Thursday | 19 Jan 2023

Countdown to ERC Fafe opener begins with 50 days to go

The countdown to the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship opener is well and truly underway with today (January 19) marking 50 days to go until Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Cabreira e Boticas begins.

Using spectacular mainly gravel stages in northern Portugal, the event joined the ERC roster for the first time in 2021 and counts as round one of the eight-rally European season from March 10-12.

Run out of the city of Fafe, Portuguese rallying’s established hub, the highlight is once again set to be the Lameirinha stage, which comes complete with the iconic Pedra Sentada jump, made famous by the FIA World Rally Championship-counting Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Event organiser Demoporto (Clube de Esportes Motorizados do Porto) is hard at work finalising all arrangements for the rally. Carlos Cruz, the General Director, said: “Right now, the structure of the rally, which should include all the municipalities that were our partners in previous editions, is still being outlined, but we will implement small changes, nothing significant, with the double objective of making the race more competitive and compact.”

National heroes to battle ERC aces
As well as forming the opening round of the 2023 ERC season, Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Cabreira e Boticas is the first event of the Campeonato Portugal de Ralis (CPR) schedule, which will ensure top names from the highly competitive Portuguese national championship are in action. Defending champion and seven-time title winner Armindo Araújo finished second overall in Fafe last season behind winner Nil Solans from Spain to underline the pedigree of the CPR.

Simões in the hunt for Fafe success
Lucas Simões is set to be on the starting line in Fafe after revealing plans to contest the 2023 CPR season prior to Christmas. The 24-year-old from Portugal is set to drive a Ford Fiesta Rally2 for the Racing4You team.

Full route and event information coming soon
Details of the 2023 Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Cabreira e Boticas, including the itinerary, other key timings and route map will be available soon.