Napoca Rally Academy duo in Pole position for ERC success
Napoca Rally Academy will be represented by not one but two young Romanian talents in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship.
Simone Tempestini, 26, has registered for the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory package of incentives in a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo run by experienced Italian team, Delta Rally. The former Junior world champion and five-time winner of the Romanian national title is also targeting a top-five finish in the final ERC overall standings. His challenge gets underway this week’s ORLEN 77th Rally Poland, an event he’s started on five previous occasions. Sergiu Itu will co-drive.
In addition to Tempestini, Norbert Maior will also fly the Romanian flag in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship, with the 22-year-old mounting an ERC3 Junior push in a Pirelli-equipped, ToppCars Rally Team-run Peugeot 208 Rally4 alongside co-driving sister Francesca Maior. The siblings made their ERC debuts on Rally Hungary last November and are working hard to expand their ERC3 Junior programme beyond the Polish season-opener.
“Poland is one of my favourite rallies, having done it four times in the World Rally Championship and once in the ERC,” said Tempestini, who has won three times already in the Romanian championship this season to put himself on course for a sixth national crown. “I won JWRC twice in Poland so it’s an event I like and go well on. We are participating in the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory with the intention to fight at the top in that. Also, we aim to finish in the top five overall classification, but for sure we know that won’t be easy.”
Tempestini is due to finalise his ORLEN 77th Rally Poland preparations with a test in the county tomorrow (Wednesday) following a two-day test in his homeland, which is due to finish today (Tuesday).
For Maior, the opportunity to return to ERC3 Junior action following an impressive debut on Rally Hungary last season represents an exciting prospect.
“I’ll start by saying that I am very happy to have the chance to participate in Poland,” said Maior. “My focus and Francesca’s focus is to gain as much experience as we can and learn as much as possible. We do not aim for a result, it is the first time on gravel with this car, so we will try to adjust quickly and increase the pace gradually. Gravel is also my favourite surface, so we hope to enjoy this rally. We are currently starting the season in Poland and we hope to have the chance to compete in the other ERC Junior events. It is not certain that we will be able to do it all season, but we will do our best to have the necessary support to be at the start of as many events as possible.”
Action photos: Attila Szabo