Tue 07 Nov 2023

Aaltonen versus Rossetti as ERC Greatest Driver voting begins

Drivers from two contrasting generations but two great champions provide the opening contest in the quest to discover who fans of the FIA European Rally Championship consider to be the best of the best.

As part of the ERC’s 70th anniversary celebrations, FIAERC.com has tasked fans with choosing the ERC Greatest Driver from a list of 16 legendary names.  


We have taken a data-based approach to pick out 12 drivers who have won the European Rally Championship at least two times. Four wildcards, based on their impact during a certain ERC era, have also been selected.  


Employing bracketology, voting begins at 11:00 CET today (Tuesday) with the first head-to-head battle between Finland’s Rauno Aaltonen, the ERC champion of 1965, and Italian Luca Rossetti, who claimed his third ERC title in 2011.  


Voting is open for 24 hours with drivers seeded based on championships won, outright wins and podiums achieved.   Over the next few weeks we will whittle down the drivers before declaring the ERC Greatest Driver on 1 December, based on your votes.



Aaltonen: the Flying Finn who flew in the ERC
Rauno Aaltonen made history in 1965 when he became the first Finn to win the FIA European Rally Championship, the year of his second Finnish title triumph. Known as The Rally Professor, Aaltonen’s thirst for speed led to early stints racing speedboats and motorbikes in his homeland. The 85-year-old, a nine-time ERC event winner, was one of the star attractions at the Eifel Rallye Festival in July.  


A European adventure that made Rossetti a star
Despite not being registered for points, Luca Rossetti became an overnight sensation when he won the ERC-counting Ypres Rally on his debut in 2007. It was the launchpad to a 2008 season that began with victory on the ultra-demanding Istanbul Rally and ended with the first of three European titles. Rossetti, 47, was a rally winner as recently as 2022 and he refuses to rule out a bid for a historic fourth ERC title prior to his 50th birthday.



Tomorrow’s ERC Greatest Driver head-to-head: Kajetan Kajetanowicz versus Jan Kopecký

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