ERC Juniors past and present star for ACCR Czech Team on home event
ACCR Czech Team duo Jan Černý and Filip Mareš were on fine form on last weekend’s Czech championship-counting Rallye Český Krumov.
While 2013 ERC champion Jan Kopecký did the winning in his factory ŠKODA Fabia R5 ahead of local hero Václav Pech, Černý edged Mareš to third place by a mere seven seconds.
In a rally affected by changeable weather conditions, both Černý and Mareš impressed despite having plenty to learn with Černý switching to a Ford Fiesta R5 for 2018 and Mareš stepping up to R5 power following success in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship last season.
“For me the rally was definitely the hardest race with the Fabia R5 so far,” said Mareš, whose potential in ERC Junior U27 has been rewarded with a Czech championship campaign in a Kresta Racing-prepared Fabia backed by Autoklub of the Czech Republic. “In Friday’s heavy rain we made our very first wet kilometres and it was really hard since the start of the first special stage. For the first time, I had the opportunity to try a combination of cross-mounted tyres. So we were really happy with our pace and especially with the third place after the first day.
“The opening stage of the second day, legendary Malonty, showed me that I still have a lot of things to learn. But already the second passes were much better for us when we got two times the third and moreover the second time in the last stage, right behind the winner Kopecký. The fourth place in the finish line of such a heavy rally as this was, is an unexpected result for us. Jan Černý proved very good performance and deserves a podium.”
Černý, who will contest a combined programme of Czech and and ERC Junior Under 28 events in an ex-Bryan Bouffier Fiesta this year, said: “The beginning of our season was not perfect but we had the full support of our team and from my friends which helped us a lot. There was lot of water on the road on the first leg, tyres were not working, wipers were not able to manage. And in these conditions we were trying to compete. Especially in the dark part of first leg it was great, our pacenotes were perfect, same like our rhythm.
“On the beginning of second leg, we have told with Petr (Černohorský, co-driver) that we will try to push as we knew that our tyre choice was good. I like fast roads and I enjoyed Malonty stage a lot. We have set a really good time and I feel that this day will be a treat for us. We have confirmed it also on other stages. We are really happy from the third place. I have also enjoyed the fight for third place with Filip Mareš. I must congratulate him, he did really good job.”
With thanks to Petr Linhart