*Prestigious round one slot for mid-Atlantic Ocean spectacular
*All roads lead to Latvia: Rally Liepāja maintains season showdown listing
*Full calendar to be announced following upcoming FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting
The 2018 FIA European Rally Championship will fire into life on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March with the finale set for Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October.
Six events will take place in between, including Rally Islas Canarias from 3-5 May, with the full calendar due to be announced following the meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 6 December.
It will mean the ERC’s successful switch to an eight-round format, first tried in 2017, will continue with the schedule including an even mix of asphalt and gravel rallies.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We’re delighted to announce preliminary details of the ERC calendar for 2018 and look forward to releasing the full eight-event schedule in due course. Opening the ERC in the Azores for the first time back in March this year was a big success and we’re very pleased that we can build on that success and ensure we get the new ERC season off to the best possible start on one of the most spectacular events of them all. We’re also very pleased Rally Liepāja will conclude what’s already shaping up to be a very exciting ERC season number 66.”
Rally Islas Canarias will continue to occupy its traditional early May slot as the second round of the season and the first on asphalt. Rally Liepāja will run one week later than it did in 2017 to ensure there are no clashes between the FIA World and European championship calendars.
Having successfully staged the 2017 season closer when five FIA European titles were settled, Rally Liepāja will once again host the championship showdown in 2018.
Promoted by Eurosport Events under a 10-year agreement with motorsport’s world governing body and run first in 1953, the FIA European Rally Championship is the ultimate training ground for young hopefuls aiming for the top. Providing a clear path of progression from national level to the world stage, the oldest international rally series in existence is also open to all-comers, meaning age is no barrier to competing.