Arai shows speed on ERC Poland debut
Hiroki Arai showed plenty of speed on his second appearance in the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship and his first on PZM 76th Rally Poland.
However, a rare mistake on the final morning led to he and co-driver Ilka Minor crashing into retirement when a class podium was looking assured.
“It was a really tricky left-hand corner, the one corner in a forest section that was really slippery, really compact,” said the Team STARD development driver. “We had a massive slide, not over-speeding and I nearly came back on the road but at the last minute we clipped a ditch and started rolling. It was my mistake.”
Despite his Citroën C3 R5 rolling, Arai confirmed the damage done was not too severe. “Cosmetically the car was damaged but the engine, transmission, things like that were okay.
“Every stage was so difficult on this rally because every stage has a different profile. Compared to the last event in Latvia, the road is much, much narrower and so fast. You really have to be on the line and that’s the most difficult part. But we took good experience and gave good feedback to Yokohama for the tyres.”