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New-look calendar brings added excitement and appeal to ERC in 2024

Drivers and teams aiming to build their experience and achieve success in the FIA European Rally Championship will be put through their paces on eight events across the continent in 2024.

Following FIA World Motor Sport Council approval, WRC Promoter GmbH – the promotional force behind the ERC – has revealed an exciting and significantly revamped calendar for the upcoming season, with three events on gravel and five on asphalt spread geographically across the continent.

Revving into action in Hungary in April, the ERC schedule includes stops in Spain (Canary Islands), Sweden, Estonia, Italy, Czech Republic and Great Britain prior to Poland hosting the season decider in October.

“We’ve worked hard to deliver a calendar that blends new events with rallies that have, for many years, played a key role in the ongoing success of the ERC,” said championship manager Iain Campbell. “We are very pleased with the balance that’s been achieved as it’s important to freshen up the calendar whenever it’s practical and beneficial to do so, without losing out on the opportunity to include more long-standing events.”

The 2024 calendar represents one of the biggest overhauls of events since 2013 while continuing to maintain several rallies integral to its long-term success.

Following on from its 70th-anniversary season in 2023, the ERC will visit flagship events such as Rally Islas Canarias, Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín. But there’s a new-look Rally Hungary, and two events untried in the ERC, Rali Ceredigion in the United Kingdom and Rally Silesia in Poland.

The second running of Royal Rally of Scandinavia gets a date one weekend before Mid-Summer (13 – 15 June). It’s part of efforts by the event organiser to further increase fan attendance and underline the Swedish rally’s festival focus with a music festival running in parallel to the rally.

Having hosted the WRC to great acclaim between 2020-2023, Rally Estonia maintains the ERC’s strong Baltic connection with its fourth appearance in the championship in early July. An overview of each 2024 ERC round follows.

MISSION OF DISCOVERY AS ROTATIONAL JUNIOR ERC SCHEDULE UNVEILED
With only one of the six 2023 events forming part of the FIA Junior ERC Championship schedule in 2024, the calendar for the young driver category’s 11th season represents an exciting mission of discovery.

Only Royal Rally of Scandinavia is carried over from 2023 as ERC newcomers Rali Ceredigion and Rally Silesia join the list of dates that includes Rally Islas Canarias – back after a one-year break – and Rally Estonia, which last tested the Junior ERC stars in 2016.

While Rally Hungary hosted the dramatic three-way title decider last month, it’s changing location and surface for 2024. That means the new-season opener will be an untried addition to the Junior ERC schedule.

The six-event calendar for FIA Rally4 and Rally5 cars provides an even split of asphalt and gravel events and is the first to follow a new rotation system. For 2024 Junior ERC stalwart events Rally di Roma Capitale and Barum Czech Rally Zlín won’t form part of the Hankook-equipped championship although both are in line to return in 2025.

2024 ERC RALLIES AT A GLANCE:
Rally Hungary, 12 – 14 April (gravel)
Having run on asphalt since its inception in 2019, Rally Hungary will be gravel only in 2024 with the event relocating to the city of Veszprém, approximately one hour southwest of the capital Budapest for its fifth edition. Challenging stages around Lake Balaton await.

Rally Islas Canarias, 2 – 4 May (asphalt)
The island of Gran Canaria’s asphalt roads climb and descend and twist and turn with rapid frequency and demand plenty of driving and pacenote precision. Changeable mountain weather adds to the task in hand and puts an onus on tyre strategy and management.

Royal Rally of Scandinavia, 13 – 15 June (Sweden, gravel)
Using fast-paced gravel stages in Sweden’s Värmland, the Karlstad event was new for 2023 and bought the ERC back to the country for the first time since 2003 – and rallying back to stages previously run in the thick of winter. The Colin’s Crest jump was a 2023 highlight.

Rally Estonia, 5 – 7 July (gravel)
Voted event of the year after it hosted its first ERC counter in 2014, Rally Estonia is big on jumps, speed and innovation. Made up of rapid gravel stages around the cities of Tartu and Otepää, the event was a WRC round from 2020-2023.

Rally di Roma Capitale, 26 – 28 July (Italy, asphalt)
After two rounds on gravel, the ERC switches back to asphalt for an event that was decided by 0.3sec when it ran its first ERC round in 2017. Although the rally is based in Fiuggi to the southeast of Rome, the Eternal City hosts the opening super special stage.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 16 – 18 August (asphalt)
Based in the South Moravian university city of Zlín, this is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the roads. Several stages feature flat-out blasts through forests. Big fan attendance is guaranteed, intermittent showers are always possible.

Rali Ceredigion, 30 August – 1 September (United Kingdom, asphalt)
Made up of rapid but narrow country lanes close to the famous forests where the principality once staged Britain’s WRC round, Rali Ceredigion first took place in 2019 and celebrated its third running at the start of September when it also hosted the British championship.

Rally Silesia, 11 – 13 October (Poland, asphalt)
Polish asphalt ERC events are far from unusual. Rally Poland used sealed-surface stages before it switched to gravel in 2005, while Rally Rzeszów was an ERC round in 2016 and 2017. Based in Katowice, junctions aplenty appear on the bumpy and twisty mountain Tarmac roads.

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR 2024:
12 – 14 April V. Rally Hungary* (Gravel)
2 – 4 May Rally Islas Canarias* (Asphalt)
13 – 15 June Royal Rally of Scandinavia, Sweden* (Gravel)
5 – 7 July Rally Estonia*, ** (Gravel)
26 – 28 July Rally di Roma Capitale, Italy (Asphalt)
16 – 18 August Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Asphalt)
30 August – 1 September Rali Ceredigion, United Kingdom* (Asphalt)
11 – 13 October Rally Silesia, Poland* (Asphalt)

ERC1, ERC3 and ERC4 categories will count their seven best scores out of eight

*denotes Junior ERC round

**Subject to contract