Friday | 16 Sep 2022

Mabellini eyes Rally2 switch

ERC4 frontrunner Andrea Mabellini is targeting an upgrade to Rally2 machinery for the 2023 season, FIAERC.com understands.

Mabellini - winner of last year’s Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT series - has been campaigning a Renault Clio Rally4 this season in both the Junior ERC and ERC4. He currently sits inside the top-three in both championships.   

Having contested local rallies with Rally2 cars in the past, the youngster will again steer a Škoda Fabia Rally2 at this weekend’s Rally Valle Imagna in his native Italy and revealed plans to graduate into the ERC’s premier category next season with a top-flight car. 

“This weekend we will drive with an R5 car here in Italy and we are already planning for next year,” Mabellini explained. “We are hoping to be part of the ERC again. 

“I would love to compete in a Rally2 car with Škoda and Toksport [in 2023], but it’s not easy. The budget is very difficult to find and we need to work towards finding some more sponsorship to make everything possible.”

Mabellini is co-driven by his girlfriend Virginia Lenzi and, whilst Laurent Pellier sealed the FIA Junior ERC title last time out at Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the pair remain in the running for the ERC4 crown 14 points behind leader Óscar Palomo.

The title will be decided at next month’s Rally RACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada finale, which takes place in Spain from 20 - 22 October. 

“We are excited to be finishing our championship in Spain,” he said. “We have some small possibilities to win the championship, but it will be quite difficult and we will have to give it a full push. 

“In Italy, we have a saying which means you win or you crash. That’s definitely not my mantra, but we are hoping to bring back a good result for all the amazing people who have been helping us this year.”