ERC1 Junior champion Mares gears up for Azores attack
Filip Mareš will continue to prove his talent in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2020, starting with next month’s Azores Rallye.
The outing, the second of two prize drives for winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2019, will allow Mareš to further showcase his emergence as a strong performer on gravel, while also promoting Czech Motorsport, a new marketing and communication initiative from the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, a long-term supporter of his career.
However, before he contests the Azores Rallye, Mares will step up to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time on next week’s Rally Sweden alongside regular co-driver Jan Hloušek.
“It is amazing that we have so big opportunity this year,” said Mareš, 28. “It was a dream from childhood to start on a world championship event and I am ready to face this challenge. I would like to thank my partners for the possibility to represent them and I am promising that I will do the maximum on the stages at home and abroad.”
Jan Šťovíček, President of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, said: “Filip is one of the faces of our new communication brand, Czech Motorsport, which moves closer together the sporting activities of the Autoclub to a wider spectrum of fans.”
As well as a programme of European and world championship events, Mareš will contest rounds of his national championship, including Barum Czech Rally Zlín, a combined ERC and MČR (Czech championship) event from 28-30 August.
Kresta Racing, the team operated by Czech rallying legend Roman Kresta, who inspired Mareš to start competing, has been retained to run Mareš and Hloušek in a Rally2-specification ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo.
Meanwhile, the Azores Rallye takes place from 26-28 March using mainly all-gravel stages. The route includes the iconic Sete Cidades test, part of which runs along the rim of a volcanic crater lake, as its deciding stage. Mareš and Hloušek have one Azores Rallye start to their name dating back to 2017 when they finished third in ERC3 Junior.
Did you know?
Mareš beat Chris Ingram to the ERC1 Junior title by 0.3s in a final-stage decider on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last August to earn 100,000 euros in career support.