The Jännerrallye in Austria will open the all-new FIA European Rally Championship in 2013 after its organisers agreed terms with new ERC promoter Eurosport Events.
Based in the town of Freistadt near Linz, the snow event will get next seasons ERC off to a thrilling start from 3-5 January as crews battle for glory on the challenging hilly asphalt stages, traditionally coated in snow and ice at that time of year.
Next years ERC will feature rounds on all three surfaces: snow, gravel and asphalt and a number of rally organisers are holding discussions with Eurosport Events as they work to secure a slot on the exciting new calendar for 2013.
François Ribeiro, Motorsport Development Director of Eurosport Events, said: One of the biggest, yet most exciting challenges we face as the new promoter of the ERC is the formalisation of the calendar for 2013. We are delighted to open ERC 2013 in winter conditions with an established event such as the Jännerrallye. Starting the new-look ERC with a snow rally is going to be very exciting for all our teams, drivers, partners, fans and viewers. Over the next few weeks well close negotiations for the remaining ERC rounds before the complete 2013 schedule goes to the FIA Rallies Commission and FIA World Motor Sport Council for ratification.
Jännerrallye promoter Ferdinand Staber said: Were delighted to have reached an agreement with Eurosport Events to continue in the ERC in 2013. Being part of the ERC for the first time this year was a huge boost for our event but the opportunity to work with the new ERC promoter, Eurosport Events, at the start of an exciting period for the ERC is even more significant. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Eurosport Events and a very successful rally.
Jan Kopecký, a three-time runner-up in the Eurosport Events-promoted Intercontinental Rally Challenge, won this year’s Jännerrallye on its first appearance in the ERC. Driving a KODA Fabia Super 2000, Kopecký led home factory SKODA team-mate Juho Hänninen, the eventual series champion, in snowy conditions.
The Jännerrallye is the first event to be confirmed on the ERC schedule for 2013. The remaining rounds will be announced over the coming weeks.