ERC de­fends dropped rounds and lack of classic events

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship co-or­di­na­tor Jean-baptiste Ley has de­fended the de­ci­sion to drop two ral­lies from next sea­son’s schedule.

The 2017 ERC will in­clude just eight events in­stead of this year’s 10. The se­ries has also come un­der fire for the lack of what some are la­bel­ing as ‘classic’ events, such as the Cir­cuit of Ire­land and Ypres. The Cir­cuit is not run­ning next sea­son, but the Bel­gian favourite had been open to ne­go­ti­a­tion for a pos­si­ble ERC re­turn in the fu­ture.

Ley closed that door, say­ing: “Our pre­vi­ous agree­ment had ex­pired and the Ypres Rally or­gan­is­ers de­cided their event has a fu­ture with­out a part­ner­ship with a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional FIA cham­pi­onship or sig­nif­i­cant lev­els of tele­vi­sion cov­er­age.

“An eight-event cal­en­dar is re­al­is­tic when you con­sider the mar­ket and cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate.”

FIA rally di­rec­tor Jarmo Ma­ho­nen praised Ley’s ef­forts, say­ing: “The ERC is the only re­gional cham­pi­onship where we have a pro­moter and they have done a good job. The re­gional cham­pi­onships are not in good shape and that’s be­cause the equip­ment they are us­ing is too ex­pen­sive – we have to look at this.”

ERC miss­ing head­line events?

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