Four special stages of SATA RAllye Açores live on TV

Third round of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship won’t be happening before the end of April, but it appears that the long wait will pay off. In line with the ambitious plans set for the series by new promoter Eurosport Events, Spanish round will feature live TV, namely, four special stages will be televised live. To be more precise, Eurosport will broadcast two runs over two different stages, and both are simply too good to miss on TV!

Of course, Eurosport will not cover these stages just by putting couple of cameras on few corners, instead they are already scouting the area and picking the best positions for ground filming teams, as well as sections which will be filmed by helicopter teams.

In the meantime, we are still waiting for World Rally Championship to properly bite into this challenge, and bring us live stages. Rally Sweden made a nice effort by releasing SVT feed to the world, but for now Eurosport Events and ERC are still leading the way. According to completely unnofficial report posted by someone apparently involved in running of the WRC TV (as well as WRC merchandise website), WRC made significant investments into onboard equipment in cars, and live onboard feeds are already available (if we decide to trust this person, live feeds were available in Monte Carlo already). Can we expect to see them in use in Mexico perhaps? Who knows.

For more info about ERC’s planned TV coverage of SATA Rallye Açores read the official release below.

One of the most spectacular events on the FIA European Rally Championship calendar will be produced for live television broadcast by Eurosport Events, the promoter of the ERC.

SATA Rallye Açores, which takes place on the picturesque Atlantic archipelago from 25-27 April, will be shown live on Eurosport and RTP Açores, with a possibility of coverage on RTP on the Portuguese mainland plus other networks still under discussion.

Eurosport and RTP Açores will simultaneously broadcast the two runs of the Sete Cidades stage on Friday 26 April and the two passes of the Tronqueira stage on Saturday 27 April.

Taking place around the rim of a volcanic crater lake measuring five kilometres in diameter, Sete Cidades is considered one of the most stunning stages in international rallying. Located in the far west of the island of São Miguel, the stage presents a huge test for drivers, who negotiate the narrow, twisting gravel tracks at high speed. With drops of 400 metres to the water below, there is quite simply no margin for error.
While Sete Cidades represents the sensational, the Tronqueira stage showcases São Miguel’s lush countryside with a mixture of tree-lined sections and undulating stretches adding to the challenge for competitors as well as the spectacle for television viewers.

Earlier this week, Gilbert Roy, Director of Editorial and Programme Development for Eurosport Events, joined ERC General Co-ordinator Jean-Pierre Nicolas, an international rally-winning driver turned team boss, plus other key Eurosport Events’ personnel, for a two-day reconnaissance of the event route. During the visit they drove through the Sete Cidades and Tronqueira stages to finalise static camera points and earmark suitable locations where the helicopter, equipped with a Cineflex camera, will fly.

“Working in conjunction with Francisco Coelho and his event organising team, we selected the Sete Cidades and Tronqueira stages for live broadcasting because of the spectacular countryside they pass through and the stunning images this will create,” said Roy. “São Miguel’s scenery is quite simply incredible and truly spectacular, while Sete Cidades is the most beautiful place I’ve encountered in rallying. Our visit to the island this week has been a great success in terms of our final planning and now we cannot wait to transmit what will be truly amazing pictures around the world in April.”

SATA Rallye Açores LIVE broadcast schedule*
Friday 26 April 2013
Sete Cidades 1: 14:30hrs-15:30hrs (Eurosport, RTP Açores)
Sete Cidades 2: 19:00hrs-20:00hrs (Eurosport, RTP Açores)
Saturday 27 April 2013
Tronqueira 1: 12:15hrs-13:15hrs (Eurosport Player, RTP Açores)
Tronqueira 2: 19:00hrs-20:00hrs (Eurosport)
* All timings are CET and subject to final confirmation.