Adielsson targets Arai in ERC1 Junior podium battle
Matias Adielsson has one goal on Barum Czech Rally Zlín: beat FIA ERC1 Junior Championship rival Hiroki Arai to third place in the standings of young stars in R5 cars.
Sweden National Team representative Adielsson – who has switched to an Orsák Rally Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 for this event – begins the rally 15 points ahead of Arai (Team STARD).
Both appear likely to eclipse current third-placed ERC1 Junior Alexandros Tsouloftas – who is not competing in the ERC1 Junior season finale – which sets up a two-way fight for the final podium place in the championship standings.
“We have one mission on this rally: it is to finish and be separate from Arai’s points. There is a podium to fight for!” said Adielsson.
Adielsson and Arai qualified P19 and P21 on Friday’s Qualifying Stage respectively, though the Swede was encouraged by his rapid improvement in pace across three runs of the Pohořelice test.
“We have to look at the whole picture. There are very small margins and we are 5.7s from Kopecký, who was fastest and is obviously very, very fast here.
“In the first run of free practice we were almost 2.5s per kilometre (slower), and now we are 1.3s, so the improvement on three runs is good. The car feels perfect. It’s just me and Andreas [Johansson, co-driver] just have to do the work.”