Magalhães targets ERC return
SEAJETS-supported Bruno Magalhães plans to hit back from his Rally Liepāja exit, which cost him a shot at the ERC crown, by returning to the FIA European Rally Championship in 2018 for another title challenge.
Magalhães, competing in Latvia for the first time, started the event trailing Kajetan Kajetanowicz by 24 points but lost all hope of silverware when he crashed into a tree on the Liepāja City Stage after being caught out by a large build-up of water.
After being given the all-clear following an overnight stay in hospital, Magalhães said: “I am feeling okay. I didn’t want what happened to happen but what we have done for the whole championship, to come second is amazing. I came here trying to win. I didn’t happen but now I focus on a new project for next year because I love this championship and I want to come back.
“I improve a lot, even on this rally I improved my pace on the second pass on the stages I did twice. This is a very specific rally and I knew before it would be very difficult to win the title. But we tried, I tried to fight.
“My body hurts but it’s normal after an accident like this. I will be fully recovered.”
Magalhães postponed his honeymoon to take part on the rally and finished second in the provisional final standings ahead of Bryan Bouffier, who remained in front of Alexey Lukyanuk. The Russian was caught out on the same corner that proved Magalhães’ undoing. Rally Liepāja wasn’t included on Bouffier’s ERC schedule for 2017.