After ERC24 published the first information about major ERC changes in the making the Rallycross barometer indicated stormy weather. Here no answers, but some more info that is blowing in the wind.
The promoter behind the whole ‘future of ERC’ project is IMG Motorsports, part of IMG, originally known as the International Management Group, a global sports and media business headquartered in New York City. The private company, established in 1960, is involved in a lot of things and is the commercial and TV rights holders of global events such as the FIM Speedway Grand Prix and FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup, the Rugby World Cup and the Indian Premier League.
IMG is working already for quite some time on the ERC deal, after being approached by some widely known Rallycross insiders who use to work for many a year in the sport. During their Paris meeting of June 15 the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) “approved proposals from both the Truck Racing Commission and the Rallycross Commission to source a promoter for those Championships”, one more step towards a revised European Rallycross series – with the target to become a World Championship series at the latest in 2016.
According to our information the people involved in the project are currently negotiating with potential organisers for 10 existing Rallycross venues as well as with potential SuperCar competitors for the 14 available entries as “permanent drivers”. As there shall be 2 “Wildcart entries” per round the whole “main event” on the Sundays of the ERC weekends should see 16 starters in a compressed 3 hour show, to “benefit both TV and live audiences with fast paced exciting racing and little down time.”
The existing qualification and finals system will then be replaced for the SuperCars only by a “round robin format” through which each driver can participate in the 4 qualifying heat races over 4 laps each. The 5 drivers with the highest point scorings should subsequently race for their overall placings in a single final over 6 laps. The scored points of all 10 races shall decide over the FIA ERC title for SuperCar Drivers. While the Sundays are for the SuperCar driver line-up, the future “support categories” TouringCars and Super1600s as well as the testing shall be maintained by the promoters to round up a 2 day meeting for the audience at the venues.
Quotes: “IMG will invite 14 permanent Supercar Championship Drivers per year – they must take part in all 10 Championship Events.” “IMG and the Event Organiser shall consult 2 Wildcart Drivers per Event.” “IMG will invite unlimited number of Super 1600 and Touring Car drivers to each Event – these drivers will not be required to enter all 10 Championship Events.”
We at ERC24 were informed that the final plans should be released to ‘John Q. Public’ during the 2012 ERC Finale at Buxtehude. The FIA Off-Road Commission (FIA ORC) meeting of August 22 in Paris is due to deal with the case, before the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) needs to confirm (or refuse) the plans of IMG in their Paris meeting on September 28 or their Istanbul meeting on December 5.
For Part 1 click here: http://erc24.com/archives/6818