Wed 31 Jan 2024

The month in ERC: January 2024

January is almost done so here’s a reminder of some of what has been happening over the past month as preparation for the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship continues.

6 January: ERC’s Mareš has the Power in Austria
Filip Mareš is fastest five times – including on the event-deciding Power Stage – as he opens his 2024 account in impressive fashion on the Austrian championship Jänner Rallye. It could have been even better for the ERC contender had it not been for a brake issue costing him eight minutes – and second place overall – on the final morning.  


9 January: ERC calendar slot perfect for Canarias
Germán Morales, who heads up the Rally Islas Canarias (above) organising committee through the Todo Sport firm, says he couldn’t be happier with the scheduling of the event as the first asphalt round of the 2024 ERC from 2 - 4 May.  


10 January: Béres wins ERC Photograph of the Year accolade
Gábor Béres wins the ERC Photograph of the Year award for 2023 after his entry tops an FIAERC.com fan vote. His image of Miklós Csomós, taken shortly after the Hungarian talent’s dramatic crash on Rally Islas Canarias (below), was one of the poignant moments of last season.



12 January: ERC manager Campbell ready for ‘best season yet’
In the first ERC Take Five Q&A of the year, ERC championship manager, Iain Campbell, says:  “there’s nothing stopping this season from being the best yet”, as he looks ahead to 2024.  


16 January: Paddon marks 10 years of Hyundai power by highlighting ERC success
Hayden Paddon marks the start of the 10-year anniversary of his partnership with Hyundai New Zealand by highlighting his ERC success in 2023.  


17 January: The world awaits as Junior ERC prize drive confirmed
This season’s FIA Junior ERC champion will get a gilt-edged opportunity to showcase their talent at global level with confirmation that whoever comes out on top of the Hankook-equipped category in 2024 will secure a season in FIA Junior WRC next year. And if the Junior ERC champion takes the title driving a Ford Fiesta Rally4 (below) they will also undertake a course at the world-renowned John Haugland Winter Rally School in Norway.



19 January: ERC fans will be Hungary for Veszprém super special
Kornél Őry, chairman of the V Rally Hungary organising committee, is convinced that the event-opening super special stage, close to host city Veszprém on 12 April, “will be one of the greatest additions to the rally, a big show with all the elements you could imagine to entertain our audience”.  


22 January: It’s ‘big step’ time as McBride choses Junior ERC
Kyle McBride becomes the latest rising talent to choose the Hankook-equipped FIA Junior ERC Championship for the next stage of his career progression. With support from the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, the 20-year-old acquires a Peugeot 208 Rally4 and is now working on finalising the necessary budget to contest the six-event 2024 Junior ERC season.   


22 January: Yaris ahoy! Heikkilä targets ERC action with all-new Toyota
Mikko Heikkilä confirms he’s “aiming for the ERC again this year”, only this time he’ll be driving Toyota’s all-new GR Yaris Rally2 with Kristian Temonen taking over from Samu Vaaleri on co-driving duties.



23 January: Rally Estonia brings in new naming rights sponsor Delfi for ERC return
Delfi Media, one of the largest media houses in the Baltics, is revealed as Rally Estonia’s naming rights sponsor for a two-year period starting from 2024. The alliance provides the high-speed gravel event, which takes place from 5 - 7 July, significant media coverage and advertising exposure across the region.  


24 January: Campedelli's planning ERC trio
Simone Campedelli says he’s working on plans to contest the ERC-counting Rally Islas Canarias, Rally di Roma Capitale and Rali Ceredigion in an all-new Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 co-driven by Tania Canton and run by Step Five Motorsport.  


26 January: ‘Very good’ interest in new-for-2024 Fiesta Rally3 Trophy reported
Maciej Woda, director of M-Sport Poland, the company behind the new-for-2024 Fiesta Rally3 Trophy, reports “the interest is very good” based on feedback from potential teams an drivers.



29 January: Daprà credits ERC experience for aiding WRC2 step up
Roberto Daprà believes experience he gained competing in the ERC for two seasons will help him during his step up to FIA WRC2 this year following his impressive debut in the category on Rallye Monte-Carlo last weekend.  


30 January: Italian ERC young guns steal the show in Rallylink awards
Three young Italian talents who impressed during the 2023 ERC are recognised by users of the respected Rallylink.it website. Andrea Mabellini is voted Rallylink.it’s Personality of the Year, his co-driver Virginia Lenzi is chosen as the recipient of the Loris Roggia Trophy, while Roberto Daprà scoops the Promising Driver of the Year honour.

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