It's Spa time! Belgian rally added to FIA ERC calendar
The 2020 FIA European Rally Championship is set to be decided on the Spa Rally in Belgium after the event was added to the ERC calendar as the sixth and final round of the current season.
Scheduled to take place from December 12-13, the Spa Rally features stages in and around the famous Belgian Grand Prix venue and will provide an exciting challenge for some of Europe’s top driving talent.
Based in the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps paddock, the event follows Rally Islas Canarias (November 26-28) on the list of 2020 ERC events and marks the championship’s return to Belgium for the first time since 2016.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator for promoter Eurosport Events, said: “We have followed the Spa Rally closely for a while now and have always been impressed by the forward-thinking approach, attention to detail and strong organisation and promotion from Christian Jupsin and his team at DG Sport.
“Having discussed the possibility of the Spa Rally joining the ERC previously, it’s very satisfying that those conversations have resulted in the event joining the FIA European Rally Championship calendar for the first time for what promises to be a spectacular finale to the current season.”
Run over a distance of 205.52 kilometres on predominantly sealed-surface stages, the Spa Rally will include the WRX track – used for the Spa World RX of Benelux event in November – on the action-packed itinerary. The mixed-surface course will be combined with internal rounds within the venue to form an epic night stage on December 12. Additional stages take place in the Francorchamps countryside on fast and technical roads with the wintry weather set to be a major factor in the battle for victory.
Christian Jupsin, the Spa Rally promoter, said: “This is a project that we had already discussed in the past. It was not possible then, but the postponement of this year’s Spa Rally from March to December due to COVID-19 restrictions gave us the opportunity to re-enter discussions with Eurosport Events regarding the hosting of an ERC round. I am very happy an agreement has been concluded and it is a great satisfaction and a great recognition for DG Sport and its staff are now also able to organise the final round of the 2020 FIA ERC.
“In collaboration with the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the City of Spa and the municipalities that host the special stages, I can guarantee you that we will put the small dishes in the big ones so that the Spa Rally 2020 is a great rally celebration that will be remembered.”
The Spa Rally replaces the Cyprus Rally on the ERC schedule after it was agreed the Nicosia-based event, a long-term and popular fixture on the European Rally Championship calendar, will count for FIA Middle East and national championship points only in 2020. Eurosport Events and the Cyprus Automobile Association are already discussing the events return to the ERC roster for 2021.
Next up on the ERC schedule is Rally Fafe Montelongo from October 2-4 followed by Rally Hungary from November 6-8 and Rally Islas Canarias (November 26-28).