Rally Islas Canarias, which finished on Sunday, not only marked the deciding round of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship, but the final rally of Discovery Sports Events’ (formerly Eurosport Events) tenure as ERC promoter under a long-term agreement with motorsport’s world governing body, the FIA.
With Discovery Sports Events preparing to pass the baton to WRC Promoter to write the next exciting chapter in the long-running and hugely successful history of the FIA European Rally Championship, Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, reflects on what has been achieved and celebrated since 2013.
“It was a great honour for Eurosport Events to be appointed promoter of the ERC by the FIA but also a reflection of the great job we did on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for seven years beforehand.
“We look back on the last nine years with a real sense of pride and satisfaction. We set several goals and over-achieved in all areas thanks to the incredible efforts of our team but also thanks to the cooperation of so many people and organisations, such as the FIA, the teams, drivers, suppliers, manufacturers, ASNs, rally organisers, partners, journalists, photographers and broadcasters.
“From the outset we established a strong and successful partnership with the FIA, we delivered an extremely consistent and attractive sporting, commercial and marketable product that was also economically viable for a wide range of competitors and a fantastic platform for customer racing departments and tyre companies.
“We gave the opportunity for more than 150 young talents to step up from national level and experience international competition – often for the first time – in our ERC Junior categories, which we created in 2014 and watched with delight as they set new standards in the sport thanks to their accessibility and the incentives that were offered. We have also watched a number of drivers step up to the World Rally Championship or progress their careers at a higher level in the series after gaining experience in the ERC.
“In signing off after nine memorable seasons we wish to thank the FIA for the trust they put in us and everyone who contributed to the tremendous success of the ERC. We now wish WRC Promoter every success in building on what has already been achieved while maintaining the ERC’s positioning in line with the FIA Rally Sporting Pyramid. Bringing the promotion of international rallying under one roof is very sensible and logical and we have every confidence in WRC Promoter and the job they will do for many seasons to come.
“For Discovery Sports Events, the focus switches to developing its electric motorsport activities.”
Here’s a reminder of just some of what’s been achieved and celebrated during the last nine seasons.
From 2013 to 2021: Eurosport Events was appointed promoter of the ERC for the 2013 season
80 rounds: During that time, Eurosport Events oversaw the promotion of 80 rounds of the ERC
20 rallies: Eurosport Events worked in partnership with the organisers of 20 different rallies
17 countries: Those events took place in 17 countries
9 appearances: Rally Liepāja took place in each of the nine seasons Eurosport Events was ERC promoter, the only event to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of several rallies
1210 teams: A total of 1210 teams entered drivers or co-drivers on ERC events between 2013-2021
1207 unique drivers: The number of unique drivers and co-drivers stands at 1207
6 champions: Eurosport Events celebrated six different outright ERC champions
6561 broadcast hours: Between 2013-2019, 6561 hours of ERC coverage was shown by broadcasters around the world
ERC CHAMPIONS 2013-2021
2013: Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic)
2014: Esapekka Lappi (Finland)
2015: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2016: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2017: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2018: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2019: Chris Ingram (Great Britain)
2020: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia
2021: Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway)*
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA