2021 will mean a major change in the future of rallying in Spain The Spanish Automobile Federation announced, at the end of 2020, the creation of the new Mixed Super Championship of Spain. At the same time, the Spanish Cups of Asphalt and Gravel.
The calendar is made up of thirteen races, but the teams will be able to score points in a maximum of 10 rallys (6 on asphalt and 4 on gravel), at their free choice. For classification, the best results obtained in the five asphalt and three gravel events (eight in total) will be retained.
Tramalón took the opportunity to get the opinion of four very experienced rally drivers in our country. Miguel Fuster, Enrique García Ojeda, Luis Climent and Alberto Hevia have given us their opinion on the establishment of this championship in Spain. We have chosen these drivers for their great experience and their following of rallies today, but not actively in competition as drivers.
Miguel Fuster, Spanish Asphalt Rally Champion six times
It seems to me a fabulous idea, a change to the future, as in the rest of the leading competitions in Europe. Of course, like all changes, they are hard, complicated, with different opinions. For more experienced drivers, as in my case, it is not I make you crazy. If I don’t look at myself, and see the sport, wanting to have Spaniards in the ERC and WRC, you have to do gravel and asphalt.
Without looking at people, in the face of motorsport, I think that it is the most successful. It is the future, and we are creating a very interesting quarry in our country. On the races, they give the option to choose less, being able to save you a few. You have more opportunities, they do not force you to attend thirteen rallys.
If I were active and an official Ford driver at the age of 49, it would be a chore for me to race on gravel. But if I look at it for the sport, I see it great. Costs rise but it is like everything. It is the moment to change. It was very easy to leave everything as is. It has not gone bad anywhere in Europe, why should it not succeed here?
Alberto Hevia, Spanish Asphalt Rally Champion on two occasions
I’m not very on the subject today, but of course I know the situation. I think we all know that, today, a gravel and asphalt championship is essential to learn on both surfaces and take steps in a driver’s sports career.
Of course, it will also raise costs. Someone who has an asphalt kit solely for racing will have to switch to the gravel kit. Experienced top drivers on all surfaces will have an advantage there. As in all areas of life, there will be people for and against. We will see how it evolves throughout the season.
Luis Climent, Spanish Asphalt Champion on one occasion and official driver of several brands in the CERA and WRC
I think it is something that comes from far and it has always seemed positive to me, so I have agreed on the idea for many years. I understand that, for the progression of any rider who wants to reach the top, it is something basic. Who does not want to run both, has available both Spanish Cups on gravel and asphalt.
In my years, the land was secondary, and my goal was to go outside. I was lucky to be able to race with official teams on asphalt. What I earned on asphalt I spent, privately, on gravel, to make the leap internationally. From the driver’s point of view, it’s spot on.
On the controversy … I think it’s never going to be the right year. Now because of the pandemic, then because of the costs … I think it is a risky decision, of course, but a necessary one. Of course, I speak from a driver’s point of view, and that is my opinion. At the moment, each group has its opinion and is respectable. With exceptions, the Spanish drivers have been experienced on asphalt, because it was the most mediatic. If we want to have complete competitors, this is the step. And snow because we don’t have …
Enrique García Ojeda, Spanish and European Rally Champion
From my point of view I think it is a wise decision. Any rider who aspires to higher heights than Nacional must be prepared to run on both surfaces. For me, it is a good idea in the sports field, but it needs a deep study.
The Spanish Federation has taken a very important step, but it is vital to do it with great precision. That is, define it adequately with drivers, organizations from all races and, of course, the brands involved in our National today.
We also have to give the races value to have a great championship, but I insist, I think the Federation has made the right decision with this new decision.