Thu 28 Dec 2023

How ERC4 was won in 2023

Just like in Junior ERC, the race to win the FIA ERC4 Championship wasn’t decided until Rally Hungary, the final round of the eight-event contest for front-wheel-drive Rally4 cars.

Having missed out on the Junior ERC crown by the smallest of margins to Norbert Maior, Italy’s Roberto Daprà took the ERC4 laurels with 18 points in hand over his Romanian rival. Ola Nore, who placed third in the final Junior ERC order, also completed the top three in ERC4, for which all Junior ERC drivers are automatically eligible.  

The champion: Roberto Daprà
Roberto Daprà’s determination to win the ERC4 title was clear from the outset. Starting the final leg of Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto more than 90sec adrift of the lead, Daprà (below) hunted down and then overtook Ernesto Cunha on the final stage for the category victory. And Daprà had to dig deep again to keep his championship ambitions on track when he failed to finish round two, Rally Islas Canarias. He did just that and his points haul across the remaining six events ensured he became champion for ACI Team Italia alongside co-driver Luca Guglielmetti.

The rookie winner: Bendegúz Hangodi
Hungarian student Bendegúz Hangodi (below) shone on only his second FIA European Rally Championship start with victory on Rally Islas Canarias. He claimed two further top 10 finishes and placed eighth in the final standings.

The ever-present: Norman Kreuter
After scoring points on the first seven rounds of the season, Germany’s Norman Kreuter (below) was on course to maintain his 100 per cent record when a mechanical failure forced him to retire from the Rally Hungary finale. Although he failed in his quest, he did manage to start all eight events, despite a car-wrecking testing crash in Gran Canaria requiring a replacement car for the rally.

The podium finishers
Aside from the Junior ERC-registered runners, five drivers scored ERC4 podiums during the FIA European Rally Championship’s 70th-anniversary season. Ernesto CunhaAlessandro GrilloNorman KreuterPatricio Muñoz (below) and Jaromír Tarabus all finished in the top three in 2023.

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