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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.”

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.