ERC defends dropped rounds and lack of classic events
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.”