Mares looks to the future with ERC prize drive
Filip Mareš is targeting a full assault on the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship after winning this season’s ERC1 Junior title** during the summer.
The Autoclub of the Czech Republic-backed star took the category honours after beating fellow young talent Chris Ingram in a Barum Czech Rally Zlín final-stage showdown by 0.3 seconds.
As well as the prestigious FIA title**, Mareš has been allocated 100,000 euros to support his ongoing participation in the ERC.
Originally, that vital financial assistance had been earmarked to enable the 28-year-old to contest the closing rounds of this year’s ERC season in Cyprus and Hungary – in a car and with a team of his choosing – with the aim of challenging for the outright title.
However, with Kresta Racing – the team Mareš has been closely aligned to since the start of 2018 – not in a position to include the Cyprus Rally on its 2019 schedule, ERC promoter Eurosport Events – with the approval of the FIA – agreed to adjust the prize package.
As well as contesting the upcoming Rally Hungary in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo run by Kresta Racing, Mareš will tackle the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Rallye from 26-28 March. It is then hoped that Mareš will be able to secure the additional funding required to complete the 2020 ERC season, which totals eight events.
“After winning the ERC1 Junior title in 2019, my goal is to win the overall title in 2020,” said Mareš. “With this agreement I am now able to add to my experience at R5 level on Rally Hungary with the knowledge I already have one confirmed ERC drive for 2020. That will be a huge help in my ongoing efforts to secure the budget to contest the full championship next year and I would like to thank all the people and partners who are helping me with my mission.”
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “As much as possible, Eurosport Events will adapt the format of the final prize to best suit the winner, as we did with Marijan Griebel and Chris Ingram in the past. It’s the same with Filip and we are delighted this move will allow him to strengthen the partnership he has with Kresta Racing, who I am sure will do all it can to make his ERC title pursuit a reality in 2020.”
**Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA