From 03 to 05/01/2014
The asphalt showcase first ran in 1969 and attracted 100,000 spectators when it hosted the 2013 ERC season-opener. Based in Freistadt, 40 kilometres north of Linz in Upper Austria, the stages in the spectacular Mühlviertel region use fast, undulating country roads, with ice and snow increasing the challenge. As well as counting as the first event of the 12-round ERC schedule and the first opportunity for drivers to chase ERC Ice Master points, the rally opens the Austrian and Czech national championship seasons. Free Practice and a Qualifying Stage will help to determine the starting order among the priority drivers.
From 31/01 to 02/02/2014
Rally Liepāja took place for the first time in 2013 when it ran up the Baltic coast from Liepāja to Ventspils in Latvia’s far west. With Ventspils no longer on the itinerary, a revamped route will feature stages in the Liepāja and Kuldīga districts only. It means all but one stage is completely unchanged, while the Rallyofchampions.com stage, run twice on Sunday, has never been used before. Leg one is based around Kuldīga, 88 kilometres north of Liepāja, and includes three repeated stages. Sunday’s route consists of a further three repeated tests centred on Aizpute, 50 kilometres north of Liepāja.
From 28 to 30/03/2014
Running for a 60th time in 2014 and back in the ERC for the first time since 1968, the Acropolis Rally has undergone a major revamp for 2014 with leg one using fast asphalt roads and leg two featuring more traditional rough gravel tracks. Based in Loutraki on the banks of the Gulf of Corinth, its home since 2009, the event also features an all-asphalt superspecial in Korinthos on day two plus a ceremonial start above the Corinth Canal. The action begins with a Qualifying Stage on Friday afternoon with the rally running over two days from Saturday until Sunday.
From 17 to 19/04/2014
First held in 1931, one of the oldest rallies in the world returns to the international schedule after a one-year absence. Based in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, where the famous ocean liner was built in the early 1900s, the rally runs on challenging country lanes in Northern Ireland. Following a high-profile start outside Belfast City Hall, the event includes two fan-friendly street stages in Lisburn and Newtownards and regroups in Banbridge and Hillsborough Castle. As well as being a round of the ERC, the event forms the second ERC Junior event of 2014 when several young stars are set to emerge.