Eight rounds for 2017 ERC as Junior upgrade is approved
Structured in response to feedback from drivers and teams who were keen to cap their number of competitive outings at between six and eight events, the ERC calendar features four rallies on asphalt and four on gravel for the perfect balance of surfaces.
Kicking off with the Azores Airlines Rally from 30 March-1 April, the season concludes on Rally Liepāja in Latvia from 6-8 October. In between there will be visits to Spain for Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés, to Greece for the legendary Acropolis Rally, to Cyprus for the mixed-surface Cyprus Rally, to Poland for Rally Rzeszow, to Czech Republic for Barum Czech Rally Zlín and to Italy for Rally di Roma Capitale, an ERC newcomer for 2017. As a further cost-cutting measure, drivers will count their best six scores only.
FIA European Rally Championship calendar 2017
30 March-1 April: Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal, gravel) ERC Junior
4-6 May: Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés (Spain, asphalt) ERC Junior
2-4 June: Acropolis Rally (Greece, gravel)
16-18 June: Cyprus Rally (Cyprus, asphalt and gravel)
3-5 August: Rally Rzeszow (Poland, asphalt) ERC Junior
25-27 August: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic, asphalt) ERC Junior
15-17 September: Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy, asphalt) ERC Junior
6-8 October: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel) ERC Junior
New format for ERC Junior
ERC Junior will be split into two separate divisions – ERC Junior Under 27 and ERC Junior Under 28 – from 2017 based on driver age and experience. ERC Junior U27 is for drivers under the age of 27 at the start of 2017 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. With the best four rounds from six counting, the winner will receive a career progression fund worth 100,000 euros to use in ERC Junior U28 in 2018. ERC Junior U28 offers the next step on the rallying pyramid for drivers under the age of 28 ahead of 2017. Again totalling six rounds with the best four scores counting, drivers will use R5 cars. The champion will get a drive in a European round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship as a P2 driver in a 2016-specification World Rally Car.
ERC Teams’ Championship restructured
The popular ERC Teams’ Championship undergoes significant changes for 2017. Rather than separate titles in ERC1, ERC2 and ERC3, from next year there will be one ERC Teams’ Championship with each outfit nominating a maximum of three cars, in either four- or two-wheel drive configuration or a combination of both, to score points on each event. The results of the two highest-placed drivers from a team count. And with points distributed according to the four- and two-wheel-drive classifications, a team could score a maximum of 50 points (25 points for 4WD, 25 points for 2WD) per event.