European Historic Rally Championship season opens with Rally Costa Brava

 European Historic Rally Championship season opens with Rally Costa Brava

EHRC - OVERALL FIA TITLE UP FOR GRABS AS RALLY COSTA BRAVA SIGNALS SEASON LIFT-OFF

 

Famous cars from the sport’s incredible past will continue to take centre stage when the 2024 FIA European Historic Rally Championship gets under way on Rally Costa Brava from March 14-16.

 

The all-Tarmac event, based in Girona north of Barcelona, is the first of nine FIA EHRC rounds in 2024 and is a highlight of the historic rallying season.

 

Celebrating its 72nd edition, organisers have attracted a capacity 247-car entry, with 48 of the main 72-car international field registered for the FIA EHRC and representing 13 countries.

 

Three new titles are up for grabs this year following changes to the regulations including, for the first time, an overall FIA European Historic Rally Championship crown. The FIA European Historic 1600cc Trophy and FIA European Historic FWD Trophy titles have also been introduced for 2024.

 

Although the creation of the all-new titles is partly in response to competitor feedback, their introduction is in line with the FIA’s desire to raise the profile – and spectacle – of the FIA EHRC, while also providing an accessible point of entry to international-level historic rallying.

 

FIA EHRC 2024: how it works?
The FIA EHRC is for historic rally cars homologated up to 1990. It’s divided into four categories (1-4) based on year of manufacturer with sub-divisions in Categories 2-4 to allow for different levels of car performance.

 

Events are held on asphalt and gravel between March and November and typically run for one and a half days following reconnaissance with approximately 150 timed kilometres on offer.

 

The overall title is contested by all drivers and co-drivers regardless of their category with all rounds counting. The FIA European Historic 1600cc Trophy is for cars up to 1600cc from Categories 1-4 with the six best scores counting. The rise in the number of front-wheel-drive cars competing has been recognised with the FIA European Historic FWD Trophy with crews also counting their best six scores.

 

In addition, the FIA EHRC Teams’ Trophy, which has attracted more than 25 entries for the 2024 season, features a new bonus points system with 10 additional points on offer on the Historic Rally of Asturias and the Historic Acropolis Rally.

 

Who’s in it to win it?
The FIA European Historic Rally Championship has once again attracted a stellar line-up of crews in a variety of front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive machinery built prior to 1969 and ahead of the 1990 cut-off.

 

Among an abundance of entry highlights are respective reigning Category 1 and 2 champions, Ernie Graham and Valter Jensen, and Antonio “Tony” Fassina, the 1982 European champion. Luigi “Lucky” Battistolli has delayed his Category 4 title defence after withdrawing his Rally Costa Brava entry for personal reasons.

 

A summary of FIA EHRC contenders on Rally Costa Brava will be published separately.

Rally Costa Brava in short
Rally Costa Brava consists of 12 special stages over a competitive distance of 160.014 kilometres. Friday’s (15 March) opening leg features three repeated stages run either side of service in Fornells de la Selva with the 15.678-killometre Els Angels test up first from 10:35 CET. The second leg on Saturday 16 March follows an identical format with three stages run in the morning prior to service and repeated in the afternoon. SS8/SS11 Collsaplana is the rally’s longest stage at 16.711 kilometres.

 

Following the 2023 edition, organisers have removed the closing section of the Salions-Sant Grau stage due to excessive speeds. The Thursday evening stage won’t run in 2024. With the exception of Salions-Sant Grau, all stages on this year’s itinerary were included on the 1984 route when Michele Cinotto triumphed in an Audi Quattro A2. Now 65, Cinotto will be in action on this year’s event, albeit not registered for EHRC points, in a replica of his famous Audi.

 

Approximately 500 people will be volunteering their time without financial reward to make Rally Costa Brava happen.

 


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