ERC revives 'Golden Stage' concept for season finale in Cyprus

The European Rally Championship is reviving the 'Golden Stage' concept for its Cyprus finale, with a £50,000 prize fund on offer

ERC revives 'Golden Stage' concept for season finale in Cyprus

The format was last used in 2011 (pictured), when Thierry Neuville won €40,000 (£33,000) for topping a non-championship shootout on the day after that year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge title decider.

A collaboration between ERC promoter Eurosport Events and the Cyprus tourist board, this year's Golden Stage will be formed of the final two stages of the championship season.

The £50,000 Golden Stage winner's prize for the fastest combined time on the two mixed-surface stages is in addition to the usual ERC payment structure that offers €20,000 across the top seven finishers.

ERC co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: "This is great news for the drivers and teams and it really underlines the tremendous support being extended to the event by the authorities in Cyprus."

The 2016 ERC title now looks highly likely to be settled before the Cyprus event, which takes place on October 7-9.

Reigning champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Alexey Lukyanuk are the only leading drivers contesting enough rounds to mount title bids.

Kajetanowicz's home victory - his first win of 2016 - on Rally Rzeszow in Poland last weekend gives him a 76-point lead over Lukyanuk with three rounds remaining.

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Series ERC
Author David Evans
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