ERC returns to Italy in new-look calendar

*Rally di Roma Capitale joins European Rally Championship
*Rally Islas Canarias and Rally di Roma Capitale enter ERC Junior
*Azores Airlines Rallye to open upcoming campaign
*Possibility of two new events being added to provisional schedule

Rally di Roma Capitale will join the FIA European Rally Championship in 2017, one of eight events so far included on the provisional schedule for next season, which remains subject to final approval.

Inclusion of the all-asphalt event, which features a stage that passes the world-famous Colosseum, marks the ERC’s return to Italy for the first time since 2013 when Rallye Sanremo was part of the championship.

Rally di Roma Capitale joins the following events on the provisional ERC calendar for 2017: Acropolis Rally**, Azores Airlines Rallye, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Cyprus Rally, Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés, Rally Liepāja and Rally Rzeszow.

Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, will consider adding a maximum of two more events to the calendar ahead of its submission to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for ratification when it meets in Vienna on 30 November. Drivers will count their best six scores.

The ERC Junior Championship will continue to take place over six rounds, including two on gravel, with five of the six events confirmed as follows: Azores Airlines Rallye, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Rally di Roma Capitale, Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés and Rally Liepāja. ERC Junior drivers will count their best four scores.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We’re very pleased to be joining forces with Motorsport Italia, which launched Rally di Roma Capitale three years ago and has managed its rise as a top Italian championship event. We’re also delighted to be continuing our long-term agreements with some of Europe’s best rallies on asphalt and gravel. There will be a maximum of 10 rallies and we’re considering adding at least one more event, in central Europe, to the current provisional schedule. Teams will continue to receive strong logistical support for the island rallies as we continue our efforts to keep a control on costs.”

Provisional FIA European Rally Championship calendar 2017*
2-4 March: Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal, gravel) J
31 March-2 April: TBA (Southern Europe, gravel)**
4-6 May: Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés (Spain, asphalt) J
2-4 June: Acropolis Rally (Greece, gravel)**
16-18 June: Cyprus Rally (Cyprus, asphalt and gravel)
3-5 August: Rally Rzeszow (Poland, asphalt)
25-27 August: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic, asphalt) J
15-17 September: Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy, asphalt) J
6-8 October: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel) J
3-5 November: TBA (Central Europe, asphalt) J**
*Calendar provisional and subject to FIA approval; **Subject to promoter agreement signature; J = ERC Junior Championship event