The FIA’s regulation set for GT cars in rallying had a new addition this summer, and it’s making its first international rally appearance in the European Rally Championship straight away.
The Alpine A110 – a popular reincarnation of the car of the same name that won the 1970 ERC title in the hands of Jean-Claude Andruet and was a founding father of the World Rally Championship three years later – is a rear-wheel-drive sportscar that has already racked circuit racing success and propelled the brand back into the public consciousness in such a successful way that in 2021 it will have its own Formula 1 team.
ERC2 points leader Zelindo Melegari and the CHAZEL Technologie Course team will give the model its international rallying debut, heading to northern Portugal next weekend with the newly homologated A110 RGT for Rally Fafe Montelongo.
The A110 will also run in San Marino’s Rallylegend showpiece event on the same October 2-4 weekend, and will be driven by 1993 World Rally Championship runner-up and inaugural FIA R-GT Cup winner François Delecour.
“The ERC is the reference championship in Europe. We are here for showing the very good performance of the Alpine A110 RGT on Tarmac,” CHAZEL’s rally co-ordinator Louis Chazel said.
“It’s a brand-new car, with entries only for the moment in French rallies, so this will be the first appearance of an Alpine A110 RGT on international roads.
“From the team’s side, we are very happy to be back in the ERC. Our last full season in the ERC was in 2013 when we were in charge of the official Renault Sport team. The ERC is a very relevant championship, with mythical rallies and very hard competition, a perfect place for the new Alpine A110 RGT.”
All four of the remaining ERC rounds, after the coronavirus pandemic shook up the schedule, take place on asphalt and this has been an influence on Chazel’s decision to enter the championship with the new car.
“CHAZEL Technologie Course is specialised in the new-generation Alpine A110 in rallying and also in racing,” Chazel said.
“We rent and we also sell the new Alpine A110 RGT. For the moment, the Alpine A110 RGT is only homologated in Tarmac spec, we have entered several rallies in France and now we are happy to be at the start of Rally Fafe Montelongo.”
Italian driver Melegari started his season in a Subaru Impreza, but is excited to switch to the new Alpine.
“I chose this car because the rest of the ERC season is on Tarmac and I think this car will be much more competitive on Tarmac than the Subaru, which is an older car,” admitted Melegari.
“I really enjoy the gravel events and I feel sorry it’s all Tarmac now. But I am still happy to compete and I had a good feeling with this car on the test we did together. The team is very professional, they know what they have to do and I can’t wait to be back in the car again and try to fight for the podium in ERC2.”
Abarth 124 Rally RGT’s are the most similar car to the Alpine on the entry list, but ERC2 also caters for four-wheel-drive cars like Melegari’s outgoing Impreza.