt. He moved to Europe to race Porsches and in long-distance sportscar events. Since 2018 rallying has been his focus.
Jan Kopecký: Before taking the sport of rallying by storm, the 2013 ERC champion had followed his father Josef into circuit racing. Between 1999 and 2001, the ace Czech took a Ford Fiesta Cup and ŠKODA Pick-Up Cup double in 2000 before winning the ŠKODA Octavia Cup in 2001.
Tomáš Kostka: A three-time Barum Czech Rally Zlín podium finisher, Kostka enjoyed a varied circuit racing career in single-seaters and touring cars. He represented Czech Republic in A1 Grand Prix, raced for a season in DTM, achieved a finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours and scored points in Formula Renault 3.5. His brother-in-law is Czech rallying royalty Roman Kresta.
Visit FIAERC.com for part two available from 12h00 CET on 24 May
Photo: Eurosport Events