Bessenyey turns team manager in ERC3 Junior
Zoltán Bessenyey will transfer his skills behind the wheel into team management when he oversees his fellow Hungarian Martin László’s FIA ERC3 Junior Championship campaign in 2021.
Bessenyey, a TV presenter and owner of a YouTube channel in his homeland, took back-to-back FIA ERC3 titles between 2013 and 2014, but was seriously injured in a testing crash in 2016, the year of his last ERC appearance on the Acropolis Rally.
Although he fought a brave and arduous recovery, he remains confined to a wheelchair due to the severity of his injuries. Nevertheless, he was back in the ERC on Rally Hungary in 2019 when he assisted János Vida with zero car-driving duties, swapping the steering wheel for the event road book for what was his first run through the stages of a competitive event since his accident.
He explained why his new role appealed: “I was always looking for new opportunities and because by old co-driver Dávid Berendi was in the team, the connection was really straightforward. I always wanted to give my experience to young drivers, and in Martin I see a young version of me. I will try to help Martin to find his best driving skills, the best possible set-ups for the races and certainly, the most important, I will give him and the team the best media and communication coverage.”
Bessenyey expects to be busy
“It’s much more work than when I was a factory driver for Honda in the ERC,” Bessenyey admits. “Before my job was to be fast and score points. But I look at my team as a perfect clock where all the parts need to be working perfectly. If there is something I don’t agree with I will make the decision. This will be our first full season in ERC, so we would like to learn the Junior system. But we would like to be fast and fight for the podium. We are planning to be doing the European rallies for the next few years.”
Time on László’s side
Martin László, 24, has made three FIA European Rally Championship appearances to date and finished third in ERC3 on Rally di Roma Capitale last July. He will drive a Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 Rally4 prepared by the Topp-Cars Rally Team from Hungary. “Martin has experience from the past in the ERC and is humble for the sport,” said Bessenyey. “He has support from his background, which is really important these days. He is only 24, so we have time, which is also important. I will be telling him there is no need to be always the fastest but to be the most clever guy in the field.”
Vagotti Kft., 92 Leticia Kft., Pakett 007 Kft. and Peugeot Hungary are supporting László’s bid alongside co-driver Dávid Berendi.