Sat 10 Feb 2024

ERC 2024 event guide: Barum Czech Rally Zlín

An event that’s big on FIA European Rally Championship history and bigger still in terms of challenge, Barum Czech Rally Zlín remains one of the highlights of the ERC season with upwards of 200,000 enthusiastic fans packing the spectator zones each year.

With a record 11 wins, 2013 European champion Jan Kopecký is the Barum Czech Rally Zlín reference, making the Škoda-powered home hero the driver to beat. And with the event also counting for national championship points, there’s never a shortage of local stars aiming to take on the ERC regulars.  


What? Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 2024 FIA European Rally Championship Round 6 of 8  


When? 16 - 18 August  


Where? Zlín, Czech Republic



What’s new? The venue for the Free Practice, Qualifying and Shakedown stage is brand new for 2024, while organisers are also planning “some changes and also a few sections which have never been used before” in terms of the competitive route.  


What’s in store? Part of the ERC schedule since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action each year with the spectacular super special stage through Zlín’s city streets on the opening night of the event a key feature.



What the organisers have said? Jan Regner, Barum Czech Rally Zlín clerk of the course: “Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be held again in Zlín, where the HQ, podium and unique night-time super special stage will also be located. The service area will be in the Continental Barum factory grounds in Otrokovice, while the special stages will use tricky bumpy Tarmac rounds in the surrounding region. We would like to make use of a new addition in the rules and allow competitors to do recce of several stages already on Wednesday afternoon to make the event less hectic and give them more time to be fully prepared for the rally. Despite the fact that our event is not included in the Junior ERC Championship this year, we want to support young drivers to develop their skills and experience and they will be offered cheaper entry fee like in previous years.”  


What the drivers have said? Chris Ingram, 2019 podium finisher: “It’s one of the most iconic rounds of the ERC and has always been among my favourites as it’s very special to see the hundreds of thousands of passionate Czech fans along the stages. But it’s very challenging because the stages are very fast, bumpy and there are lots of surface and width changes. The locals always go well on ERC rallies, especially in Zlín.”



More information: https://www.czechrally.com/en/  


Apart from 2020 when the event didn’t run due to restrictions resulting from the global health pandemic, Barum Czech Rally Zlín has hosted the ERC every year since 1984 with a contract extension, announced last September, securing its slot on the schedule until at least 2025. The event, which is organised by a loyal band of volunteers and owes plenty to the dedication of the Regner family, also counts on the support of key partners. They include Continental Barum, which has supported the event from the outset, Region Zlín, City Zlín, and the National Sporting Agency.

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