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Thu 02 Feb 2023

Big numbers revealed for Fafe’s ERC opener

FIA European Rally Championship opening round organisers have released the big numbers for the March event.

Rally Serras de Fafe forms the ERC season starter from 10 - 12 March and Clube Desportos Motorizados do Porto, the organising team behind the Portuguese contest, has confirmed it will feature 17 stages over a competitive distance of 180.29 kilometres.

Of the stages planned, eight are double use, while a single-use superspecial on closed roads in central Fafe will also be run on the night of 10 March.

The entry period for the event begins on 10 February and closes on 24 February with fans finding out who will be in action on the rally from 19h00 local time on 28 February.

Other information released by the rally organiser includes the timings of Free Practice (11h30-13h00 local time), Qualifying Stage (13h30) and Shakedown (15h00-17h00) on 10 March, plus the start of the opening section (21h03). Information released also confirms that the rally finish is planned from 17h30 on 12 March.

Rally Serras de Fafe joined the ERC for the first time in 2021 and this year’s edition is a round of the FIA European Rally Championship for Drivers, Co-Drivers and Teams, plus FIA ERC3 and FIA ERC4 championships for Drivers and Co-drivers. It also counts as round one of the Portuguese championship.

Andreas Mikkelsen won the first Rally Serras de Fafe to count for ERC points in 2021 and the European champion of that year is more than aware of the challenges in store.

“On the first day [in 2021] the conditions were really, really difficult with very heavy fog and a lot of rain which made the stages incredibly slippery,” he said ahead of the 2022 event. “The stages in the Fafe area get really slippery when it’s raining and if you go outside the lines the car is just floating on top of the road surface. But it’s a really nice gravel rally and it’s a rally you can enjoy because there are spectacular stages. But don’t go flat over the famous jump on Lameirinha, that will hurt.”

The Rally Serras de Fafe itinerary is due to be issued soon.