New tonight: Introducing ERC Eye of the Expert
As the build-up to the eagerly anticipated 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season continues, promoter Eurosport Events is delighted to introduce ERC Eye of the Expert.
ERC Radio reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes will take it in turns to host the online show, which looks back on key moments of recent ERC history and hears from the main protagonists to get the view from behind the scenes.
In tonight’s premiere, which is available from 17h30 CET on Facebook and Twitter, Julian Porter sits down, virtually, with Łukasz Habaj to discuss the Pole’s standout maiden ERC victory on last season’s Azores Rallye and how the success set up a European championship title challenge.
Among the topics Habaj will discuss are:
*The demanding nature of the Azores Rallye, “one of the most challenging rallies on the globe”, according to the former Polish champion
*His team, Sports Racing Technologies’, decision to test at two different venues when most rival squads used one test road
*The treacherous conditions on the final day due to heavy rain and strong wind
*Tyre management and how it became a “key factor”, especially given the changing conditions
*The importance of maintaining full concentration during the three days of competition
*Taking the lead in the closing stages and having to complete “one of the most difficult stages in my life” with local hero Ricardo Moura chasing him down
*Becoming the first Polish driver to win in the Azores, by a margin of only 8.4s, for what was his maiden ERC rally win and the “special feeling” that gave him
*Why the result exceeded his expectations and helped to set up a championship challenge in his Pirelli-equipped Škoda Fabia R5.
Spectacular footage includes helicopter shots of Habaj and co-driver Daniel Dymurski attacking the iconic Sete Cidades volcano stage, myriad onboard camera sequences and the podium in Ponta Delgada.
Łukasz Habaj looks back: “The first win is always a special feeling. I remember my first win in the national championship and this is a special feeling, the first stage win is a special feeling. It’s so intense, the feelings, the emotions. It’s the only activity you can reach this level of emotions. I have been doing many things in my life but none of them get even close to what kind of emotions you have when you are participating on a rally. Being in the fight for a win in the European Rally Championship is just amazing and more than I ever expected from my rally career. Not being a professional driver and for a small team, we only came with a few people, to fight for a win in this rally was amazing. It’s something that will stay with me forever.”