Feofanov: ERC2 title would be a great story to tell my grandchildren
Dmitry Feofanov has emerged as the first driver to challenge Tibor Érdi Jr in his bid for an ERC2 hat-trick as registrations continue to roll in for the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.
Feofanov, from Russia, is committed to at least the opening four events of the upcoming season when he will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X for the respected Prospeed operation.
That commitment means he will make his first competitive start on asphalt on May’s Rally Islas Canarias following the gravel-based, season-opening Azores Rallye in late March. Normunds Kokins will co-drive.
Having tried the ERC for size with a three-event campaign in 2019, Feofanov explained what’s brought him back for more in 2020 and what he hopes to achieve when his opposition will include the returning two-time ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr from Hungary.
Why have you chosen the ERC for 2020?
“When I tried the ERC last year, I found that there was another level of everything – difficulty, organisation, size of events, etc – in comparison to national competitions in the Baltics. I liked that and I felt I was part of something big, a real great sport competition. And I can be competitive there if I do things right. I have also found that there is a real chance to fight for the title because of an affordable budget, as the Group N is still in the game and I am not sure I will have a similar opportunity in the future so it is worth to try now.”
What are your aims and objectives for this year?
“As a minimum I would like to get more experience of how to drive ERC rallies, particularly the events I did not participate in last year. Also, I will do my best to be at ERC2 podium at the end of 2020.”
How much would the title mean to you?
“Of course, if this happens, it will be the highest possible reward for me as a rally driver at the moment. A year ago, I even did not dream about that. But, also, it would be one of the biggest achievements in my whole life as the rally is a big part of it. And a great story for my grandchildren!”
Is it possible you will contest more than four events?
“Yes, sure. We will see the results after the first four. I will understand my feelings about Tarmac, etc, so in the beginning of July it will be more clear which remaining events we should go for.”
You will make your Tarmac debut this year. Excited or apprehensive?
“Canarias will be my first Tarmac-only rally. It may be a bit hard because of the lack of experience. But definitely I am excited and I hope to enjoy it. I will do my best to be prepared as much as possible during remaining time frame before the event.”
For 2020 you are joining Prospeed, a team with a strong record in ERC2?
“Prospeed has several years of experience in ERC. They know how to be prepared for ERC events, how to work and manage things during events with proper car set-ups. This is important. That was the main reason to join them for the current season. I believe that their knowledge should definitely help to achieve better results and to avoid some mistakes.”
Where to watch Dmitry Feofanov in 2020
Azores Rallye, 26-28 March; Rally Islas Canarias, 7-9 May; Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 29-31 May; 77th Rally Poland, 26-28 June, plus other events to be added.