Catching Up

Photo Credit: PlaneteMarcus.com
  • Revenger210

    Hmm, let’s go through the news 1 by 1:
    * The ERC concerns are valid imo – manufacturers are what bring the bigger exposure and money to any sport, and seeing WRC 2 overtaking them in manufacturer preference by both Peugeot and Skoda is certainly a worrisome feat. We will have to see how the ERC develops after that.

    Perhaps the way forward would be for privateers and local talents to shine through these events, but I believe I can understand why the ERC prefer the manufacturer approach, especially given how the biggest category in the WRC goes down that way. New drivers rise through the ranks from junior manufacturer teams in this day and age, much like how the same thing happens in F1 too with its junior drivers; they enter a team through a contract from much smaller categories like GP2 and gradually rise to enter a top team right from the get go… or their junior team until they get a drive in the top team (the Red Bull F1 team comes to mind here)

    * If the Manx Rally became a reality in the same way the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is, that’d be amazing! Spectacular footage too!

    * I admit, I am kind of disappointed that the Chinese Rally will be a tarmac event, I’d much prefer it be in the jungle, though I never had watched footage of the 1999 event… It could be a mix surfaced event, to mix things up and make it even more exciting, but right now, a tarmac event sounds… very much like the imaginary Japanese event from the Colin McRae games, which was exclusively ran on tarmac. It is also very reminiscent of spain to my eyes, which, idk, has me concerned…

    * Sardinia looks mighty and exciting, can’t wait for the action to start!

    • Alvin Kato

      You said it all, am not adding anything else :)

    • Jason Anthony

      Alright, fair points on the ERC, and the idealist in me agrees with you. In a perfect world, there’d be enough manufacturers to go around, but that’s not where we are in the moment. Not everyone can have the same business strategy of wooing the big factories and succeed. A few years ago, yes, they’d need to pursue the manufacturers, but today with the proliferation of R5 cars in private hands, I still feel they’d fill a niche market and do quite well.

      It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Revenger210

        No problem, I liked the article a lot ^_^

        I understand your reasoning too. And I hope it works as well, but from a business stand point, it means the ERC will have to shrink again in favour of WRC 2. TV rights might come into especially big play – Eurosport broadcasts the ERC on live TV and its viewership is climbing, and part of the success was brand recognition like Peugeot and Skoda. With those two gone, the ERC will have to replace them in the popular eye.

        Eurosport will not gain the same revenue from airing privateers in custom R5 cars and that may incline them to go after the place where the bigger names are (which kinda makes me hope Eurosport will climb up the ladder and pick up the WRC as well, so that could be a blessing in disguise for the bit sport XD ). And that would force the ERC to fade back into obscurity instead of an alternative to the WRC I’m afraid.

        • Jason Anthony

          That’s the thing about the ERC at the moment… Where does it fit in? What’s it’s purpose? If it’s getting to be a competitor to the WRC, I think it’s going to fail.

          I have to be honest that I liked it a lot more when it was the IRC and featured something different from the WRC. At that time, the championship was innovative with the first live TV stages and running at night. This was enough to draw Monte Carlo away from the WRC for a few years. For a little while, it seemed that the IRC was the future of rallying. Now, it’s become too similar to the WRC and feels a bit redundant.

          • Revenger210

            …I honestly read ERC instead of IRC at first and that really drives the point home tbh ._.

            what happened to the IRC btw, is it still going?

          • Jason Anthony

            The IRC was re-branded as the ERC a few years ago. It is the same championship, still promoted by Eurosport. Back in the days of the IRC, the championship used S2000 and group N as their top class.

          • Dar

            Yes, but isn’t ERC the European Rally Championship whereas the IRC was International? I think the focus on solely European events may have diminished its hope to be a real alternative to the WRC. There seems to be more than enough events worldwide to create another championship, I think the real problem is finding the factory teams to fill all of those events. Privateer championships just don’t get the coverage (see the sad state of US rallying as evidence).

          • Jason Anthony

            All good points, but back in the days of the IRC, not many teams made it out to the international events. The factory teams of Fiat, Peugeot, and Skoda stuck to the Europran rounds because of the cost involved. That’s why Eurosport scrapped the Intercontinental aspect and absorbed the European championship. Now that the economy is better, the manufacturers want to start globe trotting again. It must be tough organizing a championship, you just can’t win sometimes.

  • FuchsrohreWRC

    Ah, the ERC – a good discussion.

    I’m not sure the ‘new’ ERC has been a success. The IRC, whilst
    not perfect, offered something different to the WRC. From 2009-2011 it was a
    far more competitive series than the WRC. The Live TV coverage from
    Monte-Carlo, Valais, Scotland, etc The excellent entries with 10-15 drivers on
    some events that had a chance of a win.

    Sadly, also, there were some poor entries on some events – and
    the TV coverage wasn’t brilliant. All in all, it was hit & miss, and in the
    end it was unsustainable.

    So, what is the ERC for? Are Eurosport doing enough to promote
    it. Where has all the Live TV gone?

    I think those involved need a re-think, as it’s not working.

    The ERC needs to offer something different, not a WRC a like
    series.

    I’d love to see a European Tarmac series, with the top class
    being GT3 race cars (not R-GT class cars) , of which there are loads of them.
    Can you imagine a Blancpain Rally series, similar to the excellent Blancpain GT
    race series.

    Rallying is far too much about the WRC – that’s what I like
    about Sportscars. Below the WEC, there are loads of excellent series. Why can’t
    rallying be like that?

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