Magalhães targets ERC return

Magalhães targets ERC return

09/10/2017 06:00

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.

José Suárez completed his maiden season of FIA European Rally Championship action by finishing second among the ERC Junior U28 contingent on Rally Liepāja to secure third in the final class reckoning.

Krisóf Klausz’s strong end to the 2017 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship continued when he finished sixth in class on Rally Liepāja.

Aleks Zawada says there were “a lot of positives” after his bid for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship – and the 100,000 euros prize fund – ultimately ended in disappointment in Latvia earlier this month.

Kalle Rovanperä says Nikolay Gryazin is the ultimate rival after the talented young guns locked horns on the closing round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship recently.

Jari Huttunen has spoken of his disappointment after losing out on the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 title to Opel team-mate Chris Ingram in a final-round decider in Latvia earlier this month.

Łukasz Habaj wishes his first podium in the FIA European Rally Championship had come in happier circumstances.