Sat 18 Feb 2023

Countdown to Fafe’s ERC season lift-off hits 20 days to go

There are now just 20 days to go until Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto opens the eagerly anticipated 2023 FIA European Rally Championship season.

From 10 – 12 March some of international rallying’s top talents will be tested on a mainly gravel route in northern Portugal as the ERC’s 70th anniversary season begins. And with the countdown continuing, here’s an overview of some of what’s on offer.

Tarmac first for gravel contest
While Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto is essentially an all-gravel competition, the opening stage uses a mixture of asphalt roads and cobblestone streets in the heart of Fafe, the event’s host town. Crews recce the stage, SSS Fafe, on foot or bicycle with the competitive action getting underway at 21h05 local time on Friday 10 March.

Benchmark time of Czech star Cais under threat
With SSS Fafe using an identical 1.43-kilometre route compared to the 2022 edition, the 1m26.5 sec benchmark set by Erik Cais and Petr Těšínský last March will be under threat.

Still time to enter Fafe’s ERC season lift-off
Crews have until midnight local time on 24 February to enter Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto. The provisional entry list is due to be published at 19h00 (20h00 CET) on 28 February.

And the big number is… 36
This year’s Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto will be the 36th edition of the event organised by Clube de Desportos Motorizados do Porto.

Service with a smile
Fafe’s Praça das Comunidades will once again host the permanent service park for the ERC season opener. Conveniently located, the service park is easily accessible and benefits from several shops, restaurants and cafés being in close proximity.

The legend of Lameirinha
Once again, the legendary Lameirinha stage and its iconic Pedra Sentada jump will be one of the rally’s many highlights. Measuring 14.9 kilometres in length, Lameirinha is set to feature twice on Sunday 12 March with the first pass scheduled from 10h05 local time and the second pass, which counts as the event-deciding Power Stage, due to begin at 16h05.

Who will be great on gravel?
The list of Fafe winners is packed full of national and international talents. Among those to have triumphed in recent years are Armindo Araújo, José Pedro Fontes, Bruno Magalhães, Andreas Mikkelsen, Ricardo Moura, Nil Solans, Dani Sordo and Bernardo Sousa.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM