From ditching to winning… How Mares hit back for ERC1 Junior triumph
Filip Mareš completed the ultimate comeback when he won ERC1 Junior on Rally di Roma Capitale last week, seven days after crashing out of an event in his homeland.
Mareš started the Czech championship Rally Bohemia leading his national standings, but a crash on stage 15 put him out and left his participation on Italy’s FIA European Rally Championship counter the following weekend in serious doubt.
But thanks to his Kresta Racing mechanics, Mareš and co-driver Jan Hloušek were able to start Rally di Roma Capitale in their hastily repaired ŠKODA Fabia R5, going on to win the ERC1 Junior section in fifth overall for the ACCR Czech Rally Team.
“For sure this result belongs to my team [from Kresta Racing] because the guys have done an amazing job,” said Mareš. “After our accident on Rally Bohemia it was not so easy to be at the start in Rome. But we are now winners in ERC1 Junior on Rally di Roma Capitale, which is fantastic, it’s an amazing result for us and crucial to our ambitions in the championship generally.”
Following his triumph in Italy, Mareš will battle Chris Ingram for the ERC1 Junior crown on the season-deciding Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 16-18 August with a fund of €100,000 to contest the ERC events in Cyprus and Hungary awaiting the winner.
Crash repair timeline
Sunday 14 July
09h26: Mareš and Hloušek crash into a ditch on Rally Bohemia
09h30: Crew surveys damage, reports back to team
10h45: Kresta Racing mechanics arrive at crash scene
11h10: Car recovered from ditch
12h00: Car transported to service park
13h00: Full inspection of damage takes place
18h00: Team returns to workshops in Luhačovice, Czech Republic
Monday 15 July
17h00: Spare parts collected from ŠKODA Motorsport HQ in Mladá Boleslav
Tuesday 16 July
24h00: Repairs complete, car ready for roll-out
Wednesday 17 July
08h00: Roll-out and final checks take place
13h00: Packing of spares and equipment for Rally di Roma Capitale
22h00: Following a period of rest, team sets off for Fiuggi, a 14-hour drive over a distance of 1350 kilometres
Thursday 18 July
16h00: Team arrives in the service park in Fiuggi
20h00: Technical scrutineering takes place
Friday 19 July
09h30: Mareš and Hloušek begin Qualifying Stage run, going seventh fastest