Mareš thanks Czech federation, eyes ERC return

Mareš thanks Czech federation, eyes ERC return

12/10/2017 06:00

Filip Mareš says his highly impressive first season of international competition was only possible through the support of the Czech motorsport federation, which backed his FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign.

Mareš started last week’s Rally Liepāja firmly in the hunt for ERC Junior Under 27 title glory but his lack of gravel experience ultimately forced him to settle for third place instead behind champion Chris Ingram and runner-up Jari Huttunen, which nevertheless represented a remarkable achievement.

“It was my second proper rally on gravel and definitely it was difficult to be on the [same] pace as Jari and Chris,” said Mareš. “We made good progress and we could go faster but we need more kilometres on gravel. I am quite satisfied because nobody expected we would be on the podium at the end of the season. But I want to say a big thanks to Autoklub Czech Republic and also all our sponsors because without their support this would not have been possible.”

While Mareš has yet to finalise his 2018 programme, an ERC return is the target. “I hope to keep going and I hope to be competing in the European championship. It’s a great and highly competitive championship for young drivers. Hopefully we’ll be back.”

Pierre-Louis Loubet “feels ready” for his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship debut after driving BRC Racing Team’s Hyundai i20 R5 for the first time during Azores Airlines Rallye testing yesterday (Monday).

Paulo Nobre will return to international rallying after a five-year gap when he embarks on a full-season campaign in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Dominik Brož hopes the technical problems that hampered his progress in 2017 will be a thing of the past when he bids for FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship success this season.

Miguel Correia will make his FIA European Rally Championship debut when he lines up on the Azores Airlines Rallye this week.

Fabian Kreim will look to his outing on the Asia-Pacific championship-counting Coffee Day India Rally in 2016 when he begins his FIA ERC Junior Under 28 bid on the Azores Airlines Rallye this week.

A fully recovered Bruno Magalhães says there’s no reason why he can’t begin his 2018 FIA European Rally Championship campaign by repeating the shock victory he scored on São Miguel 12 months ago.