Sun 02 Apr 2023

Ten of the best: unusual ERC stage locations part two is taking a look at some of the unusual locations used for FIA European Rally Championship stages over the years. Following the publication of five yesterday here are five more.

Ski resort (above): The first Rally Liepāja in 2013 concluded on the Ventspils Kalns stage, which included a charge down a ski slope close to the city centre. The 3.40km test was used at the end of legs one and two, and after event winner Jari Ketomaa went fastest on the first visit, it was Jan Černý’s turn to triumph on the second pass.

Trotting track (below): Markopoulo Park located near the Greek capital Athens and built for the 2004 Olympic Games, was home to SSS Hippodrome on the 2018 EKO Acropolis Rally. After a damaged tyre delayed event favourite Alexey Lukyanuk, Norbert Herczig was the driver to beat by 0.4sec.

United Nations Buffer Zone (below)*: The Cyprus Rally’s ground-breaking Nicosia super special stage crossed through the United Nations Buffer Zone from Cyprus to Northern Cyprus and back again and attracted 65,000 fans when it first took place in 2015. As well as bringing all the excitement of the ERC to a capital city, the stage was referenced in a United Nations’ report as “the most successful measure in the building of trust between the [Greek and Turkish] communities since 1974”. 

Volcanic crater lake (below): Perhaps one of the most iconic rally stages in the world, ERC drivers loved Sete Cidades but were more than aware of imposing challenge they faced due to part of the route running along the narrow rim of a volcanic crater lake.

Military barracks: Rallye International du Valais regularly featured the Casernes stage on its itinerary when it formed part of the ERC schedule up until the end of 2015. The mixed-surface test was located within the grounds of a Swiss military barracks of all places.

*Photography was permitted during 2015 Cyprus Rally

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