Barum Czech Rally Zlín should have turned 50 this weekend. Instead the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed celebrations until 2021 when the FIA European Rally Championship is set to return for what will be a truly momentous occasion.
Here are 50 moments that have mattered during the last five decades.
50:History is made as Jan Halmazňa wins the first Barum Rally back in April 1971.
49:Vladimír Hubáček thrills fans aboard a Renault Alpine A110, claiming the first of three victories in 1972.
48:Wolfgang Hauck celebrates becoming the first non-Czech winner of the event when he triumphs in 1974 driving a Porsche 911.
47:Škoda royalty steals the show in 1976 as famous former factory driver John Haugland scores victory number one of three.
46:After five years of Škoda dominance, Antonio Zanussi triumphs for Porsche in 1981.
45:On 28 January 1982 Jan Kopecký is born. He goes on to become the most successful driver in Barum Czech Rally Zlín history with eight wins to his name and counting.
44:With Kopecký using the 2014 event to trial a development version of Škoda’s upcoming Fabia R5 model as a course car driver, Václav Pech takes full advantage in a Mini John Cooper Works S2000.
43:Miroslav Jakeš springs to prominence on the 43rdBarum Czech Rally Zlín in 2013 by claiming the ERC Production Cup in sixth overall. His performance earns him the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy.
42:The late Janusz Kulig’s 1999 triumph remains the only Barum Czech Rally Zlín victory by a Polish driver.
41:At the other end of the scale, Polish promise Aleks Zawada wins ERC3 Junior in 2017.
40:Freddy Loix’s second Zlín win coincided with the 40thanniversary of the event in 2010.
39:As well as scoring two Barum Czech Rally Zlín wins, Renato Travaglia has led for 28 stages.
38:Marco Cavigioli starts Barum Czech Rally Zlín for the first time in 1998. He’s made another 18 visits since then.
37:Škoda’s winning Barum Czech Rally Zlín tally stands at 17 triumphs.
36:After taking an ERC3 Junior podium in 2018, Austrian Simon Wagner steps up for 2019 and promptly lands an ERC1 Junior podium.
35:Austrian drivers to win the event outright include Raimund Baumschlager and Franz Wittmann.
34:Patrick Snijers’ victory in 1991 is the first since Zlín becomes Zlín again having been renamed Gottwaldov in 1949 after the first Czech communist president, Klement Gottwald
33:Barum Czch Rally Zlín joins the European championship roster for the first time in 1983 and has remained part of the ERC family ever since.
32:Tibor Érdi Jr scores his second ERC2 title triumph came on Barum Czch Rally Zlín in 2018.
31:Pavel Valoušek is selected by a panel of journalists to drive the BFGoodrich Drivers’ Team entry on the 2007 event. He impresses with fourth place.
30:Home hero Roman Kresta marks the event’s 30thanniversary in 2000 with a popular victory driving a Škoda Octavia WRC.
29:Stanislav Chovanec, the 1996 winner, has a strong record when it comes to stage wins on Barum Czch Rally Zlín, having clocked 29 fastest times.
28:Václav Arazim has started Barum Czch Rally Zlín 28 times, two less than record holder Marcel Tuček.
27:Enrico Bertone, the winner in 1997 and 1998, rallied under a Czech licence but is, in fact, Italian.
26:Norwegian Škoda legend John Haugland has bagged 26 Barum Czech Rally Zlín stage wins.
Visit FIAERC.com tomorrow for part two of theBarum Czech Rally Zlín top 50 moments.