Thu 14 Mar 2024

The ERC rallies that changed surface

When Rally Hungary opens the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship season from 12 - 14 April it will do so as a gravel event having run as an asphalt-based contest for the first four editions.

But Rally Hungary isn’t the only ERC counter to switch from one surface to another since the streamlining of the calendar in 2004, as the following proves.

First time in Fafe
The first ERC rally to take place in Fafe in 2020 was an all-Tarmac affair and run as Rally Fafe Montelongo (above). When the championship returned to Portugal the following season it did so on Rally Serras de Fafe, a long-standing gravel-based event (below).

Poles apart
Prior to this ERC mainstay event’s move from Kraków to Mikołajki for the 2005 edition, Rally Poland used asphalt stages. With the event returning to the FIA World Rally Championship schedule in 2024, Rally Silesia takes over as Poland’s ERC round but with a Tarmac route (below).

Liepāja leads the changes
Rally Liepāja, which has become Tet Rally Latvia for its WRC graduation this summer, was a true winter event for the first three years (below). But when unseasonal weather forced the 2016 edition to be postponed to the October of that year, the rally has been held either in the autumn, in late spring or mid-summer on gravel roads free of snow and ice.

Greece goes gravel…
The ELPA Rally in Greece was all about asphalt until 2007. That’s when organisers made the move to gravel for the next three editions before the rally slipped off the ERC calendar following the 2010 running.

… and Turkey too
Like the ELPA Rally in Greece, Turkey’s FIAT Rally ran on asphalt prior to 2007. Following the gravel-based 2007 edition (above), the event became known as the Istanbul Rally before the Bosphorus Rally title was adopted for 2010. Juho Hänninen won the last ERC-counting Bosphorus Rally in 2012.

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