Tue 10 Oct 2023

Star performers recognised at ERC Awards

The FIA European Rally Championship champions and award winners of 2023 were celebrated in Budapest’s spectacular Budavàri Palace last night.

Twenty-four hours after the completion of the 70th-anniversary ERC season, some 90 guests gathered to look back on eight action-packed events and recognise the achievements of some of Europe’s best drivers, co-drivers and their teams.  

As well as the various championship trophies, four awards, that had been chosen by fans through online votes, were handed out. Rallytechnology received the Mechanical Feat of the Year award for changing Chris Ingram’s gearbox in 17 minutes on Barum Czech Rally Zlín in August. Simone Campedelli won the Stage-end Quote of the Year, while Andrea Mabellini was voted as the ERC’s Most Improved Driver.   

The Save of the Year award went to Jeanette Kvick for her quick thinking when she rescued her pacenote book and timecard after Alfred Kramer’s Peugeot 208 Rally4 that she was co-driving ended up in water following a crash.

There was a special presentation to Luis Ramos, for whom last weekend’s Rally Hungary marked the completion of his stint managing Michelin’s ERC programme.   

A tribute video to former ERC driver Craig Breen was also played.   The ERC’s other official tyre partners, Hankook, MRF and Pirelli were represented on the night by Manfred Sandbichler, Vivek Ponnusamy and Terenzio Testoni respectively.   

Rally Category Manager Marina Duñach and Rally Department Director Andrew Wheatley represented the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body.

The following championship trophies were presented on the night:  

FIA ERC4 Championship: Roberto Daprà and Luca Guglielmetti

FIA ERC3 Championship: Jon Armstrong and Cameron Fair

FIA Junior ERC Championship: Norbert Maior (co-driven by Francesca Maior)

FIA European Rally Championship for Teams: Team MRF Tyres (award accepted by Vivek Ponnusamy)  

Hayden Paddon, who along with co-driver John Kennard won the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship, joined by video link from his home in New Zealand. The BRC Racing Crew received their trophy on Barum Czech Rally Zlín.  

“So many people have worked so hard during the year and the FIA European Rally Championship Awards was the perfect way to recognise and celebrate their endeavour and achievement,” said Iain Campbell, the ERC Championship Manager for WRC Promoter GmbH. “The 70th-anniversary ERC season was action packed from start to finish, with eight excellent events, an average of 47 entries per round, plus live coverage of all stages. We’re already hard at work on finalising plans for the 2024 season and we look forward to announcing the calendar soon.”

Paddon said: “I’ve loved our time in the European Rally Championship this year, amazing rallies, amazing competitors, it’s just been a lot of fun each and every round. Of course to win the championship was our target and to come away with it was hugely pleasing. But it was certainly a massive effort from BRC, Hyundai Motorsport and everyone else involved.”

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