Barum Rally continues in ERC, new contract with promoter signed!
24. 8. 2023 - Roman ORDELT
The 52nd Barum Czech Rally Zlín is successfully at the finish line. An unexpected gift for the organizers and all the fans of the Zlín rally came at the finish ramp in the form of signing a new contract with the promoter for the next two years. Barum Czech Rally Zlín will continue to be part of the European Rally Championship (ERC) in the years 2024 and 2025. The contract was signed on behalf of the WRC Promoter GmbH, based in Munich, Germany, by Ian Campbell, manager of the promoter, and on behalf of the Zlín Rally by Miloslav Regner, chairman of the organising committee. Radim Holiš, the Governor of the Zlín Region, Jiří Korec, the Mayor of Zlín, and Libor Láznička, the Managing Director of Continental Barum s.r.o., were present at the ceremony in front of the Zlín City Hall.
"The signing of a new contract for the next two years is an appreciation of the work of the entire organizing team, which contributed to the successful process of this year's event. We would like to thank the public institutions, the competition partners headed by Continental Barum and the spectators, without whose help we could not have organised the competition. Once again, Barum Rally proved its status to be one of the top European rallies. It is not usual for a promoter to rush to sign a new contract at the end of a rally," said Jan Regner, Clerk of the Course of Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
Barum Rally has been a part of the European Championship for forty years, since the first European points were competed for in Zlín in 1984! The promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship also secures the rights for the ERC, an important breakthrough for the championship in the world of rallying. The level of the old continent's championship has risen significantly this year, as reflected by the number of quality drivers competing for European points this year. Every year, the Zlín Rally is one of the pillars of the European Championship and one of the highlights of the competition season not only in the Czech Republic.
The European Rally Championship was established 70 years ago as the first international competition for competitive drivers and is one of the oldest continental rally series. Twenty years later the World Championship series was founded. In 2004, the ERC was reorganised and only selected rallies that reached the highest coefficient remained in the ERC series. In recent years, the European Championship has stabilised into eight competitions, half of which are run on gravel and half on tarmac. While satellite TV channel Eurosport was the organiser of the ERC from 2013 to 2021, a German promoter took it over last year.
The European championship has been won three times by Polish driver Stanislaw Zasada, the same number of championships is also held by his compatriot Kajetan Kajetanowicz or Luca Rossetti from Italy. The most successful brand is Lancia with 15 triumphs, Ford has won eight times. Czech carmaker Skoda has brought a driver to the podium a total of six times. This year, Hayden Paddon from New Zealand in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 became European champion ahead of the final event.
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