Tuesday | 22 Nov 2022

My Top 5: Reiner Kuhn

Leading motorsport correspondent Reiner Kuhn shares his top five moments from 2022 - including a unique insight from the Azores Rallye!

The FIA's oldest and most populated continental rally series once again showed its best side with seven different winners in the 2022 season, which was balanced with four asphalt and four gravel rallies throughout the year. 

When I look back, the following events are particularly memorable because they underline the great skill of the ERC drivers!

Sesks dominates Tet Rally Liepāja
After debuting for Team MRF Tyres in the ERC Open category in Poland, Mārtiņš Sesks upgraded to a Škoda Fabia Rally2 for his home event - and won by over a minute! As if that wasn’t enough, the 23-year-old set the fastest time in every special stage. Amazing!

Llarena V Bonato on Canaries Power Stage
Efrén Llarena lay fourth overall half-way through the tricky asphalt stages of Rally Islas Canarias. But the Spaniard turned up the heat, fighting his way up to third place before passing Yoann Bonato to take second overall with a masterful drive on the final Power Stage. 

This, along his win after a dramatic final stage at the Azores Rallye, laid the foundation for Llarena’s European Rally Championship title. 

Pellier outclasses rivals in ERC4 Junior
Laurent Pellier won five out of six rallies to celebrate the ERC4 Junior title in style. But even on the rally he didn’t win (Latvia), the Frenchman still showed his extra class. 

The Opel driver rolled his Corsa Rally4, lost several minutes and completed the next three stages with no front screen and  wearing safety glasses! Despite that, he still posted great times in his class which were hardly slower than the fastest drivers.

Wagner’s Czech podium
Even when it’s dry, the tricky Tarmac roads of Barum Czech Rally Zlín are among the most difficult on the ERC calendar. This year, sudden rain provided the ultimate challenge. 

Simon Wagner had to complete several wet stages with less than ideal slick tyres on his Škoda Fabia - but still managed to post the fourth-fastest time on SS9. The Austrian was rewarded with a well-deserved podium finish after a very strong drive. 

My drive at the Azores Rallye
Last but not least, I was fortunate enough to drive in the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT at the Azores Rallye. I was able to tackle the unique tests on the Atlantic island myself and experience how demanding the narrow gravel roads are - and their challenges!

Our team-mate Paulo Soria showed what is possible with a Renault Clio Rally5 on these tricky stages and stormed to the Clio Trophy win, 25th overall, and third in ERC4 - the next category up!

Saving on tyres with our Clio Rally5!