Welcome to the FIA European Rally Championship – the oldest international rally series in the world – which will be contested over eight events in 2017 from April to October.
Structured in response to feedback from drivers and teams keen to control budgets, the ERC calendar features four rallies on asphalt and four on gravel for the perfect balance of surfaces. And in a further cost-cutting measure, drivers count their best six scores only.
30 March-1 April: Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal, gravel) ERC Junior
4-6 May: Rally Islas Canarias (Spain, asphalt) ERC Junior
2-4 June: SEAJETS Acropolis Rally (Greece, gravel)
16-18 June: Cyprus Rally (Cyprus, asphalt and gravel)
3-5 August: Rally Rzeszow (Poland, asphalt) ERC Junior
25-27 August: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic, asphalt) ERC Junior
15-17 September: Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy, asphalt) ERC Junior
6-8 October: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel) ERC Junior
ERC JUNIOR 2017
In another exciting development for 2017, ERC Junior, the established training ground for factory WRC drivers, will be split into two separate divisions based on driver age and experience.
ERC Junior U27 is for drivers under the age of 27 at the start of 2017 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. With the best four rounds from six counting, the winner will receive a career progression fund worth 100,000 euros to use in ERC Junior U28 in 2018.
ERC Junior U28 offers the next step on the rallying pyramid for drivers under the age of 28 ahead of 2017. Again totalling six rounds with the best four scores counting, drivers will use R5 cars. The champion will get a drive in a European round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship as a P1 driver in a 2016-specification World Rally Car.
Registration for ERC Junior is a two-stage process. First competitors must register to compete in the ERC1 (ERC Junior U28) or ERC3 (ERC Junior U27) categories by following this link. They must then register as an ERC Junior competitor with Eurosport Events, the championship promoter. Relevant forms can be downloaded here:
ERC JUNIOR EXPERIENCE
Young rally drivers will continue to learn the vital skills needed to forge long-term careers in the sport through the ERC Junior Experience, which enters its second season in 2017. Devised by Eurosport Events and managed by All In Motion’s Evelien Deschuytter, an expert in equipping people with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen field, the ERC Junior Experience consists of four training events held in conjunction with rounds of the ERC Junior Under 27 and ERC Junior Under 28 championships. The curriculum covers pacenote preparation, diet, physical training, social media dos and don’ts, car set-up, first aid response, tyre changing, sponsorship acquisition and driving technique on asphalt and gravel. Participants also undertake the reconnaissance for the ERC rallies in Gran Canaria, Czech Republic, Italy and Latvia at no charge and get a free registration for the 2018 ERC Junior U27 Championship. The ERC Junior Experience is open to drivers and co-drivers and more information including details of fees, registration procedure and other benefits is available from Evelien Deschuytter by emailing Evelien@allinmotion.be or by calling +32 473990342.
ERC Junior Experience 2017 schedule
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 1-3 May
Zlín, Czech Republic, 22-24 August
Rome, Italy, 12-14 September
Liepāja, Latvia, 3-5 October
ERC TO WRC
The ERC is the ultimate training ground for young hopefuls aiming for the top and provides a clear path of progression from national level to the world stage. The following are a selection of drivers with ERC experienced competing in the WRC:
Craig Breen: ERC runner-up 2015 > factory Citroën WRC driver 2017
Juho Hänninen: ERC champion 2012 > factory Toyota WRC driver 2017
Jan Kopecký: ERC champion 2013 > APRC champion 2014, factory ŠKODA WRC2 driver
Esapekka Lappi: ERC champion 2014 > factory Toyota WRC driver 2017
Jari-Matti Latvala: ERC driver 2003 > factory Toyota WRC driver 2017
Stéphane Lefebvre: ERC Junior champion 2014 > factory Citroën WRC driver 2017
Kris Meeke: ERC event winner 2009 > factory Citroën WRC driver 2017
Andreas Mikkelsen: ERC event winner 2012 > WRC event winner 2016
Thierry Neuville: ERC event winner 2011 > factory Hyundai WRC driver 2017
Hayden Paddon: ERC driver 2013 > factory Hyundai WRC driver 2017
Ott Tänak: ERC event winner 2014 > M-Sport WRC driver 2017
ERC TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
The popular ERC Teams’ Championship undergoes significant changes for 2017. Rather than separate titles in ERC1, ERC2 and ERC3, there will now be one ERC Teams’ Championship with each outfit nominating a maximum of three cars, in either four- or two-wheel drive configuration or a combination of both, to score points on each event.
The results of the two highest-placed drivers from a team count. And with points distributed according to the four- and two-wheel-drive classifications, a team could score a maximum of 50 points (25 points for 4WD, 25 points for 2WD) per event.
ERC 2017 PRESENTATION
Click here for a copy of the ERC presentation.