Tue 28 Nov 2023

All-Italian showdown winner to complete ERC Greatest Driver final line-up

An all-Italian showdown between Giandomenico Basso and Fabrizio Tabaton will decide the line-up for Thursday’s ERC Greatest Driver finale when fans of the FIA European Rally Championship vote for who they think was the best of the best.

Basso and Tabaton are in contention to join Kajetan Kajetanowicz in the closing vote after he beat fellow Pole Sobiesław Zasada in Monday’s first semi-final with 79 per cent of the public vote.  

The Italians are both double European champions and share similar win and podium totals from an almost equal number of ERC starts, making today’s second semi-final almost too close to call.   

Fifty-year-old Basso, who bagged his 32nd ERC podium with second place on Rally di Roma Capitale in July, has claimed 20 wins from 53 European championship event starts. Tabaton, now 68, scored 17 wins in 52 attempts.   

To reach semi-final two, Basso beat Simon Jean-Joseph and Dario Cerrato, while Tabaton got the better of Alexey Lukyanuk and Renato Travaglia to make it to this stage of the ERC Greatest Driver competition.

Semi-final 2 contenders in short: Basso versus Tabaton

Still going strong after ERC title double
Giandomenico Basso (pictured above and below) might have turned 50 earlier this year but he’s still going strong with his second-place finish on July’s ERC-counting Rally di Roma Capitale proof that his pace remains potent. European champion in 2006 and again in 2009 driving for the factory Abarth team, the Italian was a rapid exponent of Fiat’s Punto Super 1600 before he stepped up to the Super 2000 equivalent.

S4-tamer was a double European champion
Fabrizio Tabaton tamed a mighty Lancia Delta S4 to win his first FIA European Rally Championship crown in 1986 courtesy of six victories. When he became champion for the second time two years later, he was armed with a Delta Integrale. Although he triumphed just once in 1988, his consistency was key to his repeated championship success. He subsequently enjoyed a career in team management.   

As part of the FIA European Rally Championship’s 70th-anniversary celebrations, 16 drivers were originally selected for the ERC Greatest Driver vote with FIAERC.com taking a data-based approach to pick out 12 drivers who have won the coveted European Rally Championship at least two times. Four wildcards, based on their impact during a certain ERC era, were also selected. The ERC Greatest Driver, according to your votes, will be revealed on 1 December.

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