Barum Czech Rally Zlín can’t come soon enough for Jaromír Tarabus following a tough return to FIA European Rally Championship action on auto24 Rally Estonia from 17-19 July.
Tarabus, who has limited experience driving on gravel, opened the road on both legs and struggled for form as a result in his Kresta Racing-run ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, which is co-driven by Daniel Trunkát.
“When we were planning the season, it was almost sure there is no sense for us to go to Estonia as we had no chance to gain some points,” said Tarabus. “But since Acropolis we had long break and we needed to go back into a racing rhythm, so we have decided to go to Estonia. We have expected fast stages, but it was much faster than we expected. I was not satisfied with my pacenotes, they were very specific types of stages and with my experience it was not easy to write them correctly. And pacenotes on fast stages are very important and it was hard to clean the road for two days.”
Co-driver Daniel Trunkát added: “With a top speed of 170kph compared to the winning R5 car’s top speed of 190kph we were almost without a chance.”
Tarbaus and Trunkát finished third overall on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last season. The event is round eight of the ERC season and takes place from 29-31 August.
Zoltán Bessenyey showed his determination to move into the lead of the FIA ERC 2WD Championship when he finished third in class on the recent auto24 Rally Estonia.
The defending champion was back on ERC duty for the first time since the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally and excelled in the Eurosol Racing Team Hungary Honda Civic Type R he shares with co-driver and partner Yulianna Nyirfás.
“It’s a great result and an amazing end to a very special weekend,” said Bessenyey. “Considering the amount of local drivers we were up against who know these stages so well, I’d never have thought we’d be able to clinch third no chance. Our target was always a place in the top six.”
Bessenyey will be back in action on next month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín when he will be aiming to defend his title advantage against several rivals, including home hero Jan Černý, who topped the ERC 2WD standings prior to Estonia but wasn’t competing on the gravel event.
FIA European Rally Championship regular Robert Consani is hoping for a change of fortune when he gets back behind the wheel of his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on Barum Czech Rally Zlín next month.
The Frenchman failed to finish for a second event in a row when a broken engine forced his early exit from auto24 Rally Estonia.
“It is very frustrating, for me, my co-driver, my team, basically everyone who helps and supports me,” said Consani, who failed to get beyond the gravel event’s eighth stage. “I arrived 10kph faster than in the first loop and it was obviously too much, but I can’t help thinking that you also need a bit of luck in rallying, which I am clearly lacking. I am now looking forward to the Barum Czech Rally Zlin and hope my luck will be better there.”
Consani had enjoyed a strong run of results in the ERC earlier this season when he bagged a brace of fourth-place finishes.