Q&A: Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator
Following the publishing the FIA European Rally Championship calendar for 2020, Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, highlights some of the key points.
Q: The ERC will again be decided over eight rounds in 2020. But why not add more events, especially when Corsica and Catalunya have dropped out of the world championship schedule?
A: “We consult our drivers and teams every season and the underlying wish is to respect budgetary and time concerns. Eight remains the preferred number of rallies and we are very happy with the events we work with. There was no reason to change a winning formula.”
Q: What does the calendar offer drivers, particularly those who are stepping up from national to international level?
A: “First and foremost we offer eight well organised events all with their own unique appeal and challenge. There is an equal split of asphalt and gravel rallies, which is perfect for building experience of different surfaces. By scheduling the events from March to November, costs can be spread throughout the year.”
Q: Will teams benefit from travel support to attend the island rallies next season?
A: “Arrangements are being made with the organisers of the Azores Rallye, Rally Islas Canarias and the Cyprus Rally to provide logistical support once again. More details will be announced in due course.”
Q: There will again be a focus on young talent through the two ERC Junior championships. What’s the plan for 2020?
A: “ERC1 Junior will continue to cater for young stars in R5 cars with ERC3 Junior for rising talents in R2 machinery on Pirelli tyres. Soon we’ll announce details of the prize packages on offer in 2020.”
Q: Not wishing to single out one event but Barum Czech Rally Zlín turns 50 in 2020. What do you think of this achievement?
A: “The ERC has enjoyed a long and very successful relationship with the organisers of Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The month of August is always eagerly anticipated and every year we look forward to and enjoy a great welcome and plenty of on-stage action. In addition to being well managed, the event is extremely popular among our registered drivers and teams, who take part in great number each season. We extend our congratulations to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín organising team for reaching this impressive milestone.”