Mayr-Melnhof can’t wait to Drift some more in the ERC
Austrian champion Niki Mayr-Melnhof has the future in mind ahead of the Cyprus Rally from 27-29 September.
Mayr-Melnhof is targeting a full FIA European Rally Championship campaign in 2020 and views the challenging gravel event as “perfect preparation” for next season.
“It is one of the most demanding gravel events in the whole world, we would like to do the whole season next year and it will therefore be a perfect preparation for 2020,” he explained. “We take this year to get experience in the ERC and learn as much as we can for next season. I also love driving on gravel, so we are really looking forward to having some fun.”
Having only switched to rallying from GT racing three years ago, Mayr-Melnhof admits he has plenty to learn on both gravel and asphalt, let alone the former surface. “The [gravel-based] Schneebergland Rallye is part of the Austrian championship and is super tough and difficult. We managed to win it last year and hopefully we will do some proper testing on a few of the stages before the Cyprus Rally.
“The main aim will be to finish the rally and get as much data and experience for next year. We would love to take some points, but realistically we would be happy if we finish the rally at our first attempt.”
Mayr-Melnhof drives a previous-generation Ford Fiesta R5 run by The Drift Company. He hopes to upgrade to the latest-specification Fiesta R5 in time for the ERC season-deciding Rally Hungary from 8-10 November.