Sun 03 Dec 2023

How the ERC Greatest Driver poll was won

Giandomenico Basso received arguably the ultimate FIA European Rally Championship recognition when fans voted him the ERC Greatest Driver of all time during a final head-to-head with Kajetan Kajetanowicz recently.

As well as defeating the Polish ace, a triple European champion, Basso had to overcome three battles of the ERC heavyweights to make it to the final phase of voting.  

In the round of 16, Basso defeated Simon Jean-Joseph, a double ERC title winner. That success set up an all-Italian quarter-final with Dario Cerrato. By collecting more votes than his fellow two-time European champion, Basso progressed to the semi-final stage where another Italian twice title winner, Fabrizio Tabaton, provided stiff opposition.

However, the ERC fans voted in Basso’s favour, which led to a deciding poll against Kajetanowicz, the only driver in European championship history to win the coveted title three years running. Click HERE to find out what being chosen as the ERC Greatest Driver meant to Basso.  

Basso’s road to ERC Greatest Driver status
Round of 16 versus Simon Jean-Joseph: Wins with 75 % of the vote
Quarter-final versus Dario Cerrato: Wins with 97 % of the vote
Semi-final versus Fabrizio Tabaton: Wins with 74 % of the vote
Final versus Kajetan Kajetanowicz: Wins with 85 % of the vote

Why Basso deserves his place in ERC history
Giandomenico Basso 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. Twenty wins and 32 podiums from 52 starts are impressive statistics for a driver who also finds time to coach the next generation of talent, including rising star Alberto Battistolli.

ERC Greatest Driver format refresher
As part of the championship’s 70th-anniversary celebrations, 16 star performers – including multiple champions Gunnar Andersson, Bernard Darniche, Simon Jean-Joseph, Luca Rossetti and Walter Schock – were selected for the ERC Greatest Driver vote. took 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.

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